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SEWSA Conference 2011

Structural Adjustments:

Queering Privatization,
Framing Disaster

Recent devastation in Haiti and Chile, and its resonance with the breached levees in New Orleans, compel us to put these events in socio-political context. Crumbled edifices, flooded and abandoned neighborhoods, and sensationalized images of the newly displaced surrounded by piles of rubble speak less to the physical weaknesses of buildings and more to the bankruptcy of social institutions that determine which populations and communities will be most affected. As with official narratives of war and militarization (cast as “just” or “necessary”), or development and democracy (cast as “progress” or “inclusion”), the recourse to the framework of “natural disasters” overlooks the realities of systemic inequalities, and their gendered, sexualized, racialized, and classed dimensions. The theme sheds light on such issues as the structural adjustment programs that have devastated indebted economies, the impact on buildings of these (un)natural disasters, and the shifting spaces resulting from gentrification and privatization.

SEWSA 2011 brought together scholars interested in asking how feminist, womanist, and queer modes of analysis can intervene in these narratives and open up possibilities for revisioning alternatives.

Featuring conference keynotes by Lisa Duggan of New York Univeristy and Julia Sudbury of Mills College.

March 24—26, 2011

The Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Georgia State University • College of Arts & Sciences