“Intersectional Encounters” – A One-Day Symposium CFP


Call for Papers and Participation:

“Intersectional Encounters” – A One-Day Symposium

6 March 2015. University of Sussex.

Originally named by Crenshaw as both understanding of and intervention in “the multidimensionality of marginalized subjects’ lived experiences” (1989: 139), INTERSECTIONALITY is one of the most applied, discussed and contested concepts in the social sciences and humanities.

25 years after its naming it remains a key perspective in engaging with privilege, power, policy and realities in everyday life. Described and critiqued as a theoretical concept, a method, a framework, a sensibility and a perspective, intersectionality is concerned with the politics of power and knowledge production in society, and the violence of structures imposed in life.

NGENDER SUSSEX is hosting a one-day symposium to reflect on the development of the theory on intersectionality, the application of its potential, and the future of its evolution. The symposium is open to all practitioners, activists, students, academics and researchers interested in – but not limited to – intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, nationality, language, age and ability.

The organisers of the event invite submissions of either abstracts for ~15-minute paper presentations or summaries for ~45 minute workshop-style discussions/presentations on projects. We invite proposals for contributions in one of two sessions during the day:

Part 1: Theoretical Encounters

We invite submissions which deal with intersectionality in its theoretical form(s). This may include, but is not limited to, theoretical discussions of intersectionality as:

  • Concept
  • Epistemology
  • Method framework
  • Representation
  • Critiques, limits or pitfalls of its modern uses and evolution
  • Theoretical self-reflection

Part 2: Practical Encounters

We invite submissions which apply or use intersectionality in everyday projects. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Activist work
  • Fieldwork
  • Community projects
  • Services provided
  • Social, political and economic interventions
  • Methods developed
  • Self-reflections
  • Pitfalls and failures in application of the concept
  • Shifts away from the prototypic intersectional subject

The day will be thought as a workshop which will require the active participation of both presenters and participants in an interactive exploration of the multiple facets of intersectionality and what they may involve. The organisers realise that academics, activists and practitioners do not so easily cleave theory and practice. The day will be staged as a ‘multi-voiced dialogue’ which equally and fluidly engages with both of these areas of interest, and participants are invited to choose an aspect of their work to present on. In group discussions and reflections the overlapping and intersecting nature of theory and practice will be engaged with.

Framed as a sensibility geared toward an openness to multiple axes of power and privilege, working towards creating spaces for intervention, the symposium will remain committed to the activist roots of intersectionality. The day will remain focused on building an investment in “doing something” (Grzanka 2014: 306) – in actively seeking to transform social structures by reflecting on modes of interaction, suggesting nodes of intervention, and looking to form coalitions for broader change.

If you are interested in either:

  • Presenting in part 1,
  • Presenting in part 2,
  • Just attending and participating,

please complete the attached registration form and return by 2nd February 2015 to ngender@sussex.ac.uk.

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