2020 Theme: Woven: Intersections, Breakthroughs, and Creation in the COVID-19 Pandemic

deadline for submissions: 
May 1, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
JoAnna Novak/Mount Saint Mary's University
contact email: 

The Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University

Collectif Digital Research Anthology

2021 Call for Faculty Research Papers



The Center for the Advancement of Women, launched in January 2017, is a resource for faculty and students to advance the status of women and girls across disciplines at Mount Saint Mary’s University. While the Center’s mission is to find solutions to persistent gender inequities and work with partners to eradicate them in our lifetime, its immediate goal is to provide our local and national communities with vital data related to gender equity. The Center will dedicate its fourth edition of Collectif, an online research anthology, to questions related to the cross-cutting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on women.


To this end, the Center is currently seeking articles, essays, personal narratives, and creative works for Collectif. The Center will accept up faculty proposals for the Academic Year (AY) 2020-2021. Successful proposals will bring a creative, intersectional approach to exploring issues (e.g., social customs and public health measures; isolation, mental health; and domestic violence; employment, earnings, shifting occupations, family responsibilities, work-life balance) confronting women in the pandemic. The objective is to include creative work alongside research and scholarship from writers in the humanities, serving as a companion to the social science research presented in the 2021 Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California. A proposal selection committee composed of faculty and staff will review submitted papers for inclusion.


Collectif has a readership of 20,000 Center and University newsletter subscribers, with the potential of reaching an additional 30,000 members in our MSMU databases.

2020 Theme: Woven: Intersections, Breakthroughs, and Creation in the COVID-19 Pandemic   

Textile artist Anni Albers wrote in 1965,“Just as it is possible to go from any place to any other, so also, starting from a defined and specialized field, can one arrive at a realization of ever-extending relationships . . . traced back to the event of a thread.” What tension has the COVID-19 pandemic brought to that thread? What does this cataclysmic event reveal about women’s ever-extending relationships?

‘Woven’ was selected as part of this 2021 Report title to create an image of the intersecting and cross-cutting effects of the pandemic. Healthcare policy and racial disparities, the economy, changes in how we work and educate our youth, and safety issues all converge. The ‘woven’ nature of the pandemic will require innovative solutions moving forward.

Mount Saint Mary’s University published its first Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ in 2012.  A decade later, the University continues to provide California communities with research and data to ensure that individuals and organizations can do their advocacy work more effectively across the state. In our 10th edition, we will spotlight areas of progress and stagnation relative to our first Report. The Report will also address how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted women and girls in the context of education, the workplace, health, and safety.

AY 2020-2021 Guidelines


Selection Criteria. Research papers, oral histories, stories, poems, personal essays, and hybrid forms of written expression are eligible. Selections will:

  1. Answer a question on the topic of women’s experience in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Draw on a unique area of specialization. 
  3. Demonstrate an intersectional or hybrid approach. 
  4. Include suggestions on how one can work to overcome barriers women face in the environment under study, or how one can rethink or conceptualize the problem.
  5. Selections may range in length from 1-15 pages.


Eligibility. Faculty from all academic disciplines are encouraged to apply. 


Application. The application should be 1-2 pages long, single-spaced and include the following items:


  • Name, affiliated university and department, and title of the project
  • Abstract of proposed research (word count should not exceed 500), including:
    • The question under investigation
    • The methods employed to investigate the question. Depending on discipline, this description may vary to include qualitative or quantitative methods, theoretical or interpretive approaches, etc.
    • Data sources utilized, if necessary
    • Hypotheses/anticipated conclusions
    • Brief discussion (2-4 paragraphs) of how the paper intersects with the Center’s mission:
      • Center for the Advancement of Women Mission. Gender equity is a core focus of the Center’s work. Through collaborative efforts, the Center hopes to find solutions to persistent gender inequities and work to eradicate them in our lifetime. Explain how your research adds to the literature and makes a positive difference in the lives of women and girls locally, nationally or globally. 




February 2021              Call for Papers circulated


May 1, 2021                  Proposal Deadline. Due electronically to JoAnna Novak.


May 15, 2021                Applicants are selected and notified of award


May-August 2021          Periodic conference calls to support this work and to provide opportunities for collaboration


August 1, 2021              First full draft due for peer-review 


September 4, 2021        Peer-review comments returned to the authors for revision


September 28, 2021      Revised papers are returned to Novak.


November 2-30, 2021    Center copyedits final documents and works with graphic designer to typeset collection of articles 


December 14, 2021       Center distributes Collectif to subscribers and stakeholders

The Center for the Advancement of Women Research

General Information


About Collectif. In March 2017, the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s launched a companion piece to The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™Collectif is an online anthology of original writing created by University faculty and students, along with shorter “spotlights” on the Center’s work with community partners. 

The anthology’s name, Collectif, is a reference to Mount Saint Mary’s roots in Le Puy, France. Back in 1650, the Sisters of St. Joseph formed in Le Puy. Their first ministry was to teach practical skills, such as lacemaking, to widows, prostitutes and other vulnerable women. In 1925, the spiritual descendants of those first sisters founded Mount Saint Mary’s in Los Angeles as a place where women would be equipped to reach their fullest potential. Today, we carry forward their mission, and we do so with many partners — as a collective, a collectif. The empowerment of women is an aspiration that we are passionate about sharing with others. We feature 3-4 timely research articles and essays annually that complement our annual Report to ensure that the Center is driving important conversation and the discussion of solutions related to gender equity.

The Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™, along with the Collectif, have a reach of 20,000 Center and University newsletter subscribers, with the potential of reaching an additional 30,000 members in our MSMU databases. This exposure will facilitate a more dynamic discussion of women’s education broadly, but also highlight the work being done at WCC member universities that might be otherwise overlooked. Having an edition of the Collectif feature a variety of women’s universities sends the important message of unity as we move forward in the work of creating a more gender equitable world.


Interested in serving on the proposal selection committee or as a peer-reviewer? We are putting together an editorial team for future reviews. Contact Emerald Archer, Director of the Center for the Advancement of Women, at your earliest convenience to nominate yourself or a colleague.



For any questions and to send the complete proposal electronically, contact:


JoAnna Novak


Guest Editor, Collectif

Associate Professor, MFA in Creative Writing 

Mount Saint Mary’s University