Sexualities and Gendered Intersectionalities
As a journal, Social and Cultural Geography has played a key role from the outset in publishing geographical work on gender and sexualities, not least in bringing this work to the attention of those who may not have directly engaged with these topics through more specialist journals. Inevitably, the research interests of editors of journals influence submissions, sometimes through the direct commissioning or encouragement of submissions, but perhaps even more so through an indirect influence on the social construction of knowledge, not least the implicit subtext of the intellectual validation which new and emerging fields gain through the appointment of journal editors whose own work is in those fields. In this context, it is worth noting that many of the editors of Social and Cultural Geography over the last two decades, including ourselves, have written about gender or sexuality (e.g., Michael Brown, Mary Gilmartin, Elaine Ho, Phil Hubbard). In this virtual special issue, we have, of necessity, selected a handful of indicative papers on these themes, but signal a range of other stimulating papers throughout this editorial in the hope of prompting further (re)reading. We have chosen to read geographical work on sexuality and gender together. In doing so, we recognise that whilst cognate and frequently overlapping and intersecting, geographies of gender and sexualities are not by default synonymous, and there have been occasional tensions between the two fields.
In the first few years of the journal’s existence, it is probably fair to say it played a greater role in publishing important new work in the field of the geographies of sexualities than it did in relation to work on geographical aspects of gender and gendered relations. Although geographical work on sexualities had been published since the 1980s, and accelerated in the mid-1990s, in the early 2000s Social and Cultural Geography published a number of key texts which helped consolidate geographies of sexualities as an established subdiscipline. As the journal gained a reputation for work on gender and sexualities, it attracted and published work which helped take these sub-disciplines in new directions. This included dialogue with other emerging social and cultural research agenda such as geographies of the body, home, homelessness, violence, virtual spaces, alterity, carnival, consumption, mobilities, migration, emotion and affect, as well as the enfolding of gender and sexuality with other factors shaping intersectional identities, such as class, ethnicity, (dis)ability, education and employment. In these ways, the journal supported work which helped expand the scope of geographical work on gender and sexualities in productive ways. We outline some of these trajectories and themes below.