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Call for Papers

Southeast Women’s Studies Association Annual Meeting
March 24-26, 2011


Structural Adjustments: Queering Privatization, Framing Disaster

Hosted by the Institute for Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Georgia State University, College of Arts & Sciences


Featuring keynote presentations by Lisa Duggan of New York University (author of The Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy) & Julia Sudbury of Mills College (editor of Global Lockdown: Race, Gender, and the Prison-Industrial Complex)


Recent devastation in Haiti and Chile, and their resonances with the breached levees in New Orleans, urge and remind us to put these events in 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 impacted. 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.

This 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 will bring 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.

Possible topics and themes include:

    • disaster capitalism and the “shock doctrine” – appropriating and fabricating disasters in order to institute neoliberal reform
    • climate change and environmental justice
    • neocolonialism, structural adjustment policies, and refugees of the global economy
    • the impact of militarization on the lives of women and girls
    • deterritorialization, displacement, and gentrification
    • the masculinization of public policy
    • strategies of resistance and social change (World and U.S. Social Forums; prison abolition work; reproductive justice activism)
    • affective relationalities and responses to trauma
    • spirituality and spiritual activism
    • comparative structures of confinement (prisons – domestic, international, and military; mental institutions; the militarization of borders; the wall in the occupied Palestinian territories)
    • the sexism and racism of rescue narratives
    • imaginative geographies – toward new spatial possibilities
    • queering structural inequalities
    • the role of the visual – media representations as technologies of power.

Instructions for SEWSA 2011 Proposal Submission:

For individual papers, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words, plus title, providing a brief description of the theoretical perspective and/or framework the author will use to address the question/concern/topic.  Below the title, specify any technology needs.

For panels, please submit a title and description of the panel’s themes of no more than 250 words, as well as abstracts of 250 words each for 3-5 papers.  For each, provide a title and a brief description of the theoretical perspective and/or framework the author will use to address the question/concern/topic. Below the panel title, specify any technology needs.

For workshops or roundtable discussions, please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words that describes the general topic, purpose, and/or activities.  Please include an approximate number of participants and their roles.  Although we are requesting anonymous submissions, in the case of a workshop, you may include the name of an organization if relevant.  Below the title, specify any technology needs.

For short films and for performance of poetry, fiction, or drama, please include an abstract of no more than 250 words describing the creative piece.  Below the title, specify any technology needs.

All submissions should be sent as an e-mail Word attachment to no later than NOVEMBER 1, 2010.  In an effort to judge all abstracts strictly on their own merits, the proposal committee is requesting that you do NOT include your name or other personal information within the attachment itself.  No individual may appear more than twice on the conference program.

In the body of your email, please include your name, institutional or organizational affiliation (if relevant), email address, and submission title.

Please note that we will not have technology available in all presentation rooms.  We will do our best to honor technology requests included in original proposals.  We will not be able to accommodate technology requests made after a proposal is submitted.  Presenters will be responsible for bringing their own laptops and cables to connect to the technology provided (e.g., DVD player or LCD projector).

Please note that the conference is over and the above email account has been closed.