National Women’s Studies Association Art and Performance Interest Group Call for Proposals 2018!

Art and Performance Interest Group Call for Proposals

National Women’s Studies Association

November 8-11, 2018. Atlanta, Georgia

The Arts and Performance Interest Group (APIG) invites submissions for the 2018 NWSA annual conference: “JUST IMAGINE. IMAGINING JUSTICE: Feminist Visions Of Freedom, Dream Making And The Radical Politics Of Futures.” We are particularly interested in sponsoring a session with performance elements on Subtheme Six: Political, cultural and artistic movements that “demand the impossible.”


As stated in the original NWSA CFP:


SUBTHEME SIX: Political, cultural and artistic movements that “demand the

impossible:” “abolition” and beyond “The role of the artist,” wrote Toni Cade Bambara, “is to make the revolution irresistible.” The work of political imagination, in the widest sense, is a rehearsal of futures that presently appear impossible. It is the courage to demand abolition in a world that broadcasts itself as adequate, natural, and unshakable. The poet and activist June Jordan argued that, as a Black woman, she “had to invent the power [her] freedom requires.” Building upon that declaration, we are interested in discussions and debates about the cultural inventions that shape our histories as well as the present moment. Taking the labors of movement thinkers, artists, and collectives as our evidence, inspiration, and/or model, we seek complex considerations of the ways in which these practices develop and toward what ends. How does a demand for abolition (of the prison-industrial complex for example) free us from the policies and practices of a political system designed to contain, control and categorize? What is the role of art in justice and freedom making? From Frida Kahlo, to Sweet Honey in the Rock, to Pussy Riot, to feminist fiction writers who imagine alternative futures through their art – how do they unsettle and provoke us to think about a more just future? Proposals that interrogate or build skills through movement method and strategy are especially welcome. What would it mean and what would it look like to create and organize toward the end of the world as we know it, and what might come next? What do we make of individual artists or cultural workers around the world who have sought to decolonize art or conversely to use art as a tool of liberation from the feminist futurist writings of Marge Piercy to the theatre and literature-based activism of Richa Nagar? We welcome literary critics, theatre studies’ scholars, art historians and cultural theorists and cultural workers to share reflections, research and productions that address this sub-theme.


While we are happy to accept conventionally delivered academic papers, the APIG panel organizing subcommittee is particularly interested in embodied performance and non-traditional paper delivery (manifestos, spoken work, etc.).

Applicants should follow the NWSA submission guidelines (available at to include:

  •      Title
  •      Abstract (50-100 words)
  •      Audiovisual Rationale
  •      Rationale Works Cited

*Please note that Internet/Wi-Fi is not available in any session space.*

Submissions are to be emailed to by February 9th, 2018. We will review and notify finalists for sponsored panel(s)/performances by: February 14th, 2018. Once submissions for the sponsored panel are accepted, organizers will create the panel title and rationale for the NWSA proposal submission date of February 21, 2018. All accepted presenters must be individual NWSA members for the 2018 membership year AND pre-register for the conference by July 25, 2018.

Please email the APIG Co-Chairs Jessica N. Pabón ( and Beth Currans ( with questions.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s