Call for Papers: “1977-2017: The IWY National Women’s Conference In Retrospect”
November 5-7, 2017, University of Houston
This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the 1977 National Women’s Conference, the domestic answer to the United Nations’ International Women’s Year initiative. The Houston Conference, as it came to be known, was the largest federally mandated gathering of American women in history. On this occasion, 2000 delegates elected from fifty states and six territories and roughly 16,000 observers came together to craft a twenty-six plank National Plan of Action, submitted to President Jimmy Carter in 1978. The conference remains one of the most imaginative and wide-ranging exercises in civic engagement realized in the twentieth century, and we seek to draw attention to the diversity, ingenuity, and determination of participants who dared to dream up concrete policy goals of “what women want.” The recent global response to the Women’s March on Washington suggests just how much the issues debated at the Houston Conference still resonate.
Questions that could be considered by participants include: Why did a policy forum that emerged from bi-partisanship become a caustic ideological battleground? What political, economic, and social changes underway manifested reaction and response at this conference and the coinciding counter-conference? In what ways do the issues considered at the National Women’s Conference still resonate? Is the leading question asked then—what do women want?—still relevant today?
Ongoing activities include: poster/book sessions; oral history commons; film screenings; special collections tours; student-delegate issue dialogues; wikistorming edit-a-thon; self-guided walking tours.
Traditional paper session and roundtable proposals: Abstracts should include a short session description and title, individual paper titles, one page proposals of approximately 300 words for each paper, and one page CVs for all participants including chair/commentator.
Individual paper proposals: Abstracts should be 300 words, and should be accompanied by a one page CV.
While we do not promise travel support, please indicate on your proposal if you request such support should it become available. A separate application for these funds will be issued to selected participants should we have such funds to distribute. Priority consideration for such funds will be given to graduate students and adjuncts.
For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.