Kenyon is proud to announce the inaugural conference for queer and transgender studies on Saturday, April 6, 2019. The conference is free-of-charge and open to undergraduate and graduate students both at and outside of Kenyon. Community members are also welcome to attend.
The Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference is a new biennial conference. Sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the conference developed from a need to provide a place for queer and trans scholarship, activism and community building. The conference is built upon a model of interdisciplinarity, intersectionality and equity.
The Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference includes four tracks:
Each of these carefully selected tracks encompasses the desire to facilitate spaces for discussions about queer and trans issues in distinct areas of scholarship and everyday life.
Recognizing the unique set of identities throughout the broader LGBTQ+ community, the Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference also offers drop-in networking/socializing spaces for queer and trans people of color. These dedicated spaces are offered throughout conference sessions with the intent of creating intersectional spaces exclusive to attendees, who may want intra-community discussions throughout the day.
The Kenyon Queer and Trans Studies Conference models itself on practices of equity building. The conference is free to eliminate some economic barriers that may prohibit students from attending, and it will include free breakfast and lunch, with the understanding that food insecurity is often an issue in marginalized communities. The conference will also utilize accessible spaces across campus when possible.
The conference is both intended to be intersectional and interdisciplinary in scope. For this reason, the conference organizing committee welcomes proposals for a variety of LGBTQ+ topics and presentation formats. Examples of presentation formats include: panel discussions with multiple people (either submitting proposals together or separately), workshops led by one or multiple presenters, performances, and interactive facilitated discussions on a specific topic. Each session for the conference will be 45 minutes long, and there will be four sessions held throughout the day.
To submit a proposal, complete the proposal form by Friday, Dec. 21. After that date, the conference organizing committee will make selections and notify presenters by late January. The schedule will be shared before the start of the conference.
As this conference is modeled on accessibility and equity, there is no registration fee, and free breakfast and lunch will be provided to all attendees. While this conference is aimed at engaging undergraduate and graduate students in Ohio, both students from out of state and community members are welcome to register.
If you’re interested in attending this year’s conference, there will be a short form to complete on this website. The registration form will be available by early January.
Sa'ed Atshan of Swarthmore College will deliver the keynote address, focusing on the importance and impact of queer and trans studies in today's sociopolitical climate.
Atshan is an assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Swarthmore College. He previously served as a postdoctoral fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. He earned a joint Ph.D. in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies, a master's degree in social anthropology from Harvard University, and a Master in Public Policy (MPP) degree from the Harvard Kennedy School. He received a bachelor's degree from Swarthmore in 2006. His research interests are at the intersection of peace and conflict studies, the anthropology of policy, critical development studies and gender and sexuality studies. He has two forthcoming books with Stanford University Press: "Queer Palestine and the Empire of Critique" and "Paradoxes of Humanitarianism: The Social Life of Aid in the Palestinian Territories."
Additionally, Atshan has been awarded multiple graduate fellowships, including from the Open Society Foundations, National Science Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Woodrow Wilson National Foundation, Andrew Mellon Foundation, and the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. He is also the recipient of a Soros Fellowship and a Kathryn Davis Fellowship for Peace. He has worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, the U.N. High Commission on Refugees, Human Rights Watch, Seeds of Peace, the Palestinian Negotiations Affairs Department, and the Government of Dubai. He is Quaker, grew up in Palestine, and he is also an LGBTQ rights activist. Atshan serves on the board of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, a Beirut-based organization that supports LGBTQ populations across the Middle East/North Africa region.
The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Kenyon has a number of on-campus and community co-sponsors, who will assist with various aspects of this inaugural conference. As we approach the conference, please check back here for a complete list of these campus and community partners.
Additionally, we would like to note that the funding for portions of this conference have been generously provided by the Kenyon Campus Community Development Fund and the Student LGBTQ+ Diversity Fund.