CfP: Special Issue – (Re)imagining Research, Activism, and Rights at the Intersections of Sexuality, Health, and Social Justice

Guest Editors: Debolina Dutta, Laura Murray, Elsa Oliveira, and Richard Parker [1]

In times such as now, when so much of our lives, bodies, thoughts, expressions, and ideas are under threat, the act of critical re-imagination becomes essential for nurturing and sustaining both our work and our communities. To (re)imagine is to re-vision, re-consider, re-evaluate, re-work, re-think, re-do, re-make, re-structure. This special issue of Global Public Health seeks to bring scholars, activists, allies, and artists together to (re)imagine research and activism in the complex and divisive terrain of sexuality, health, and rights. We encourage submissions that explore the conceptual, empirical, ethical, and methodological dimensions of these issues and the tensions amongst them.

We invite submissions that explore the ways in which research and activism have not only challenged but also reinforced existing spatial, structural, and social inequalities, including those related to gender, sexuality, race, caste, age, religion, and class. We seek to highlight how people and communities are developing new mechanisms and strategies for advancing sexual rights and health; how academics are re-visiting research processes and ethics by attaching new meanings to sexuality, health, and rights; and how politics of inclusion and exclusion influence (or not) knowledge production, representation, and dissemination processes.

We also invite submissions of empirical studies, research reports, and commentaries, as well as less traditional outputs such as interviews and photo-essays from a wide range of disciplines and practices, including but not limited to public health research and activism, law and political studies, gender and sexuality, social work, migration studies, Indigenous studies, and cultural, race, and ethnic studies. We welcome regionally specific and global analyses, and invite contributors to explore broad themes of interest that include but are not limited to:

• The re-organization of academic and activist practices in times of profound social change and public health crises.
• Labour, health, and rights protections, especially, but not limited to sexual economies and
sex work.
• Use of ‘the arts’ in research and/or activism to promote social justice.
• Explorations of the ways in which power and privilege intersect to perpetuate normative
discourses surrounding sexuality, rights, health, research, and activism.
• Historical and contemporary perspectives of sexuality, health, rights, research, and social
• Examinations of sexuality, health, and rights in relation to human mobility and migration.
• Analysis of the politics and tensions involved in knowledge production, representation,
and dissemination.
• Tensions and debates surrounding freedom of expression and censorship in the context of sexuality, health and human rights.
• Articulation of research and activism related to the interconnections between ableism, mental health, bio-medicine and social justice.
• Examinations of the relationship between climate change and justice on issues of sexuality and sexual health.
Critical reflections on space and embodied practices of care and resistance, especially
those focused on desire, sexuality, feminist and decolonising praxis, and love as a
political force.
• Illustrations of disruption and solidarity by those who engage and participate in research and advocacy.

Submission instructions:
Interested contributors should submit abstracts (250-300 words) for review by October 1st, 2020 to the email with subject line “Abstract Submission – Reimagining Research and Activism.” The submissions must include a working title, abstract, author names, their primary affiliations, and a contact e-mail address.

Authors of accepted abstracts will be notified by November 1st, 2020.

Creative contributions, and full manuscripts up to 7,500 words (including abstract, tables, and references), will be requested for submission by January 15th, 2020 for peer review.
Complete guidelines for submission are available on the journal’s website (

Please note that all submissions must be made in English. Unfortunately, the journal does not have the necessary resources to publish in other languages, and we are therefore only able to accept submissions in English.

Enquiries: Please email

Click here to download and share this call for papers – Call for papers (Re)imagining Research and Activism_Final_Circulate.

  1. Debolina Dutta — Jindal Global Law School, India; Laura Murray—Center on Public Policy and Human Rights, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (NEPP-DH/UFRJ), Brazil;
    Elsa Oliveira — African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa;
    Richard Parker — Institute for the Study of Collective Health, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (IESC/UFRJ), Brazil and Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, United States.

About Elsa Oliveira

Elsa Oliveira is a postdoctoral researcher at the African Centre for Migration and Society (ACMS), Wits University, where she is also the co-coordinator of the MoVE (methods:visual:explore) project.

Since 2010, Elsa has been involved in a wide range of participatory arts-based projects with diverse migrant populations in rural and urban areas of South Africa. She has a PhD in Migration and Displacement and is interested in the areas of gender, migration, sexualities, wellbeing, and informal livelihood strategies.