CFP: Hypatia Special Issue

Submission deadline: November 15, 2024

Topic areas


CFP for a Special Issue: Politics of Self-Care in an Unjust World

This special issue of Hypatia focuses on philosophical, social, and political analyses, and draws ethical boundaries using a feminist framework that should be in place when we engage in self-care practices. Self-care is a healthy, restorative, self-respecting, and affirming practice. It is primarily an intentional act of grounding, establishing safety, and building protective boundaries to grow and live a full human life. As Audre Lorde says, for those facing overlapping forms of oppression, these are acts of political warfare. It is important to examine the sort of cognitive states and epistemic framing toward self-care requires to more fully actualize the political radical nature that Lorde has in mind. Many depictions and hashtags portray self-care as an individualist act, one that often requires the acquisition of material goods and indulgent services. This requires not only time but money. Acts of self-care are prompted as luxuries. But self-care possibilities are both ambivalent and political. It is in those ambivalent possibilities that we ought to balance care of self, with the genuine care of others. Self-care is communal. It is radical. It is self-love. It is social care. The issue examines the sorts of ethical, political, and epistemic questions that arise when we practice self-care as a mode of feminist knowledge production and distribution and give examples of productive self-care practices that provide means of disruption, intervention, and resistance.

This issue is dedicated to feminist philosophical perspectives of self-care in an unjust world. With the recent protests and uprisings in response to the ongoing state-sanctioned murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and countless named and unnamed others, BIPOC had to contend with the precarious nature of their existence. Even prior to this social reckoning, and since mandatory self-quarantine and social distancing measures were implemented, the question of “how are you coping” has been on the front of everyone’s minds. We faced equal and opposite pressures to produce and be still at the same time. Social media calls to disengage were met against workplace expectations of mass productivity.  Even before the pandemic restructured the notion of “sociality,” racial stress, and the burden of being in our oppressive workplaces, trying to balance these as BIPOC, disabled, LGBTQIA+ members of academia has been a tumultuous lifelong task. 

Alongside self-care, we offer the concepts of “transformative justice” and “communal healing” as generative areas for reflection for feminist ethics, social theory, and healing practitioners.

“Self-care” is a healthy, restorative, self-respecting, and affirming practice. It is primarily an intentional act of grounding, establishing safety, and building protective boundaries to grow and live a full human life. “Transformative justice” is a political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse. At its most basic, it seeks to respond to violence without creating more violence and/or engaging in harm reduction to lessen the violence. TJ can be thought of as a way of “making things right,” getting into the “right relation,” or creating justice together. “Communal healing” is a group effort. How we navigate and negotiate our relations with others seems to evoke questions about healing in more than one sense of the term. As beings who live interdependently and who err, we are sometimes generous with others despite their failings, and at other times we ourselves may be received with a generosity that is not deserved. How ought we to think about this sort of communal healing when relations are already fraught due to axes of dominance and oppression?

We invite papers that engage self-care thinking on these and other issues including:

§  Overlaps and interactions between ethics, politics, and epistemology

§  The materiality of caring for oneself 

§  Ongoing disagreements in feminist philosophy concerning “care” and “caring for others” including:

§  Trauma Informed Healing

§  Calling out “triggers”/ Trigger-culture

§  Mainstreamed “Self-Care”

§  The invisibility of BIPOC’s pain/fatigue

§  The politics of rage, anger, and stress

§  Survivor vs Healing discourse

§  Where “early” feminist ethics (i.e., care ethics) has led us and where we should go from here?

§  Relations (ethical/political/epistemic) among differently non-dominantly situated persons

§  Epistemic hurdles, but also epistemic gateways, for thinking self-care beyond the academy (as practitioners) and beyond praxis, as on particular problems, for example:

§  Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence

§  Disability/Disabling Institutions and Practices

§  Colonization, Imperialism, and Globalization

§  Speaking for, about, and/or with

§  Grappling with the ways in which vulnerability and privilege can intertwine

§  Dance/Movement

§  Platforms collecting racial trauma in academic spaces, i.e., #BlackintheIvory, #indigenousacademia, #whydiasbledpeopledropout

§  Work/Life Balance

§  Racial Stress and Workplace-related trauma

§  Economic accessibility to self-care

§  (Re)conceiving conceptions of self-care 

§  Public/Private self-care

§  Performative self-care 

§  Caring for oneself while caring for others

§  Co-optation of self-care tactics

§  Disability justice and accessibility

§  Self-care during a pandemic

§  Self-Love and boundary setting

§  Institutional responsibility and responses to Care

§  Loneliness and Social Isolation

§  Political activism and social justice work – tuning in and tapping out

§  Self-Care in Non-Nuclear Familial Structures

§  Ecologies of care – selves involved with other humans and other kinds of beings; human communities involved with many different kinds of beings in the world

§  Self and community care in transformative justice movements

Deadline for submissions: August 1, 2024

Manuscripts intended for review as articles should be 7,000 to 10,000 words, excluding notes and bibliography, prepared for anonymous review, and accompanied by an abstract of no more than 200 words. In addition to articles, we invite submissions for our Musings section. These should not exceed 4,000 words, excluding notes and bibliography. All submissions will be subject to external review. For more details please see Hypatia’s submission guidelines.

Please submit your manuscript to: When you submit, make sure to select “Philosophy and Self-Care” as your manuscript type, and also send an email to the guest editors indicating the title of the paper you have submitted: Tempest Henning ([email protected]),  Roksana Alavi ([email protected]), [email protected]

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#Feminist Philosophy, #Hypatia Special Issue, #Self-Care in an Unjust World