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The University of Baltimore School of Law’s Center on Applied Feminism seeks submissions for its Fifth Annual Feminist Legal Theory Conference. This year’s theme is “Applied Feminism and Democracy.” For more information about the conference, please visit

Over the past year, we have seen the impact of democracy on women’s lives globally, nationally, and on the state and local level. From participation in the overthrow of governments in the Middle East to battles over funding for Planned Parenthood in the United States, women and democracy has been a recurring theme of recent events. In this election year, we invite you to think about gender, feminism and democracy. Who does democracy best serve? How do democracies shape the lives of women? Does democracy increase women’s participation in governmental process? Have democratic governments been successful in advancing feminist goals? Are there better ways than democracy to address the issues that affect women’s lives? Is securing voting rights a feminist issue? What does democratic participation mean for women? How can women use democratic processes to improve their lives? How can feminist legal theory inform the creation and evolution of democracies? How might feminist principles inform our understanding of what democracy is and what it requires? Are there are distinctively feminist approaches to the meaning of democracy? The conference will explore gender issues within emerging and well-established democracies, allowing us to reflect on past movements and propose future reforms.

This conference will attempt to address these and other 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 relate to women’s experiences of democracy. By expanding the boundaries of our exploration, we hope to deepen our understandings of feminist legal theory and to move new insights into 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 1, 2012, with a workshop for conference participants. This workshop will continue the annual tradition of involving all attendees to be participants in an interactive discussion and reflection. The workshop will be approximately two hours in length.

On Friday, March 2, 2012, 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 to democracy. The conference will be open to the public and will feature a keynote speaker. Past keynote speakers have included Nobel laureate Toni Morrison, Dr. Maya Angelou, Gloria Steinem, and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sheryl WuDunn.
To submit a paper proposal, please submit an abstract by 5 p.m. on October 14, 2011 to Professor Leigh Goodmark at In the subject or “re” line of your submission, you must type: CAF conference submission. It is essential that your submission contain your full contact information, including an email, phone number, and mailing address where you can be reached. 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 in mid-November. We anticipate being able to have twelve paper presenters during the conference on Friday, March 2, 2012. All working drafts of papers will be due no later than February 10, 2012. All abstracts and drafts will be posted on the Center on Applied Feminism’s conference website to be shared with other participants and attendees.
In addition, the University of Baltimore Law Review has agreed to offer publication to between two and four of the papers presented at the conference. If you are interested in submitting your abstract for consideration by the UB Law Review, please indicate as such on your abstract submission. To be eligible for publication in the UB Law Review, submissions must not be published elsewhere. Typically, the UB Law Review publishes pieces ranging from 25 to 45 pages in length. One volume of the Law Review is dedicated to papers from this annual symposium.
We look forward to your submissions. If you have further questions, please contact Leigh Goodmark at

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