WGSS Department Hosting 2024 Capital District Feminist Studies Conference

A logo reading CDFSCC 2024 next to an image of a woman in a colorful scarf and black jacket standing in front of a research poster

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 4, 2024) — International Women’s Day is March 8, and the United Nation’s has chosen the theme for this year’s celebration as “Invest in women: Accelerate progress.” 

UAlbany’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) is embracing the theme – and expanding on it — by showcasing the work of scholars, faculty, advocates, undergraduate and graduate students as host of the 12th annual Capital District Feminist Studies Consortium Conference on Friday, March 8.

The day-long conference, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the Campus Center Assembly Hall, will include panel discussions on history, politics, power, policy and the future. Speakers and presenters include scholars and faculty from UAlbany as well as Columbia, Colgate, Skidmore, RPI, Siena and Russell Sage, as well as students and activists.

“This year’s event brings togethers scholars, researchers, community leaders and students representing a vast array of fields connected to feminist issues in an effort to strengthen bonds and connections at all levels,” College of Arts and Sciences Dean Jeanette Altarriba said. “It is highly commendable that our Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies organized this event this year, as they serve as a beacon of empowerment, advocating for change and making a meaningful impact in our college, University, community and beyond.”

The Capital District Feminist Studies Consortium (CDFSC) was formed to enhance collaboration among scholars in the region, and the first conference was held in 2013, co-hosted by Albany Law School and Albany Medical College. The conference rotates among member institutions; UAlbany last hosted in 2015. 

“The annual conference provides a platform for sharing research, networking and strengthening the link between academic inquiry and practical application,” said Barbara Sutton, professor and chair of WGSS.

Planning for the conference began last fall and included soliciting proposals for paper presentations and posters on a wide range of topics of feminist interest, including perspectives from queer, trans, intersectional, transnational and feminist disability studies. “In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we encourage proposals that illuminate historical and contemporary efforts to change the world, from everyday activities and micro-rebellions to collective forms of resistance and social movement organizing," the request for proposals read.

Submissions were reviewed by a committee of faculty from UAlbany, Siena College and Russell Sage College, the WGSS department created the final program. 

Rajani Bhatia, an associate professor in WGSS and an organizer of the conference, noted that UAlbany expanded the conference from a half-day to a day-long event when it hosted in 2015. “That year we were also able to attract scholars beyond the Capital Region. We may be setting yet another precedent this year in the number of attendees given the high number of registrants to date,” she said.

Attendance at the conference is free, but registration is required and can be done through this registration form. You can stay for the entire event — which begins at 8:30 with a light breakfast and remarks from Provost Carol Kim and Dean Altarriba and ends with a poster session and closing reception — or pick and choose from sessions that fit your interests and schedule. The entire schedule can be found on the WGSS website.

“We hope for attendees to be enriched with new knowledge of feminist issues in a wide range of fields, that they will meet and connect with people who they might collaborate with in the future, that they will be energized and inspired to learn more and to continue their important work,” Sutton said. “We hope this event helps to strengthen feminist scholarship, teaching, and practice; and in welcoming participants to UAlbany, we also hope they get to learn about the exciting programs and opportunities that our university offers.”

The conference is cosponsored by the departments of Anthropology, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology; the Institute for Research on Women; the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Social Welfare and Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy; the Division for Research and Economic Development, University Auxiliary Services and United University Professions.