EVENT Oct 01
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Gender Fluidity in Early-Modern to Post-Modern Children’s Literature and Culture

Organization: Open Cultural Studies
Categories: Gender & Sexuality, 1865-1914, 20th & 21st Century, Early Modern & Renaissance, 20th & 21st Century, Children's Literature
Event Date: 2020-10-01 Abstract Due: 2020-06-30

Open Cultural Studies special issue.

Guest Editors:

Sophie Raynard–Leroy

Charlotte Trinquet du Lys

The concepts of non-binary, transgender, gender fluid, polygender, etc., in today’s conversations on sexual politics seem to be understood as new concepts as though the realities behind these neologisms do not necessarily encompass all of human history. Scholars in Children’s Literature and Culture Studies or Fairy Tales and Folklore studies, have always come across these representations of non-traditional gender expressions in early-modern literature as well as in historical accounts. Cross-dressing in particular is pervasive in that type of literature, and we know that cross-dressing characters abounded on the early-modern stage and were objects of fascination for their contemporaries.

Today’s critics, especially feminists, have been capitalizing on the current interest in gender and sexuality studies and have successfully applied these new definitions to early-modern representations, thus bringing these texts to the forefront of the conversation on gender identity. With such provoking titles as “Gender Trouble,” “The Theatricality of Transformation,” “Erotic and Alien,” “New Bodies, Old Sins”, these studies have encouraged us to perceive and receive early-modern cross-dressing representations, no longer as individual aberrations or expressions of deviancy, but rather as part of a long cultural tradition of non-traditional gender identity and political transgression. By contrast some modern and post-modern popular culture productions dealing with the same issues of gender expression might not always be as progressive as they claim to be. Disney films in particular have consciously tackled the gender issue ever since they faced bitter criticism from feminist scholars, but the question remains whether they have been successful at addressing those biases. Just as early-modern specialists are bringing their own expertise to the table and illustrating the progressivism that always existed in old texts, it would also be opportune to reflect on contemporary productions.

In this special issue, we invite scholars of children’s literature and films, and scholars of popular culture from the early-modern to the post-modern eras to explore the topics of gender roles and identity, showing in what ways and to what extent they can be viewed as socio-historical constructs, thus adding new perspectives to the ongoing discussions on sexual politics.




  • 30th of June 2020: deadline for abstract submission (send the abstract to the editors)
  • 15th of July 2020: decision on abstracts
  • 1st of October 2020: deadline for paper submission:


Authors are kindly ask to send their abstracts to Guest Editors via email (sophie.raynard@stonybrook.edu; charlotte.trinquetdulys@ucf.edu).

Authors are kindly invited to register at our paper processing system at:
https://www.editorialmanager.com/culture/Default.aspx and submit their contribution.



Katarzyna Grzegorek