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Calls for Papers

2011 Berkshire Conference on the History of Women

“GENERATIONS: Exploring Race, Sexuality, and Labor across Time and Space”
June 9-12, 2011, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Proposals due March 19, 2010

The Berkshire Conference of Women Historians is holding its next conference at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst on June 9-12, 2011.

2011 marks the 15th Berkshire Conference on the History of Women and the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day, which was first celebrated in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland and is now honored by more than 60 countries around the globe. The choice of “Generations” reflects this transnational intellectual, political, and organizational heritage as well as a desire to explore related questions such as:

  • How have women’s generative experiences – from production and reproduction to creativity and alliance building – varied across time and space? How have these been appropriated and represented by contemporaries and scholars alike?
  • What are the politics of “generation”? Who is encouraged? Who is condemned or discouraged? How has this changed over time?
  • Is a global perspective compatible with generational (in the genealogical sense) approaches to the past that tend to reinscribe national/regional/racial boundaries?
  • What challenges do historians of women, gender, and sexuality face as these fields and their practitioners mature?

To engender further, open-ended engagement with these and other issues, the 2011 conference will include workshops dedicated to discussing pre-circulated papers on questions and problems (epistemological, methodological, substantive) provoked by the notion of “Generations.”

The process for submitting and vetting papers and panels has changed substantially from previous years, so please read the instructions carefully. To encourage transnational discussions, panels will be principally organized along thematic rather than national lines and therefore proposals will be vetted by a transnational group of scholars with expertise in a particular thematic, rather than geographic, field. Preference will be given to discussions of any topic across national boundaries and to work that addresses sexuality, race, and labor in any context, with special consideration for pre-modern (ancient, medieval, early modern) periods. However, unattached papers and proposals that fall within a single nation/region or the modern period will also be given full consideration. As a forum dedicated to encouraging innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship and transnational conversation, the Berkshire conference continues to encourage submissions from graduate students, international scholars, independent scholars, filmmakers, and to welcome a variety of disciplinary perspectives.

Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Berkshire Conference website: http://www.berksconference.org. If you have questions about the most appropriate subcommittee for your proposal, please direct them to Madhavi Kale (mkale@brynmawr.edu). For problems with the electronic submission, please contact Zain Lakhani (zlakhani@sas.upenn.edu).

Program Committee Co-Chairs
Madhavi Kale, Bryn Mawr College, mkale@brynmawr.edu
Jennifer M. Spear, Simon Fraser University, jms25@sfu.ca

Thematic Subcommittees & Chairs

  • Beauty and the Body, Stephanie Camp
  • Economies, Labors, and Consumption, Tracey Deutsch
  • Health and Medicine, Jennifer Brier and Julie Livingston
  • Migrations: Race, Gender and Activism, Annelise Orleck
  • Politics and the State, Margot Canaday
  • Race in Global Perspective, Marilyn Lake
  • Religion: Belief, Practice, Communities, Marion Katz and Anthea Butler
  • Sexuality, Leisa Meyer and Anjali Arondaker
  • War, Violence, and Terror, Anupama Rao
  • Youth and Aging, Margaret Jacobs

Individual Papers: Although we prefer proposals to be submitted for complete panels, roundtables or workshops, we always accept some single paper proposals. The submission file should include your name, paper title, and a 250-word abstract. Please also submit a short c.v.

Alternative Session Proposals: Proposals for presentations in formats other than that of conventional conference papers (films, performances, poster sessions, for example) are welcome (and subject to/contingent on the availability of facilities at the conference site). Such proposals should clearly indicate the specific requirements for their exhibition/performance/display (audio/visual setup or auditorium/studio space, for example).

Panels: Two or three papers of no more than 20 minutes each, chair, and a separate discussant. The submission file should include the author, title, and a 250-word abstract for each paper as well as a panel title, the organizer’s name, and a 500-word summary abstract. Please submit a short c.v. for each participant.

Roundtables: Four to seven participants, brief presentations, with a focus on collegial discussion within the group and between the group and the audience. The submission file should include the roundtable’s title, the organizer’s name, a 500-word summary abstract, and a list of the participants with a brief description of their contribution to the roundtable. Please submit a short c.v. for each participant.

Workshops:
Six to eight pre-circulated papers, with a chair and a separate discussant. Papers will be due April 30, 2011, and will be pre-circulated by posting on a website accessible to all Berkshire Conference registrants. Rather than presenting the papers themselves in the session, participants and audience members will spend the time discussing papers they have already read. Workshops are intended to provide time and space at the Berks for scholars working on similar ideas and themes to share pre-circulated papers and have a conversation. The workshops might be particularly useful for scholars who wish to share and exchange contributions that could be published as an edited collection. The submission file should include the author, title, and a 250-word abstract for each paper as well as a panel title, the organizer’s name, and a 500-word summary abstract. Please submit a short c.v. for each participant.