Sunday, January 8, 2023

CFP for "The Girl in Theory: Toward a Critical Girlhood Studies Symposium"

CFP for "The Girl in Theory: Toward a Critical Girlhood Studies Symposium"
by E Lev Feinman

The Department of Childhood Studies and the Gender Studies Program at Rutgers University- Camden invite proposals for “The Girl in Theory,” a virtual symposium to be held March 29-31, 2023.

This symposium invites exploration of what it means to theorize through and with the girl and the category of girlhood. Well beyond the boundaries of “girlhood studies,” the girl often lurks where she is not an explicit subject of inquiry. As a figure enmeshed in processes of racial capitalism, colonialism, and carcerality, how might the girl inform visions of, and struggles for, transformation and liberation? In joining ongoing critical conversations in the field of Black girlhood studies and beyond, the symposium seeks to position critical girlhood studies as a viable field that has much to offer contemporary modes of thought and inquiry.

This symposium centers critical conversations on the generative tensions and future possibilities of scholarship on girls and girlhoods. What does it mean to invoke “the girl” as the central subject of research and inquiry? In an ever-shifting landscape of gender politics that push beyond binary categories and narrow identities, what does the category of “the girl” have to offer critical research? How are scholars attending to shifting definitions of “the girl” and “girlhood”? And how might these generative tensions push the field of girlhood studies in new, critical directions? These are the questions “The Girl in Theory” will explore.

Some themes this symposium seeks to investigate:

(Re)defining the “girl” / challenging the bounds of girlhood

Racializing, queering, transing, and cripping girlhoods

Possibilities of indigenous and transnational girlhoods beyond the legacies of colonialism

Semiotics, affect, and aesthetics of girlhood (appropriative, sexualized, or otherwise)

Girlhood as it (dis)appears in history, media, literature, or art

Girlhood in public institutions (carceral, educational, governmental) and processes

Futures of Girlhood Studies as a field or discipline

This inaugural Critical Girlhood Studies Symposium will also serve as the launch for the Girlhood Studies Collective, a new scholarly community for further research and collaboration on girls and girlhood.

The symposium will be held virtually on March 29-31, 2023. We especially welcome interdisciplinary proposals from emerging scholars, graduate students, and undergraduate students. The deadline for submissions is February 5, 2023.

Paper submissions should be for 10-15 minute presentations. Submissions should include a paper title and a 250-300 word abstract, along with the presenter’s name, university affiliation, email address, and a short bio (3-5 sentences). Academic paper presentations on any current or recent research, side projects, or possible future projects, unfinished, and work-in-progress papers are

welcome. We also welcome roundtable or panel proposals, and ask that you include information for all panelists in one submission.

Please submit required materials at by February 5, 2023. All future symposium information, schedules, and announcements will be posted at that site.

Please send any questions to Notifications of acceptance and preliminary schedule are expected to be sent by February 26th. The conference is free of charge but does require advance registration. Registration will open in winter 2023. A finalized schedule will be sent out in March 2023.