Activism and the Academy: Struggles Against Hegemony

Activism and the Academy: Struggles Against Hegemony

A student and community conference at York University (Toronto, ON)
April 16-17, 2010


Proposal Deadline: Feb. 10, 2010

“We need to work towards a more active and calculated and conscientious engagement between theory/research and policy/practice.”–Amina Mama

“Theory is not inherently healing, liberating, or revolutionary. It fulfills this function only when we ask it to do so and direct our theorizing towards this end.” –bell hooks


This two-day interdisciplinary conference organized by the Graduate Women’s Studies Student Association (GWSSA) at York University aims to explore the relationships between activism and the academy from a variety of intellectual and applied perspectives. Taking up questions central to feminist theory and equity studies (as well as many other disciplines), this event will bring together scholars and activists from a range of disciplinary perspectives to explore activism’s role in the academy, the effects of activism on academic work, and the impacts of the academy and academic production on activism. In order to build on the vibrant dynamic of new and recent work and to provide a space that will be less intimidating for those newer to academic presentations, this conference will feature the work of graduate students, undergraduate students, activists, and other community members. Everyone is invited to attend. (In other words, professors are encouraged to attend the conference but not to submit proposals.)

We welcome proposals on a variety of topics related to activism and the academy including, but not limited to, work about activist organizations or movements, teaching activism, activist-oriented pedagogy, activism on campus, academic production as activism, the generation of theory in non-academic sites, and about teaching or going to school as activism.

Submissions may seek to address any of the following questions or put additional questions on the table:

·        What activism-related research is being conducted in the university setting and outside of it, how is it being conducted, and what insights does it provide us in understanding our struggles and our community dynamics?

·        How are current scholars, researchers and activists working to apply activist principles in the research they conduct?

·        How are organizing strategies and goals informing research projects, and how is academic theory impacting the way we organize and campaign?

·        What are the struggles, experiences, and successes of students and teachers advocating for change within the academy?

·        What is activism-oriented pedagogy?

·        What responsibility, if any, does feminist scholarship have to activism?

·        How do curricula, syllabi, and/or assignments encourage or preclude activism?

·        How do marginalized students experience, theorize, and take up their presence in the academy as activism?

·        How do critical issues in organizing and campaigning impact the way theory is produced, used, and distributed?

Submission Guidelines

We welcome proposals for papers (which will be presented on panels at 15-20 minutes per paper); panels (which should include 3-4 papers); and for other ways of sharing information, insight, or inspiration such as posters, art, film, workshops, etc.

For all proposals, please include the following information: your name and affiliation (if any) title of your proposed paper, etc., your contact information, and your specific A/V requirements.

If you are submitting a paper proposal, please include a description of 100-250 words.

If you are submitting a panel proposal, please include a description of the panel topic that is 100-200 words; a description of each paper on the panel of about 50 words each; a title for the panel and for each paper; the names and affiliations (if any) of each paper presenter; and the name, affiliation (if any), and contact information for the panel organizer. Also indicate whether you are providing your own panel moderator or would like us to provide one. Panels with three papers will be scheduled for 75 minutes, and panels with four papers will be scheduled for 90 minutes.

If you are submitting something other than a paper or panel proposal, please include a description of 100-250 words.  For workshops (and anything else needing a full time-slot), please indicate your preference of 75 or 90 minutes (and whether you can work with either length).

There is no cost for presenting at this conference and lunch will be provided each day.

Proposals should be sent to [ ] with the word “proposal” in the subject line.

Questions should be sent to with the word “question” in the subject line.

Registration information will be sent at a later date, but to receive updates (such as registration information and a final conference schedule), email with the word “updates” in the subject line.

Submitters will be notified by February 28, 2010 as to whether their proposal has been accepted.

No Comments (yet)

Leave a Reply

Comments RSS Subscribe to the Comments RSS.
Trackback Leave a trackback from your site.
Trackback URL: