Activism and the Academy: A Barnard Center for Research on Women Anniversary Conference

Call for Papers and Panels

Activism and the Academy: A Barnard Center for Research on Women Anniversary Conference Celebrating 40 Years of Social Justice Work

September 23-24, 2011
Barnard College

Confirmed speakers: Sonia Alvarez, Lisa Duggan, Jacqueline Ebanks, Amber Hollibaugh, Ana Oliveira, Ann Pellegrini, and Ai-jen Poo.

Forty years ago, the Barnard Center for Research on Women began its mission of using research and knowledge to advance feminist scholarship and long-term partnerships with activist groups. Inspired by the new women’s movement, BCRW became part of an historic moment that witnessed the proliferation of feminist activism, the establishment of women’s studies programs and women’s centers, and the founding of women’s bookstores and other cultural projects.

In the last forty years, feminism has become more or less institutionalized and broadly dispersed while the context of academic and activist work has shifted dramatically with the advent of neoliberalism and the intensification of globalization. Injustices against women across many vectors of difference – race, class, sexuality national identity, religion – persist, underscoring the need for a vision and practice of feminism informed by an ethos of sustained social justice. To this end, BCRW has engaged in collaborations with activist groups that advance both feminist knowledge and the goals of such groups. Our commitment to bringing feminist scholars, activists and artists together in conversation and collaboration has always been at the center of this work. We have forged alliances between activists and the academy through our programming, including our cornerstone, nationally-recognized annual conference, “The Scholar and the Feminist”; and through our publications, which have grown to include S&F Online, a webjournal of feminist theories and women’s movements, as well as the New Feminist Solutions series of reports written in collaboration with individuals and organizations who share our vision of linking feminist knowledge with other struggles for social justice.

On the occasion of its 40th anniversary, BCRW invites scholars and activists to reflect on the promises, perils and possibilities of scholar-activist collaborations. We will invite our past, present and future collaborators as well as kindred institutions, scholars and activists engaged in social justice feminism to consider what kinds of collaborative projects are possible when scholarship and activism are joined. We will devote part of the conference to exploring transnational collaborations and launching a new BCRW transnational initiative.

We also invite proposals for papers and panels. We seek contributions on a wide range of topics about activism and academic work and might include the following:

  • Participatory action research
  • Activist knowledge production
  • Building long-term academic and activist partnerships
  • The role of art, performance and culture in social justice movements
  • Media activism and new technologies
  • Social justice curricula
  • Pedagogies
  • Methodologies
  • Creating scholar-activist networks
  • Transnational feminisms
  • Locations
  • Sex Panics
  • Scholarship and activism during wartime
  • Reading and writing activism

Please send brief proposals for either papers or panels by April 15, 2011 to BCRW Program Committee at bcrw(at)

Catherine Sameh
Associate Director
Barnard Center for Research on Women
Barnard College
3009 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
Telephone 212.854.2067
Fax 212.854.8294