CfP: „Southern Feminisms“ (Event, 10/2016, Arkansas); DL: 31.07.2016

Women and Gender Studies at Arkansas State University (Web)

Venue: Jonesboro, Arkansas
Time: October 13-15, 2016
Proposals by July 31st, 2016

  • Confirmed Plenary Speaker: Susan Bordo

This conference explores how the many waves of the feminist movement have impacted and continue to impact The South, from political and philosophical ideology, to education and daily life. The organizers welcome submissions by authors from any discipline that addresses feminist/womanist issues tied to the southern regions of the United States. While they are interested in any proposed topic, as well as fully developed panels, some specific themes and related questions and we hope to discuss are:

  • What does feminism mean in The South? How is feminism perceived in The South? How have various waves of feminism affected different regions and marginalized groups of people? What role does intersectionality play in theorizing and activism? Who does feminism serve and fail to serve here?

  • What unique histories surround women and minorities in the south and how do those histories shape current theories and practices? What roles have historical movements, revolutions, immigration, slavery, emancipation, Jim Crow, Civil Rights, a culture of imprisonment, religion, and war played in developing a Southern feminism? How has history reflected upon women’s experiences in the South? Is there a collective and meaningful women’s Southern history?
  • What does it mean to be embodied in The South? Is there an ideal Southern body or specific Southern standards of female beauty? How are beauty standards racialized in the South? Are eating disorders and body image disruptions viewed and treated differently? How does Southern cuisine affect the ideologies of health and beauty? Is fat embodiment the same in the south as in other regions? How are queer bodies lived through in the South?
  • Working and Law in the South. How does legislation affect women and underrepresented groups in the South? To what extent is activism effective, encouraged, shamed? How does the culture impact/reflect laws specific to LGBTQIA communities?
  • Health and Reproductive Rights. What does „health“ mean in the South? How are women’s bodies viewed medically? What is being done to address health inequalities, particularly for women, people of color, and transwomen, in the South?

Confirmed Plenary Speaker Susan Bordo is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and holds the Otis A. Singletary Chair in the Humanities at the University of Kentucky. She is the author of The Flight to Objectivity: Essays on Cartesianism and Culture (SUNY Press, 1987), Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (U. of California Press, 1993), Twilight Zones: The Hidden Life of Cultural Images from Plato to O.J. (U. of California Press, 1997) and The Male Body: A New Look at Men in Public and in Private (Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1999), among many other publications.

Please submit an abstract addressing one or more of the above topics of no more than 500 words or a full panel abstract to Dr. Michele Merritt at by July 31st, 2016.

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