Volume 2, Issue 1
Special Issue: Bodies
Welcome to the third issue of Assuming Gender (2:1). As the journal enters its second year of publication, we are pleased to present a special issue collating a smaller group of articles and addressing a central theme: that of philosophical, social, and sexual bodies. This special issue features some of the most compelling papers delivered at the ‘Gender and Difference’ conference hosted by Cardiff University and the University of Cologne from 23-25 May 2010. All four essays continue the Assuming Gender tradition of providing timely, interdisciplinary articles and reviews on Gender and Sexuality Studies topics.

The ‘Gender and Difference’ conference, held over three days at the idyllic Gregynog Hall in rural Wales, proved an intellectually stimulating environment for international scholars to discuss current topics on gender, including ideas of difference, disability, and trans-nationalism. Though there were many excellent papers delivered, as guest editor for this issue I have selected the best papers that interrogate issues of gender and the body: physical, phenomenological, and literary. The issue begins with Susanne Wegener’s article on the post-human, post-colonial abject feminine body in Canadian author Larissa Lai’s novel, Salt Fish Girl (2002). This philosophical inquiry into the gendered body takes a phenomenological turn in Virgil Brower’s cosmopolitan essay on oral sexuality within philosophical, feminist, and lesbian traditions. David Griffiths then moves the analysis onto the body even more intimately in his examination of the queer body as a microcosmic site of resistance against heteronormative scientific traditions. Lastly, Anindya Raychaudhuri completes the discussion on the social body in his examination of the trope of the tragic female in film narratives of the Spanish Civil War.

Rounding out this issue on the body, we feature two book reviews on important new works in Gender Studies. Angie Dell reviews Wendy Kline’s history of feminist influence on medical practice in Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality, Reproduction and Women’s Health in the Second Wave (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Kat Deerfield provides a review of media identification and queer young adults in Mary L. Gray’s Out in the Country: Youth, Media and Queer Visibility in Rural America (New York University Press, 2009).

I hope this issue of Assuming Gender proves as engaging for you to read as it was for me to edit. You can stay up to date with the latest news about sexuality and gender via our Twitter and Facebook pages and at assuminggender.com. Lastly, we welcome commentary or discussion on this special issue and on future issues to gender@cardiff.ac.uk.

I hope you enjoy this issue.

Best Wishes,

Michelle Iwen
Guest Editor for Issue 2:1

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