April 19-20, 2018
Our conference offers up a bold question: What are we doing here? We ask this question with an awareness that its implications are broad, and its resonances perhaps unexpected. We aim not precisely to interrogate our work as academics, but rather to feel out, with compassion, the structures of academia (and their alternatives) that we create and which create the world we live in. Why we are here, or what are our psychic and affective investments in our work? What drives us? Who is haunting, encouraging, judging, or policing our work? Do we speak for others? What voices do we try to amplify, and what voices do we try to recreate, and for whom? What are the silences we strive to fill? And who are we as we work? What is produced by our work? What are its effects, intended or unintended? How do we classify our work: is it labor, love, change, activism, ambition, competition, art, science, or something else? We call for a broad range of responses to these questions and others that may be sparked by these, or even for the presentation of more questions, answerable or not.
While we encourage non-traditional submissions, we also welcome more mainstream academic submissions loosely pertaining to affect and/or gender studies from any regional or chronological focus. We welcome work that questions the strategies of exclusion of subjects; rethinks the construction of subjectivities; and seeks to return voice and power to entities subjugated by the hegemonic logics of a racist, heteronormative patriarchy. We hope to collectively examine the production of objects through representational, symbolic, and material violence, with a special focus on the functioning of oppressive gender politics. This conference aims to foster discussions that rupture and dislocate the confinement of bodies and subjectivities; recover marginalized forms of culture and community; encourage the flourishing of all people; enable new expressions, performatives, and spaces.
Through a partnership with our department’s graduate student-run peer-reviewed journal, Mester, the conference organizing committee may recommend high quality academic submissions for publication in a special focus section of the journals forthcoming forty-seventh edition.
We invite passionate, brave, and creative intellectuals from any disciplinary and chronological focus and from any academic position to help us think outside the conference. We are invite work on the following topics and in the following presentation styles:
- Formal or informal panels
- Individual presentations
- Exhibitions or installations
- Affect and affect theory
- Gender and racialized violence
- Sexual and intellectual harassment
- Academic and university structures and genres
- Academic precarity
- Radical pedagogy
- Accessibility and disability in academia
- Labor in the university (academic and non-academic)
- Emotion and emotional labor in academia
- The canon, canons
- Community partnerships in academia
- Professionalization, professionalism, the job market
- Activism and political work
- Regimes of physical and mental health
- Double lives: academia and community work
- Politics of care and self-care
Please submit abstracts of 200-250 words (or alternatively formatted proposals that sufficiently explain your project) to firstname.lastname@example.org by March 9, 2018. Individual presentations can be in English, Spanish, Portuguese, or indigenous languages, and should not exceed 20 minutes (7 pages double-spaced); panel and roundtable lengths should not exceed 1.5 hours. For exhibitions, installations, and performances, please explain what kind of space and facilities you will need. Please include a brief biography with your submission.