Threads and Themes

    • Climate Justice and Ecofeminism: Climate change, climate disasters, and the inequitable distribution of global resources are central narratives unfolding alongside the ongoing impacts of the pandemic. At the center of this narrative are the voices of queer and trans people of color, often living at the front lines of climate change without equal representation or inclusion in solutions and decision-making processes.  This thread invites proposals that rely on an intersectional lens to examine the climate crisis as a human rights issue deeply entangled with the ongoing inequities and opportunities of a global pandemic: environmental racism, colonialism, capitalism, and hierarchies of privilege and oppression. We encourage projects and creative works that consider both the gendered implications of climate change and the role women, POC, migrants, and other marginalized groups play as agents of change in areas of policy development, grassroots mobilization, and sustainable solutions. We welcome presentations that also explore how experiential knowledge, anxiety, compassion, energy, and resilience fuel movements for environmental change.

    • Pedagogies of Care and Equity: COVID-19 has offered new opportunities for integrating self-care, empathy, and wellbeing for both the instructors and students as part of the classroom experience. This thread invites workshops, panels, art projects, performances, and individual papers that explore the transformative possibilities of the Gender and Women’s Studies classroom when care is at the center of a trauma-informed, anti-racist, decolonizing, and queer(ing) approach to curriculum, pedagogy, and administration. Presentations that highlight Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and High Impact Practices (HIPs) focused on access, diversity, equity, and inclusion are also particularly welcome, as well as best practices for supporting gender-informed evidence-based practice, rigorous scholarship, and activist spaces on campus. We also welcome proposals that center new strategies for institutional support including self-care for professionals in higher education, intersectional approaches to caregiving support, and the relationship between EDI work and Gender and Women’s Studies.

    • Refusing the Colonial State: The failure to contend with the white supremacist cisheteropatriarchal colonial norms on which capitalist states have been built has caused a rise in alt-right movements across the globe. From attacks on critical race theory and the exercise of civil rights to the increase of police militarization and violence against women and trans people, the neoliberal state is on the move. For this thread, we invite critical examinations of the violent, extractive, oppressive tactics of the capitalist carceral state and highlighting the feminist, anti-racist, decolonial and anti-colonial projects aimed at their destruction. We encourage proposals highlighting grassroots efforts at community-driven, sustainable, gender-diverse, restorative, care-focused systemic change led by the global majority, as well as proposals that highlight alliances across complex differences and power geometries.

    • Crip Resistance in a Post-Covid World: Perhaps no other community has offered more tools for collective solutions, collective liberation, and inclusive futures than those engaged in disability justice work. For decades, the disability justice movement has focused on networks of mutual aid, sustainability, collective access, intersectionality, communal support, and cross-movement solidarity as a cornerstone of survival. This thread welcomes topics related to disability justice with a particular focus on feminist, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary frameworks. Topics centered in the academic field and pedagogical tools of Disability Studies (and the overlap with disability justice) are also strongly encouraged. We welcome proposals that consider topics of inclusion, care, (in)visibility, and justice within academia, grassroots movements, and artistic communities and projects. Panels, performances, and papers should address those situated at the margins of multiple identities, the contributions of feminist-of-color disability studies, and a theoretical framework that is accountable to critical race theory and makes visible the unacknowledged whiteness of disability studies and activism.

    • Queering Praxis, Expressions, and Activism: Recent local, national, and global events highlight how many vulnerabilities in the LGBTQIA+ community have been laid bare during the pandemic—safe living spaces, access to healthcare, global migration and violence, and punitive border politics. The visibility of queer resistance has resulted in pushback on healthcare for trans children and on athletics in high schools in the U.S. and globally in the Olympics. We need to work to ensure that the future is queer. This thread explores queer resistance through the lenses of queer-of-color critique, care within queer communities (care work), and decoloniality. It will focus on examining the lived, aspired, and imagined experiences of queerness and transness as ways of resistance to structures and systems of oppression. We see community as a sense of belonging that transcends the self and the individual, incorporating notions of micro- and macro-community to explore the imaginings of a queer world (a world more livable). We invite papers, workshops, performances, and panels from all community members, scholars, and students, but place a particular emphasis on student and community-led art and scholarship.

  • Global Migration, Identity, and Freedom: Recent local, national, and global events have placed a spotlight on the interconnected, global dimensions of human experience—and deep patterns of global inequity. This thread considers the global dimensions of gender, migration, identity, and freedom—in terms of both mobility and basic needs—as well the pressing need for global redistributions of resources and decision-making. We encourage proposals that consider a range of identities across the life course and gender spectrum. In addition to presentations about international borders and challenges, we encourage proposals that explore the human experience at borders and during migrations into and within the U.S. and the struggles of queer and people of color at the U.S. border. We also welcome papers, panels, art projects, and performances that highlight transformative spaces of justice, reparations, and decolonization against structures of institutionalized racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression.