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We are now accepting submissions through 10/15.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

November 22 – 23, 2019


**Small Travel Awards Are Available For Presenters From Outside the Triangle**

Undergraduate students, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows are invited to submit abstracts to the fourth meeting of Feminisms Here and Now, an interdisciplinary conference organized by PhD students in the Departments of Communication and Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This year’s theme – “Difficult Attachments” – draws from discussions around our three prior themes, “An Interdisciplinary Conversation,” “Alongside | Across | Against,” and “Continuities and Contradictions,” by taking up the complexities of connection, wherever they may lie. Our previous meeting produced a lively conversation around the difficult attachment many of us have to the myth of scarcity, and the limited vision such an attachment can produce. This year’s theme seeks to build upon that insight and broaden its implications by exploring the notions of both difficulty and attachment through various feminist lenses, here and now.

Feminisms have an important history with the notion of difficulty— facing difficulty, difficult conversations, or even just plain being difficult.  And, in the words of the Combahee River Collective, we understand that “the major source of difficulty in our political work is that we are not just trying to fight oppression on one front or even two, but instead to address a whole range of oppressions.” While experiences and understandings of difficulty take many forms, we are particularly interested in what difficulty means when we gather as academics, activists, and people interested in feminisms, womanism, queer of color critique, transfeminisms, equity, and justice. Gathering gives us a chance to reassess the attachments we hold, and find new and old tools to address concerns endemic to the context in which we find ourselves. We face a number of troubling occurrences in the contemporary moment, including but not limited to: resurgent far-right extremism locally and globally, lost cause nostalgia masquerading as a dispute over heritage, an increasingly dire climate crisis, ongoing police violence against black lives, widening wealth inequality, and crises of forced migration across the planet. Transnational developments pertaining to war, migration, labor, militarization and security, and other systemic crises of political, economic, and environmental organization and violence make the need for thinking through the role of feminist analysis, pedagogy, and praxis clear. Thus the theme, “Difficult Attachments,” is meant to examine the composites of relations that make up these and many other crises, producing the kinds of analysis that might allow feminists to move forward together without homogenizing or resolving our differences but instead valuing our complexities and contributions as essential to forging a different and more just world.

Doing feminist work, living feminist lives, centering and uplifting women and queer folx of color. These are the tasks before us. To do this work, it is often essential that we engage many—often conflicting—attachments and relationships, make some of our closest attachments more difficult, and see, name, and struggle against the many difficulties that institutions of white supremacy and patriarchy attempt to render invisible. We center this year’s conference on “Difficult Attachments” to encourage submitters to consider difficulties in and across a wide variety of attachments through the lens of their feminisms. We seek presentations that ask: What are we stuck on? What can’t we let go of? What are we reaching toward? What has a hold on us? What feelings of closeness or distance guide us? How might we draw closer together with those whose struggles we share?

Here and now, we ask:

  • What are the sources of difficulty in doing feminist work? How do we discern some difficulties as not only necessary but also as sources of the deep strength and generative force from which our (feminist) world making stems?
  • How do we bridge multiple different theoretical, activist, and quotidian approaches including academic feminisms, on the ground organizing / activism, and engaging with the problematics and benefits of pop-feminism? Should feminisms be difficult?
  • How do we build and sustain solidarities among feminist studies, critical race studies, black feminist studies, gay and lesbian studies, trans* studies, disability studies, and queer theory?
  • Which tools, constructs, and theories help us to hold onto the complexities of our experiences while simultaneously keeping an eye to the tensions between daily living and structural challenges, the local and the global, and the systemic and the individual?
  • How do we address feminisms’ own difficult histories of complicity with systems of power and of producing and reproducing white, western hetero-patriarchal structures of oppression within and across feminist spaces, groups, organizations, and activity?

The conference invites abstracts on feminisms here and now with an understanding that writers may consider each of these terms in their broadest contexts. “Feminisms” may refer to a multiplicity of personal, political, and theoretical positions; “here” may designate any place, space, or scale; and “now” can include all relevant pasts, presents, and futures. Work utilizing critical, theoretical, qualitative, social scientific, performative, or other methodologies are welcome, as are all disciplinary, departmental, activist, or programmatic orientations and perspectives. Submissions not directly responding to this year’s theme are also encouraged. Abstracts (400 words maximum) may be submitted on the Feminisms Here and Now: Difficult Attachments website at

Submissions will be accepted through October 1, 2019. Participants will be notified of acceptance by October 15, 2019.

Please visit for details about the conference, including schedule, speakers, registration (free), travel, and location information. The website will be updated regularly with new information. Please use the “Contact Us” form on the website to send any questions or comments about the conference logistics or this call. All other questions should be directed to our conference email address: