The gathering will feature panel sessions from WGSS programs from around the state of Georgia. Panelists will discuss program strengths, challenges, and strategies from the perspective of department chairs, faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, alumni, and community partners.
Concurrent sessions will feature panels from WGSS programs statewide discussing teaching, research, and engagement in the field on and off campus. Program sessions will be available Thursday and Friday at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Plenary panels will be featured on Thursday and Friday. A Keynote address will also be featured.
The event is open to the public, but registration is required. GS in GA is co-sponsored by the Southeast Region Women’s Studies Association (SEWSA), who will coordinate registration. This virtual gathering is supported in part by the Georgia State Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Co-sponsors also include the Georgia State Center for the Study of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD) and the Georgia State Department of History.
Persistence is Resistance is a collection celebrating 50 years of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies. Contributors are a diverse group of scholars, from undergraduate students to faculty emeritus, representing twenty-two institutions. Essays cover GWSS’s history, praxis, and implementation. The book also includes artwork by GWSS undergraduates and alumni, and their answers to “why GWSS?” Persistence is Resistance is ideal for the classroom because the essays are short, jargon light, and inspire feminist inquiry, activism, and pride.
Thank you for joining us at the Gender Studies in Georgia Virtual Conference hosted by Georgia State University! While this event is an occasion to commemorate three very important historical dates relating to Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), our larger purpose focuses on the future of our academic discipline and local, regional, and national community building.
For this event, we bring together panels of students, faculty, alumni, and community partners from eleven institutions in the state of Georgia. At this event we are organizing to share information about the work we do, identify our common and unique challenges, and to exchange vital strategies to expand scholarship, critical thinking, and social justice work in WGSS.
We are also fortunate to host two plenary sessions: on Thursday we will feature authors from the recently published, Persistence is Resistance: Celebrating 50 Years of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. On Friday, we will feature three authors of books that address race, gender, and the vote. In addition to convening WGSS programs to talk about issues within the state, this gathering also strengthens relationships with regional and national professional organizations, SEWSA and NWSA.
Of course, we are thrilled to amplify the voice of a modern-day freedom-fighter, Stacey Abrams, whose Fair Fight Action and Fair Count are tirelessly committed to ensuring equal and equitable participation and representation in our democracy. This gathering, in this state, in this election year, is pivotal.
I’m grateful for the collaboration of WGSS colleagues around the state who are leaders of academic departments. Department chair is always a challenging job, never more so than in our present time as we face crises on multiple fronts, including fights for racial, political, health, and economic justice. As the leaders of WGSS programs met this summer, we shared information and strategies that helped combat our sense of alienation in this time of distance. I’m also grateful for the support of colleagues and leaders at GSU, including the Center for the Study of Africa and Its Diaspora (CSAD), the Department of History, the Office of the Dean, and the Office of the Provost. Of course, I’m most grateful for the GSU WGSS community—as we continue to #BuildaBetterWorld and do work that is #AlwaysRelevant / #StillRelevant.
The Gender Studies in Georgia Virtual Conference is our way to create #AFeministSpace to make room for social change in our state, region, and nation. It is an honor to welcome you to the WGSS community at Georgia State University.
Dr. Stephanie Y. Evans | Gender Studies in Georgia, Conference Chair
The Gender Studies in Georgia Virtual Conference is proud to host Stacey Abrams as the 100th Anniversary Keynote Speaker at 5:00pm on Thursday, October 22, 2020.
Stacey Abrams is a New York Times bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, nonprofit CEO and political leader. Abrams is author of two books, Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change (2018) and Our Time is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America (2020). After serving for eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Democratic Leader, In 2018, Abrams became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, winning more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Abrams was the first black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union.
After witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Abrams launched Fair Fight Action to ensure every American has a voice in our election system through programs such as Fair Fight 2020, an initiative to fund and train voter protection teams in 20 battleground states. Over the course of her career, Abrams has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. In 2019, she launched Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and greater participation in civic engagement, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. For Abrams’ full profile if initiatives, awards, and contributions, visit fairfight.com/about-stacey-abrams/.
This plenary session features three speakers who discuss perspectives of the historical and contemporary implications of founding of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies departments in higher education. Specifically, this panel discusses the publication of an open access book edited by Julie Shayne, Persistence is Resistance: Celebrating 50 Years of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (University of Washington Press, 2020). Dr. Julie Shayne talks about the origins of the Persistence is Resistance book project, the process of editing the book, and her goals for the collection. Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall will discuss her chapter “Introduction” and Dr. Judy Howard will discuss her chapter “Turning a Feminist Lens on Administration.”
Julie Shayne University of Washington-Bothell
o Editor, Persistence is Resistance: Celebrating 50 Years of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Beverly Guy-Sheftall Spelman College
o “Introduction” in Persistence is Resistance
Judy Howard University of Washington-Seattle
o “Turning a Feminist Lens on Administration” in Persistence is Resistance
Stephanie Y. Evans (Panel Chair) Georgia State University
o Reviewer, Persistence is Resistance
Stacy Keltner (Panel Co-Chair) SEWSA and Kennesaw State University
This plenary session features three speakers who engage suffrage history, contextualize our current political moment, and share ongoing strategies to secure voting rights. Dr. Martha S. Jones traces the complicated history of race in the suffrage movement and gender in early Black freedom movements. Michelle Duster, the great-granddaughter of Ida B. Wells, shares multi-layered insights about the meaning of a cornerstone case study in the fight of suffrage for all. Dr. Carol Anderson delineates the path from there (historical challenges) to here (contemporary struggles) in order to deconstruct failings of democracy and to construct viable plans for inclusive democratic action.
Martha Jones Johns Hopkins University
o Author, Birthright Citizens: A History of Race and Rights in Antebellum America
o Author, Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All
Michelle Duster Columbia College
o Author, Ida In Her Own Words: The Timeless Writings of Ida B. Wells from 1893
o Afterword, Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells
Carol Anderson Emory University
o Author, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
o Author, One Person, No Vote
Stephanie Y. Evans Georgia State University
o Author, Black Women in the Ivory Tower, 1850-1954: An Intellectual History
o Co-editor, Black Women and Social Justice Education: Legacies and Lessons
Tiffany Player Georgia State University
o “What Are We Going to Do For Ourselves?:” African American Women and the Politics of Slavery from the Antebellum Era to the Great Depression (forthcoming)
Institute for Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Georgia State University
25 Park Place
Atlanta, GA 30303
Institute for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3969
Atlanta, GA 30302-3969