2022 Annual WFU Student Research Symposium On Gender and Sexuality
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Justice During Troubled Times: Engaged Ideas and Lived Experiences
For the 10th anniversary of the WFU annual student research symposium on gender and sexuality, Sant’Anna Institute is honored to partner with Wake Forest University(U.S.) and Central European University(Hungary) to organize a broader colloquium (on March 18th, 2022), featuring moderated virtual sessions of scholarly and creative presentations by graduate and undergraduate students. Taking advantage of the generally wider access to digital platforms, the symposium will enjoy the benefit of international collaborations. Undergraduate and graduate students from institutions around the globe are invited to virtually attend and participate in this symposium in order to showcase the exciting work that they are undertaking on gender/sexuality-related issues across disciplines.
This year’s theme of “Justice During Troubled Times: Engaged Ideas and Lived Experiences” invites a series of dialogues elevating some of the most pressing social, political, and ethical questions that have entered our lives and our college campuses in the last decade. The social justice issues we face today remind us, and the world, of our troubled past; how we deal with them will decide our future. To say that recent years have been unusual would be an understatement. We’ve seen, worldwide, the ravaging course of the Coronavirus pandemics and other natural disasters and their effects on life, the fight against systemic racism, the struggle of social justice movements, the fight of LGBTQ+, and in particular of trans-people, against intolerance, harassment, and violence, discriminating displays of law enforcement, Asian or Muslim hate, gun violence, the assault on voting rights and democratic systems. Issues such as the rapidly exacerbating effects of climate change, wars, food security issues, poverty, body autonomy, and refugee crisis and immigration are only some others of the most pressing social issues humanity has been facing in the last decade.
Our symposium intends to utilize the technological advancements of the world wide web and create meaningful connections and exchanges, sharing the ways in which college students are strategically working at the intersection between social justice, international development, and personal development in order to show how transformative practices rooted in social justice worldviews can help sustain and support feminist ideals that will lead to much sought-for change. At a collective and organizational level, these practices also have the potential to help transform reality in line with feminist commitments to collective action, reflexivity, equity, and justice. Reforms, however, are not enough for justice; we must change and renew our whole way of life, shifting our focus on what Critical Social Justice theory refers to as “lived experiences of oppression,” that is, to life experiences in systemic power dynamics of dominance and oppression that shape society structurally. New models of engaged ideas and innovative action are necessary and have emerged in various places across the world, though they largely remain in the shadows. A new, transformative action or work of care represents the possibility of a communal and better future, which must not only be made visible, but also redistributed and decolonized.
The above are only a handful of ideas for possible directions students might take as they interpret this year’s theme. Proposals involving virtual presentations in the form of traditional papers, poster sessions, or short performances are encouraged, as are submissions of video clips, art work, and other projects in new formats. A digital exhibition will feature the latter submissions. Presentations conducted on Zoom may vary in length but should not exceed 10 minutes (plus five minutes for discussion). We request that you send an abstract (not exceeding 200 words) and a short bio (specifying your status as undergraduate or graduate student) via Google Drive and “share” it with the organizing committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please name your document “[title of the presentation],(Your Name)” Abstracts should include the student’s name, the home institution, contact information, a tentative title, and the name of the professor with whom the student is working or has worked (if applicable).
The organizing committee: