Feminist Theory and Gender Studies

A blog to facilitate the communication of the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section (FTGSS) of the International Studies Association (ISA) concerning their research, activities, conferences, and thoughts.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

ISA 2007 Communications

If you would like to tell people about, or put together, a potential panel, use the comment feature on this message. I have "commented" as an example.

ISA 2007 Call for Papers, Feminist Theory Section

Feminist Theory and Gender Studies Section

Call for Papers, ISA 2007

“Politics, Policy, and Responsible Scholarship”

Submission Deadline: June 1, 2006

Suggested Deadline: May 1, 2006

The 2007 ISA Call for Papers emphasizes a number of intellectual priorities that the scholarship of our section has exemplified throughout its history. Questions of responsibility for scholarship have been central to the IR feminist project (and the feminist project in general) since its inception. As such, the Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section is uniquely poised to take advantage of this year’s theme. The theme, “Politics, Policy, and Responsible Scholarship,” provides inspiration for our section both to continue important conversations that we have been having and to push the boundaries of our current scholarly interests. We urge colleagues new to ISA to create panels inspired by the theme for FTGS and to use your section colleagues to create panels to submit to the “THEME” (see “Resources and Rules” below).

What insights do gendered lenses provide for responsible scholarship? What types of knowledge should we be presenting to our students and our colleagues? What do the words that we utter in the classroom and in conference panels mean? What are the politics of our knowledge, inside and outside of academia? How has our work addressed the issue of responsibility for scholarship in the past? What new directions would better our understanding of our position as scholars in a world where, as Cynthia Enloe tells us, “the international is personal, and the personal is international”? What are the impacts of our work on ourselves, our departments, our social networks, our communities, and our world? What is our moral responsibility for those impacts?

The convention theme is unique because it at provides an opportunity to share feminists’ fundamental concern with moral responsibility for the content of theorists’ scholarship with the rest of ISA. At the same time, the theme challenges us to push the work of feminist theory further into the realm of policy, for example, to showcase recent work on gender mainstreaming has demonstrated the relevance of feminist theory to policy. But the Conference theme poses a new challenge to us as well. Though it is not stated explicitly, the challenge could be worded something like this: what would we do with the policies that we critique, were we put in a position of influence? Given that, how do we get there?

The Feminist Theory and Gender Studies section invites panels and individual papers from diverse perspectives, including those examining globalization, democratization, human rights, security, gender mainstreaming, disciplinary and physical borders, indigenous issues, nationalism, terrorism, interstate and intrastate conflict, and post-conflict societies. Questions that can be addressed include:

  • What does knowledge mean? What does it mean to be accountable for our knowledge? What are the politics of the dissemination of that knowledge? What impact do book publishers’ and journal editors’ choices about publications have on the world? How do our hiring practices reflect our knowledge? What, if any, activism is there in teaching?

  • Feminists often characterize themselves as scholars and activists. What are the constitutive properties of a scholar-activist? What commitments do scholar-activists have, and what difference do they make in the world? Is the scope of the scholar-activist individual, local, or global?

  • What do we advocate about the policies that we study? What should happen to gender mainstreaming? In Iraq? In Afganistan? What does a gender perspective tell us about development policies? About the composition of the European Union? Is there a such thing as a feminist perspective on policy? As feminist international policy-making?

  • How can we dialogue with others working on similar issues? What is our relationship with NGOs? With activists? With governments? How can scholars of gender interact with policy-makers of gender? Should they?

Continuing the trend of previous years, we are also interested in panels that create productive conversations across ISA sections, and the IR discipline across the board. For example, interdisciplinary panels that engage questions of security, environment, and gender; global development, international political economy, and gender; Information and Communications Technologies and gender; panels which address an issue-area from differing research traditions; panels that create conversations across different approaches within FTGS. We urge you to submit these panels to FTGS as a second choice in order to encourage other sections to include gender sensitive content in their program through co-sponsorship with FTGS (see “Resources and Rules” below).

Also, continuing a successful request from last year, we are interested in encouraging participation from scholars and practitioners who work in areas beyond the North American and/or European academes. We are particularly interested in papers by authors who are co-authoring across these geographies. Scholars new to ISA or to the Feminist Theory Gender Studies section are particularly encouraged to apply. Scholars unfamiliar with ISA or FTGS are encouraged to contact the FTGS program chair long before the deadline so that we can help connect them with scholars putting together panels on related themes (see “Resources and Rules” below).

Finally, we would like to suggest that the ISA Call for Papers creates space for non-traditional panels and roundtables, inviting participants from the policy sector, the media, or NGOs to engage in dialogue with IR theorists about the meanings of our knowledge. We suggest that you take the ISA Call for Papers not only to invite reflection about activism, but to invite that reflection as a form of activism in itself. In that, we encourage you to create new dialogues with ‘actors’ who may not be regular participants in the International Studies Association but whose participation might be interesting given the theme.

Rules and Resources

There are a number of rules and resources that we would like to underscore for your help in putting together panel and paper proposals. First, ftgss.blogspot.com has a thread called “ISA 2007 Communications” which is posted so that you can, in the comments section, get to know people who work on similar issue areas and compose panels. For example, I might post “Laura Sjoberg is working on strategic implications of feminism – does anyone have research interests that might compliment this on a panel”? You could then either choose to email me or post to the comments section of the blog.

Second, the earlier we get our papers and panels in, the better we fare on the program, and the easier your program chairs’ lives are. Though we understand if you absolutely cannot submit your proposal until June 1, we would like to suggest that you deceive yourself into thinking that the Program Submission Deadline is May 1. If we successfully cooperate with this earlier deadline, we will likely be able to put together more theme panels and to be more efficient in scheduling the panels and papers that we receive.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your program chair, laura@laurasjoberg.com, or post to the FTGS blog.

We look forward to receiving your submissions,

Laura Sjoberg, Ph.D.

Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

Women and Public Policy Program

Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government

79 John F. Kennedy Street

Cambridge, MA 01752



(note: email and telephone are the best ways to contact me; please do not mail correspondence)