Towson University Women's Studies


CFP–Global Discourses in Women’s Studies
August 24, 2010, 5:17 pm
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Below is a call for papers for a conference in March, 2011 outside of Nashville, TN.  The conference theme is “Global Discourses in Women’s and Gender Studies,” and it is hosted by Middle Tennessee State University’s Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

*Theme*:  Global Discourses in Women’s and Gender Studies
*Location:*  Middle Tennessee State University Campus (30 miles from Nashville)
*Date: * March 24-26, 2011
*Keynote Speaker: * Somaly Mam, Cambodian sex slave trade survivor and anti-human-trafficking activist. Mam was a 2006 CNN Hero and one of /Time Magazine/’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009. For more information, please go to http://www.mtsu.edu/womenstu/conference/speaker.shtml
*
Proposal Description:*  We invite proposals for presentations on any topic on women’s and/or gender issues and debates from scholars, activists, non-profit professionals, and graduate students in all scholarly fields and disciplines, including the humanities, social sciences, sciences, education, arts, design, business, and sports.

Given our conference theme, Global Discourses in Women’s and Gender Studies, we are very interested in presentations that provide feminist perspectives of the influence of global forces on women’s and/or gendered experience and that examine connections between local/national and global issues related to gendered existence.

We welcome a variety of presentation formats, such as individual paper presentations, panel sessions, round table discussions, performances, short films, and posters. Presentations are limited to 20 minutes, to be followed by questions and discussion. All proposals should meet the following criteria:

* 250-to 500-word description of presentation
* Brief bio
* Equipment request. Please be specific.

Proposals must be submitted by November 1, 2010 (notification by December 1, 2010)
Email proposals to: womenstu@mtsu.edu



CFP–motherhood & mothering
August 12, 2010, 7:42 am
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Below is a call for papers for the International Conference on Motherhood Activism, Advocacy, Agency which will be held in Toronto next May.

250-word abstracts and 50-word bios should be sent to aoreilly@yorku.ca by October 1, 2010

CFP:

Grounded in a long history, in which women activists, writers, and feminists focused much effort on strengthening the social, personal, and political power of mothers, current motherhood research and activism makes maternal empowerment one of the major goals of its work. Contemporary examinations and deployments of women’s power as mothers-and mothers’ power as women-seek to grant women greater authority, resources, and status so that they can adequately care for their children while living full and purposeful lives. The aim of this conference is to explore activism, advocacy, and agency by and on behalf of mothers from a variety of perspectives and in a multitude of contexts.

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Harriet Smith in Detroit!
August 5, 2010, 1:18 pm
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From MS Student Harriet Smith:

The 3rd United States Social Forum (http://www.ussf2010.org/) took place in Detroit, Michigan from June 22nd through 26th. I attended as apart of Baltimore KIDz CITY (http://kidzcitybaltimore.blogspot.com/). We are a slowly growing childcare collective in Baltimore, committed to helping activist and radical spaces and activities be accessible by parents, child care givers, and children. Childcare collectives from all over the country worked in the months beforehand to plan a workshop called: Building an Intergenerational Movement for Collective Liberation: the Work of Childcare Collectives Across the States and the Galaxy! This was a historic moment (okay maybe not in the grand scheme of things, but pretty historic to us). Radical/feminist/anarchist/anti-racist/social-justice childcare collectives have never gathered in the US on that scale before (as far as we know). It was goose-bump inducing fun and fantastically facilitated. We had a brain-storm, with vision clouds, barrier lighting-bolts, tool tear drops and a river of dreams for the future. I’m getting tingly just thinking about it again. The room was packed with people who want community and activism to be intergenerational and are doing something to make that happen. It was like hanging out with a bunch of feel-good kindergarten teachers! Below is a picture of the organizers of the workshop. The day after the workshop we gathered and made plans for staying in touch, and continuing to work together, forming the IFCC (it sounds super official and stands for Intergalactic Federation of Childcare Collectives!)

The Intergalactic Federation of Childcare Collectives, Detroit MI



Feminist Porn?
August 2, 2010, 12:38 pm
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Our Porn, Ourselves (http://ourpornourselves.org/) is a pro-porn blog that we recently discovered. The authors of this site argue that women watch and enjoy porn, and we shouldn’t feel shamed or guilty about it. They argue that identification as a feminist does not require one to be anti-porn. Our Porn, Ourselves‘ pro-porn perspective is a welcome addition to the obscenity/porn debates. They give readers current news, economic analyses, and access to activism opportunities.

Gail Dines is one of Our Porn, Ourselves‘ main targets. Dines is perhaps the most well-known anti-porn feminist, and has led the way in anti-porn activism. Dines will be coming to Towson next spring to talk about her new book, Pornland: How Porn Has Highjacked Our Sexuality. In Pornland, Dines claims that “rather than sexually liberating or empowering us, porn offers us a plasticized, formulaic, generic version of sex that is boring, lacking in creativity and disconnected from emotion and intimacy” (http://gaildines.com/pornland/pornland-about-the-book/).

The bloggers at Our Porn, Ourselves differentiate between anti-porn and anti-sex and give readers excellent counters to Dines’ critiques of porn culture. Sex educator Charlie Glickman is quoted on the blog. Glickman writes about the differences between anti-porn and anti-sex, arguing that although these two perspectives are often conflated, they do not have to be one and the same:

So why do I think that Dines’ strategies are sex-negative? Because she deliberately works to trigger disgust about a sexual practice in order to manipulate people into rallying to her call. Rather than opening up a dialogue about the real reasons that some porn is problematic or asking how the performers on the site feel about their experiences, she uses tactics that depend on and deepen sexual shame in order to sway people to her point of view. And that makes them sex-negative. Facefucking is not inherently abusive, violent, or misogynistic any more than intercourse is inherently respectful, pleasurable, or egalitarian. As with any sexual act, it’s a question of whether you want to do it, how you do it, and how you feel about it during it and afterward. When Dines makes it sound otherwise, she reinforces sex-negativity. It doesn’t really matter whether she deliberately chose this strategy or happened to discover its effectiveness by accident. (emphasis added)

I believe that Our Porn, Ourselves is a great challenge to Dines’ arguments, and gives readers access to an alternative viewpoint. As we prepare for Dines’ visit to Towson next March, we’ll be keeping you posted from both sides of the porn wars, and hope to encourage some  discussion around the issue.



Jeff Lunnen in Mexico
July 22, 2010, 7:56 am
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Women’s Studies grad student Jeffrey Lunnen (Women in an International Context) traveled to Mexico City in early June 2010 to participate in the 2nd country meeting of the Road Safety in 10 Countries Project (RS10).  Jeffrey–an intern with the International Injury Research Unit (IIRU) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health– met with ministry of health officials, members of the World Health Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Global Road Safety Partnership as well as with local stakeholders from the states of Jalisco and Guanajuato.  The meetings, which took place over 2 days, resulted in the coordination of the consortium’s efforts to improve road safety in Mexico.  The trip concluded with a field visit to Guadalajara, Jalisco where Jeffrey spoke on behalf of IIRU at a formal reception attended by local lawmakers.



19th Annual USM Women’s Forum Conference
July 20, 2010, 12:43 pm
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Mark your calendars to join us for the 19th Annual USM Women’s Forum Conference!

This year’s conference, Beyond Sisterhood – Enlightened Women of the 21st Century, will be held at UMUC Friday, October 22, 2010. The event features lunchtime mentoring sessions, designated tracks for staff and faculty, a special after-hours onsite networking event, and much more!

Register by October 1, 2010 for the discounted rate of $65 (prices increase to $75 after October 1).

Book lodging (onsite through Marriott) by September 17, 2010 to reserve the special USMWF discounted rate of $109/night.

Visit us online at http://www.usmwf.usmd.edu/events.html for additional conference information, including registration forms and lodging reservations



Call for Papers–Mothers and the Economy: The Economics of Mothering Conference
July 14, 2010, 12:47 pm
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Here is a CFP for a conference being held October 21-23, 2010, in Toronto, Canada. Abstracts (250 words) and bios (50 words) are due by AUGUST 1st, 2010. Send abstracts to info@motherhoodinitiative.org. Submissions are welcomed from scholars, students, activists, and workers, artists, mothers and others who work or research in this area. Cross-cultural, historical and comparative work is encouraged. We encourage a variety of types of submissions including academic papers from all disciplines, workshops, creative submissions, performances, storytelling, visual arts and other alternative formats.

One must be a member of Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI) to present at this conference. Membership will begin May 1, 2010.

 Topics can include (but are not limited to):

the economics of maintaining sustainable family systems; mothering, appropriate technology and economics; mothering and microcredit; mothering and economic activism; mothering and economic activism through the arts; mothering with reduced resources; social and economic supports for mothering; mothering within the neoliberal context; motherwork and valuation of motherwork, mothering and the economics of unpaid labour; mothers-as-providers, mother-led cooperatives; the effects of privatization/commodification on women; mothering and the economics of raising children with disabilities; the economics of maternal mortality rates; the “selling” of mothering and the economics of consumerism;  consumption and the marketing of mothering; the economics of reproductive technologies and surrogacy; structural adjustment policies and mothering; the financial implications for mothers of family law reforms and welfare state developments, the economic impacts of environmental degradation on mothering; quantifications of mothering/caregiving/parenting as a part of the base structure of the economic productivity of society; children as economic assets/burdens; the actual value of domestic/unpaid labour; motherhood and the gender pay gap, mothering and the feminization of poverty; mothering, occupational segregation and the wage gap; the impacts of economic globalization on mothering and kinship networks; the envisioning and articulation of more human-centered economic systems and policies to enhance mothering/caregiving practices; Continue reading