CFP: The Philosophy of Sexual Violence

Submission deadline: December 1, 2023

Topic areas


We invite full submissions for an edited Routledge volume, The Philosophy of Sexual Violence 

Eds. Yolonda Wilson (Saint Louis University) and Georgi Gardiner (University of Tennessee)

Submission Deadline: 1st December 2023

We welcome submission of standard academic essays (5,000-10,000 words). 

We also keenly encourage philosophical submissions with innovative or alternative formats, such as: 

  • Personal narratives and reflections 

  • Interviews; printed conversations

  • Diary entries; letters (fictional or real)

  • Poems

  • Images & artworks (see below)

  • Memes;  “zine”-style  content

  • Philosophical creative writing, creative philosophical non-fiction, and philosophical artistic prose

  • Brief philosophical “think pieces”, hot takes, op eds, or a curated set of these by multiple authors. 

  • Collective statements and manifestos, similar to the Combahee River Collective Statement

We also welcome submission of:

Curatedsets of short written pieces, think pieces, poems, social media posts or similar, submitted as a collection. 

  • These can be by separate authors or the same author

  • Example: One scholar can collect responses to a single question from eight leading thinkers, and contribute them as a set

Philosophical Artworks including, for example, cartoons, political posters, photographs, drawings, diagrams, and paintings.

  • Black and white (greyscale) images will be included. Colour images will only appear in the E-book version. 

  • Submitted artworks could include accompanying written explanation of any length, either by the original artist or a collaborator.

  • Contributor must have copyright.

We will consider reprinting high quality essays published elsewhere, or work appearing in philosophical blogs, newspapers, newsletters, or other (social) media. 

We will also consider anonymous publication, especially involving personal reflections, emotions, soul searching, or stigmatised experiences and activities. (We will also consider, for example, a victim’s first-personal reflection anonymously and their standard, non-anonymous philosophical essay separately in the volume.)

We anticipate that most included contributions will be standard philosophical essays. The other modes reflect rich feminist, Black, and non-Western traditions of varied scholarly engagement and formats. This flexibility of format also reflects that thinking philosophically about rape often happens in conversations, community, diary entries, and artworks, rather than in standard academic essays. 

Potential philosophical topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Varieties of sexual violence

  • Harms and wrongs of sexual violence

  • Institutionalised sexual violence, including medical and legal contexts

  • Sexual violence in war, prisons, immigration, family, sex work, and non-sex work contexts

  • Childhood sex abuse

  • Acquaintance rape and marital rape

  • Boundaries, ethics, and communication of consent

  • Statutory rape, power differentials, pressure to engage in intercourse, rape through deception, threats, bribes, or intoxication, and other limits of consent

  • Consent and honesty, including about STI status, relationship status, birth control, identity, and intentions. Consent, disability, and cognitive impairment.

  • Religions and sex

  • Social movements, such as the MeToo Movement and Time’s Up

  • Rape laws, Title IX laws, institutional and workplace policies, guidelines, and norms 

  • Accusations, belief, and doubt

  • Hermeneutical injustice, testimonial injustice

  • Punishment, sanctions, cancelling, no platforming, suitably for public office, cutting ties

  • Moral repair, compensation, and restorative justice. Alternatives to punishment. Forgiveness and reconciliation. 

  • Public apologies

  • Authority and power

  • “Monstrousness” and the character of perpetrators. 

  • Speech acts, doxing, screenshots, “revenge porn”, and sexual misconduct in the digital age

  • Pornography, child pornography, digital porn, deep fakes

  • Violent pornography and moral character

  • Sexual violence and character, virtue, and standpoint epistemology

  • Stigma, narrative, self-conception, mental health, and victim experiences 

  • The ethics and emotions of third parties: bystanders, activists, law enforcement, enablers, relatives, potential future victims, etc. 

  • Duties to report

  • “Grey” areas and borderlines of abuse

  • BDSM and consent to violence

  • Self-deception and traumatic memory

  • Historical or cross-cultural reflections, including (for example) philosophical retrospectives on the “porn wars” or (non-)carceral feminisms

All philosophical areas and traditions are welcome. We particularly encourage authors of underrepresented groups and traditions to submit. 

Submission Instructions:

  • Submit by email to:  [email protected]>  by Dec 1st 2023. 

  • Include the completed contribution (final essay, artwork or similar) and a separate title page (with contribution title, abstract (100-300 words), contact information, and contributor’s bio (50-150 words)). 

  • Decisions will be conveyed by January 20th 2024.  

Project Drop-in Hours:

To brainstorm or discuss ideas, such as art pieces, we are hosting three drop-in Zoom office hours. Zoom address: 

Tuesday 5th Sept, 11am-12pm eastern

Thursday, 5th Oct, 1pm-2pm eastern

Tuesday, 7th Nov, 3pm-4pm eastern

Best wishes,

Georgi Gardiner & Yolonda Wilson

More Info at this link: 

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#sex, #rape, #BDSM, #Feminism, #Porn, #Criminal Justice