Re-Examining Intersectionality in our 30th Year

Dear All,

With CCCC 2019 notifications having gone out, we are pleased to share early details of the Coalition-sponsored session on Wednesday evening, March 13 (2019) in Pittsburgh!

Two-thousand and nineteen will mark the Coalition’s 30th year, and what better way to do so than through a critical re-examination of intersectional work? As usual, our two-part session will be open to all 4C19 conference-goers.

Part One of the session features 4 brief (7-10 minute) critical talks, with each talk offering an angular take on what it means to interrogate or dwell within “intersections” today, generating a specific question for table-led discussions, before culminating in a closing roundtable.

Heather Adams (UNC Greensboro Dept. of English) will talk on “Intersectionality and Age,” asking us to consider age not only as an ideological construct—thus, as a frame for interpreting development, decline, non/normalcy, durability/vulnerability, and potentiality—but also as a narrativizing device for contemporary rhetorical action and activism.

Jenny Ungbha Korn (Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society) will talk on “Representational Intersectionality Online,” asking us to consider how cultural constructions in online texts across race and gender may operate according to black-white dichotomies, excluding Latinx and Asian-American women from nuanced discussions of representational justice.

Lana Oweidat (Goucher College Dept. of Writing Studies) will talk on “Disrupting Empty Multiculturalisms,” asking us to examine a series of cross-cultural encounters that challenge even contemporary re/conceptions of “tolerance for the Other” and discomfit even postmodern re/conceptions of how U.S. empire and racist discourses occur in the classroom.

Finally, Sarah Singer (UNC Chapel Hill, Dept. of English & Comp Lit) will talk on “Chronic and Contested Illnesses,” asking us what ethical issues, methods, or tools feminist rhetoricians should consider when they apply intersectional analyses to studies ranging from well-understood conditions (such as Type I Diabetes) to generally un-manageable conditions (such as Myalgic Encephalopathy, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome).

I reiterate my thanks for the quick and impressive work of the committee that blind-reviewed and blind-ranked over a dozen competitive proposals for this event: Mariana Grohowski, Charlotte Hogg, Becca Richards, Lisa Shaver, Rebekah Sims, and one anonymous reviewer!

Part Two of the session features mentoring tables, co-led by seasoned and emerging scholars, on various topics—some unique to this Coalition event, and others repeated by popular demand. Please watch for more calls and announcements about mentoring topics, ranging from contingent labor to globalizing feminist historical work.

With best wishes for a sane September,
Tarez Samra Graban
CFSHRC President