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Monstrous Genealogies: Reclaiming Queer Lives and Embodiments – until December 13, 2023

Editors: Pablo Pérez Navarro, Ana Cristina Santos, Ana Lúcia Santos, Joana Brilhante, Mara Pieri, Pedro Fidalgo

Deadline for submissions: December 13, 2023

Keywords: abjection; biopolitics; body; LGBTQIA+ Studies; memory.

The focus on the figure of the monster emerges from its historical role in symbolizing the dangers of deviations, inversions, and unnamed threats to the established social order. Even before angels, monsters were depicted as messengers anticipating catastrophes, such as storms and other dramatic events that were difficult to explain (Santos, 2023). Political, natural, and moral monsters are a few examples of how the monster’s figure was used as an instrument to demonize both the internal abject and the Other (Giuliani, 2021). Only good behavior, submission to rules, or faith in an inexplicable higher entity, such as magic, witchcraft, or religion, could prevent societies from being touched by monsters (Santos, 2023).

Connecting us to a past that reveals itself in the present, the monstrosity still erupts in liminal spaces, in the interstices of ontology where the reassuring premises of identity logics sink. Manifesting in areas of confusion between subject and object, sanity and madness, desire and repulsion, life and death, the monster is the border that links us to what we most wanted to distance ourselves from. Who, as Julia Kristeva (1982) asked in Powers of Horror, would desire to occupy the place of the abject, the place of the monster? Kristeva’s question was rhetorical, directed to a chorus that could only respond unanimously: not I, not us, never, ever. The monster is always an Other, a paradigm of an assimilable alterity.

But what happens when we reverse this interpellative scene? When the question comes from the outside, from the unnamable place reserved for the monster? When it becomes, precisely for that reason, urgent, inevitable, a condition for survival? When the monster is the body weakened by AIDS, which bursts forth with cries in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York in order to break a complicit and genocidal silence? When the monster is Susan Stryker’s trans body ascending the stage in genderfuck drag to interrupt the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association (Stryker, 1994)? When we write and read, with Donna Haraway, “in the belly of a pregnant monster” (Haraway, 2004)? When the monster is the one “qui vous parle (Preciado, 2019)? When it becomes “us”? Could the space of monstrosity become a refuge, a trench, a home?

The strangeness of monsters – or monsters as strangers to an imagined “us” – is part of the cultural narrative that discards the complexity of what we designate as human beings, contributing to the binary division between good and bad, human and animal, hetero and homo, cis and trans, silencing all that is hidden within dichotomies, all that exists halfway. Ultimately, discussing the figure of monsters today confronts us with the need to rethink what humanity is, and who is considered human in a world inhospitable to dissident bodies of heterocentric norms, cisnormativity, whiteness, nuclear family, the norm that constantly fails, forever dissatisfied in its attempt to incorporate itself into “us”.

This thematic issue aims to embrace monstrosity in what it offers regarding the deconstruction of binaries and the celebration of bodily differences. Therefore, our goal is to trace, remember, and reclaim monsters from a queer perspective. We want to explore monsters as a possible theoretical figure to escape traditional celebrations of humanity and embrace the possibilities offered by interdisciplinary contributions that cross boundaries between different fields of knowledge, including – but not limited to – queer studies, crip and/or disability studies, fat studies, gay and lesbian studies, transgender studies, aging and memory studies, decolonial and postcolonial studies, and biopolitics/necropolitics studies, among others.

With this intention, this call for papers aims to explore topics such as:

  • Monstrous embodiments

  • Relational, sexual and gender dissidence

  • LGBTQIA+ aging

  • Trans lives and non-binary identities

  • Intersex bodies

  • LGBTQIA+ refugees and asylum seekers

  • Sexuality and disability

  • Sex work and social abjection

  • Stigma, contagion, serology: (inter)pandemic bodies

  • Queer reproductive practices

  • Critical (in)human rights

  • Queer geographies

The organization of this issue is supported by the TRACE, REMEMBER, and TRIALOGUES projects, which are developed at the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra.

e-cadernos CES is a peer-reviewed, online and entirely open access journal, published by the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra (Portugal). It is currently indexed in CAPES, DOAJ, EBSCO, ERIH Plus and Latindex. For more information on the publication consult:

All texts should be original and submitted in their complete version, in Portuguese, English, Spanish, or French. They must not exceed 60,000 characters (with spaces), including footnotes and bibliographical references. For the final section, @cetera, other texts may be presented (up to 35,000 characters maximum), such as interviews and debates (up to 25,000 characters maximum), or unpublished book reviews (up to 5,000 characters maximum). The submitted manuscripts must not have been otherwise published in full or in part (in both print or digital format), in the same language or another, nor be presently under submission to another publication.

Detailed guidelines for submitting texts are available at Manuscripts should be sent by email to and authors should clearly identify the thematic issue in question – “Monstrous Genealogies”.

All manuscripts will be subject to the double-blind peer review process.


Giuliani, Gaia (2021), Monsters, Catastrophes and The Anthropocene: A Postcolonial Critique. London/New York: Routledge.

Haraway, Donna (2004), “The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropiate/d Others”, The Haraway Reader. New York/London: Routledge, 63-124.

Kristeva, Julia (1982), Powers of Horror. An Essay on Abjection. New York: Columbia University Press.

Preciado, Paul B. (2020), Je suis un monstre qui vous parle : rapport pour une académie de psychanalystes. Paris: Grasset.

Santos, Ana Cristina (2023), “Embodied Queer Epistemologies: A New Approach to (a Monstrous) Citizenship”, in Ana Cristina Santos (org.), LGBTQ + Intimacies in Southern Europe. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 77-98.

Stryker, Susan (1994), “My Words to Victor Frankenstein above the Village of Chamounix: Performing Transgender Rage”, GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, 1, 237-254.

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