Scholars, writers, and activists are invited to submit abstracts for chapters that will contribute to an upcoming book project entitled WHIRLWINDS: Emerging Communities of Sexual Minorities in Africa, edited by Mark Canavera and Charles Gueboguo.

Editors’ Biographies

MARK CANAVERA is a writer, humanitarian aid worker and activist who works primarily in West Africa. His humanitarian efforts focus on youth empowerment and child and family welfare in settings impacted by conflict such as former child soldier reintegration in northern Uganda, small arms control in Senegal, girls education promotion in Burkina Faso, and child welfare system reform in Côte d’Ivoire and Niger. Mark was a founding editor of the Harvard Africa Policy Journal and served on the editorial staff of the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy. He writes features and op-ed pieces on African affairs and writes for The Huffington Post, America’s most widely read online newspaper. He received Harvard University’s prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Award for Public Service in 2008 and the Best Feature Writing in 1996 from the South Carolina Press Association.

CHARLES GUEBOGUO is an African scholar and author whose has developed pioneering research around sexual identity in French-speaking West Africa. His first book, La Question homosexuelle en Afrique: le cas du Cameroun (The Issue of Homosexuality in Africa: The Case of Cameroon), published in 2006, was the first French-language book-length study of African homosexuality and the first of its kind published by an African scholar. It was followed in 2009 by Sida et homosexualité(s) en Afrique: Analyse des communications de prévention (AIDS and African homosexualities: An analysis of preventive communication strategies), a critical reflection on the lack of appropriate HIV-prevention communication strategies for sexual minorities. He recently co-edited a special edition of the Canadian Journal of African Studies, which presented cutting-edge research and perspectives on sexualities in Africa. He was the recipient of the 2007 Fraser Taylor Award of the Canadian Association of African Studies and the 2009 International Resource Network Africa Simon Nkoli Award in recognition of outstanding contributions in the study of sexuality in Africa.


WHIRLWINDS: Emerging Communities of Sexual Minorities in Africa will be an anthology that will examine the ways that sexual minorities are organizing themselves in new ways to create groups, networks, organizations, and movements across sub-Saharan Africa. By sexual minorities, we understand not only lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex groups but also localized endogenous sexual minorities, such hungochani, gor jigeen, dan daudu, and infinitely many others.

As the book will be primarily descriptive and analytic in nature, the chapter abstracts submitted should not take the form of personal narratives or descriptions of the activities of a single organization. Rather, they should provide a descriptive, critical analysis of groups, organizations, or movements. While remaining accessible to a wide readership, WHIRLWINDS will be grounded in empirical research and thorough investigation.

The book will bring together chapters about both country-level studies and transversal analyses of major themes or trends across countries.

The editors have identified the following countries as likely chapters in the book and are seeking submissions for chapter abstracts related to them:

* Cameroon
* Democratic Republic of Congo
* Nigeria
* Senegal
* Uganda
* Zimbabwe

Writers submitting chapter abstracts about the above countries should include the following in their abstracts: a basic overview of the way that groups, organizations, communities, and networks are emerging among sexual minorities in the country; a description of the methods that the writer will use to gather the relevant data (e.g., how will she or he write about the given topic with a sufficient and credible evidence base?); and key points of analysis about the current state of communities of sexual minorities in the countries. If writers would like to submit an abstract for a country not currently identified on the above list, notably in the Maghreb, she or he is welcome to do so.

Transversal themes for which the editors are seeking submissions include:

* HIV/AIDS and communities of sexual minorities
* The interplay of Western and African organizations
* The role of women’s groups and organizations in sexual minority movements
* Transgender issues
* Historical precursors to current-day movements, groups, or organizing efforts

Writers submitting thematic chapter abstracts should include the following in the abstracts: a brief presentation of the major issues to be considered in the chapter; a description of the data set (e.g., which countries, movements, or groups will be considered in the analysis) and of the methods that the writer will use to gather the relevant data; and key points of analysis that will be undertaken. If writers would like to submit a transversal theme that is not included in above list, she or he is welcome to do so.

Writer Profiles

Given the book’s analytic nature, the editors are seeking writers with strong skills in research, critical analysis, and argumentation. Writers with journalistic and activist backgrounds are welcome to submit chapter abstracts although they must clearly lay out how they will ground their analyses in rigorous research and investigation and how they will make links to the wider body of literature around sexual minorities in Africa.

Strong preference will be given to writers from African countries and research institutes although writers of any background are welcome to submit. As the book must present a common tone, writers whose abstracts are selected for the book project should expect to work closely with the editors to revise their chapters as the project progresses. At the current time, the editors cannot guarantee any payment for work related to this book.

Instructions for Submission

Chapter abstracts should be sent by May 31, 2011 to

Chapter abstracts can be submitted in either English or French although French-language writers should know that the editors will seek to publish the book through an English-language press. (Both editors speak French and will work with French-language writers on translation.)

Abstracts should be no longer than one page long, and they should be accompanied by a brief biography of the author. Writers are welcome to revise former speeches and presentations for submission as chapter abstracts as long as they have not been previously published.

Potential writers should note that the language of the chapters should avoid jargon as the book will seek to present nuanced ideas in clear, straightforward language that will appeal to a broad readership beyond academia.

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