Genealogies: Graduate Symposium on the History of Women & Gender

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Graduate Symposium on the History of Women & Gender
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The Executive Committee of the Twelfth Annual Graduate Symposium on Women's and Gender History at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is pleased to announce a call for papers. The Symposium, which is the capstone event of the History Department's Women's History month celebration, is scheduled for March 3-5, 2011. To celebrate and encourage further work in the field of women's and gender history, we invite submissions from graduate students from any institution and discipline. The Symposium organizers welcome individual papers on any topic in the field of women's and gender history. Papers submitted as a panel will be judged individually. Preference will be given to scholars who did not present at last year's Symposium.

This year's theme, "Genealogies," references two trends in the field—the emergence of kinship and the family as tools for interpreting the past, on the one hand, and the continuing importance of the method Foucault called "genealogy," on the other—and seeks to ask a question about the connections (and contentions) that might unite them. How might a history of the family be affected by Foucault's insistence on refusing origin stories, and how might the new scholarship on intimacy-kinship influence an understanding of the instability and discontinuity of history? Is it possible, in other words, to construct a genealogy of genealogy?

Papers need not take up these questions directly, but they should enthusiastically and intriguingly address some aspect of these concerns. In gathering together what we hope will be a geographically, temporally, and disciplinarily diverse body of papers, the conference will create opportunities for dialogue and discussion across these different fields. To that end, successful proposals could focus on, but would not be limited to, studies of whether and to what extent kinship relationships and claims of belonging might be said to have a history. Of related interest would be proposals that engage the idea of intimacy, particularly in relation to familial or social networks and their surrounding histories. When thinking of the idea of 'family', we challenge potential paper authors to critically examine the concept of 'family' and how the term is defined, utilized and deployed in a variety of contexts. Additionally, we encourage panelists to focus on the kinship-related facets of the concept, including but not limited to: personal family histories, borderlands histories, architectural manifestations of gendered space, changing conceptions of the 'traditional' family, and family as viewed through the lens of modernity . In keeping with this year's focus on gender, genealogy and kinship, we also hope to assemble a specifically historiographic panel addressing the state of the field. We are, then, particularly interested in paper proposals that problematize the history of genealogies—or the genealogies of history–or suggest new historiographic avenues of inquiry.

For the Twelfth Annual Symposium, we are delighted to announce a keynote speaker who engages many of these themes in her work:

• Tiya Miles, Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan, author of Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom (University of California Press, 2005)

The journal Gender & History will again sponsor a prize for the best graduate student paper presented at the Symposium. Conference presenters will also have the opportunity to publish their work in the on-line proceedings volume. We possess limited resources to subsidize travel expenses for presenters. Giving priority to presenters with limited conference experience, we will allocate these funds based on the quality of presenters' proposals and the availability of funds.

To submit a paper or panel by email (preferred method): please send only one attachment in Word or PDF format containing a 250-word abstract and a one-page curriculum vitae for each paper presenter, commentator, or panel chair to .

To submit a paper or panel in a hard copy format, please send five (5) copies of all abstracts and curriculum vitae to: Programming Committee, Graduate Symposium on Women's and Gender History 309 Gregory Hall, MC 466, 810 S. Wright Street Urbana, Illinois 61801.

For more information, please contact