Call for Proposals for a Special Issue of Peitho, Summer 2025

Hello All-
We are thrilled to announce a call for submissions to a summer 2025 special issue of Peitho focusing on Girlhood and Menstruation. Proposals are due Sept. 1, 2024 to editors Jen Almjeld and Sarah Hagelin at Acceptances to authors will go out Oct. 1, 2024 with full manuscripts due Jan. 15, 2025.

Find the full CFP below.

We look forward to reading your wonderful insights on this topic!
-Jen and Sarah

Call for Proposals for a Special Issue of Peitho, Summer 2025:

Girlhood and Menstruation

Girls seem to be having a moment. Big screens and streaming services are filled with reboots like Mean Girls (Samantha Jayne and Arturo Perez, Jr., 2024) and the recent adaptation of Judy Blume’s Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret (Kelly Fremon Craig, 2023), girls are featured both in front of and behind the camera for any number of YouTube tutorials and TikTok reviews, and girls’ bodies – like women’s bodies and the bodies of trans and nonbinary folks – are being regulated in terrifying ways by courts and legislatures. While girls’ bodies are seemingly everywhere right now, meaningful discussion of the innerworkings of those bodies seems more difficult to find. Similarly, which bodies count as “girl” bodies and how menstruation affects trans and nonbinary kids is both central to the political discourse and curiously under-studied. While our culture seems happy to surveil, sell to, and offer advice on a myriad of body issues for girls (weight loss, skin care, hair maintenance, etc.) talking about menstruation remains largely metaphorical and often downright shameful.
              This special issue invites interdisciplinary approaches to our understanding of the cultural narratives surrounding menstruation, period shaming, bodily regulation, and the girl as category. While menstruation is not directly tied to girlhood, as many trans and nonbinary bodies menstruate, popular culture generally links the two. Mainstream media has a long history of portraying menstruation as either terrifying and monstrous, as it is in Carrie (Brian de Palma, 1976) and The Exorcist (William Friedkin, 1973) or as a joke that others women and girls while treating the male body as “normal.” The growing visibility of trans children and their fight for gender-affirming care further complicates notions of maleness and femaleness that rely upon biological sex, which makes the “period wars” an especially fruitful site for feminist cultural analysis at this moment. We are interested in submissions that offer a nuanced understanding of the importance of this physical, emotional and liminal space between childhood and adulthood and that might make explicit the connections and differences between feminist work and girlhood work.
              With legal and political battles raging around definitions of gendered bodies and childhood itself, feminist work on girlhood is necessary. Nearly two decades ago, girlhood scholars Natalie Adams and Pamela Bettis explained that “Girls’ Studies scholars, who often draw from mass and popular culture in their research, are perceived as engaging in less-weighty feminist scholarship” (2005: 3). Just three years later, the Girlhood Studies journal was established by Claudia Mitchell, Jacqueline Reid-Walsh, and Jackie Kirk and the journal remains dedicated to girls’ experiences, practices and literacies. During this same period, rhetoric scholars worked to reclaim the literary contributions and literacy practices of women (Glenn 1997; Ritchie and Ronald 2001), but the relevance of girls’ texts as objects of study often receive less consideration. This is particularly true of menstruation literacies, practices, and depictions related to girlhood. Feminist scholarship like that found in Peitho, focusing on subjectivities that are often marginalized and ignored via traditional and non-traditional texts, is the perfect place to take lived menstruation experiences seriously.
Topics might include:
  • Girls and menstruation in popular culture
  • Menstruation in literature                   
  • Menstruation and trans bodies
  • Menstruation online and on social media
  • #period content as “tactical technical communication” (Kimball, 2017) for/by girls
  • Period health and education
  • Socioeconomic impacts of periods on girlhood
  • Material rhetorics of menstruation
  • Health and medical rhetoric approaches to pediatric periods
  • Menstruation as a rite of passage
  • Period stigma, shame and resistance
We welcome proposed essays in a variety of genres and using a range of methodological approaches, including archival research, film and television analysis, memoir, essays that blend creative and scholarly work, etc. Proposals of up to 500 words are due to by September 1, 2024. An approximate timeline for this project follows. Collaborations are welcome.
·       Proposals due: September 1, 2024
·       Acceptances to authors: October 1, 2024
·       Draft manuscripts due to editors: January 15, 2025
·       Receive feedback from editors: February 15, 2025
Revised manuscripts are due April 1, 2025.
Please contact the co-editors with questions:
        Jen Almjeld, James Madison University
        Sarah Hagelin, University of Colorado Denver

Send questions to: