"Min(d)ing the Gap: Queer and Gendered Labor in Institutional Voids"
The Center for Women's & Gender Studies (CWGS) conference offers both undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to share their research with the students and faculty of CWGS, The University of Texas at Austin community, and CWGS community partners. We invite individual papers, creative writing and artistic posters, and performance pieces from participants in any discipline whose research focuses on women's, gender, sexuality, transgender, and/or queer studies.
The theme for this year’s conference is “Min(d)ing the Gap: Queer and Gendered Labor in Institutional Voids.” Historically, Women’s and Gender Studies as a field labors to fill gaps in academic research, strives to legitimize alternative knowledges, employs epistemologies to empower students underserved by institutions, and draws on a history of interdisciplinary methods and activism to encourage reciprocity and material change for marginalized people. Outside of academic institutions, feminist and/or queer activists labor to mobilize to close institutional gaps or build communities outside institutions that marginalize them.
This conference will highlight this labor by indigenous, black, of color, queer, and trans people working to draw attention to these voids and fill these institutional gaps. These voids, failures, shortcomings, or gaps may be those present in more traditionally recognized institutions like educational, political, economic, religious, legal, or healthcare institutions, but feminist and queer scholars and activists also might consider the term institution more broadly to mean any established or recognizable system. These may include entertainment, leisure, nightlife, sexual, artistic, cultural, or musical institutions. Might we even consider the institutions of feminisms or queerness? Some additional questions to consider:
·What are examples of labor in these voids?
·What networks emerge to fill voids that result from institutional failures? Who takes part in these networks?
·What are the benefits of operating outside of institutions?
·How do feminist and queer scholars attend to gaps in traditional historical archives or topical gaps in academic literature? What methods are most successful or promising? Where, topically or historically, are gaps most common?
·Is it possible for indigenous, black, of color, queer, and trans people to mine (or mind) institutional gaps for their benefit?
·What narratives emerge about these gaps and voids? Can these narratives be mobilized? If so, how?
·Who is responsible for institutional gaps? Who serves those people, histories, memories, etc. failed by this gap?
Presentation at this conference will count towards the WGS MA Program, and the WGS Graduate Portfolio Certificate and/or the WGS Graduate Portfolio Certificate LGBTQ Studies Track.* We will consider work previously presented at another conference or produced during coursework, and especially encourage submissions relevant to this year’s theme.
Submissions: Students proposing individual presentations (15 minutes) on any topic must submit a 250-word abstract, a one sentence description of the presentation, and a 1-2 sentence biography (in third person) through the Participant Application Form available at: https://form.jotform.com/82545942231961
Deadlines: January 15th, for priority consideration; February 1st, for full consideration.
For further questions, contact Mac Irvine at firstname.lastname@example.org
*More information about the WGS Portfolio Certificate is available at: https://liberalarts.utexas.edu/cwgs/graduate/portfolio.php
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