Thinking Gender 2019: Feminists Confronting the Carceral State: Call for Proposals

The UCLA Center for the Study of Women invites submissions of graduate student paper, roundtable presentation, and poster proposals, and undergraduate student poster proposals for our 29th Annual Thinking Gender Graduate Student Research Conference.

This year’s conference theme, Feminists Confronting the Carceral State, will focus on gendered regimes of captivity, state violence, and incarceration, emphasizing feminist, queer, trans, abolitionist, and intersectional interventions. The conference will feature a keynote panel of scholars and activists, including:

  • Beth Richie, Professor of African American Studies and Criminology, Law and Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Alisa Bierria, Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies, UC Riverside
  • Colby Lenz, Organizer, Survived and Punished and California Coalition of Women Prisoners; and PhD Student, American Studies and Ethnicity, USC
  • Romarilyn Ralston, Program Coordinator, Project Rebound, California State University Fullerton

Much of the policy and research on punishment in the United States has focused on men. Yet, the history and contemporary reality of women’s subjugation to systems of punishment also runs deep and warrants further exploration. Many young women and girls, especially Black, Brown, and Native girls, are ensnared in the carceral state where they are criminalized and surveilled in schools, foster systems, and in their communities. Moreover, transgender and gender-nonconforming individuals are particularly vulnerable to policing and incarceration and state-sanctioned violence.

Feminist abolitionist Angela Davis has illuminated the carceral state’s gendered structure, elaborating the numerous ways that women and LGBTQ communities are made vulnerable to violence, oppression, and harm. In addition to examining the complex range of regimes that constitute the carceral state, and the modes of violence therein, Feminists Confronting the Carceral State heeds Davis’s call for abolition democracy, including broad societal change: the “demilitarization of schools, revitalization of education at all levels, a health system that provides free physical and mental care to all, and a justice system based on reparation and reconciliation rather than retribution and vengeance” (Davis, 2003, pg. 107). This begs the question: how do feminists lead this modern abolitionist movement and rebuild a society deeply scarred by its own criminal justice system?

Feminists Confronting the Carceral State invites presenters to think through approaches that consider the social contexts in which the carceral state operates in feminist, queer, intersectional, and critical ways. Given recent re-commitments to “tough on crime” beliefs and policies, feminists must be at the forefront of resisting and dismantling the carceral state in all areas of society.

 

Deadline: Sunday, October 28 at 11:59pm PDT

Submission information: https://csw.ucla.edu/tg19-cfp

Author: Anna F. Bialek

Anna Bialek is an Assistant Professor of Religion and Politics at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University.

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