Linguistic Call


Multiple terminologies were recently introduced into Arabic to convey feminist theories. They came from diverse disciplines, such as psychoanalysis, social science, gender, sexuality, and cultural studies. As a result, the dilemmas around maintaining and conveying gendered issues in Arabic were not solely grammatical (like in the case of gendering verbs, nouns, and pronouns following masculine, feminine, or neutral classification). They were also and especially concerned with these terminologies’ compatibility with, and efficiency in conveying, gendered issues in modern theories in Arabic as well as the multitudes of dialects spoken in the region. Simultaneously, some classical and local terminologies were abandoned in favor of the newly-translated and transliterated ones, creating a double-dilemma of linguistic and social nature in the context of movement building in Arabic. Due to the accumulation of linguistic, epistemological, and historical constraints, some terminologies were more difficult to assimilate into the language than others. 

Many questions arise: To what extent does the transliterated word “queer” succeed in conveying the concept and what are the alternatives to such transliteration? What are the practices adopted in the Arabic translation of texts focused on the subject of queerness? What are the terminologies used in written or spoken Arabic, both formal and colloquial, and what is the influence of different dialects? What terminologies were adopted by the Arabic tongue in reference to social and behavioral forms of existence and practice that are often labeled “unnatural?” In short, how do we experience our bodies in our mother tongues, and how do we create theories about them?

This linguistically focused call is looking for articles that examine some of these dilemmas critically, analytically, and imaginatively. It looks to explore the existing etymological luggage as well as our aspirations to use language creatively. Kohl accepts research articles, critical pieces, and essays centralized on language. We also publish interviews with linguists, translators, and language hackers or practitioners. 

To submit an article or research under this section, please send a full draft to as a .doc or .docx file. The priority to submitting to the linguistic call goes to articles written in Arabic. This call is open.