Gender Matters is an academic conference highlighting research on gender, women, and sexuality across all disciplines and historical periods.
Conference planners seek to bring together students, activists, and researchers to discuss the ongoing role of gender in structuring society.
The conference name playfully invokes the germinal work of Judith Butler referencing:
- Gender Trouble
- Bodies that Matter
Broadly, conference planners invite work on all matters of gender. More specifically, we are particularly interested in work that explicates how gender matters, and continues to matter, in our world.
2013 Theme: Continuities & Instabilities
This year’s theme,
Continuities & Instabilities, focuses our attention on the ways gender
and sexuality stay the same and change over time and in relation to cultural
shifts at the macro level, as well as how they are (re)constructed moment to
moment through unstable micro-practices. While conference planners invite work
on all matters of gender, we are particularly interested in work that explores how
the mutable character of gender and/or sexuality is used to both maintain and
resist existing social relations historically and contemporarily.
Click here to download a pdf of the 2013 Gender Matters conference program.
Jack Halberstam is a Professor of American Studies and Ethnicity, Gender
Studies, and Comp. Lit. at USC and an internationally
recognized feminist and queer theorist. Halberstam is the author of Female
Masculinity, In a Queer Time and Place, and The Queer Art of Failure.
Halberstam's address will be based on a new book coming out in
September titled GAGA Feminism: Sex, Gender and the End of Normal. The text
offers “a hard look at the meaning of family, sex, intimacy, parenting and
childhood at a time of great social upheaval. ‘Gaga’ is the term given to the
sense of a system gone wild.”
M. Heather Carver will be presenting the
featured performance titled Booby Trap: A Hair-Raising Experience, a one-woman play about surviving breast cancer one laugh at a time. Carver is an Associate Professor of Playwriting
&Performance Studies and The University of Missouri. She received the 2004
Chancellor's Award for MU Women for her work as Artistic Director and
co-founder of the Troubling Violence Performance Project, a troupe that
performs personal narratives about domestic/relationship violence. She
co-authored Troubling Violence: A Performance Project, published by
the University Press of Mississippi in 2009.
Laurens Grant will be presenting the featured
screening and filmmaker talk, as the Director of the documentary Rokia: Voice of a New Generation. Rokia
grew up the daughter of a diplomat and was raised in Africa, the Middle East
and Europe. When she was high school-age student, her family returned to Mali
to live for a short period before relocating again to Europe. While in Bamako,
Mali’s capital, it was a turbulent period. People were in the streets en masse
calling for democratic reforms and an end to decades of dictatorship. The
movement was energized by students; and their energy galvanized Rokia who
decided to march in the streets with them.
Voice of a New Generation is about how that political awakening helped Rokia
find her voice and become a singer for women’s rights in conservative Mali. Her
lyrics speak out against polygamy and when men refused to work with her, she
became her own arranger, songwriter and boss, all without knowing how to read
or write music. Rokia: Voice of a New Generation includes exclusive
access to Rokia, her songwriting and rehearsal process, explores her musical
roots from her family’s village in Mali, and includes rare footage of her
collaboration with the Grammy-winning avant-garde string quartet Kronos
Quartet. Rokia: Voice of a New Generation is ultimately about
perseverance and how women who believe in themselves can control their own
Tentative Conference Schedule Overview
Friday, April 12th
Saturday, April 13th
- 8:30–9:30 am: Registration, Breakfast, and Welcome
- 9:30–10:45 am: Concurrent Session 1
- 11:00–12:00 pm: Concurrent Session 2
- 12:00–1:15 pm: Lunch (on your own)
- 1:15–2:30 pm: Keynote Address - Gaga Feminism
- 2:45–4:00: Concurrent Session 3
- 4:15–5:30 pm: Concurrent Session 4
- 5:30–7:00 pm: Reception
- 8:30 am: Registration and Breakfast
- 9:00–10:00 am: Concurrent Session 5
- 10:15–11:45 am: Featured Performance - Booby Trap
- 11:45-1:00 pm: Lunch (on your own)
- 1:00 - 2:00 pm: Concurrent Session 6
- 2:15 - 3:30 pm: Concurrent Session 7
- 3:45 - 5:00 pm: Featured Film Screening - Rokia
- 5:00 - 7:30 pm: Closing Reception
The conference will be held in the Daley Building at 14 E. Jackson Boulevard at DePaul University's College of Communication in downtown Chicago.
Click here for a map of the location.
Lodging & Transportation
Gender Matters has partnered with the Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel to secure a block of rooms at the discounted, group rate of $169-$189/night (plus tax). To make your reservation, call 1-800-468-3571 or make your reservation online at:
Deluxe King Room (one king bed), $169/night (plus tax)
Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel.
Be sure to include the group code: gemgema when making your reservation.
Deluxe Queen Room (two queen beds), $189/night (plus tax)
Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel.
Be sure to include the group code: gemgeme when making your reservation.
In order to guarantee the group rate, reservations must be made by March 15, 2013. The Renaissance Blackstone Chicago Hotel is located within easy walking distance from the conference location at DePaul University's College of Communication (approximately 5 blocks).
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the conference location is near a variety of public transit options. If arriving by air, most cabs have a flat rate from O'Hare or Midway to downtown Chicago and all cabs are required to accept credit cards. Both airports are also serviced by the elevated ("L") train with direct access to downtown. The following websites can help you plan your trip.
The Chicago Transit Authority (the "L" trains and buses)
The College of Communication building (14 E. Jackson) is located just off the Jackson stop on the Blue Line (from O'Hare) and the Red Line (from Midway, take the Orange line to Roosevelt and transfer to the Howard-bound Red Line).
Overview of transportation in Chicago
Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org