queer elements in the work of Lauren Beukes

scrutiny2, June 2020 – Issue CfP

With the publication of Queer Africa 2 (2017), the second Gerald Kraak anthology (2018) and She called me Woman: Nigeria’s queer women speak (2018), queer women’s writing from African contexts are coming to the fore. This, along with the rising popularity of online collectives such as holaafrica.org, necessitates a reflection on the contemporary state of queer literature and theory produced in the Southern Africa context.

The body of work of Lauren Beukes, South African author, documentary filmmaker, and graphic novel writer, predates – and in a sense anticipates – the rising popularity of queer South African voices. Even though Beukes’ work is a popular research topic, no specific journal issues have been dedicated to her work thus far. And, notwithstanding a dedicated panel at the recent February Lectures conference on Beukes’ work, the (engaged) queer thread running through her various projects remains under-researched, even as her work exemplifies the way queerness has infiltrated contemporary, engaged writing/filmmaking/activism.

To address this, a special issue of scrutiny2 will mine the queer(ly engaged) aesthetic at play in her work, specifically with a focus across multiple genres; documentary film, fiction, non-fiction, and graphic novel.

The issue, entitled “Shining girls, glitterboys, and mavericks: engaged queerness in the fiction of Lauren Beukes” is scheduled for publication in June 2020.

While the issue will focus on Beukes, contributions dealing with related topics, such as the relation between queerness and (Southern) African speculative fiction, Afrofuturism, as well as other gendered aspects of Beukes’ work, will also be considered. Article proposals can be sent to bibi.burger@up.ac.za and wemar.strydom@nwu.ac.za by 01 July 2019. Full submissions are expected by 01 December 2019.

Submission guidelines can be accessed here.