CFP: [Gender Studies] Nat'l Women's Studies Assn Conference Grad Session: Politicizing the Past (deadline 2/5/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Sarah Ostendorf
contact email: 

This CFP is for a panel to be proposed for the Graduate Research Sessions
at the 2009 National Women's Studies Association Conference in November.
For more information on the conference, see

National Women’s Studies Association 2009 Conference: Difficult Dialogues
November 12-15, Atlanta, Georgia

Proposed Graduate Research Session:
“Thinking Outside the Ivory Tower: The Politics Of Studying the Past
Through Art and Literature”

In a recent New York Times editorial, literary critic Stanley Fish
reaffirms his belief that “higher education, properly understood, is
distinguished by the absence of a direct and designed relationship between
its activities and measurable effects in the world.” This panel challenges
Fish’s conclusion and engages in the longstanding and difficult dialogue
concerning the relevance of academic work. Specifically, this session seeks
to explore the reasons, methodologies, and political uses of studying the
past through literature and the arts, with regard to women and gender. When
we research and write about women and gender in periods like the Middle
Ages or the Renaissance, for example, what, if anything, do we do to/for
women and gender today? Do explorations or memorializations of women from
earlier periods necessarily affect conditions of current women? Should
they? Can they? As graduate students studying the past, how do we choose
whom or what to remember, and how do we negotiate this line between theory
and practice, between art and politics, as we look forward to careers as

This session seeks papers from graduate students working in literature or
the arts who study women and/or gender and who have an interest in
exploring the contemporary political implications of studying the past.
Consideration will be given to papers focusing on both the recent and the
distant temporal past, and to papers that focus on specific works of art
and literature as well as those that are more theoretically focused.
Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

- memory and memorialization
- dominant and silenced histories/legacies
- specific works of art and literature
- the politics of academic writing
- time and temporality
- the afterlife of art and literature
- un- or under-explored similarities between past periods and the
        present day
- the politics of literature and the arts
- changing conceptions of gender and sexuality over time
- affect as a result of art
- relationships/reactions of art and literature to feminism and
        feminist theory
- research and writing methodologies
- pedagogical methodologies

If you are interested in participating as a presenter or moderator please
e-mail a 250-word abstract (for those interested in presenting a 20-minute
paper), institutional affiliation and contact information to sco229 [at]
nyu [dot] edu by FEBRUARY 5, 2009. Thank you for your interest.

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Received on Tue Jan 20 2009 - 10:45:07 EST