CFP: Marriage in the Twentieth-Century United States

Call for papers for anyone interested in contributing to an edited collection on marriage in the twentieth-century United States. This collection grows out of a 2022 AHA conference panel featuring William Kuby, Alison Lefkovitz, Sarah Rowley, Emily Swafford, and Traci Parker.

Extant historical scholarship has only begun to explain the political and social meaning of marriage, or more broadly romantic encounters, and its relationship to the construction of race, gender, nation, and citizenship in the twentieth century. This volume considers romantic relationships as tools for defining, claiming, and performing citizenship and belonging, constructing visible and lasting divisions in a diverse society, and shaping and institutionalizing race and gender arrangements. In short, this collection argues that the politics of marriage and sex are, in fact, the politics of race, sex, and gender.

The collection asks: How does asking questions about marriage, including its connection to sex and romance, offer a synthetic window into the American twentieth century? Does marriage in itself imply certain rights of citizenship or confer social belonging? What was the federal government’s role in marriage-making throughout the twentieth century? How did intimacy (interracial, intraracial, heterosexual, and homosexual) shape Americans’ responses to government interventions into their private lives? And how did love, sex, and marriage inform the nature and direction of social movements?

We welcome essays related to a variety of themes including, but not limited to, queer marriages, sexual citizenship, race and immigration, interracialism, marriage and state/citizenship, divorce, extramarital affairs, remarriage, and violence. Contributions should be 6,000 to 10,000 words and will be due in early 2024.

If you’re interested in contributing, please send, in a few sentences, ideas you have on how you might contribute to Traci Parker at no later than Friday, May 26th. This information will be used to assemble a group of authors to capture the breadth of perspective we’re looking for in this volume.

Posted: April 25, 2023
Tagged: Calls for Papers