WSU SJCon Re-storying Social Justice: Constructing Coalition at the Intersections of Theory, Community, Positionality, and Practice

deadline for submissions: 
February 28, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Washington State University Interdisciplinary Social Justice Conference (WSU SJCon)
contact email: 

Conference Dates: Friday, March 25th and Saturday, March 26th, 2022

Location: Virtually with optional in-person opportunities from Washington State University, Pullman 

Call for Papers

“Re-storying” Social Justice: Constructing Coalition at the Intersections of Theory, Community, Positionality, and Practice

By “re-storying,” I mean a retelling and imagining of stories that restore and continue cultural memories… [a] radical disruption of master narratives through the telling and retelling of stories that disrupt dominant formations of history and culture.

(Qwo-Li Driskoll, Asegi Stories, 2016, pp. 3, 7)

Linda Tuhiwai Smith (Ngati Awa and Ngati Porou) describes decolonization as a continuous process of anti-colonial struggle connected by radical compassion, collaborative efforts, and remaining open to imagined possibilities. Scholars like Romeo Garcia, Walter Mignolo, and Qwo Li-Driskoll (Cherokee) also write relatedly of decoloniality, a project founded in the awareness that colonialism does not disappear when colonial governments are dismantled. To encourage ongoing action, such scholars suggest “decolonial thinking,” an effort to “delink” and unlearn the intellectual and physical paradigms of coloniality and make space for the numerous ways of thinking and being that exist, and have always existed beyond capitalism, patriarchy, white supremacy, ableism, fossil-fuel extraction, and other systemic violences. Fundamentally then, work based in or inspired by decolonization and decoloniality scholarship cannot stay theoretical, it must also require action. And that action should be measurably rooted in equity, justice, and reciprocity. 

This year’s conference theme, “Re-storying” Social Justice: Constructing Coalition at the Intersections of Theory, Community, Positionality, and Practice, is a response to intersecting concerns about the future of the planet, the future of coalitions, and the future of academic work. The WSU SJCon is an interdisciplinary social justice conference, organized, supported, and sustained by diverse members of the WSU Community and the communities that relate, surround, challenge, and enrich us. As such, we are fundamentally committed to coalitions, to being in relationship with others, including the more-than-human world. And, like many, many others before us, we contend that coalitions are a foundational element of the theories and practices necessary for a more equitable future. We invite participants–which we hope will include folks from communities without, around, and inside of the academy, as well as scholars at any stage of their academic career, including undergraduate students–to consider how equitable, sustainable, and accessible futures are only possible if they are possible for all. 

As such, we are pleased to accept proposals for presentations, panels, creative works, and workshops that focus on pragmatic and actionable approaches to “re-storying” social justice, within, around, and beyond the academy. We are particularly interested in presentations related to climate change and ecojustice, the relationships between global and interpersonal health, the practice of decoloniality, intersectional communities, coalitional classrooms, restorative justice, and grassroots activism and organization. If you would like to share your work in a format that we have not listed, please do not hesitate to reach out and let us know - we’d love to work with you. 

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

-       Storytelling, re-storying, and the importance of narrative

-       Grassroots activism, including but not limited to climate activism, anti-racist organizing, LGBTQIA+ activism, chronic health/disability movements, and labor movements

-       Queer communities and queer coalitions, historical or contemporary

-       Anti-racist, feminist, and eco-critical/posthumanist pedagogies

-       Accessible activism, organizing, and social movements

-       Practical strategies for building and strengthening coalition; how to collaborate well

-       Land back and decolonizing land-grab institutions

-       Opening the canon: Centering Indigenous voices and honoring Indigenous sovereignty

-       Decolonizing academia or decolonizing the curriculum

-       Decolonizing social justice: cross-cultural and cross-paradigm approaches to social justice activism

-       Pragmatic approaches to decolonization: How to put the “action” in activism

-       The intersections of decolonization and environmental activism

-       Creating community/ies to advance equity 

-       Humility, reciprocity, and community listening

-       Student loan debt cancellation 

-       Mutual aid and creating mutual aid networks 

-       Fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment

Our keynote event(s) will feature Dr. Wayne Au, Professor of Educational Studies at the University of Washington, Bothell. More information on keynote(s) will be forthcoming and updated on our website, social media, and conference program.

Submission Guidelines: Please send a no more than 300-word abstract, 3-minute video, single-page graphic, or other short explanation of your work, and a short biography (no more than 100 words) to the WSU Social Justice Conference planning committee at wsusjcon@gmail.com by Monday, February 28th, 2022. Works in progress are very welcome! Please note in the body of your email if you prefer to present virtually or in-person from the WSU Pullman campus and if you have a preference on presentation date. In support of our equitable and inclusive conference practices, there are no registration fees for conference presenters or attendees. 

The 3rd annual WSU Social Justice Conference will be offered virtually via Zoom with in-person networking and workshop opportunities available at the WSU Pullman campus. For further information and to stay up to date on conference details, please consult the WSU SJCon website at https://www.gpsa.wsu.edu/resources/wsu-sjcon/, or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @WSUSJCON.

Proudly Co-Sponsored by: The Collective for Social and Environmental Justice, WSU College of Education, ASWSU Environmental Sustainability Alliance (ESA), WSU Teaching Academy, LMK Incorporated, WSU Program in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), WSU Department of Sociology, WSU Center for Civic Engagement, and Inland Oasis (Moscow)