CfP: Breaking Boundaries, Forging Connections: Feminist Interdisciplinary Theory and Practice (Conference), Deadline: 04.01.08

A conference sponsored by the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies
Where: Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
When: April 11-13 2008

The host of this conference, the Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, was endowed by well-known Toronto-based feminist and philanthropist Nancy Ruth, to raise awareness of women’s issues by bringing to campus distinguished scholars in women’s studies and activists who have contributed to the advancement of women. Mount Saint Vincent University, the home of the Nancy’s Chair, has a proud history as a leader in innovative and creative learning approaches with an emphasis on women, academic excellence, distinctive programs, and a personal approach to education. Women’s studies and feminist theory are boldly, creatively interdisciplinary in establishing strong connections between scholarly inquiry and women’s lives. They are reconfiguring disciplinary boundaries and academic structures while honouring scholarly integrity and activist commitments in universities and other post-secondary institutions, and in the world outside the academy. Feminist scholars and activists have developed innovative ways of navigating within traditional academic disciplines and institutional structures, and drawing on the resources of multiple, often diverse, disciplines, practices, and ways of knowing. Breaking Boundaries, Forging Connections will explore the promise and the challenges of interdisciplinarity in feminist and women’s studies, and in the activism it informs and is informed by at the beginning of the twenty-first century, in Canada and internationally. We welcome contributions that present interdisciplinarity at work in diverse formats and modes of address, critical reflections on interdisciplinarity as such, performance, video and narrative presentations, workshops, roundtables and panels, and contributions that attest to the prospects and productive collaborations interdisciplinary commitments can animate. Proposals might:

* celebrate some of the successes – the triumphs – of interdisciplinary work, showing by example how it can be greater than the sum of its parts
* show by example how the very idea of interdisciplinarity reconfigures fixed conceptions of „expertise“
* illustrate how new forms of interdisciplinarity have succeeded in bringing together the „two cultures“: the sciences and the humanities
* present possibilities for combining insights and issues derived from several disciplines
* contrast interdisciplinarity that derives from group connections and interdisciplinary work engaged individually
* consider how interdisciplinary inquiry helps to cross an (imaginary) divide between the university or college and the community
* present research that has developed out of inquiry that crosses two or more disciplines.

In short, we welcome contributions that demonstrate the creative potential of interdisciplinary work, that show how interdisciplinarity counteracts the narrowness that can result from over-specialization in the academy and in professional schools, and/or that explore interdisciplinarity in public responses to research and practice. And we welcome proposals that expand on, challenge, or depart from the possibilities outlined here. Given the nature of this theme, we particularly welcome panel presentations or poster sessions that pose questions for discussion, mini-workshops, and mixed-media presentations. Single papers will be allocated a maximum of 25 minutes‘ reading time. Panels may be allocated a longer presentation time. Conference presentations may be considered for publication in Atlantis: A Women’s Studies Journal. Submission deadline: Friday, January 04, 2008. Submission format: Please submit either a complete paper (not to exceed 3000 words), a long abstract (1000 words), or a 1000-word detailed description of a panel or workshop, listing participants and indicating any special presentation requirements.
Submit paper copies only to: Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies, ISW 4, Mount Saint Vincent University, 166 Bedford Highway, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3M 2J6. Please direct all inquiries to Dr. Lorraine Code at lorraine.code[at]

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