Appel à communications: Seventeenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities
Call for Papers
Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking about Women,
Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy
at Hofstra University, Hempstead NY
June 1-4, 2017
The deadline for submission of proposals for individual papers, panels, and other sessions is January 15, 2016. All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Berkshire Conference website. (http://2017berkshireconference.hofstra.edu/call-for-papers/#instructions). This site will be available for submissions from August 1, 2015 to January 15, 2016. As part of the submission process, you will be asked to select the Theme Track, or subject area, in which you would like your proposal considered. Your proposal will then be forwarded to the appropriate Track Chair.
From those listed below, please identify the subject area in which you wish to have your proposal considered. Note: Several divisions include suggested themes for exploration. These suggestions do not preclude proposals on other topics. Questions about tracks should be directed to track co-chairs.
- Gender and the State: Majorities and Minorities
The state is present in gendered debates on the rights and obligations of citizenship, the provision of social welfare, governance and control, hierarchy and fealty, discrimination and marginalization. State power and also state violence are expressed differentially according to gender, with reference to legal status, reproductive rights, marriage, death, and an individual’s inclusion in the polity. Proposals might explore some of the following questions: How are gendered experiences and identities shaped by the state, and how do the demands of sexual, racial, ethnic, religious, and indigenous minorities shape state practices and institutions? How does power circulate between majorities and minorities, and how is difference, subordination, and subjecthood produced by the state, and also challenged by non-dominant communities? Specific examples might also refer to legal equality and legal status; struggles for suffrage; reproductive, human, and migrant rights; and the regulation of gendered forms of labor.
- Social Justice, Migration and the City
Cities – as spatial forms, economic entities, and human habitats – are dynamic hubs where identity, social relations, power, inequality, and social change are visible and contested in the natural, built, and human environment, in memories and artifacts of the past, and the present. Movements of people searching for better lives and for greater opportunities, fleeing persecution and violence, or just escaping the confines of their previous lives, often end up in cities. Whether segregated or intermingled, people from different regions and different parts of the world negotiate space and identity, fight for justice and create change. We invite proposals from historians and interdisciplinary scholars working on different geographical areas, or transnationally, that explore some aspect of the historical role that migrants, migration and urban space have played in advancing both inequality and freedom, in incubating struggles for social justice and change.
Proposals in this track are encouraged to consider the following questions: how migration and mobility have impacted economic, social, cultural and political relations and formations; how the city as a spatial form influences perceptions about poverty and wealth, citizenship, social control and the nation of freedom; how global forces, markets and privatization create and/or shape urban spaces and people’s lives; how inequalities manifest in urban spaces and through institutions such as housing, employment, and education; how cities shape notions of community and belonging, identity, access and exclusion; and how urban (suburban and ex-urban) environments structure organizing, grassroots activism and social justice agendas
- Globalized Labor
Examining women’s labor from a global perspective offers many possibilities to consider historical specificity, women’s migration, political involvement, and transnational social movements, as well as the multiple ways in which women’s labor shapes and is shaped by broader political and economic processes. It also examines how women’s labor has defined global circuits, labor demands, and transnational labor, especially in regards to intimate labor, care-giving, outsourcing life (surrogacy), lack of documentation, and informal economies. By the same token, we are interested in papers that look at how women have organized to challenge women’s disenfranchisement and oppression within globalized systems of labor and production.
We invite proposals from historians of different geographical areas, transnational scholars, as well as activists that address the following areas: women and transatlantic/transpacific migration; trafficking and forced labor; neoliberalism and labor migration; subcontracted labor; guest workers; the informal sector; women entrepreneurs; the gender pay gap; women’s labor and climate change; segregated labor markets; international labor organizing; women’s labor and social reproduction; transnational families and women’s work; surrogate motherhood and transnational adoption; women’s labor and free trade policy; the wages for housework movement; working class/labor movements; transnational social movements; the International Labour Organization (ILO) and women’s labor; labor legislation/protective legislation and women workers.
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4. Slavery and Other Forms of Unfree Labor
We invite historians, activists, and others who are interested in examining how systems of unfree labor shaped lived experiences in “free” and “unfree” societies from ancient times to the twenty-first century. Slavery configured the geographic landscape of all who came into contact with it and connected societies economically, especially as global capitalism developed rapidly. As a result of slavery’s commodification, systems of inequality were established that still linger. We hope that the panel presentations offered will provide deep analyses of slavery, push forward new methodological approaches, broaden historiographical borders that have surrounded the subject, and advance new questions about the historical legacies of unfree labor. We are especially interested in receiving proposals that emphasize the gendered dimensions of slavery and unfree labor in comparative frameworks temporally and spatially, from the ancient world to the 21st century. Papers might include analyses of slave systems that connected societies across the Atlantic, Pacific or Indian oceans, trans-Saharan slavery, convict labor, sexual (including marriage) and debt slavery, or other institutions of bonded labor.
- Women, Gender and Capitalism
With the recent, renewed interest in the history of capitalism, we seek to open up a conversation that deepens our understanding of capitalism and its diverse role in the transformation of economies and societies across the globe. We are particularly interested in proposals that consider how the study of women and gender can help us better understand global capitalism as an internally differentiated and interconnected, shared structure. Proposals that join an innovative use of both quantitative and qualitative methods and evidence will be given special consideration, as will those that incorporate how historians, activists, artists, economists and others have engaged with the histories of capitalism. We invite submissions on topics as diverse as corporate capitalism, the service economy, markets and consumption, business, the environment and development, social networks, globalization and antiglobalization, and big data.
- Sexualities, Gender Identities and Expressions
We call for proposals that consider the question of how sex, sexualities and gender are managed and maintained across boundaries of race, class, and culture (among others). New paths of contestation engaging the fluidity of genders and sexualities are called for in the current state of emergency surrounding issues of anti-Black racism and police brutality that have generated public protest in the United States. Similarly, popular and state uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa (among others), have destabilized conventional hierarchies. How might these conflicts generate new models of activism, scholarship, and praxis along axes of gender identity, expression, and sexualities? How do emergent gender identities and sexual expressions produce both antagonisms and possibilities? Papers that concern historically situated race and racism and local and transnational state violence are particularly relevant. The Sexualities and Gender Identities and Expressions track will also consider but not be limited to: queer pedagogies; reproductive technologies and sexualities; relations among Feminist Studies/LGBTQ Studies/ Queer Studies; police states and violence; intimate partner violence; social protest; pleasure and sexual practices; trans*/national movements and movement building; political coalitions; dangerous intimacies.
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7. Women, Gender and Science
The Program Committee welcomes proposals for panels, papers, round-table discussions, or other presentations on all aspects of the history of women, gender(s), and science (including medicine and technology). We are particularly interested in creating a program that includes a range of geographic areas, historical periods, and methodologies. We welcome proposals that are interdisciplinary and intersectional, and that represent a diverse set of voices within academia and beyond including, but not limited to, those that engage visual and performing arts, science fiction, civic science, do-it-yourself experiments, computing and the Maker Movement. We especially encourage panel proposals that bring together scholars, artists, and/or practitioners around a common theme.
- Pedagogy and Work Culture, K-12
The Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders, and Sexualities brings together thousands of historians, activists, educators, and artists to share their research and activism. The 2017 conference especially wants to involve teachers and teacher educators in a lively discussion of teachers’ work as well as curriculum, pedagogy, and the history of education informed by feminist, queer, Marxist, and race-based theory. We plan to partner teachers and teacher educators with academics, school activists, museum educators, librarians, and artists to explore gender and sexuality in school curricula and the life of schools and those who work there. A range of creative presentation formats—including performance-based, digital, and open forum—are encouraged. Possible topics include: How genders and sexuality are taught (or not taught) in the curriculum in the era of high stakes testing; Engaging social issues in K-12 curriculum (e.g., peace, suffrage, temperance, anti-lynching) that illuminate and enrich the understanding of a particular era or movement; The gendered nature of the attack on public education, the history of women in the schools, and teacher union history; Gender and the work of teachers, including oral histories of closeted and “out” queer educators.
- Women, Gender and War
War, as a time of dramatic rupture and change, can bring terrible suffering but also, potentially, opportunity. Wars serve to construct, fracture and challenge gender identities and gendered hierarchies. Gender, moreover, has been a mobilizing theme for both anti-war and militaristic movements. We invite innovative contributions that address topics such as the gendered dimensions of both home fronts and battle fronts; the intersections of gender, ethnicity and religious identification in war contexts; the ways that different genders and sexualities are negotiated within wartime regimes; the intersections of war, gender, science and technology; the gendered dimensions of war memory, memorialization and mourning; the gendering of wartime discourse and propaganda; and media, literary and visual representations of gender, war and conflict. Submissions may deal with any geographical area(s) and any historical era, from ancient to modern.
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10. Refugees, Asylum and Gender
Gender and sexuality have shaped the flow of people fleeing war persecution, man-made and natural catastrophes, playing a strong role not only in who flees, but also in what they experience. Additionally, as a form of forced migration, refugee migration invites juxtaposition with detention and deportation, international adoption, and human trafficking. Thus we invite path breaking contributions that address the experiences of such coerced migrants in various times and places, focusing on such topics as sustaining everyday life in refugee camps and in resettlement, gendered persecution (such as intimate partner violence, forced marriage, or rape) in asylum cases, gendered treatment of refugees, gendered effects of refugee and asylum policies, the gendered discourse of refugees and asylum, gendered forms of resilience and creativity, the intersection of gender/race/culture/ability and sexuality and historic and ongoing inequity as a factor in forced migration. We especially welcome proposals that cross boundaries, creatively re-think the nature and format of presentations, and include presenters from beyond the confines of academia.
- Women, Gender and Religion
The twenty-first century has seen a revival of religion as a marker of gender difference in many parts of the globe. Religious concepts and practices continue to be invoked to strengthen hierarchies, enforce conformity, and deny fundamental rights. In light of those developments, submissions to Difficult Conversations on women, gender, and religion, are invited to reassess historical scholarship of the past decades that revealed competing theologies, and to question how, at this stage in history, scholars and activists may effectively advance more nuanced understandings of faith, religious systems, and the values associated with them. Of particular interest are questions of gendered agency and authority in religion; religious “tradition” and identity; and the interplay between religion and sexuality.
- Performance Studies and Visual Culture
This track explores the ways in which performance and visual culture can create, interrogate, and reshape the meanings and representations of gender, sexuality, race, class, ability and other categories of identification. Papers and presenters from any discipline that seeks to theorize and understand historical and contemporary modes of embodiment, agency, representation, and resistance are encouraged. Proposals may also incorporate short performances as a means of enhancing audience engagement with central questions about agency, representation and creation. Presentations might use performance as an organizing framework for considering a wide range of gendered practices and relationships, including but not limited to: museums and memorials; landscapes and the built environment; food and consumption; technology and digital media; nationalism, totalitarianism, repression, and revolution; theatre and creative practices, literary production, and censorship.
- Politics and Popular Culture
The relationship between politics and popular culture is key to understanding women, gender, and sexualities across historical eras. We invite submissions that critically engage the history of popular culture in any time period and locale. Popular culture history has emerged as a vibrant field that yields new ways to study the intersections of race, gender, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability. Submitters can take up a number of issues ranging from how and why popular culture is central to the quotidian experiences of people around the globe to its role in the shifting paradigms of feminism, body politics, critical race theory, trans studies, imperialism, transnational studies, and reproductive justice. By centering on forms of popular cultural expression, including film, music, sports, dance, fashion, print media, social media, this track seeks to bring a diverse group of scholars, cultural producers, and practitioners into conversation with one another.
- Work Cultures/Work Realities: The Academy and Beyond
This track seeks individual papers, panels, or roundtable sessions on issues or themes relevant to the work we (broadly defined) do. We hope to generate informed conversation about pedagogy, but also working conditions—for those working in any capacity in higher educational institutions as well as those in other settings. Given the service burdens in the academy that fall particularly heavily on women and people of color, how do we see that such contributions are valued? Do we need to redefine teaching and service as intellectual endeavors? Is it necessary to change dominant understandings of scholarship? How would we set about doing these tasks? These issues are particularly timely given attacks on university employees and the questions raised by politicians, parents, and students about the “value” or “utility” of history? They are also important in light of those scholars, including public historians, public intellectuals, and digital humanists whose contributions often cannot be measured by “traditional” categories. Other difficult conversations are to be had on how historians in various settings (schools, universities, non-profits, for-hire) can work together? We also seek to address how scholarship and work are married beyond the academy. Can one still be a historian and work, for example, in non-academic settings. What does it mean to be an Alt-Ac, public historian or history informed activist in 2017?