The Female Frame: Biopolitics and Wellbeing in Australian and Global Perspective

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
The Australian Women's History Network
contact email: 

The Australian Women’s History Network

2019 Symposium

The Australian Women’s History Network 2019 Symposium will focus on the female frame and contemporary approaches to wellbeing in local and global perspective.

We use the phrase “female frame” as a catalyst for discussion on the way bodies are socially constructed and gendered. Our focus stretches from the individual subject to the national body, and we place these bodies alongside biopolitics and wellbeing to open a conversation around legacy and impact.

Participants are encouraged to consider this topic from multiple perspectives – aesthetic and economic, physical and psychological, colonial, legal, political and historical – and to consider the question of how the female frame can be a function, source, and signifier of change and growth both within Australia and globally.

KEYNOTE: Professor Tanya Fitzgerald, Graduate School of Education, University of Western Australia, “In the frame: Academic women and intimate friendships 1920-1960.”

KEYNOTE: Professor Ann Curthoys, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Western Australia, “An African-American feminist visits Perth in 1960: who she met, what she saw, what she said, and what she wore.”

LOCATION: Perth, Australia

DATE: 2 October 2019

SUBMISSIONS: Please send expressions of interest to present at the conference by 15 June 2019 to using the subject heading ‘2019 Symposium.’

Expressions of interest should include details of presentation method, topic, and any technical or venue requirements in 250 words, accompanied by a short biography of approximately 100 words.

Please note that academic presenters must be AWHN Members. Please visit our website for further information on the symposium as well as joining the Network:

We invite contributions on – but not limited to – the following topics:

  • National wellbeing 
  • Gender equality, health and wellbeing
  • Biopolitics and power
  • Disciplining bodies
  • Sex and/or gender in the workplace
  • Women and work
  • Female relationships
  • The body in the legal domain
  • Female body and identity
  • Cultural inscriptions of the female body
  • Embodiment and vulnerability
  • Materiality and historicity of the body
  • Maternal bodies and mothering
  • Pregnancy and childbirth     
  • Reproductive rights              
  • Disability    
  • Violence     
  • Body shaming
  • Prostitution & sex workers 
  • Representation of the female body in art
  •  “Socially constructed” diseases       
  • Ageing and death
  • Female medical practitioners in history
  • Food and diets        
  • Beauty