CFP: Performing Gender (9/1/06; 2/22/07-2/24/07)

full name / name of organization: 
Trixie Smith
contact email: 


Interdisciplinary Conference in Women's Studies
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132

February 22-24, 2007

Proposal Information
We invite proposals for individual papers, panels, and other presentation
formats such as roundtables, posters, and performances with scholarly and/or
activist emphasis, addressing the general conference topic of women's
studies or the featured theme of "Performing Gender." Proposals are welcome
from all scholarly fields and disciplines, including the sciences, social
sciences, humanities, arts, design, business, sports, and cultural studies.

"Performing Gender" involves a wide spectrum of subjects and approaches.
Possible topics might address the following questions. How is gender
enacted? How does gender performance-and critique of that performance-affect
other aspects of society? What are the consequences of gender performance?
What are the implications of race, class, and nationality for gender
performance? How do gender performance, sexuality, and sexual orientation
intersect? What facets of gender performance remain largely unacknowledged?
How has the backlash against conscious gender performance framed itself? How
do various social groups negotiate gender?

Possible topics addressing the theme of "performing gender":

The Biology, Sociology, and Psychology of Transgender & Transsexuality
Race, Ethnicity, and Class in the Performance of Gender
Media Genders
Globalizing Gender: International Gender Performances
Performing Queer Gender
Marketing and Advertising: The Commodification of Gender
Gender Identity in the Visual Arts
Science and the Study of Gender Performance
Corporate Genders: Doing Business, Doing Self
Sports and Gender Performance
Cyborgs, Cyberspace and Cybersex: Performing Gender Online
Children, the Family, and Gender Performance
Performing Gender and Medicine: Illness and Etiology
Gendered Language and Speech Performance
Gender and War
The Theater of Gender Performance
Performing the Academy: Gender in the Classroom
Literary Genders: Performance in/and the Text
Fashion and Gender Performance
Presentations and Representations of the Gendered Self
Feminism and Gender
Religion and Gender Performance
Gender Performance and Ecology
The Ethics of Performing Gender
Politics of/and Gender Performance
Voyeurism: Watching Gender Performance

Proposals for 18-20-minute individual presentations and for posters should
be 250-500 words, with working bibliography. Panel proposals should include
250-500 word abstracts and bibliographies for each presentation (2-3 per
panel). Workshop and performance proposals (up to one hour in length)
should include a description of purpose, form, and content. Include name,
contact information, and a brief c.v. with all proposals.

All materials should be postmarked or received by email/fax by September 1,

Send proposals to
                        Elyce Rae Helford, Conference Chair
                        Women's Studies Program, Box 498
                        Middle Tennessee State University
                        Murfreesboro, TN 37132

telephone: (615) 898-5910 fax: (615) 898-5289

Keynote Speaker: Jill Dolan
Jill Dolan is the author of four major studies of feminist performance,
including Presence and Desire: Essays on Gender, Sexuality, and Performance
and Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theater. Her next project, a
critical memoir called From Flannel to Fleece: A Lesbian of a Certain Age,
chronicles what it has meant to come out as a lesbian feminist and come into
middle-age under the auspices of the "queer" moment in activist and cultural
politics. Her blog, "The Feminist Spectator," can be accessed at

"Her writings reveal her commitment to healing the theory/practice split
through an activist pedagogy thoroughly immersed in the critical shifts
associated with the emergence of performance studies, queer theory and
poststructural feminism. Furthermore, they include practical suggestions for
connecting academia to the public sphere. She credits the development of
performance studies as a realm that considers both the performing arts and
performativity, loosely performance in everyday life, as a facilitating
factor in the program's ability to focus on performance as a public
practice." Clyde Smith on Jill Dolan

Featured Performer: Deb Margolin
Playwright and performance artist Deb Margolin is a founding member of Split
Britches Theater Company and has been awarded an OBIE Award for Sustained
Excellence of Performance and the Joseph Kesselring Prize for Playwriting.
She is the author of seven full-length solo performance pieces, which she
has performed Off-Broadway and throughout the United States. She is
currently at work on her eighth-which she will premiere at MTSU for the
Women's Studies Interdisciplinary Conference.

"By talking too much, and using such obsessively elegant language, Margolin
removes herself from white privilege and power. She performs a kind of
Jewish excess, that marks her as affectively outside normative whiteness.
Her insistence on charting her own desire, and on calling attention to her
own body as a locus of sexual, emotional, and spiritual feeling, also
rejects a respectability that would disallow her to speak in the first
place." -Jill Dolan

"Utopia is always a metaphor, always a wish, a desire, a no-place that
performance can sometimes help us map if not find. But a performative is
not a metaphor; it's a doing, and it's in the performative's gesture that
hope adheres, that communitas happens, that the not-yet-conscious is
glimpsed and felt and strained toward." Jill Dolan

"There is no original or primary gender a drag imitates, but gender is
a kind of imitation for which there is no original." Judith Butler

"One is not born a woman, one becomes one." Simone de Beauvoir

"Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry." Gloria Steinem

"Gender is always a relationship, not a preformed category of beings or
a possession that one can have." Donna Haraway

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world." Audre Lorde

 "As far as I'm concerned, being any gender is a drag." Patti Smith

Dr. Trixie G. Smith
Director, University Writing Center
Director, Middle Tennessee Writing Project
Dept. of English, Box 70
Middle Tennessee State University
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Office: PH 351
Phone/Voice mail 615-904-8153
Fax: 615-898-5098
UWC Phone: 615-904-8237

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Received on Tue Apr 04 2006 - 11:03:17 EDT