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Southern Connecticut State University

Women Studies Program Presents

9th Annual Graduate Conference
Saturday, October 29th, 2011

"Critical feminist pedagogies: towards an education of activism"


featuring keynote address by

dr. ericka huggins, founder of

the new haven chapter

of the black panther party





What is "feminist" education? How do you as a social justice activist, teacher, artist, musician, poet, or environmentalist educate others about issues you feel passionate about? The institutionalization of feminism through Women's Studies undoubtedly affects feminist activism in the non-academic world (and vice versa: grassroots feminism is the foundation of Women's Studies). We aim to maintain the bridge between academia and grassroots activism by inviting everyone!

What issues do you as a feminist feel a passion teaching others about? What methods do you use to communicate to an audience? What are the teacher's and students' roles in feminist or progressive spaces? How ought an activist or teacher work with the power they have over an audience of learners to allow for an effective space for critical thinking about justice? Does "raising awareness" and publishing books or articles actually change structural problems? Can feminist education even be considered "action" if it ends at "raising awareness" without actually dismantling oppressive systems? What might be some suggestions of feminist action for best practices?

This conference attempts to detangle the tricky and creative work that is "feminist" education and to bring activists and critical thinkers/educators together to share our visions of feminist pedagogy. We are interested in how you as community activists, students, artists, educators, and future-educators encourage critical thinking and enthusiasm in learners. We want to share our passions, talents, and skills through syllabi, curriculum, and workshops.

We invite individuals, activists, groups, artists, scholars, and educators to submit proposals for panel presentations, roundtable discussions, or artistic performances that address the following questions:

• Critiques of empowerment as a mode of feminist education

• What is the relationship between feminist pedagogy and indoctrination? Can consciousness-raising be a form of indoctrination? How would feminist education function beyond consciousness-raising?

• What makes for strategic feminist practice within a group (beyond sitting in circles and hearing everyone's voice-what is explicitly/implicitly feminist about this)?

• To what extent can experience-sharing be productively used in Women's Studies settings?

• Access to education as a feminist issue; inclusion/exclusion of certain groups

• How might intersectionality (race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexuality, ability, environmental issues) be used as a tool for activism or education?

• How can we continue to challenge the academic industrial complex?

• What are the tensions between students, students and teachers, academics and grassroots activists and how might these tensions be used pedagogically/productively?

• Others (You are highly encouraged to come up with your own topic!)


PROPOSAL FORMAT: Graduate students, undergraduate students, and community scholars and activists from all disciplines and fields are invited to submit proposals for individual papers, complete sessions, panels, or round tables. Poster sessions, performance pieces, video recordings, and other creative works are also encouraged. For individual papers, please submit a one-page abstract. For complete panels, submit a one-page abstract for each presentation plus an overview on the relationship among individual components. For the poster sessions and artwork, submit a one-page overview. All proposals must include speaker's/speakers' name(s), affiliation(s), and contact information (address, E-mail, & telephone number). Please also indicate preference for time of day; all attempts will be made to honor schedule requests.

PANELS: Each 50-75 minute session usually includes three presenters and a session moderator, but individual presenters may request an entire session for a more substantial paper or presentation. Presenters are encouraged, though not required, to form their own panels. The conference committee will group individual proposals into panels and assign a moderator. Please indicate in your contact information if you are willing to serve as a moderator.

POSTERS, ART DISPLAYS, & SLIDE PRESENTATIONS: A poster presentation consists of an exhibit of materials that report research activities or informational resources in visual and summary form. An art display consists of a depiction of feminist concerns in an artistic medium. Both types of presentations provide a unique platform that facilitates personal discussion of work with interested colleagues and allows meeting attendees to browse through highlights of current research. Please indicate in your proposal your anticipated needs in terms of space, etc.

Submission Deadline: Postmarked by September 1, 2011

Please submit proposals and supporting materials to:

Women's Studies Graduate Conference Committee

Women's Studies Program, EN B 229

501 Crescent Street

New Haven, CT 06515

Or via email to: with attention to Graduate Conference Committee. If you have any questions, please call the Women's Studies office at (203) 392-6133. Please include name, affiliation, E-mail, standard mailing address, and phone number. Proposals should be no longer than one page, with a second page for identification information. Panel proposals are welcome.



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