The 2nd annual Gender Matters conference was held at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois on April 13-14, 2012.
2012 Conference Program
Click here to download the 2012 conference program.
2012 Theme: Gendered Borders
This year’s theme, Gendered Borders, focuses our
attention on borders in all contexts – virtual,
geographical, physical – or any other delineating marker that serves to
exclude, encircle, or expand the concept of borders as gendered sites and sites
of gender. While conference planners invite work on all
matters of gender, we are particularly interested in work that explicates the
shifting relationships between gender, sexuality, space, and place in our
Keynote Address - Friday, April 13th @ 1:30pm
The 2012 keynote address, "Gentrify My Love: On the Borders of Neighborly Desire," will be delivered by Dr. Richard T.
Rodríguez. Rodríguez is Associate Professor of English and Latina/Latino Studies at the
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he is also affiliated with the
Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive
Theory. He received his B.A. in English from the University of
California, Berkeley and his Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the
University of California, Santa Cruz. His research, teaching, and writing are
grounded in Latina/o cultural studies, literary and film studies, critical
theory, and queer studies. He has published articles and reviews in American
Quarterly, Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, American
Literary History, Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Velvet
Barrios: Popular Culture and Chicana/o Sexualities, A Concise Companion
to American Studies, and Gay Latino Studies: A Critical Reader.
His book, Next of Kin: The Family in Chicano/a Cultural Politics, was
published by Duke University Press and won the 2011 National Association for
Chicana and Chicano Studies Book Award. Recently named a Conrad
Humanities Scholar, a designation supporting the
work of exceptionally promising associate professors in the humanities within
the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois, he
is currently writing a book on queer Latino representation and the politics of social
Featured Performance - Saturday, April 14th @ 10:15am
Dr. Laila Farah will present our featured performance, excerpts from her performance piece "Living in the Hyphen-Nation." Farah is a Lebanese-American feminist
performer-scholar. She attended Lebanese American University and Eastern
Michigan University while working toward her BA in Theatre and Communication
Arts. She continued at Eastern Michigan University in order to complete her MA
in Performance Studies and Communication. She received her Doctorate in
Performance Studies at Southern Illinois University. She is currently an Associate
Professor and Graduate Director in Women’s and Gender Studies at DePaul
University. She continues to work on future performance pieces in Chicago, as
well as touring with her production of Living
in the Hyphen-Nation. Her creative scholarship includes research with and
the performance of “Third World” women and women of color, postcolonial
identities and “alien-nation,” and ethnographic and autoethnographic
performance. She is active locally and nationally, and globally in gender based
initiatives through various organizations including the National Women’s
Studies Association and the Arab American Action Network, and the International
Oral History Organisation. Dr. Farah has taught Performance of Gender, Women in
the Middle East, International Women Film Directors, Women in Chicago Theatre,
and Transnational Feminisms , and other Women’s
Studies and Performance Studies courses at DePaul, Southern Illinois
University, and SUNY Potsdam.
Conference Schedule Overview
Friday, April 13th
Saturday, April 14th
- 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
- 12:00–1:30 pm: Lunch
- 1:30–2:30 pm: Keynote Address - "Gentrify My Love: On the Borders of Neighborly Desire"
- 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
- 10:15–11:30 am: Featured Performance - "Living in the Hyphen-Nation"
- 11:45 - 1:00 pm: Concurrent Session 6
The conference will be held on the campus of Governors State
University, located 35 miles south of downtown Chicago. It is easily
accessible by car, bus, and the Metra Electric train.
Maps and Directions
Lodging & Transportation
For conference attendees who may require overnight lodging, the
Hampton Inn & Suites in Matteson, IL is our recommended hotel and
located close to campus.
Hampton Inn & Suites - Chicago Southland-Matteson
5000 Lincoln Hwy,
Matteson, Illinois, USA 60443
Group Rate: $95/night (plus tax)
Group Code: GMS (enter into Group Code box in online reservation system)
Must make reservations by March 22, 2012 to obtain discounted rate.
If you are staying at the hotel and require (or can offer)
transportation between the hotel and campus, please email
email@example.com by March 22, 2012. Based on demand, we will work out either a ride share program or a shuttle service.
For participants preferring to stay in Chicago, access to Governors State University is provided by the Metra Electric commuter rail line.
There are a number of stations in the downtown area off of Michigan
Avenue (Millenium Station, Van Buren Street Station, 11th Street/Museum
Campus). The end of the line is University Park Station, which is
serviced by a free shuttle to Governors State University (or a short
Please send any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org