The Struggle Continues: Intersectional Activism in the Age of Gender Based Violence and Authoritarian Oppression

Tara James's picture
Call for Papers
March 1, 2019 to March 2, 2019
New York, United States
Subject Fields: 
Sexuality Studies, Black History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies, Human Rights, Contemporary History


21st Annual Women's History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College

March 1-2, 2019

Deadline for Proposals: December 14, 2018

Free and Open to the Public


Recent high profile legal battles in the U.S. have brought attention to the problems of sexual assault and violence against women.  These include the arrest of Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, the conviction and prison sentence of comedian Bill Cosby, and the battle over the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court. Activism against gender based violence has become the focus of attention by both NGO's and local organizations resulting in social movements like #Sayhername and #MeToo. These concerns are also not isolated to the U.S. Movements in India, Kenya, China and the UK have amplified the voices of victims of individual and state sponsored violence.


Intersectionality, a term first theorized by feminist activist and legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw, was based on the previous work of Black women in organizations such as the Combahee River Collective and the Third World Women's Alliance. These activists by foregrounding the notion of “simultaneous oppressions” gave voice to the frustrations surrounding the inability of feminist and anti-racist activists to consider the intersections of oppression that women of color faced. Crenshaw saw intersectionality as a tool to address failures within those movements. It is through Crenshaw’s  framework that we seek to interrogate global gendered violence, now and in the past.


The 21st annual women's history conference, will explore the struggle against global gender based violence through the lens of intersectionality. We seek papers, presentations, and creative works that explore the following questions:


What are the structural and systemic factors that produce gender based violence and how do race, class, gender, ability and orientation inform them? What are the ways in which gender based violence has been used by the state and how have activists addressed these crimes or attempted to force governments to do so? What are the successes and mistakes of past movements to end gender based violence and what lessons can current activists take from previous movements? How can we overcome intersectional failures, to unify and build stronger, more robust coalitions?


We invite scholars, artists, writers, and activists to submit proposals for papers, readings, workshops, and performances. Proposals for full panels are especially welcome.


Proposal subjects may include but are not limited to the following:

  • #Sayhername, #Metoo and Other Movements on Behalf of Victims of Abuse: An Intersectional Perspective
  • Sexual Assault and Women of Color in History and Now
  • Intersections of Race, Class, and Gendered Violence
  • Historical Perspectives on Gendered Violence
  • Women as Targets in Authoritarian Regimes
  • Rape as a Tool of War
  • Work Place Policies
  • Title IX and Sex Based Harassment
  • Legal Responses to Violence and Sexual Harassment
  • Violence Against Transgender and Non-Binary People
  • Gendered Violence as a Public Health Crisis
  • Sexual Exploitation of Domestic Workers
  • Current and Past Gendered Violence and Incarceration
  • Social Media, it’s Uses and Abuses with Regard to Sexual Harassment and Gendered Violence
  • Gendered Violence and the Criminal Justice System

Proposals should include a description of each presentation, no more than one page per person, and a brief C.V. for each presenter. Proposals for panels are especially welcome but we will also consider individual papers. Email submissions are preferred.


Contact Info: 


Tara James
Graduate Program in Women’s History
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way, Bronxville, New York 10708
Contact Email: