Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy
The theme for the 2017 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women, Genders and Sexualities will be Difficult Conversations: Thinking and Talking About Women, Genders, and Sexualities Inside and Outside the Academy. The conference will be held June 1-4, 2017 at Hofstra University, outside of New York City.
We interpret this overarching theme broadly, inviting submissions for an array of engaging and interactive presentations intended to generate conversations across time, fields, methodologies, and geographic borders; across races, classes, sexualities and gender identities; between academic and public historians, activists, artists and performers. We are especially keen to attract participants from around the globe and scholars of time periods and geographic fields that have been underrepresented at the Berkshire Conference.
We hope these conversations will highlight fresh perspectives and create new networks for intellectual collaboration and activism among scholars, public historians, artists, activists, teachers, and those interested in history, social movements and social justice. Such interaction has dynamic potential to move the history of women, genders, and sexualities in particularly innovative directions that generate new theories and methodologies, bringing these histories into new spaces – not only in our universities and liberal arts colleges but also in community colleges, community centers, K-12 schools, prisons, community based organizations and other activist groups in the United States and abroad. Such an approach is critical at a time when social movements that seek to expand civil and human rights are being recast and depoliticized and when the very relevance of teaching history is being questioned in many quarters.
Women’s history has undergone enormous shifts since the First Berkshire conference, recasting dominant historical narratives and pioneering new ideas and methodologies. Fresh ideas about the very category of “women,” innovative studies of the body, new analyses of sexuality, trans-regional and transnational scholarship have transformed understandings of history. We now stand at a critical crossroads rich with possibilities for exciting innovations in research and teaching in this field.
Reviving connections between communities and institutions, historians are increasingly joining forces — inside and outside the academy – with an eye toward affecting social change and social justice. New forms of cooperation have raised important historical questions: What can we learn from internationalizing the discussion of women, careers and family? How can we use multi-sited histories of slavery to write gendered histories of global capitalism? How can scholars and activists collaborate to transform the pedagogical landscape in our ‘classrooms’? This conference is a call for collaboration and cooperation across many lines of difference.
The 2017 Berkshire Conference will be a venue for difficult conversations about these and other crucial questions. In the hope of promoting a greater range of conversations and interactions, this “Big Berks” seeks to intentionally change up the way we present and discuss history. In addition to the traditional modes of presentation, we are expanding the workshop and poster initiatives of the last several conferences and adding several new types of venues for discussion. While we are not directly a part of the new “unconferencing” movement, we see ourselves as part of an effort to explode old modes of academic conferencing to make this Berks more interactive and engaging.
We invite submissions for the following themed tracks. Please think about submitting a range of conference presentations that include different kinds of voices. We strongly encourage submissions that mix scholars, public historians and/or activists, artists, performers. We also encourage submissions that mix in one session digital history, reading of papers, performances and visual culture.
For more information on track themes and session formats visit http://2017berkshireconference.hofstra.edu/call-for-papers/
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