Location: Online
Paper Proposal Deadline: Extended to 15 October 2021
Symposium Dates: November 11-12, 2021, Online Zoom symposium, AEDT, UTC+11

Questions? Email us at: [email protected]

We invite 15-min papers/presentations from postgraduate students and early career researchers (ECR) who research sex, gender or sexuality for a postgraduate/ECR end of year Symposium at Deakin. The postgraduate/ECR symposium will be an encouraging space to support junior researchers and their professional development. It will be a great place to practice presentations skills and network with colleagues. We have developed a theme to inspire some ideas, but we accept any research on sex, gender or sexuality, including works-in-progress.


In the midst of the global COVID pandemic, we have witnessed a reshaping of public and intimate life, a deepening integration of the role of technology in work and social participation, shifts in the role of government, an intensification of neoliberal logics of health and self-care, and sharpening inequalities. Lockdowns, masks, quarantine measures and vaccination programmes have become focal points for public hope and anxiety, simultaneously bringing into focus stark divisions within communities as well as new ways of living together. On a global scale, ongoing fears of global warming and environmental degradation continue to shape public concerns about the long-term prospects for the world. At home, the housing affordability crisis, mass changes to employment, the loss of small businesses and rearrangements of care work during the pandemic have changed people’s daily lives. Segments of news media have become outrage machines, generating social conflict for clicks, and across the globe we have witnessed concerted attacks on the critical humanities, particularly around feminist, trans-feminist, and queer studies and, more recently, critical race theory. Despite such troubling events, social justice movements, minority media and feminist/queer communities have continued to grow and reshape themselves to new challenges. Some have recently led to policy and legislative changes protecting sexual and gendered minorities and their rights. We also see a growing interest in inclusive projects in education, health and other institutions, such as consent education, inclusive education and cultural safety in care.  

Amidst the persistence of crisis, how can we fashion hopes for the future, and how does gender and sexuality intersect in all of this? What kinds of feminist and queer futures can we imagine? How might the lens of gender and/or sexuality help us imagine or create alternative futures?  

We invite responses to these key provocations above. We hope the below might give you some further ideas, but they are not the limit of our interests: 

  • Gendered and Sexual Futures: How can feminist, queer and transgender lenses contribute to imagining future societies, cities, communities, industries or knowledge? What kinds of promise can feminism and queer politics give to a younger generation seeking hope? 
  • Histories of Speculation: How have histories of future imaginings changed over time and what can they tell us about gender and sexuality? What kinds of speculative, utopic projects were created in the past and what role did gender and sexuality play in these projects? 
  • Futures of Care/Caring Futures: What will the future of health care look like? How can we imagine a more inclusive health? What can gender and sexuality studies, feminist and queer lenses, offer the caring industries of the future? How can we foster caring futures in contrast to the growing cruelty of neoliberalism?  
  • Future Writing/Speculative Arts: How do speculative, fantasy, sci-fi fiction, art and cinema imagine gendered and sexual futures? How can feminist and queer concepts help engage artists with new ethical and experimental forms of creative practice?  
  • The Future of Gender and Sexuality Studies: In what ways does Gender and Sexuality Studies link to our communities and different workplaces? What is the future of research methods and directions in Gender and Sexuality Studies? What kinds of research are possible in an increasingly precarious labour environment, in which prospective researchers have increasingly limited resources?  
  • Future Societies: How do we reimagine urban spaces, architecture and geographies for diverse communities? How do we examine and create new spatialities and temporalities in such an (im)mobile time? How can we equip ourselves for Gender and Sexuality research when we are in mobility crisis? How do people imagine the future and how is activism reshaping these possible futures?  

Call for Papers

Traditional academic papers, alternative presentations (e.g. creative readings, collective presentations, posters, etc.) or 1-hr panel proposals are welcome. Please submit max. 250 word abstracts and max. 100 word bio to [email protected] by October 15, 2021. (There will be a workshop on Friday September 24th on how to write an abstract and bio for those wanting the learn). 

Abstract Writing Workshop

10 am – 11am
Friday 24 September 2021

In this workshop, Dr Emma Whatman and Dr Jack Kirne will lead a discussion on how to write an abstract. The session will include information on:

  • What a successful conference abstract looks like
  • How to craft an abstract
  • How to craft a panel propsal
  • How to write a bio

The event will take place via zoom on the 24 September at 10am.

Further Information

For further information about the network see our about us page  or send an email to the Deakin GSSRN Conference team: [email protected]