CALL FOR PROPOSALS
The 20th Annual Women’s History Conference at Sarah Lawrence College
Friday-Saturday March 3-4, 2018
Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY (20 minutes North of Manhattan)
Free and open to the public
"Democracy is as much about citizenship rights, participation and inclusion as it is about political parties, elections, and checks and balances. The quality of democracy is determined not only by the form of institutions, but also by the extent that different social groups participate in these institutions.”
-Valentine M. Moghadam : The Gender of Democracy : The Link Between Women’s Rights and Democratization in the Middle East
Events in the past decade seem to indicate that democracy in many parts of the world is in peril. In the United States, voter ID laws and extra legal tactics work to suppress voter turnout and political actors make decisions based on what might effect their re-election rather than what is best for their country. American distrust of government, and a growing sense of white resentment have widened divisions among an already fractured electorate while racism and xenophobia, seem to be growing. Moreover, Russian hackers appear to have weaponized racism in a way that affected the outcome of the US elections.
The Arab Uprisings of the early 2000s heralded increased hopes that democratic governance would spread in the Middle East and North Africa. Instead, Europe has watched efforts to welcome Middle Eastern refugees turn into a refugee crisis. This crisis in turn has provided fodder for the rise of rightwing populist parties, opposed to extending the benefits of citizenship to people fleeing military conflict and economic hardship in their home countries. Undocumented immigrants in the US, who have paid taxes, worked hard and did all the things citizens are urged to do are being separated from their families and deported at record rates.
The faculty of the Sarah Lawrence College Women’s History Program make the radical claim that the people who have historically been most excluded from the benefits of democratic citizenship are precisely those who have demanded that democratic nations live up to their professed ideals. This year, the 20th Annual Women’s History conference will expand upon college’s yearlong discussion of the theme “Democracy and Education” by examining the challenges faced by those who live, work, and struggle on the margins of democracy. We will interrogate the history of democracy and the interplay between citizenship, race, gender, sexuality and inequality. We ask : if we agree that equality is an important component of a liberal democracy, what impact does structural and systemic inequality have on an individual’s ability to experience the full range of democratic freedoms ? What are the dimensions of birthright and naturalized citizenship ? What are the ways in which citizenship is taken from marginalized groups and what are the implications of this withdrawal ?
We invite papers, panels, workshops, performances, and art exhibits from students, activists, artists, and academics that address these questions from a number of different angles. Proposals for panels will be given special consideration, but individual papers are also welcomed. In particular, we encourage activists to submit proposals for a plenary session on “Democracy and Activism”. Please include a description of each presentation and a one page c.v. for each presenter. Email submissions are preferred.
Panel subjects include but are not limited to :
Political Participation, Representation, and Gender Equality
The Changing Fortunes of the US DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) Program
Democracy and Women’s Grassroots Movements
Race, Democracy, and the History of Voting Rights
The Presidential Campaigns of Shirley Chisholm and Hillary Clinton
The Global Status of Women in Politics and Leadership
Strengthening Women’s Voices as a Challenge to Political Marginalization
The Meanings of Citizenship in the US and Globally
Race, Sexuality, Gender Identity and the State
The Limits of and Challenges to the Phrase "We the People"
Cyberspace Politics and its Effects
LGBTQIA and Democracy
The Historical and Present Day Implications of the Feminist Slogan : "The Personal is the Political"
Deadline Friday December 22, 2017
Send proposals to :
Tara James, Associate Director Women’s History Program
Sarah Lawrence College
1 Mead Way
Bronxville, New York 10708