SEWSA 2016

“Intersectionality in the New Millenium: An Assessment of Culture, Power, and Society”
March 31-April 2, 2016
Winthrop University – Rock Hill, SC



Nearly thirty-five years ago, This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women of Color, edited by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua, was published by Kitchen Table/Women of Color Press (1981). In 2015, SUNY Press released an updated and expanded fourth edition of this foundational text, a testimony to the theories and practices of the feminisms of women of color that emerged in the last quarter of the twentieth century. Using an interdisciplinary approach of personal essays, criticism, interviews, testimonials, poetry, and visual art, the collection explores, “the complex confluence of identities—race, class, gender, and sexuality—systemic to women of color oppression and liberation.”

It has been more than twenty-five years since Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality to capture how race, class, and gender, among other identity variables, interconnect to create the multiple oppressions that Black feminists and feminists of color had been describing for at least one hundred and thirty years since Sojourner Truth gave her famous ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ speech in Akron, Ohio in 1851. In her groundbreaking 1989 article, Crenshaw focused specifically on the intersection of race and sex in anti-discrimination cases in the lives of Black women. Since then, a wide range of theoretical and empirical work has emerged in Critical Race, Feminist, Post-Colonial, Queer, and Women’s and Gender Studies,  utilizing intersectional approaches to understand how interlocking systems of oppression based on categories of race, class, sex, gender, sexuality, nation, ethnicity, coloniality, (dis)ability, etc. shape the possibilities and limitations in people’s lives.

How far have we come in truly integrating inclusive, intersectional approaches in our lives and in our work? In our society and in our culture? What does intersectionality look like today? How has our understanding and deployment of intersectionality-as a theory, as a method, as a practice, and as a political commitment-shifted in recent decades? What is the meaning of intersectionality in the 21st century?

We welcome proposals from across the academic disciplines, from social justice activists and practitioners in domestic and international contexts, and from undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. We invite papers addressing the conference themes as well as other work situated within the field of Women’s and Gender Studies. Suggested topics for paper and panel proposals include:

  • intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, etc. in history, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, essays, speeches, and letters that point to challenges and opportunities in women’s lives
  • the rhetoric of intersectionality:  how the rhetorical, linguistic lens of intersectionality helps us analyze and interpret language that is used to limit women’s lives.
  • how the conceptual and/or methodological framework of intersectionality can help us address some of the most difficult issues of our time, i.e. war, terrorism, police brutality, gun violence
  • how gender, race, class, sexuality, etc. is portrayed in social media
  • how social media, multimedia works of art, and/or technology are helping bridge the gaps between and among the various categories of identity
  • how the conceptual framework of intersectionality helps us craft inclusive language that opens up possibilities for women
  • the difficulties and limitations of doing intersectional research
  • illustrative examples of intersectional research
  • intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. in the art and culture of all periods
  • how intersectionality impacts research in the sciences
  • theoretical approaches to art, culture, science, politics, and society that combine methodological approaches from multiple disciplines
  • any other topics related to Women’s and Gender Studies








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