21st Annual Women's History Conference


Associate Director, Graduate Program in Women’s History

E-mail Tara


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


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 NGOs 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.

Call for Papers

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.

Proposals for papers and panels may include but are not limited to the following subjects:

  • #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
  • Gendered Violence and the Criminal Justice System
  • 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
  • Violence Against Transgender and Non-Binary People
Proposals should be no more than two pages. Please include a description of each presentation, no more than one page, and a brief C.V. for each presenter. Proposals for panels are especially welcome but we will also consider individual papers. E-mail submissions are preferred.

Deadline: December 14, 2018

Send proposals to:

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