“Zeszyty Łużyckie” CFP: The Representation of Minority Family Forms

Dear colleagues,

On behalf of “Zeszyty Łużyckie”, an open access peer-reviewed journal for minority studies, we are delighted to invite you to submit a paper for our 56th issue devoted to the described below: THE REPRESENTATION OF MINORITY FAMILY FORMS WITHIN CONTEMPORARY WESTERN CULTURE. The objective of the planned issue of “ZeszytyŁużyckie” is to analyse elements of cultural discourse regarding the dynamic changes in family life that have occurred and rapidly accelerated in the last two decades within the entire Western world.

Many scholars point out the fundamental changes in the family structure that developed during the 20th century, which they link to the spread of liberal values and individualization. In other words, Western societies have to face the challenges of differentiated lifestyles within the private sphere. This means that the existing hegemonic model of a heterosexual couple raising children, referred to as the nuclear family, has to make room in the social space for new emerging and allegedly still minor family forms. As a symbol of the aforementioned changes in family structures one can acknowledge the reading of Sofokles’s tragedy Antigone by Judith Butler. According to her Antigone is an embodiment of the increasing doubts within the western culture concerning intelligibility exposed at the limits of kinship. Butler asserts that Antigone represents not kinship in its ideal form but its deformation and displacement, one that puts the reigning regimes of representation into crisis. This interpretation leads to the conclusion that either kinship or family structure is not simply a biological and social situation but a set of repetitional practices. In the light of Butler’s claim, western culture is dealing with a state of transition. On the one hand, the model of a nuclear family tends to be nostalgically idealized. On the other hand due to the increase in the divorce rate, people remarrying, co-parenting arrangements, and same sex couples, still more and more people live within family structures where family roles have become increasingly convoluted.

Therefore the aim of the planned issue is to analyse the ways of representing minor family models and relationships within contemporary Western culture. Using the notion of representation one can presume that the representations of family in the wide range of cultural artefacts and discursive practises could have simultaneously acted as a conservative factor as well as an impulse for social change within the normative climate. The notion of family and its transformations is a useful research category of contemporary cultural analysis. It opens new paths for interpretation to understand the contemporary peoples’ attitude towards family and to capture new cultural strategies of family representation.

The planned issue’s intention is to focus on several substantial problems:
  • answering the question, whether a nuclear family of industrial era is still a culturally prevalent family structure; or maybe, have family models, perceived to date as minority, like single parents, patchwork families, adoptions, same sex families, trans-ethnic and trans-racial families, co-parenting arrangements or even large families, started to dominate within cultural space;
  • what are contemporary family narratives? One can notice a decline of perceiving family as a homogeneous monolith, which is observed from a single and external perspective. It would be about answering the question, how using certain narrative strategies affects understanding the notion of families?
  • how do both cultural artefacts and discursive strategies represent models of family life, which are beyond the traditional model of a nuclear family based on biological kinship?

CFP to be downloaded: CFP_Zeszyty Łużyckie_Minority Family Forms

You can submit your manuscript by emailing on zeszyty.luzyckie.polon@uw.edu.pl or zeszyty.luzyckie56@gmail.com in MS Word format.

Our website https://www.journals.polon.uw.edu.pl/index.php/zl is nearing the completion of construction and very soon you will find full author guidelines as well information about the peer review process.

We accept manuscripts in West and South Slavic languages, English and German.

Last date to submit a paper: June 30th 2021

Date of publication: within 14 days after completion of all formalities (the latest: December 31st 2021)

Issue Editor: dr hab. Marcin Filipowicz

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