Calls for Chapters: Body, Politics, and Nation: Intersections of (Post) Modernity

As the global pandemic travels through and occupies a world experiencing intense forms of Balkanisation, blockade and nationalist violence, the intimate site of the body has rarely been more pertinent than it is today. Body, as a site of contestation, has occupied a central place in analysis, engagement, control, and resistance in the post-enlightenment social and political thought. Controlling and shaping bodies, and thereby individual subjectivities, was crucial in the transition of human societies from agrarian modes of organisation to the industrial/capitalist mode of organisation. Such transformations established some bodies – based on appearance, gender, colour, sexuality, age etc. – as normal, and bodies that did not conform to this norm or its associated behaviours were constructed as aberrations that ought to be rectified, or worse, annihilated. These questions of global concern further complicate the proverbial but arbitrary East-West divide, and which might signal the deepening, or mutating, fault-lines in national politics of tomorrow the world over.

The work of Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault extensively documented how the body was entangled in the schemes of power as humanity embraced the ‘civilising processes’. Feminist scholars such as Sylvia Wynter, Kumari Jayawardena, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Tanika Sarkar, Sylvia Walby, Nira Yuval-Davis, Floya Anthias and Cynthia Enloe have furthered our understanding of the various iterations in which the body is instrumentalised in the name of nation, community, borders, and healthcare.

Taking these canonical works as our point of departure, we invite submissions that take the ‘body’ as a unit of analysis to understand how national politics and politics in the name of the nation deploy a rhetoric that (re)constructs or perhaps resuscitates old dichotomies in the face of new challenges. Who is allowed to stay, where, under what conditions, and with whom, seems everywhere a pressing concern which brings together not simply the site of the subject-body and the nation(-state), but confronts a variegated politics of intersections: politics of a disciplinary, classed, sexual and gendered, racial and ethnic character.

Taking the timely but historically-rooted entanglements between the three – body, politics and nation seriously, we are particularly interested in submissions that highlight how the state and capitalism in their neoliberal iterations seek to control, mould, and discipline the body along the axes of gender, caste, race, sexuality, income etc. in their pursuit of power and profit.

The broad themes that we are interested in are as follows:

- Constructions/destructions of the national with COVID-19

- Foucauldian disciplinary power and governmentality in the COVID-19 context

- Crime, policing, and constructions of the nation

- Gender and/or sexual politics of the nation

- Race, racism, and body-politics

- Healthcare, the body, and national politics of welfare

- Statehood/statecraft and the classification of national populations

How to Submit Your Proposal:

Please submit all abstracts (400 words) by the 31st August 2020 to both Idreas Khandy ( and Dr. Muneeb Hafiz ( [Lancaster University, United Kingdom].

This proposal is due on August 31st 2020.

Page last updated on August 6th 2020. All information correct at the time, but subject to change.