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CFP: Vitalizing Movements Conference Bodies, Environments, and Biopolitical Struggles

Dec 15, 2013

Call for Papers: Vitalizing Movements Conference – Bodies, Environments, and Biopolitical Struggles

Issues of health and vitality have been frequently taken up as objects of contestation. This common thread can be seen running through past and current struggles, among them: labour unions’ efforts for a safe and healthy workplace; the push for reproductive rights by second–wave feminists; the rise of the movement for people with disabilities; and contemporary struggles of Indigenous peoples to defend their traditional territories.

This three–day conference, January 31, to February 2, 2014 at Carleton University, Ottawa, intends to explore the place of bodies and environments in both historical and contemporary social movements from an interdisciplinary perspective. Specifically, we ask: How have movements been able to challenge, appropriate, and reframe popular conceptions of life and death — illness and ability?

We welcome submissions from graduate students that both reflect and interrogate the manner in which issues of health and vitality are taken up in both historical and contemporary social movements. The following themes may serve to orient contributions:

  • Fighting stigmatization: reconceptualising illness through direct action;
  • The role of movements in reframing the relationship between ability and the built environment;
  • Gendered bodies, sexuality and the politics of reproduction;
  • Community struggles around industrial pollution, waste and environmental health;
  • The rise of the labour movement and the push for a safe and healthy workplace;
  • Neoliberalism, self–care, and therapeutic governance.

We will be featuring two keynote speakers:
Sarah Schulman – This acclaimed author and activist will speak on the history of AIDS activism in New York City drawing from her recent book, The Gentrification of the Mind.
Professor Gary Kinsman – Prof. Kinsman will speak to his research on the history of AIDS activism in Canada. This research is part of a major SSHRC project that is currently being undertaken between Carleton and Laurentian universities.

The conference will consist of two sections:
The first section will include a series of panel discussions that address the role of social movements, past and present, in redefining both official and popular understandings of health and vitality. We welcome individual submissions as well as panel proposals. For individual papers, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words. For panel proposals, send a 100 word panel abstract along with paper abstracts of up to 250 words. We appreciate your suggestions about which of the above themes your paper might suit. We also welcome papers beyond these themes.
The second section will consist of a closed workshop on indexing methods in historical research on AIDS activism. The aim here will be to establish common research methods that enable the comparison of struggles in communities across North America. To apply for this workshop, please send a CV and a one–page written letter explaining your motivation for participating.

Proposals for both the conference and workshop can be submitted by email until December 15, 2013 to aidsactivisthistory@gmail.com.
Please refer to www.aidsactivisthistory.ca for more information.


Location:Carleton University, Ottawa
Web Sitehttp://www.aidsactivisthistory.ca
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