Women and Gender in the Social and Natural Worlds: Rural Perspectives

This conference addresses, from a multi-disciplinary perspective, the roles, experiences, struggles, and triumphs of women in rural contexts across the world. Our theme is founded in the critique, introduced by feminist scholar Sherry Ortner (1974), of the pervasive view that women are inherently and irrevocably connected to nature. This idea’s corollary is that culture – read as progress, development, technology – is men’s work. But research has increasingly shown that women play a central role, not only in sustaining rural life, but also in the development and economic stability of ever changing rural communities. By examining perspectives on rurality throughout history as well as in the contemporary world — in which it is arguably a declining state — this conference will explore the gendered aspects of rurality and its vicissitudes within the neoliberal, global landscape.

We invite submissions for individual paper presentations as well as three- to four-person panels. Submissions from faculty, graduate students, undergraduates and independent researchers are welcome.

Submissions may address but are not limited to the following themes:

Rurality and development
Women and economic independence
Child rearing in rural areas
Disease and gender
NGOs and women’s rights
Sexuality and gender in rural life
Families and gender roles in rural life
Ecofeminism
Environmental advocacy
The conference will be hosted at Marshall University in Huntington, WV on April 10-11, 2015. Marshall is situated in the heart of Appalachia, a center of Appalachian heritage, environment, and culture.

Submission guidelines:

Please send abstracts of approximately 250 words for single papers and up to 500 words for panel proposals as well as a brief CV to Laura Michele Diener at diener@marshall.edu

The deadline is January 1, 2015.