Working the Intersections of Gender (WIG)

1st Annual Intersections of Gender Fall Conference

October 2-4, 2019 | Students Union Building

University of Alberta, Treaty 6 Territory, Edmonton

Intersectionality has emerged as the leading analytical framework for analyzing and resolving inequality. This framework raises questions of how to produce intersectionality-type research (Dhamoon 2011) to help address the enormous social, political, and technological challenges we are facing today.

At the 1st Annual Intersections of Gender Conference, we ask ourselves:

What kinds of sustainable innovations, connections, collaborations, networks, and solidarity become possible when we work (at) the intersections of gender?

Over the last 30 years, intersectionality has travelled from its roots in Black feminist political struggle and Black feminist thought to its current status as an idiom in popular culture as well as the lingua franca for research and methodologies across all fields and disciplines. This long history of honing intersectionality theory and methodology demonstrates that single-issue approaches to identity, knowledge, and social power generate research that risks failure. By contrast, multi-vector research design helps us to address better the complex challenges of differential life-chances conditioned by social differences.

Scientists have, for example, realized that the convention of viewing heart disease as a male disorder results in misdiagnosis and inadequate healthcare for women. Racially and gender-biased algorithms and data amplify biased knowledge in the public sphere to the benefit of some, while further harming already oppressed people. Engineers attentive to intersectional research design will be better able to design robotics for assistive technology for independent living for an ageing population. Social scientists have pointed out how maternal health and motherhood are affected by anti-Black racism, anti-indigeneity, sexism, classism and other forms of intersectional violence.

Diagram adapted from: Simpson, 2009, p. 5.

We warmly encourage participation and attendance by all, including staff, students, researchers, activists, artists, and the general public. We welcome all levels of engagement in thinking about intersectionality.

The scope of this conference is primarily the University of Alberta and Edmonton area, and funding and resources are not available to support travel to the conference. However, all are welcome to attend.

Our Goals for the Conference

Leaving our disciplinary silos to enhance our scholarly and creative communities

Facilitating networking across scholarly, artistic, and activist communities

Creating space and time for multi- and interdisciplinary conversations

Building larger interdisciplinary research collaborations that go beyond university walls

Discussing the promise & challenges of working with intersectionality

Making visible ongoing intersectional gender research as an area of excellence at UAlberta

Exploring how intersectional gender analytics can inform enhance innovation

Sharing our work with one another