Transforming Silence into Language and Action
Third UTSC Symposium in Women’s and Gender Studies
March 23, 2018
The Women’s & Gender Studies Program, Department of Historical and Cultural Studies and the
Women’s and Gender Studies Student Association (WGSSA) are delighted to solicit papers for
the third UTSC Undergraduate Symposium in Women’s and Gender Studies.
The aim of this conference, which draws its name from the title of a speech given by Audre
Lorde in 1977, is to explore the intersections of power and privilege, providing the opportunity
for undergraduate students across all disciplines to participate in scholarly discussion about their
own research, to engage with their student and faculty colleagues in a broader academic context
beyond the classroom, and to offer the products of their intellectual engagement as instances of
protest against institutional sexism and patriarchy.
As we have seen in recent weeks and months, accusations by previously silent victims of sexual
harassment and abuse by powerful men in film and television (Tobak, Spacey, Weinstein,
Russell, etc.), comedy and theatre (C.K., Rozon, etc.), newsmedia (Halperin, O’Reilly,
Richardson, Salvail, etc.), and politics (Moore, Bush, Trump, etc.), are multiplying across
traditional and social media. In this cultural moment of #MeToo, it is important not only to
highlight the relationship between institutional sexism, voicelessness and oppression, but also to
examine the broader implications of the links between power and privilege in society in general.
We invite abstracts (200- to 250-word summaries) that reflect critically on the links between
power and privilege in the context of gender and society. Students may submit an abstract based
on a paper, poem, performance piece, (or other format) they have already written/submitted for a
class, or may propose a new idea. Possible intersections of power and privilege to explore include
but are not limited to: gender, sexuality, religion, language, race, class, Indigeneity, ability in
the context of the workplace, politics, media, education, capitalism, de/colonization.
We invite you to submit abstracts (roughly 200-250 words) for 15-minute oral presentations by
Monday, February 19, 2018. Abstracts are to include a thesis statement and to specify the
relationship to the symposium theme. Abstracts must be sent as attachments (Word or PDF) to
Prof. Jeri English (email@example.com). Please include your name, department, year of
study, university and paper title. Students whose abstracts have been selected will be contacted
by Friday, February 23. Applications are welcome from students from all three University of
Toronto campuses (UTSC, UTM and UTSG).
***Interested, but not sure how to write an abstract? Contact Prof. Nancy Johnston in the
Writing Center before February 10 – she will assist you in developing your ideas.
**There will be cash prizes for the three best papers!! **