CFP: Hypatia: Politics of Self-Care in an Unjust World

Submission deadline: November 15, 2024

Topic areas


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 required to 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 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.

Alongside self-care, the concepts of “transformative justice” and “communal healing” are generative areas for reflection for feminist ethics, social theory, and healing practitioners. “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. Transformative Justice 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 with self-care thinking on these and other issues including:

  • 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

  • (Re)conceiving conceptions of self-care 

  • 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

  • Economic accessibility to self-care

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

  • The materiality of caring for oneself 

  • 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

  • Racial stress and workplace-related trauma, including platforms collecting racial trauma in academic spaces, i.e., #BlackintheIvory, #indigenousacademia, #whydiasbledpeopledropout

  • 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: 15 November 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 “Politics of Self-Care” under 'Special Issue'.

For queries about Hypatia, contact [email protected]. For queries about the special issue, please contact [email protected]. You can also contact the guest editors for this special issue: Tempest Henning ([email protected]) and Roksana Alavi ([email protected]). 

Aidan McGlynn, Aness Kim Webster, Charlotte Knowles, Katharine Jenkins, and Simona Capisani

Co-Editors-in-Chief, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy

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