New Horizons in Feminist Scholarship: NWSA 2011 Panel

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Megan K. Ahern, University of Michigan
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In recent years, the terrain of feminist scholarship has expanded prolifically, as fields such as disability studies, masculinities, and eco-criticism continue to blossom alongside studies of race, class, sexuality, and women's lives. In addition, the academy's increasing focus on interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, and postdisciplinarity takes up the very sort of integrative methodologies that women's studies has been innovating for decades. As central, capacious, and multifaceted as feminist scholarship has become, there are still those among us who find ourselves working at its "boundaries" -- with topics, disciplines, or methodologies that have not yet been well-established in women's studies.

This panel seeks to foster dialogue among feminist scholars whose work expands these boundaries, and those interested in such work. What are the particular challenges -- and the particular payoffs -- of the topic or methodology you have chosen for your current project? What unique insights has it yielded into the workings of gender or other social categories?

The organizing concerns of this panel spring from two questions raised in the Feminist Transformations general call (Theme 2): "What do new, expansive notions of epistemology portend for feminist knowledge production?" and "How is one's choice of methods and/or methodological orientation political?" In other words, how is your methodology informed by your training as a feminist scholar? What relationship do you envision between emergent epistemologies and new horizons in women's studies?

If interested, please send an abstract (max 300 words) and a CV to Meg Ahern at by February 7, 2011. Preliminary inquiries prior to the deadline are also welcome. This year's NWSA (National Women's Studies Association) annual conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, November 10-13, 2011.