2011 WSGO Conference

Inviting Intersection:

Interdisciplinary Dialogues of Feminism and 

Feminist Concerns


February 19, 2011

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA


The importance of intersectionality in both lived experience and academic study is being understood with increasing clarity. Indeed, intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality can significantly affect the ways in which people both live in and understand the world.  However, the various identities an individual carries are often considered in isolation from one another and interdisciplinary scholars have identified the difficulties of simultaneously studying intersectional identities.  Given the need for better understanding of the effects of intersectionality and the difficulties associated with this knowledge, exploration of this topic is far from complete. Thus, many questions remain: What does intersectionality entail? What are some of the shortcomings of current and previous understandings of intersectionality? What methods can we use to study intersectional identities? How can we operationalize intersectionality in our studies?

The Women’s Studies Graduate Organization at the Pennsylvania State University seeks submissions regarding work on any aspect of intersectional identity.  We are particularly interested in projects by current graduate students, but undergraduate students are also encouraged to submit work.  In addition to individual papers, we welcome performances, collaborative efforts, and alternative media presentations (please let us know of any resources necessary for accommodating your project). 

If you are interested in having your work considered for this conference, please submit a 300 word abstract to WSGO.officers@gmail.com by January 3, 2011.  If you have questions regarding the conference, please contact us at WSGO.officers@gmail.com

We are pleased to introduce the keynote speaker for this event, Michele Tracy Berger, PhD, Professor of Women’s Studies. Berger is the author of Workable Sisterhood: The Political Journey of Stigmatized Women with HIV/AIDS, co-editor of the book The Intersectional Approach: Transforming the Academy through Race, Class, and Gender, and winner of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) 'American Fellow' award. Her research focuses on the politics of deviance; constitutional law; gender, drugs and culture; women, crime and deviance; feminist legal theory; women of color; and women and politics.

We are also excited to announce that 5th Elament will be performing after the conference. Kalyana Champlain aka 5th Elament is an independent artist, educator, and femcee. Although rooted in hip hop, 5th Elament's music has an eclectic feel that has appealed to audiences outside of hip hop as well, making her universal. Believing that women should never be placed in a box, 5th Elament is determined to take the freedom to explore every part of herself in her music and poetry to show women that there is nothing they can't do.