CfP: Crossroads | Canadian Women’s Studies Association (Event: 05/2012, Waterloo/CA); DL: 13.01.2012


Date: May 26 – May 29, 2012
Location: Wilfrid Laurier University & University of Waterloo
Deadline: January 13, 2012

The CWSA/ACEF is seeking proposals, in either French or English, for its annual conference, held in conjunction with the Congress of the CFHSS/FCSH. Submissions for papers and panels can be made by individuals or groups, and as joint sessions with other associations. *In addition to the usual open call, we invite papers that address one of the three following themes. Please identify the open call or specific theme to which you are submitting application in your proposal.

  • Theme 1:  Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World
  • Theme 2:  Histories of Colonial/Imperial/isms at a Crossroads
  • Theme 3:  Women’s/and Gender Studies at a new Crossroads

Theme 1: Crossroads: Scholarship for an Uncertain World

The CFHSS/FCSH proposes this year’s overarching theme as a way to engage with a range of socio-economic and political uncertainties that characterize the contemporary moment and its histories, with its many publics and counter-publics, in our communities and environments. This year’s Congress theme also serves as an opportunity to imagine how humanities and social science scholarship engages with critical decisions taking place at intergovernmental, state, regional, civic and civil society levels as they shape the rapidly shifting directions of knowledge politics in Canada and beyond. We invite responses from scholars who wish to address some key questions: For whom has the world always been more-or-less certain or uncertain? How can conversations across the disciplines foster critical and creative dialogue in the midst of both supposed certainties and uncertainties? What is/are seen as desirable knowledge/s? at various levels of counter/public accountabilities, and what forms of uncomfortable knowledge/s? are being avoided or disregarded? The crossroads metaphor also invokes critical reflection on the nature of turning points, where critical decisions must be made. How might we complicate the affective dimension of this meaning or attend to additional meanings of crossroads encounters? For instance, can we read the notion of crossroads less „urgently“? How might uncertainty be perceived as desirable, unthreatening or positive rather? “Crossroads” can also refer to a small community that exists where roads intersect. With the implication of intersection and meeting at its heart, how might the metaphor of crossroads be a productive framework for navigating the anxiety of “an uncertain world? We invite you to reflect on how Women’s/and Gender Studies researchers, activists, cultural producers and educators can help to articulate the contemporary crossroads revealed by intersectional gender analyses.

Theme 2: Histories of Colonial/Imperial/isms at a Crossroads

This theme provides an opportunity to consider how scholars, activists, artists and critics engage the continued intersectional impact of dominating practices that operate along a range of registers from the globalized “war on terror,” to the links between neo-liberalisms and neo-colonialisms, from urban gentrification to environmental degradation. How do these processes re-inscribe the effects of colonialisms on new generations? How might feminist scholars and activists seek to understand contemporary settler/Indigenous relations and their gendered implications? How do projects of “development” continually impact gendered identity formations as they intersect with variously constructed, contested and overlapping social positions? Where and how might the stories we tell about ourselves and one another facilitate and obstruct individual and mutual actualizations?

Theme 3: Women’s/and Gender Studies at a new Crossroads:

Over the past several decades Women’s/and Gender Studies has been engaged in an ongoing process of self-transformation amidst evolving public interpretations, misinterpretations and appropriations. How do CWSA/ACEF members imagine the possibilities, uncertainties, futures, pasts, and presents of our field/s, not only in the context of the institution, but also, in/as epistemologies in the many worlds our individual and collective work traverses? How do we navigate the visibilities, invisibilities, gaps and disavowals that characterize our field/s? This theme invites presentations that map the already existing contours of these changes, its shapes, affects, stakes, as well as exciting new directions already forming. Thus presentations may include attentions to questions such as feminist masculinity studies; feminist porn studies; queer indigenous feminisms; the turn toward the feminist archive; affect studies; trans-feminisms. What is the role of Women’s/and Gender Studies in producing strategies of resistance and solidarity to help critique and revise the directions of our inter-discipline/s? How do the complexities and possibilities that emerge from bilingualism and the multiple languages and literacies that inform our field/s of inquiry help us to think through the ways knowledge politics are shaping intersectional gender studies in the Canadian context? How does our field engage new generations of scholars with pressing questions about the ways feminist scholarship/activism/and artistic explorations equip them for the challenges and opportunities emerging at the many crossroads of knowledge production?


We encourage presentations in a variety of formats, including papers, panels, workshops, round tables, poster sessions, film and video screenings, performance art pieces, exhibits, and cultural events. If you are proposing a non-traditional presentation, please include a brief write up on any necessary audiovisual, technical, logistical, or room size and location considerations.

The proposal form (Word document) can be found on the CWSA/ACEF website: All submissions must include a clear, concise and well-argued 250 – 300-word abstract for individual papers and panel topics. Panel submissions must also include short (100 – 150 word) abstracts of the individual papers, and all submissions should indicate the theme for which the proposal is to be considered.

While welcoming to individual paper proposals, CWSA/ACEF encourages submissions of panel proposals (with a limit of 3 presenters), to ensure thematic consistency across papers in a given session. Cohesiveness will be a primary criterion in the panel selection process.

Round table presentations may have up to 4 members and workshops may have as few as 2 or as many as 3 facilitators. Proposals for performances and art installations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, for feasibility.

Panel sessions and workshops are typically scheduled to be 75 minutes in length, and papers are expected to be approximately 8 – 10 pages, or 15 – 20 minutes, for individual submissions. If you are proposing a workshop, please indicate expected time frame if different from typical scheduling.
All proposals will be anonymously reviewed.

You must be a current member of CWSA/ACEF to submit an abstract.

To join, please visit
Send proposals by email only, in Word or RTF, to:

Deadline: January 13, 2012. No late proposals will be accepted.

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