Big Berks 2020 Virtual Conference
While we could not be together at Johns Hopkins University, the spirit of the Big Berks 2020 persists. To nurture our remarkable community until we can gather together again, we are happy to share a small taste of the program. Join us when you can! Some events happened live at the designated times. Some were recorded and others created to be enjoyed at your convenience.
Visit the Virtual Conference >>>
The “Big Berks”
The 2020 “Big Berks” focuses on the histories of women, genders, and sexualities, and this year devotes special attention to a pressing theme of our current moment: the role of environment(s), ecologies, and natural systems broadly defined in the histories of women, genders, and sexualities. As we plan our meeting at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, a profoundly vibrant ecosystem where humans have gathered for millennia, we are reminded of the many ways in which the natural world has shaped human society. Its history also highlights the local and global connections of all places. This place is the homeland of the Piscataway Conoy Tribe, and was home to Henrietta Lacks; it is the site of the Baltimore Fish market and a part of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, a node in the Atlantic Flyway, and at the edge of the Atlantic World.
Our aim is to hold conversations that think through the intricate interplays among gender and sexuality, social and legal systems of power and political representation, and the material realities of an interconnected world continually shaped by physical nature, the human and nonhuman animals, plants, and other beings that inhabit that nature. If Earth’s history has indeed entered a new geological epoch termed the Anthropocene, where do the historical knowledges and experiences of women, people of diverse genders and sexualities, and people of color, along with environmental justice efforts in the historical past, enter into our efforts to understand, theorize, contextualize, and meet these existential problems? Read more >>>
Posted May 22, 2020
Big Berks 2020 Cancellation
Dear Berks Community,
Thank you for your patience as we weighed the difficult decision about the status of the Big Berks 2020 Conference. With great regret we must announce that the 2020 meeting of the Berkshire Conference of Women, Genders and Sexualities (the Big Berks,) scheduled for May 28-31, 2020, at Johns Hopkins University has been cancelled.
After extensive deliberations, the officers and trustees agreed that in light of the profound uncertainty and very real health risks related to COVID-19, and in light of our host university’s announcement about the suspension of sponsored events until further notice, it is not possible to meet as planned.
Cancellation comes with significant financial burdens that the Berks organization must absorb. We appreciate your support as the Berks weathers the hardship this imposes. If you are able, please consider donating all or part of your registration fee to help the Berks continue to provide programming and supportive offerings in the future.
We will accept applications for full or partial refunds until 15 April, 2020. Refunds include registration, meals, receptions, dormitory accommodations, and tours. All refund requests will be honored until 15 April after which time all fees will be converted into donations. We will send you a tax-deductible receipt by the close of 2020.
Please use this form to request a full or partial refund: https://forms.gle/dzwRVuDKjP6UwzZD6
Accommodations must also be cancelled. If you booked a dormitory room, please include a request for a refund of those charges by April 15, 2020. If you booked a hotel room through our conference blocks, please contact the hotel directly to cancel your reservation. The Berks *cannot* cancel hotel reservations for Berks participants; hotel policies will apply.
We ask for your patience as we process refunds. We will work as quickly possible to process those and to address any issues that arise.
Please stay tuned here for further news about the Big Berks 2020. We are busy exploring alternatives for bringing some parts of the meeting and its important and exciting content to you, as circumstances allow. We will share details as soon as they are available.
You have contributed so much to the planning of the Big Berks 2020. Please know how much we appreciate your scholarship, political engagement, and creativity. While we are deeply disappointed by this turn of events, we are confident that the Berks will continue to be the exciting, vital, and committed community that it has long been. Thank you for being an essential part of our collective future!
We hope that you, your loved ones, and communities remain safe and well in the weeks and months ahead.
Martha S. Jones, Co-president
Tiya Miles, Co-president
Jennie Brier, Vice President
Stephanie Richmond, Treasurer
Marisa Fuentes, Secretary
Cathleen Cahill, Program Co-Chair
Martha Few, Program Co-Chair
Nancy Robertson, Trustee
Elyssa Faison, Trustee
Deirdre Cooper-Owens, Trustee
Sandra Trudgen Dawson, Executive Administrator
If you have questions or concerns, please contact Executive Administrator Sandra Trudgen Dawson at email@example.com We appreciate your patience as we sort through the many queries we are receiving. We will reply as soon as possible.