Call for Papers

Call for Papers


Tensions of Rhetorics and Realities in Critical Diversities


Edited by

Alexa Athelstan, Nichole Edwards, Mercedes Pöll & Sanaz Raji

(University of Leeds)



We warmly invite your contributions to our edited collection entitled Tensions of Rhetorics and Realities. The book will be submitted to the Routledge series Advances in Critical Diversities (eds. Yvette Taylor and Sally Hines).


This collection orientates itself towards an understanding of diversity as an often misappropriated concept used to obscure and maintain existing inequalities rather than to further their deconstruction. Consequently, the collection intends to (re-)emphasize the importance of looking at diversities not from a one-dimensional level, but with consideration of the multiple positioned and intersecting viewpoints and contexts that shape the diversity of human existence – thereby allowing for a constructive and critical engagement with related issues.


Encouraging a strongly intersectional and interdisciplinary approach, Tensions of Rhetorics and Realities seeks to investigate and theorize the spaces of conflict, discrepancy, contradiction or difficulty that can arise when dealing with discourses and practices, policies and lived experiences, theories and methodologies, individuals or communities. Incompatibilities or infeasibilities within those domains can easily lead to tensions or idiosyncrasies. A particular focus on rhetorics and realities highlights the criticality of the ways in which diversity issues are being framed, understood and dealt with in various settings and by various actors. This collection will therefore approach diversities critically – as a site of real-life impacts and circumstances, as a concept and a strategy – while maintaining the awareness that diversity efforts remain subject to their proponents’ positionalities, ideologies, moral and value judgments, economic and political aims, and a variety of other contextual factors illustrating their situatedness. At the same time, the individuals and groups intended for or affected by diversity measures are subjects to their own contextual circumstances.


We welcome submissions from all academic disciplines investigating Tensions of Rhetorics and Realities in Critical Diversities. Within this framework, topics may include (but are not limited to):


  • Social, political and economic measures of inclusion/exclusion
  • Equality, inequality and the in-between
  • Individual, collective, institutional or systematic agency
  • Sites of power and power dynamics (e.g. the nation-state, the law, citizenship, social spheres, the media)
  • Characteristics of ‘desirable’ or ‘undesirable’ states of society (e.g. multiculturalism)
  • States of crisis and criticality
  • Contemporary political trends and diversity (e.g. neoliberalism, benefit cuts)
  • Social movements, activism and identity politics (e.g. LGBTQIA* rights)
  • Different ‘publics’ and lived experiences of division/communality
  • Practices of representation and recognition (e.g. in the media, policy)

·       Tokenism and political correctness

  • Policing and censorship
  • Identities as multi-layered, diverse categories for social engagement
  • Intimacy practices, a-/sexuality and normativity
  • Gendered lives, realities and expectations
  • Racisms, anti-racisms and ‘post’-racisms
  • Colonialisms, ‘post’-colonialisms and neo-colonialisms
  • Feminisms, ‘post’-feminisms and men’s rights movements
  • Issues of dis-/ability in the home, the public sphere or the workplace
  • Questions of faith – religions and atheisms
  • Class, non-/belonging and socio-economic mobility
  • Privileged positionalities and subaltern knowledges
  • In-/visibility and potential of queer, DIY, alternative or grassroots spaces and efforts
  • Climate, ecology and the state of the ‘natural’ world
  • Diversity policies and organisational practice
  • Articulating Critical Diversities – the language of diversity issues
  • Media discourses on diversity and difference
  • Humour as a means of/against discrimination
  • Critical Diversities in the academy
  • Divides between theories and practices of diversity
  • Methodologies for researching and assessing Critical Diversities



Please submit your 300 word abstract, a short biography and your contact details to by the deadline of 10th June 2013. We are looking forward to receiving your contributions! Please feel free to contact us with any enquiries or expressions of interest. 



Kind regards,

Alexa, Nikki, Mercedes & Sanaz.

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