UPDATE: [Graduate] Anything But Safe: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender; Submission Deadline 5 Jan.

full name / name of organization: 
Taylor Joy Mitchell
contact email: 

Registration for the upcoming “ANYTHING BUT SAFE: Sex, Sexuality, and
Gender” National Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at the University of
South Florida, on 6th, 7th, and 8th March 2009 is now open. Kate Bornstein
is the keynote speaker. Deadline for proposals is January 5, 2009. Email
250-500 word abstracts to Chrissy Auger at cauger_at_mail.usf.edu.
Please visit our website at english.usf.edu/anythingbutsafe/ for
registration details and the complete conference program.

Conference Focus:
The theme of this interdisciplinary conference is sex, sexuality, and
gender. We hope this very broad topic will allow us to explore current
issues in scholarship and pedagogy that relate to all aspects of sex,
sexuality, and gender. It's inclusive but still specific. People like sex,
society eschews sexuality, and academia banters about gender theory.

Our keynote speaker will be Kate Bornstein, an author, playwright, and
performance artist. Other information can be found at her website:

When we, as academics, associate sex, sexuality and gender as 'anything but
safe,' we refer to the original idea that these terms are culturally
constructed. As constructions, they are necessarily informed by cultural
circumstances and manipulated according to the existing expectations of
class, race, and power relations. Moving forward to
post-modern/structuralist readings of these terms that reject bright-line
definitions in favor of more fluid imaginings that are unstable, and hence
unsafe, we seem to be left with no safe venue in which to discuss sex,
sexuality, and gender. Someone will ultimately be left out or offended.
Thus, conference presenters are encouraged to investigate the various
intersections of sex/gender issues and their specific area of specialty
(such as literature, film studies, education/pedagogy, psychology,
anthropology, sociology, biology, medicine, history, American studies,
political science, international studies, or religious studies).

We would like paper or panel proposals to address how cultural constructs
of sex, sexuality and gender are 'anything but safe.' We will give special
consideration to proposals, that scrutinize how these terms translate into
society, politics, textbooks or within the confines of the classroom.
Possible topics are below:

• Pedagogical imperatives in multi-gendered classrooms
• Sex and authority or Gender and authority
• Eroticism in literature and film
• Putting the "liberal" into liberal arts
• Sex and society: sexually-charged current events
• Shattered images of masculinity/femininity in contemporary life and
• Nudity, pornography, and new media (tv, ads, internet, youtube, cybersex...)
• Sexual rubrics: how (American) "society" evaluates others based upon
their sexual conduct
• Sex, sexuality, and elective surgery
• Feminists and the free-love movement
• Sexual warfare: war rapes/crimes against women,
gender/sexual-orientation/etc.-based hate crimes
• Ethics of female genital mutilation
• Cohabitation's impact on the sanctity/necessity of marriage
• Generation seX: what has become normalized in today's sexualities? What
remains taboo?
• Politicizing sex
• The female factor in contemporary international politics
• Sex and STDS
• Sex crimes and the law
• Sex and 21st Century religions
• Hot for teacher: problems in the recent student-teacher sex epidemic
• Rhetoric of seduction in film and literature
• Multiple mindsets: psychology behind swinging, orgies, infidelities, and
so on

This conference aims to explore present and past narratives of sex,
sexuality, and gender and to ask what is at stake when these unsafe
narratives are shared. We plan to publish a selection of the conference
proceedings in a special issue of Banyan, our graduate peer-reviewed online
journal. Please visit our website at english.usf.edu/anythingbutsafe/ for
more information.

Conference Venue: The Marshall Center at the University of South Florida,
Tampa, Florida. Besides conference events, we offer south Florida
temperatures and pristine beaches in March. We would also like to extend
free accommodations, in USF graduate homes, to traveling graduate students.

"Anything but Safe" is hosted by USF's English Graduate Student Association
and supported by USF's Humanities Institute, the First-Year Composition
Program, the Committee on Issues of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity,
and the Departments of Anthropology, Communication, History and Sociology.

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Received on Mon Dec 01 2008 - 12:20:18 EST