2019 Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference: Redefining Feminist Activism
The School of Writing, Rhetoric and Technical Communication at James Madison University invites proposals for the 12th Biennial Feminisms and Rhetorics Conference to be held at Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg, VA, November 13-16, 2019.
This year’s theme invites participants to reflect on or redefine current trends in and future possibilities for grassroots feminist activism in what we are calling “DIY feminist activism”– advocacy work that prioritizes inclusion and diversity by engaging in projects that are freestanding, self-supporting, and/or crowdsourced. DIY feminist activism is in tune with overlapping identities and, thus, is inherently intersectional; it celebrates the power of individuals to spearhead innovative, creative solutions to issues and problems that are often neglected or mishandled when left to institutional powers.
Feminist activism can be seen in everyday acts like Jose Garcia’s Instagram post urging teen boys to carry tampons and pads to support female peers or 11-year-old Kheris Rogers’ “Flexin’ In My Collection” clothing line launched in response to her own bullying and now championed by celebrities like Lupita Nyong’o. Activism is Warren Middle School teachers’ messages of body positivity painted on stall doors in student restrooms and the 10 women of GirlTrek, a group that encourages Black women to walk for exercise and community connection, who retraced 100 miles along the Underground Railroad route to honor Harriet Tubman.
The term “DIY Feminism,” of course, is not new; indeed, feminists have used the generative concept to describe and energize their work for some time. For example, Kathy Bails’ (1996) DIY Feminism focused on showcasing broad, confident women engaged in innovative, diverse forms of activism. Media scholar Red Chidgey (2009) explained that DIY feminism draws on “genealogies of punk cultures, grassroots movements, and the technologies of late capitalism” to mesh “lifestyle politics with counter-cultural networking” and to “focus everyday acts of resistance and power.” More recently, Pinterest boards and blogs use variations of the term as their titles.
Still, much remains to be explored on how rhetoricians specifically might engage in this important work, and sobering realities that mark this epoch make this work pressing. This conference invites activists and scholars to perform, recognize, reframe, and theorize the work that’s been done and to imagine the work that could be done in the spirit of DIY feminist activism.
In the wake of the hugely successful Women’s March and the March for Our Lives, both featuring female rhetors of all ages, more women+ than ever ran for office in 2018 with several important wins including Danika Roem, the first trans member of the Virginia House of Delegates, and Deb Haaland’s primary win in New Mexico that may lead to the first Native American woman in Congress. Grassroots efforts on social media and in local communities seem more important than ever in changing our institutional landscapes. It is this sort of individual-driven work that has the power to fuel collective change that we want to explore at this conference.
With the overarching goal of locating and defining feminisms in action working to make change in this moment and via multiple modalities and positionalities, we invite a wide range of proposals (workshops, roundtables, installations, demonstrations, “how-to’s”, panels, and individuals) that explore feminisms and accompanying rhetorics from a variety of positions and that seek to answer questions such as the following:
- As the Coalition of Feminist Scholars in the History of Rhetoric and Composition celebrates its 30th anniversary, how can the DIY movement serve as a lens for revisioning the feminist rhetorical activism that is the bedrock of so much of our work?
- In what ways is feminist activism a rhetorical, personal, and collective act?
- What does feminist activism look like in community spaces? In academic environments? In community partnerships?
- What can be learned from our embodied rhetorical activities, e.g., as racial minorities, indigenous peoples, scholar-activists, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ+ communities and others doing DIY activism for decades/centuries?
- What does DIY feminism look like in our classrooms? In our pedagogy?
- Which aspects of DIY feminism might we challenge or interrogate?
- How can we better foster and support the people, institutions, communities, and maker-spaces where we see feminism/feminist activism in action?
- How can installations or demonstrations amplify and extend DIY activist strategies?
- How can we use conference space to equip one another to perform DIY feminist activism in our local communities?
- How might memoria be an act of DIY activism specifically found in feminist digital/historiographic/archival materials and architectures?
We encourage and are open to a variety of presentation styles, in roughly 75-minute segments, including but not limited to:
- Individual Presentation – 75- to 100-word abstract, 250-word proposal
- Panel Presentation, with 3 to 4 presenters – 150- to 200-word abstract, 750-word proposal
- Roundtable Discussion, with 4 or more presenters – 150- to 200-word abstract, 500-word proposal
- “How-to” Workshops, by individual or collaborative presenters – 150- to 200-word abstract, 500-word proposal. In the spirit of DIY, we invite demonstrations and tutorials about how to “do” activism. These “how-to’s” should provide practical guidance for participants to take back to their local communities.
- Interactive Installations, by individual or collaborative presenters – 150- to 200-word abstract, 500-word proposal. Demonstrate DIY activism by showcasing multimodal/digital/sonic/embodied work(s) that invite audience engagement.
- Poster Presentations, by individual or collaborative presenters (1 poster per submission) – 150- to 200-word abstract. Posters will be displayed during all three days of the conference, but presenters must be present for discussions during one set poster session time.
- Saturday Workshops – 150- to 200-word abstract, 500-word proposal, AND outline of proposed activities. Like a how-to, these workshops should provide a take-away for participants, but might require more than a traditional 75-min timeslot. Workshops are participatory, so proposals should articulate how attendees will interact with each other, the presenters, and/or technologies and materials.
Note: Presenters are limited to two speaking roles but may participate in as many other participant roles as desired. Submissions will be blind reviewed. Abstracts must not contain any information that will identify presenters or speakers.
Submissions open: December 1, 2018 Proposal Deadline: February 1, 2019
Notification of acceptance: June 1, 2019 Early registration begins July 1, 2019
For more information, contact Jen Almjeld at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you missed the deadline for submitting a proposal to the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC) or if you weren’t accepted this year, please know that there are several other opportunities to present your work and still attend the conference events in Pittsburgh in March 2019. Here are a few with deadlines soon approaching:
- Digital Praxis Posters at CCCC – Proposals due Oct. 15th (See details at the end of this post)
- RNF – Research Network Forum – Proposals due Oct. 31st. This is a great opportunity to present work-in-progress and/or present for the first time. It’s also a great opportunity to see GSU’s own Dr. Michael Harker presenting the Plenary with Dr. Ben McCorkle at RNF–hooray!
- QRN – Qualitative Research Network – Proposals due Nov. 15th. (See details at the end of this post)
- ATTW –Association of Teachers of Technical Writing – Proposals due Nov. 4th – If technical writing is of interest, submit a proposal for the ATTW conference, which is held in Pittsburgh in the days leading up to CCCC.
- IWCA – International Writing Center Association will also hold its CCCC collaborative on Mar. 13th in Pittsburgh.
We hope to see many of you in Pittsburgh, and we’ll send details about the annual GSU @ CCCC social prior to the conference!
Qualitative Research Network
Call for Proposals 2019
Individual or collaborative Research Presentations are invited for the Qualitative Research Network (QRN) to be held Wednesday, March 13,from 1:30 – 5:00 at the 2019 Conference on College Composition and Communication in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Qualitative Research Network, which occurs annually at the CCCC, is offered for both new and experienced qualitative researchers. TheQRN provides mentoring and support to qualitative researchers at all levels of experience and working in diverse areas of study within the college composition and communication community. As a pre-conference research network, the QRN is open to everyone, including those who are already presenting at the conference in other venues.
Keynote Presentation: The initial hour of the workshop will feature Dr. Pamela Takayoshi, Professor of English at Kent State University. Professor Takayoshi researches the ways people use writing in academic and non-academic contexts to make meaning in their lives, with a particular interest in research methodologies, the digital mediation of written communication, and feminist epistemologies. She is the co-editor of four collections of innovative research, including Literacy in Practice: Writing in Public, Private, and Working Lives (with Patrick Thomas), and articles which have appeared in College Composition and Communication, Computers and Composition, Research in the Teaching of English, and numerous edited collections.
Research Roundtables: The final two and a half hours of the workshop feature research roundtables where novice and experienced researchers present work-in-progress for feedback and discussion. Experienced qualitative researchers offer suggestions and facilitate discussion. Each presenter has 20-30 minutes for both presentation and discussion of their work-in-progress. Presenters at the research roundtables may focus on specific concerns and/or broader issues related to qualitative research.
Digital QRN: In order to make the QRN more open and available to scholars who cannot attend the conference this year, the QRN will also provide research roundtables through a digital platform for sharing work-in-progress. Prospective presenters should indicate on their proposal submission if they will be attending the conference or would prefer to be considered for the Digital QRN.
Proposal Information: Please submit via the linked Google form below a brief description (approximately 500 words) of your research proposal by 11:59 pm EST on November 15, 2018.
We encourage submissions from those at any stage of the research process (e.g., planning, data collecting, data analyzing, publishing).
Please be sure that your proposal includes a brief overview of the research project, the stage of its development, and the questions/issues you wish to discuss with other researchers. Descriptions need not be exhaustive. We ask that you provide a general overview of your study as well as a statement about the kinds of feedback you would like to receive. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us.
***Presenters for research roundtables will be notified of their acceptance by December 1, 2018. We will request confirmation of acceptances by January 2, 2019. ***
For additional information, please contact Dr. Will Banks (email@example.com).
Georgia State University Rhetoric and Composition alumna Dr. Lauri Goodling, currently Honors Coordinator at GSU’s Alpharetta campus, has been selected to serve as the next Associate Dean of Perimeter Honors College at GSU. Congratulations, Dr. Goodling!
Mandy Macklin, Chair
Congratulations to current Rhetoric and Composition Ph.D. students Charles Grimm and Emily Kimbell, as well as their co-author Chris Wang (a former GSU undergraduate student) on the publication of their article “‘I Got Accepted!’: The Psychic Toll of Leaving Relationships in the Writing Center” in the journal The Peer Review. Check the article out by clicking the image!
“Dr. Mary Helen O’Connor, senior faculty associate for the Office of International Initiatives and assistant professor of English at Georgia State University’s Perimeter College, has been named the 2018 recipient of two prestigious university awards: a George M. Sparks Award and the Carl V. Patton President’s Awards for Community Service and Social Action in the Outstanding Faculty Award category. She is the first in university history to receive both honors in the same year.” Read more from the Office of International Initiatives’ article here.
Dr. O’Connor is a graduate of our Ph.D. in English (Rhetoric and Composition), and we are thrilled that her excellent service and community engagement initiatives are being recognized with these prestigious university awards. Congratulations, Mary Helen! We are so proud of your accomplishments!
See the call below for Urban Fellows at GSU for the next academic year. Graduate students from any department can apply, and this would be a great opportunity if you are interested in studying issues related to cities, urban development, Atlanta studies, or place-based studies. Contact Karen Johnston (see info below) with questions. ~Ashley Holmes
Attention Graduate Students – Call for Urban Fellows for 2018-2019 Academic Year – Graduate Students From All Departments Welcome to Apply
Are you interested in:
· Developing an understanding of the many problems and challenges that cities face through research, readings, course lectures, and site visits?
· How to evaluate the many interconnected factors and policies that create these problems and challenges?
· The advantages of comparative analysis to find solutions to the problems that cities face?
· Developing a deep understanding of a particular urban issue of interest through researching and writing?
· A possible opportunity to publish your Urban Fellows research paper in the Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy?
Come to the Urban Fellows Information Session Wednesday, March 21 from 12-1 p.m. in Room
345 of the College of Law at 85 Park Place. In this session, you will learn more about the urban fellows program (goals, course structure, requirements, etc). You will also hear presentations by current urban fellows about their research paper topics. Lunch will be served.
Application Process to be an Urban Fellow: Fillout attached application, and email it back to Karen Johnston firstname.lastname@example.org April 9th at midnight. The program is open to all graduate students.
What is the Urban Fellows Program? Healthy cities, sustainable cities, equitable cities, resilient cities, smart cities – what do these buzz words really mean? What challenges do cities face in trying to achieve these goals? How are other cities tackling these problems and challenges? Answering these and other related questions are central tenets of the Urban Fellows Program, a year-long course comprised of lectures, hands-on learning experiences, and research and writing. Students participating in the course are required to write a 25 page research paper due in the spring semester; select Urban Fellows papers will be published in the Journal of Comparative Urban Law & Policy. Students who successfully complete this program will be awarded a certificate. This interdisciplinary program is run by the College of Law’s Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth; top graduate students are selected from across Georgia State University and Georgia Institute of Technology School of City and Regional Planning to participate.
Topics generally covered in the lecture series include: sustainability; resilient cities; smart city initiatives; environmental and natural resources; basic city services, infrastructure, and transportation; racial and social equality; fair and affordable housing; land use; health.
This class will meet Wednesdays from 4:10-5:30 p.m. in both the fall and spring semesters (Changes underway! I am working on revamping the program to limit lectures to the Wednesday afternoon time slot; historically, there have been lunch lectures as well. Currently this is a 2 credit hour class, and does not meet every Wednesday but as scheduled).
Assistant Director, Center for the Comparative Study of Metropolitan Growth
Managing Editor, Journal of Comparative Urban Law and Policy – http://readingroom.law.gsu.edu/jculp/
Georgia State University College of Law