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The Associated Colleges of the South, or ACS, has encouraged and promoted a biennial conference on Women’s/Gender Studies for faculty, staff, and students of its sixteen member institutions and beyond since 1993.  The inaugural conference, with the theme, “Challenging Gender in the 1990s,” was held on the campus of Furman University, in Greenville, South Carolina.  The keynote speaker at that conference was Professor Catharine Stimpson.  Since then there have been eight conferences with the following themes:

  • Feminism Embracing Diversity (Trinity University)
  • Becoming Visible: Women’s Struggle for Justice (Millsaps College)
  • Gendered Environments (Birmingham-Southern College)
  • Women’s Studies/Gender Studies: Separate but Equal? (Henderix College)
  • Gender Acts!  Activism: History, Theory, Practice (Furman University)
  • Governing Bodies: Reflections on the Self, Society, and State (Centenary College of Louisiana)
  • The Personal is Still Political: Gendered Identities in the Twenty-First Century (Rhodes College)
  • Emancipatory Knowledge: Women’s and Gender Studies NOW (University of Richmond)

This year’s theme is “Intersections and Assemblages:  Gender and Sexuality Across Cultures.”  Our aim in choosing our theme has been to recognize and address the vast diversity in both scholarly approaches and political activism dealing with issues of inequality at various levels in various guises.  As the Barnard Center for Research on Women notes, “There is no one feminist movement.  [Nor is there a single LGBT movement, one might add.]  Instead there are many intersectional movements operating in tandem with much to learn from one another.  This multiplicity is not only okay, but healthy and inevitable.  The more radical versions of feminism will continue to push the feminist center, the center will continue to push the margins to be more strategic, those of us who dance in between will continue to be challenged and nurtured by it all.  We will deploy diverse methodologies, mobilize diverse populations, and tell diverse stories.”  (FemFuture:  Online Revolution)

We hope these multiple dimensions of diversity—which can be accommodating as well as contentious as the situation demands—will be in evidence at this conference as they have in the past.  We will feel especially rewarded if there is greater interest than in past iterations of the conference in masculinities and alternative sexualities.  We also hope to encourage pre- and post-conference interaction among participants through the interactive section, “Discussion” and other posts on this blog, besides Twitter (#GenderConf2014), and a Facebook group, Gender Intersections & Assemblages.  Anyone interested in attending the conference must pay the applicable registration fee by visiting the Registration page.  Please note that in order to make all the necessary logistical arrangements, we urge everyone interested in attending the conference to register by Monday, February 17.  Those who register after February 17 will need to pay an additional sum of $20 as late fee.  The registration fee will cover the expense of the conference dinner on Friday, April 4, lunch on April 5, beverages, parking, and other miscellaneous costs.