CFP: NeMLA 2020 Panel, Intersectionality and the University

Jennifer Ross's picture
March 5, 2020 to March 8, 2020
Massachusetts, United States
Subject Fields: 
Digital Humanities, Graduate Studies, Humanities, Research and Methodology, Teaching and Learning

While the university has long been a space for cultivating generations of academics, researchers, and intellectuals, it has never been exempt from the dynamics of power that underlie the workings of such institutions. Recent strides at improving inclusivity—for example greater diversity among faculty and student populations, or increasing numbers of sociopolitically- and culturally-cognizant programs—belie the reality that universities operate along ideological lines that can (re)produce inequities and social hierarchies. This uneven reality manifests in all aspects of graduate school, including the application and admissions process, department culture, campus climate, curriculum choices, professional networking, financial opportunities, socialization practices, and the work/life/family nexus. 


Drawing from Kimberle Crenshaw’s concept of intersectionality, this roundtable proposes a holistic approach to understanding and navigating the interpersonal, logistical, and ideological tensions within the university. We seek a diverse group of participants with insights on how to negotiate these issues in life-affirming ways and promote efforts toward greater diversity, inclusion, and equitability in the academe. As a Graduate Student Caucus-sponsored session, we are particularly interested in proposals that address graduate student concerns, but welcome insights from and about tenure-track faculty, contingent and adjunct faculty, undergraduate students, and staff.


    Topics might included, but are not limited to:

  • intersectional perspectives of women, persons of colour, LGBTQIA individuals, immigrants, graduate students with disabilities, mature graduate students, and people across various socioeconomic strata 

  • gendered expectations regarding teaching, service, invisible labor, and family

  • the legacy of race/racism on campus, particularly in southern universities

  • national politics and the university, including the rise of sanctuary cities/universities, DREAMER students, difficulties surrounding international conferences, etc.

  • the needs of differently-abled and differently-identifying academics, how institutional spaces address (or do not address) these concerns, and possible ways to address issues these students face

  • safe and inclusive spaces for LGBTQIA individuals

  • past and present socioeconomic subjectivities, as well as economic stability while a graduate student, contingent/adjunct/temporary faculty, or staff

Using the NeMLA submission portal at please submit proposals of 250-300 words, with a bio of at most 100 words, on how you intend to address one or more of the talking points above.

Contact Info: 

Jennifer Ross

Panel Chair

PhD Candidate

William & Mary



Contact Email: