The Language of Intersectionality: Academic Debates and Social Movements Praxis

Guest Editor: Trinidad Valle (Fordham University, USA).

This thematic issue of Language, Discourse and Society aims to explore the discourses on intersectionality, both within the context of academic debates, and the praxis of social movements.

We can locate the origins of the concept of intersectionality within the context of Black feminist thought, and the work of authors such as Kimberle Crenshaw (1989) and Patricia Hill Collins (1990). The concept has been substantially influential in current academic research in sociology, particularly in the study of structural inequality in terms of class, gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and disability. We can also find a rich theoretical encounter between the concept of intersectionality and other theoretical frameworks, such as decolonial feminism (Mohanty, 2003; Lugones, 2010), highlighting the need of including a transnational dimension in the research on intersectionality. The concept of intersectionality has also been of major influence in current social movements fighting for equality in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, and other social categories. The adoption of a language of intersectionality within the praxis of social movements has led in many cases to fruitful debates regarding questions of inclusion, coalition-building, and power dynamics within social movements (Luna, 2016; Scott, 2005). At the same time, we can find contradictions and tensions within such discourses and frameworks.

The purpose of this thematic issue is to explore the discourses on intersectionality, both in the academic debates, and in the praxis of social movements applying such discourses. Papers are invited to ask the following questions: What types of discourses are constructed in the academic debate regarding intersectionality? How is intersectionality defined and operationalized in such research? What language is being developed to articulate intersectionality? What discourses are being constructed regarding intersectionality in current social movements? How is intersectionality defined by current social movements? What are the convergences and differences between the academic debate and the frameworks used by social movements?

Authors are encouraged to include an historical and transnational dimension in their research, analyzing discourses on intersectionality in different national contexts, and among diverse social movements. Analysis of the influence of socio-political contexts in such discourses is also encouraged, highlighting the dialectic relation between texts, discourses, and socio-cultural practices (Fairclough, 1995).

Submissions can be done in English, Spanish and French.


Please follow the author guidelines which includes a template for formatting.

IMPORTANT DATES Deadline extended – New deadlines below

  • August 2019: Call for papers 
  • 15th June 2020: Due date for paper submissions
  • 15th August 2020: Feedback from reviewers 
  • 1st October 2020: submission of revised articles

This thematic issue will be published in December 2020.

SUBMISSION TO BE DONE ONLINE (see below to create an account or log in)

 The contact email of the guest-editors for any query is: 



Collins, P. H. (1990). Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness and the Politics of Empowerment. Boston: Unwin Hyman.

Crenshaw, K. (1989). Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. University of Chicago Legal Forum, 1 (8), 139-167.

Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical Discourse Analysis. Boston: Addison Wesley. 

Lugones, M. (2010). Toward a Decolonial Feminism. Hypatia, 25 (4), 742–759. 

Luna, Z. T. (2016). ‘Truly a Women of Color Organization’: Negotiating Sameness and Difference in Pursuit of Intersectionality. Gender and Society, 30(5), 769-790. 

Mohanty, C. T. (2003). Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity. Durham, NC: Duke University Press Books.

Scott, E.K. (2005). Beyond Tokenism: the Making of Racially Diverse Organizations. Social Problems, 52( 2), 232–254.

Please sign in
Sign In
Forgot Password Reset
Remember Me
Don't have an account? Create an Account