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Call for Proposals

2017 NWSA Annual Conference: 40 YEARS AFTER COMBAHEE: Feminist Scholars and Activists Engage the Movement for Black Lives
November 16-19, 2017
Baltimore, Maryland


The 2017 Deadline for Submissions was February 22, 2017 at 11:59pm EST

Accept/decline notifications will be sent to the email used in the proposal process by April 25, 2017.  Please save your accept/decline email notification.

NWSA is an organization of feminist scholars and scholar-activists that emerged out of the social movements of the 1960s and 70s. It is fitting then that since our 40th anniversary conference will take place in Baltimore, the site of the massive Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests of 2015, and in the year that marks the 40th anniversary of the Black feminist manifesto, the Combahee River Collective (CRC) statement, that the theme of our annual gathering will be: “40 years after Combahee: Feminist Scholars and Activists Engage the Movement for Black Lives.” 

The Movement for Black Lives (M4BL), also referred to as the Black Lives Matter Movement, is a Black-led movement, comprised of multiple organizations, with widespread support in people of color and progressive white communities in the United States as well as internationally. Solidarity actions and delegations have linked M4BL to Palestine, Brazil, Canada, England and South Africa, as well as the immigration rights movement and indigenous and First Nations’ struggles across North America. Significantly, this is the first mass movement with such a broad reach that is being led by young Black feminist organizers, many of them queer and trans. They have reconfigured how we think about race, gender, sexuality, violence, politics, and power in the 21st century.

The question this conference theme poses is how do we make Black lives matter in our own feminist research and praxis and how do we stand in solidarity with the growing and broad-based movement against state,  gender-based and other forms of violence? Under the expansive banner of M4BL, this emerging movement is strengthened by the #SAYHERNAME campaign, which has demanded attention on the Black queer, trans, gender non-conforming, women and intersex people who are also victims of state and gendered violence.  M4BL notes in its national platform that it seeks to elevate “the experienced and leadership of the most marginalized Black people, including but not limited to those who are women, queer, trans, femmes, gender nonconforming, Muslim, formerly and currently incarcerated, cash poor and working class, disabled, undocumented, and immigrant.”

M4BL’s vision statement asserts, “patriarchy, exploitative capitalism, militarism, and white supremacy know no borders.” With that principle in mind, we want to make sure that contemporary transnational feminist praxis is as much a part of our program as it was in the 1977 CRC statement and the current praxis of M4BL organizers. 

We invite paper, panel, performance and workshop proposals that build creatively and critically on our theme, and sub-themes. We strongly encourage independent scholars, non-academic writers, artists, researchers and organizers to propose panels and presentations, and to be included in sessions alongside community college, college and university-based scholars. 

Please note that submitted proposals must address one of the seven themes below to be eligible for inclusion in the program. Sub-themes for the conference include:

  • Solidarities: Trans-National and Local
  • Arts and Culture: How are social media, visual culture, and social practice art changing how we view, engage and transform the world?
  • Revisiting Intersectionality
  • Engaging, Questioning and Transcending the State
  • Violence, Trauma, Agency and Resilience
  • Movement Building and Freedom-Making>
  • Sexualities, Sexual Politics, and Visions of Liberation

How-to Videos:
NWSA staff have prepared a few short tutorial vidoes for logging in to the submission site and how-to submit various proposal types.

How to Login and Enter the Submission Site

How to Submit an Individual Paper/Poster

How to Submit a Panel/Workshop/Roundtable

How to Submit an Author Meets Critics Proposal