CfP: “Mysterious Things”: Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History (Illinois, 03/2010); DL: 01.11.2009

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign / March 4-6, 2010
Submission Deadline: November 1, 2009

The Executive Committee of the Eleventh Annual Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce this call for papers. The Symposium, which is the capstone event of the History Department’s Women’s History month celebration, is scheduled for March 4-6, 2010.

To celebrate and encourage further work in the field of women’s and gender history, we invite submissions from graduate students from any institution and discipline. The Symposium organizers welcome individual papers on any topic in the field of women’s and gender history; papers submitted as a panel will be judged individually. Preference will be given to scholars who did not present at last year’s Symposium.

The Symposium Executive Committee is interested in assembling a geographically, temporally, and topically diverse body of papers. This year’s theme, “Mysterious Things,” speaks to a variety of trends that are currently shaping the field of women’s and gender history. This is particularly the case as we march on through a world where things—be they ideas, objects, or some strange mix thereof—continue to delight, baffle, liberate, and ruin individuals, as well as global institutions.

Successful proposals could directly explore and build upon the implications of the moment in Marx’s thought concerning commodities, wherein what should become inanimate matter actually assumes a mysterious, yet undeniable kind of life. Proposals could begin to chart out this life in a variety of fields—particularly gender and sexuality—and its effects upon those with whom it comes into contact.

Indeed, gender and sexuality are, themselves, mysterious things, and proposals could also include any work that seeks to expose and demystify their strange functions in the everyday life of people and institutions. We welcome all proposals that seek to examine and interrogate any of the nebulous, enigmatic areas included under the rubric of gender and women’s history.

The choice of theme is purposefully broad but provocative, inviting perspectives and reflections from a variety of temporal, geographical, and inter/disciplinary perspectives.

For this year, the Eleventh Annual Symposium, we are delighted to announce a keynote speaker who engages many of these themes in his work: Kevin Floyd, Associate Professor of English, Kent State University, author of The Reification of Desire: Toward a Queer Marxism (University of Minnesota Press, 2009).

The journal Gender & History will again sponsor a prize for the best graduate student paper presented at the Symposium. Conference presenters will also have the opportunity to publish their work in the on-line proceedings volume. We possess limited resources to subsidize travel expenses for presenters.

Giving priority to presenters with limited conference experience, we will allocate these funds based on the quality of presenters’ proposals and the availability of funds.

To submit a paper or panel by email (preferred method); please send only one attachment in Word or PDF format containing a 250-word abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae for each paper presenter, commentator, or panel chair to The subject line of the email must read „Attn: Programming Committee.” We cannot be responsible for submissions that do not meet these conditions.

To submit a paper or panel in a hard copy format, please send five (5) copies of all abstracts and curriculum vitae to: Programming Committee, Graduate Symposium on Women’s and Gender History 309 Gregory Hall, MC 466, 810 S. Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801.

For more information, please contact Programming Committee Chair, T.J. Tallie at


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