UCLA Center for the Study of Women|Barbra Streisand Center Presents
THINKING GENDER 2024
“Dystopian Realities, Feminist Utopias”
February 28–March 1, 2024
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Submission deadline: October 29, 2023, at 11:59 PM PDT
The UCLA Center for the Study of Women|Barbra Streisand Center invites proposals for our 34th annual Thinking Gender Graduate Student Research Conference (TG24).
This year’s conference theme, “Dystopian Realities, Feminist Utopias,” considers what it means to live in the cataclysmic wake of racial capitalism, settler colonialism, and neoliberalism. At the same time, the theme celebrates how feminist, queer, and BIPOC scholarship, activism, and art enact utopias by imagining alternatives to hegemonic structures.
Prophesying the state of society and politics in the 2020s in her dystopian novel Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler describes a world that is eerily similar to our current reality: society is crumbling under the weight of environmental disasters, capitalism, and social inequity. However desolate, the dystopia in Parable of the Sower is also filled with change and transformation, demonstrating the urgent need for us to imagine and create new possibilities for our future. Echoing this sentiment, José Muñoz proposes that futurity can be born of utopian imagination. In his book Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity, Muñoz argues that queer world-making is utopic in its refusal to accept a bleak future. Reading Butler and Muñoz together, therefore, inspires the theme for Thinking Gender 2024: “Dystopian Realities, Feminist Utopias.” The theme seeks to explore how dystopianism serves as an apt metaphor to explore and critique social and political issues related to gender, race, class, and sexuality and how utopianism is an ethical mandate to imagine a better present and future.
Possible questions for engagement include:
● What are historical and contemporary examples of world-making practices amid catastrophes?
● How does the state contribute to ongoing privation and crisis for marginalized communities and how do those communities respond?
● How is the impact of anti-Blackness, colonization, and racial capitalism felt similarly and differently around the globe?
● How have coalitions and acts of solidarity enacted utopia historically and contemporarily? What are some potential opportunities for solidarities that have yet to be explored?
● How does feminist thought, activism, and art critique and resist hegemonic structures?
● How can we use Black, Indigenous, trans/queer freedom dreams to map an ethical future?
● How do we enact or perform utopia in our lives, politics, and art?
● What strategies and tactics have historical and contemporary movements for justice utilized?
● What practices, movements, or aesthetics undermine state power and how?
● What epistemologies or cosmologies help us envision a just future?
We encourage applicants to think within, alongside, beyond, and perhaps against the following topics as they consider the shape and content of their participation in TG24:
● Climate crisis, environment, and sustainability
● Indigenous modes of survivance in the aftermath of apocalypse
● Black feminist thought, fugitivity
● Afrofuturism and Indigenous futurisms
● Technology, new media, and digital culture
● Anti-Blackness, White supremacy, and white nationalism
● Political repression, fascism, and global authoritarianism
● Film, media, music, cultural production, and performance
● Historical and contemporary activism and organizing, social movements
● Incarceration, punishment, and abolition
● Social institutions of control (i.e., education, foster care, mental health, housing, health care, elder care, workplaces)
● Health, illness, and wellness
● Disability and crip futurity
● Displacement, dispossession, and gentrification
● Social reproduction
● Reproductive justice and reproductive futurity
● Citizenship, migration, asylum, and deportation
● Comics, manga, and anime
● Policing and surveillance
● Policy and governance
Students have three ways to participate in this conference:
- Virtual workshops for works-in-progress (for graduate students) on February 28, 2024
- In-person workshops for work-in-progress (for graduate students) on February 29, 2024
- In-person presentations of finished projects (for graduate students) on March 1, 2024
We welcome a range of submission formats from graduate students, including scholarly papers, works in hybrid critical/creative genres (e.g., multimedia projects, performance, experimental forms of academic writing), and film/mixed media. While submissions are not limited to these, some media formats that might work particularly well for this year’s call include short films and videos, soundscapes, digital and alternative archives or cartographies, and interactive works.
● Virtual graduate student participants will workshop works-in-progress in closed online sessions on February 28, 2024. Each workshop will include four to five graduate students, a faculty moderator, and up to four participants from other workshops, who will read and provide detailed feedback and questions for each submission. All participants will be asked to read or view each other’s submissions in advance. Participants will then convene in a Zoom session with a faculty moderator who will offer constructive feedback and facilitate discussion around each submission.
● Graduate student participants who submit for the in-person works-in-progress workshop will attend a closed session at the UCLA campus on February 29, 2024. Each workshop will include four to five graduate students, a faculty moderator, and up to four participants from other workshops, who will read and provide detailed feedback and questions for each submission. All participants will be asked to read or view each other’s submissions in advance. Participants will then convene in an in-person session with a faculty moderator who will offer constructive feedback and facilitate discussion around each submission.
● In-person graduate student participants who submit a proposal for work that will be completed a month before the conference date will give a public presentation of their finished projects at a panel on the UCLA campus on March 1, 2024. In addition, participants will take advantage of other in-person activities offered at the conference, including speaker-led interactive sessions, a performance and art gallery, and networking opportunities.
We hope that the papers and gatherings can help us imagine, perform, and enact the utopia we are musing about. Let us use this platform to not only discuss, but also to actively work towards a more just and equitable future.
Registered graduate students from any institution are eligible to submit proposals for scholarly papers, works in hybrid critical/creative genres (e.g., multimedia projects, performance, experimental forms of academic writing), or film/mixed media to present or workshop. Applicants cannot submit multiple proposals and must choose if they will present completed works or works-in-progress. Only one submission per applicant will be considered.
Submissions of works that are collaborative or co-authored with other students are welcomed.
Unpublished submissions are preferred. Recently published and forthcoming articles will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Submissions that are not directly related to the theme, “Dystopian Realities, Feminist Utopias” will not be considered.
Deadline for Proposal Submissions
Deadline for Proposal Submissions: October 29, 2023 at 11:59PM PDT
Applicants whose submissions are accepted will be notified by December 15, 2023.
All workshop participants (both virtual and in-person) will be required to submit the final version of their work-in-progress (not to exceed 20–25 double-spaced pages) by February 1, 2024.
All participants who will present their finalized work in person, will be required to submit their final paper presentation (not to exceed 20-25 doubled-spaced pages) by February 1, 2024, for pre-circulation among their co-participants and faculty moderator. Please decide on submission proposals in anticipation of having final drafts that can be circulated ready by this date.
All proposals must be submitted using the [uclacsw.submittable.com/submit/272614/thinking-gender-2024-proposal-submissions].
Only complete submissions received by the deadline will be considered.
Scholarly Paper, Dissertation or Thesis Chapter, or Article Draft Application Requirements:
- Proposal (2–3 double-spaced pages maximum) of work to be presented/workshopped that includes: (1) a thesis/research question, (2) discussion of methodology and theoretical framework, (3) explanation of your argument and supporting data, and (4) conclusions or anticipated conclusions.
- Works Cited or References List (1 page maximum)
- CV (2 pages maximum)
Film/Mixed Media or Hybrid Critical/Creative Genres Application Requirements:
- Film/Media Synopsis (2 double-spaced pages maximum) of work to be presented/workshopped that includes: (1) a research question or argument, (2) description of format, (3) discussion of framework, methodology and process, (4) explanation of your argument and evidence, and (5) conclusions or anticipated conclusions. If your piece is co-created with other students, please make this clear.
- CV (2 pages maximum)
- Link (YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) where Film or Mixed Media can be viewed. Total run-time should not exceed 20 minutes. Note: while links are preferred, smaller files may also be uploaded in jpg, png, pdf, or mp3/mp4 format on the application platform.
Contact CSW|Streisand Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.