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3rd Annual New Scholarship in Citizenship Studies Conference: Gender and Citizenship

The 3rd Annual New Scholarship in Citizenship Studies Conference was held on March 31 2006. This year, the conference theme was “Gender and Citizenship.” 

To explore this theme, the Center considered questions such as: In what manner is citizenship a gendered concept? Should citizenship be equal or differentiated with respect to gender? How can tensions between gender identity and identity group loyalty be resolved? How does gender influence civic participation, political activism and expressions of nationalism?

Among the topics considered are subjects such as: gendered and multicultural citizenship, challenges to understanding gender construction including transgender identity, gender-specific activist movements, popular media messages of citizenship and gender, the relationship of gender to membership within identity groups (based on ethnic, religious, racial, sexual orientation, political, or other differences), and gender-based variances in immigration and migration practices and policies.

Our Distinguished Scholar-in-Residence, Hortense J. Spillers, professor of English at Cornell University, served as the keynote speaker. Professor Spillers’ work has focused on the relationships between race and gender in African American and American literature. She is best known for her race-centered revision of psychoanalytic theory and for her subtle account of the relationships between race and gender. Her collection of essays, Black, White, and in Color: Essays on American Literature and Culture, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1993, spans her work from the early 1980s, in which she pioneered a poststructuralist approach to African American literature, and extends through her turn to cultural studies in the 1990s. These pieces, which display her passionate commitment to reading as a fundamentally political act, contain powerful readings of individual authors and address such issues as the effect of migration on the black cultural experience and the African American sermon.


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