Call For Papers


The Personal is Still Political: Gendered Identities in the Twenty-First Century

Eight Biennial ACS Women’s and Gender Studies Conference: March 6-7, 2009

The Associated Colleges of the South and Rhodes College are pleased to announce the eighth annual ACS Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, which will focus on the theme, “The Personal is Still Political: Gendered Identities in the Twenty-First Century.” At a time when gendered, racial, sexual, and ethnic identities (to name a few) continue to occupy the media’s attention and exercise enormous power over the public’s imagination -- yet instances of sexism, racism, homophobia and xenophobia are treated as the “sins” of the unenlightened few -- our conference hopes to reinvigorate a conversation about the enduring structural and institutional effects of gender at the intersection of public and private life. The pervasiveness of gender’s categories ensures the impossibility of separating one’s personal identity from his or her social, cultural and political position. To be critically aware, therefore, we must address the role of gender in shaping both the public and the private spheres of our world at this moment.  With this desire in mind, we invite students, faculty and staff of ACS schools, along with other scholars, to submit proposals for scholarly and creative presentations, including individual papers, panels, creative performances, artworks and poster exhibits. Scholarly presentations and artistic performances should last approximately 15 minutes.

Our theme was inspired by the recent work of Dr. Angela Davis, activist and professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, who will be our keynote speaker.

Potential topics might include but are not limited to such issues as:

Gendered History and Politics

Lesbian History
Gender and Civil Rights
Suffrage Movement
Women in the Labor Movement
Abolition and Woman’s Rights
Conservative Women
Roe v. Wade
Reproductive Rights
Crime and Incarceration
Gay Rights Movement
Industrial Revolution and Gender
Gender and Elections

The Science and Religion of Gender

Biological Determinism
Feminist Theology
Medical History of Gender and Sexuality
New Techniques for Policing Identities
Gender, Sexuality, and the Military

The Political Implications of “Personal” Life

Gendered Structures in the Family
The Politics of Gendered Child-Rearing
Marriage, Gender and the State
Literature and Romance
Gender and Work
Desire and Intimacy
Sexuality and the Erotic

Abstracts are due no later than Wednesday, November 26th for early submission and January 1 for regular submission.

PLEASE NOTE: The deadline for abstracts has been extended to January 19.

Please send them either electronically or by mail to:

Professor Leslie Petty
ACS Women’s and Gender Studies Conference
Department of English
Rhodes College
2000 North Parkway
Memphis, TN 38112-1690

Those who submit by November 26 will be notified of acceptance by December 15; those who submit by January 1 will be notified by January 18. Those submitting by January 19 will be informed by January 26.

To find out more about the 2009 ACS Women’s and Gender Studies Conference, including information about registration, accommodations and events, you can also visit the ACS website: