[UPDATE] Final cfp for CWWA-FWSA conference

full name / name of organization: 
Feminist and Women's Studies Association/Contemporary Women's Writing Association
contact email: 

Feminism in Academia: An Age of Austerity?
Current Issues and Future Challenges

Friday 28th September 2012
The University of Nottingham

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Mary Eagleton (formerly Leeds Metropolitan University)
Professor Mary Evans (Gender Institute, London School of Economics and
Political Science)

The current age of austerity is posing significant challenges to feminist scholarship within academia. Recent government funding cuts to higher education are jeopardising the future of research in the arts and humanities more broadly, but the decline of centres, institutes and courses devoted to gender and women’s studies has the potential to threaten the future of feminism in the academy. Retirements and redundancies are possibly signalling the end of feminist teaching and research in certain higher education institutions. The dearth of employment opportunities for postgraduates and early career researchers has the potential to elide the next generation of feminist scholars. The increasingly competitive environment of employment in higher education is generating divisions and inequalities which put pressure upon the networks of support, co-operation and community which have been integral to feminist research, teaching and practice.

This collaborative event between the FWSA and CWWA aims to provide a multi-disciplinary forum to address such issues. In what ways are these changes affecting our work and lives? What potential is there to resist these narratives of decline? How might feminist teaching, research, theory and activism engage with and combat such challenges? Featuring a selection of keynote speakers, round table discussions and early career workshops, ‘Feminism in Academia: An Age of Austerity’ invites papers which examine ‘austerity’ in the broadest sense of the term. Topics for papers might include, but are not limited to, the following themes:

• The impact of the age of austerity upon women’s and feminist writing, art, performance and scholarship.
• Theoretical perspectives and discourses on austerity in feminism, past and present.
• Teaching/researching feminism and women’s writing in the age of austerity.
• Resistance to narratives of decline in the age of austerity.
• The challenges posed to ‘sisterhood’ in the current academic environment, from postgraduate, early career research and established scholarly perspectives.
• Bridging the gap between postgraduate/early career feminist researchers and established scholars.
• Postcolonial, queer, and/or differently abled responses to the age of austerity in feminist research.
• Historical, political and sociological responses to the age of austerity in feminist research.
• Exploring alternative futures for feminism in the academy.
• Strategies of resistance to the marginalisation of feminist research.
• Feminist activism, education and the age of austerity.
• Encouraging the next generation of feminist scholars; challenges and prospects for postgraduate research.

Please send 300 word abstracts for twenty-minute papers to the event organisers Claire O’Callaghan and Helen Davies at feminismandausterityconference@gmail.com by 11th May 2012. Further information on this event can be found at: http://feminismandausterity.wordpress.com.

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