The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Third Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is: Applied Feminism and Marginalized Communities.
This conference seeks to explore the following questions: What do we mean by”marginalized communities”and what purposes does that designation serve? How has feminist legal theory created or contributed to the understanding of who is or is not marginalized? How has feminist legal theory rendered women universal and marginal simultaneously? How has feminist legal theory contributed to the erasing, shifting and/or merging of boundaries and how does that affect how we think about marginalized communities? How does feminist legal theory intersect with other critical theories regarding marginalization? How can feminist legal theory work towards alleviating poverty and other barriers faced by marginalized communities? How has feminist legal theory addressed marginalization relating to such issues as housing, welfare, domestic violence, family composition, human rights, immigration, and religious freedom? And finally, how has feminist legal theory made (or not made) a difference for those who are portrayed as marginalized or see themselves as marginalized?
This conference will attempt to address these questions from the perspectives of activists, practitioners and academics. The conference will provide an opportunity for participants and audience members to exchange ideas about the current state of feminist legal theories and how those theories are being actualized to help women in marginalized communities. From the conference, we hope that a new discourse about applied feminist legal theory and marginalized communities will begin and that this discourse will shape policy and practice. In addition, the conference is designed to provide presenters with the opportunity to gain extensive feedback on their papers.
The conference will begin the evening of Thursday, March 4, 2010, with a workshop for conference participants. Building from last year’s workshop, which addressed making space for feminist writing, this workshop will continue the tradition of involving all attendees to be participants in the interactive discussion and reflection. The workshop will be approximately one to two hours in length.
On Friday, March 5, 2010, the conference will continue with a day of presentations by legal academics, practitioners and activists regarding current scholarship and/or legal work that explores the application of feminist legal theory and marginalized communities. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker Friday evening. Past keynote speakers have included Dr. Maya Angelou and Gloria Steinem.
The requirements for paper and workshop proposals are detailed below. To be considered for the workshop presentation, please submit a workshop proposal by 5 p.m. on October 16, 2009 to Professor Margaret E. Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org). The proposed workshop need not focus exclusively on the theme of this year’s feminist legal theory conference, but should focus on the general area of feminist legal theory and other critical theories. A workshop proposal should detail the topic of the workshop, your approach for conducting the workshop, and the activities or other methods that you will employ to make the session interactive. The proposal should also identify how long the workshop will last and any technology or other materials required. Due to the limited time available during the conference, we will only be able to select one of the proposals for the Thursday, March 4, 2010, evening workshop. We will notify the selectee by November 13, 2009.
To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by 5 p.m. on October 16, 2009 to Professor Margaret E. Johnson (email@example.com). Abstracts should be no longer than one page. Practitioners’ and activists’ papers need not follow a strictly academic format but all paper proposals should address the conference theme. We will notify presenters of selected papers by November 13, 2009. We anticipate being able to have twelve paper presenters during the conference on Friday, March 5, 2010. Working drafts of papers, which can include works-in-progress, completed drafts, and papers already scheduled for publication elsewhere, are due no later than February 12, 2010. All abstracts and working drafts will be posted on the Center on Applied Feminism’s conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees. Finally, please note that a limited amount of money may be available to presenters for travel expenses.
 This idea is loosely based on one presented by Professor Patricia J. Williams in The Alchemy of Race and Rights: Diary of a Law Professor 7 (1991).