Call for Chapter Proposals – Girls in Global Development: Theoretical Contestations, Empirical Demands

Call for Chapter Proposals
Girls in Global Development: Theoretical Contestations, Empirical Demands

Over the last several years scholars from the range of disciplines associated with girlhood studies have critiqued neocolonial assumptions embedded in international development agendas that exceptionalize poor, racialized adolescent girls in the Global South as ideal sites for intervention based on regimes of truth which authorize their potential to multiply investment, interrupt intergenerational poverty, and predict economic growth. Scholars have also critiqued how girls in the Global North are problematically positioned as “empowered” relative to girls in the South through affective appeals to (post)feminist (neo)liberal sensibilities that reinforce the status quo rather than disrupt geopolitical relations of power. By attending to the cultural production of girlhood(s), this interdisciplinary literature sheds important light on the ideological operations that enable the “girl-powering” of development. According to these arguments, all girls in a global system are variously targeted by a complex web of institutional actors including multinational corporations, bilaterial aid agencies, multilateral financial institutions, and transnational non-governmental organizations with uneven effects. Girls and their girlhoods in the context of global development as a transnational process are now the subjects of inquiry across a range of empirical sites, theoretical frameworks, and institutional domains, indicating the “coalescing” of “Girls in Development” as a distinctive body of discourses.

The editors of the proposed collection take as our starting point the need to map this theoretical and empirical terrain. We propose GID (Girls in Development) as an emergent knowledge paradigm and category of analysis for thinking about the production of girlhoods and girls’ lives transnationally that overlaps with and also diverges from the enduring, and contested, conventional paradigms for thinking about women, gender and global development: WID (Women in Development) and GAD (Gender and Development). A primary goal of the collection is to develop a critical genealogy of GID, map its theoretical and empirical scope, and address its possible futures.

This collection will consider the impact and implications of GID in a variety of geo-political locations. Taken together, contributions will define, refine, and frame what GID means presently and speculate about its future(s). We look to bring together disparate readings of GID as an analytic framework, while simultaneously investigating how GID informs development work and activism involving girls across global systems of power. We encourage inter/transdisciplinarity approaches and seek contributions that decenter the Global North while acknowledging the powerful role Western nations play in shaping global development paradigms, policies, practices, discourses. Finally, this collection will take a critical transnational feminist approach to GID. We see this collection as an opportunity to complicate normative assumptions about girls and girlhoods in global development discourses and practices beyond the increasingly hegemonic edict to “invest in girls” as “smart economics.”

Against this backdrop, the editors seek abstracts for chapters that examine and engage broad, interrelated, and mutually informing foci:

1. Conceptual analyses that historicize and theorize what we are calling GID (Girls in Development), particularly as this paradigm relates to WID and GAD (and WAD), and related concepts such as empowerment, agency, race, mainstreaming, and so on, including theorizations of GID futures.

2. Visual and textual analyses of “girlhood” as a constructed category produced within and through international development processes.

3. Empirical studies of girls’ lives and experiences as a part of global development processes (e.g. education, health, microfinance, post-conflict reconstruction and so on) in any geopolitical location.

Chapters should engage the multifaceted and complex experiences of girls in development and/or the production of girlhood(s) in these processes across a range of sites including digital or social media, film and television, marketing or consumption practices, fundraising and awareness raising campaigns as well as through funding mechanisms and development projects (e.g. workshops, trainings, school curricula, girls’ clubs, sports, etc.), development policies and practices at multiple (and interrelated) scales (local, national, transnational), across development sectors (e.g. education, health, micro-finance, political participation, etc.), and in any geopolitical location.

Possible topics for chapters include:

  • Historical research that attends to the legacies/reconstitution of colonialism in contemporary global development processes focused on girls and/or girlhoods.
  • Analyses of girlhood(s) in global development processes as constructed in film, television, and/or digital media.
  • Analyses of girlhood(s) as constructed in development policies, programs, etc. at any scale (local, national, transnational).
  • Examinations of adolescence as a gendered, racialized, and biosocial process in the context of global development policies and processes (e.g. constructions of “adolescence” in development discourse; examinations of how “adolescent” girls experience “adolescence”).
  • The intersections of specific social categories based on social location with girlhood(s) (e.g. class, caste, age, sexuality, dis/ability, ethnicity, linguistic community, nationality, indigeneity, religion, refugee or displaced person status, combatant, marital status, motherhood, migrant, etc.) in the context of global development processes.
  • Examinations of (in)visibilities produced by development discourses and processes (e.g. disabled girlhood; queer girlhood; transgirlhood; affluent/elite girlhood; pregnant schoolgirlhood; girl-motherhood).
  • Critical examinations of development discourses around girls’ rights, empowerment, leadership, agency, opportunity (e.g. Can these concepts be reclaimed for radical purposes?).
  • Critical examinations of the role of celebrity humanitarianism in girl-centered development agendas.
  • Critical examinations of girls’ activism and/or girl-driven social justice movements (e.g. “young feminism,” #youngfems) that focus on global development.
  • Analyses that attend to affect(s) in global development sites, processes, practices.
  • Elaborations of methodological innovations for researching girls, and girlhoods, in global development processes.

We welcome individual and co-authored abstracts and chapters from established and emerging scholars internationally, including graduate students and scholars outside traditional academic spaces.

Abstracts of 200-250 words (not including works cited) are due on April 30, 2018. We anticipate notifying selected contributions by May 15, 2018. Full length final chapter submissions of 6,000 – 8,000 words (including notes and references) are due on August 1, 2018.

Please submit chapter abstracts to the editors of the collection: Dr. Heather Switzer, Dr. Karishma Desai, and Dr. Emily Bent at girlsindevelopment2018@gmail.com with the subject line: Chapter Abstract.

This edited collection will be considered as part of a new blind peer-reviewed book series by Berghahn Press entitled, Transnational Girlhoods, edited by Claudia Mitchell (McGill University); Ann Smith (McGill University); Bodil Formark (Umea University); and Heather Switzer (Arizona State University).

Please find a link to this Call for Chapter Proposals here: https://files.acrobat.com/a/preview/4d83803a-4636-453f-93b9-c565e94ee020