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Gender, Sexuality, and Urban Spaces

Gender, Sexuality, and Urban Spaces

Urban spaces both produce and are produced by gender. The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies conference, Gender, Sexuality and Urban Spaces, seeks to explore the reciprocity of these complex relationships. We are interested in how life (or living) in urban spaces mark as well as produce gendered and sexed bodies and how gender, class and race relations, performances and sexualities, in turn, make their marks on the urban spaces. By urban spaces, we mean the lived practices and representations through which a variety of spaces are constituted within and beyond the scope of the city. We are looking to examine the construction of gender and sexuality (in conjunction with race, class, & mobility) and urban spaces across a range of historical, cultural, national, fictional, and conceptual contexts.

This was my first conference, so it was really wonderful to spend all weekend discussing and celebrating gender and sexuality after spending a year in a department (and university) that does not make it a priority.
— GCWS conference participant

From census surveys, subway maps, and zoning laws to post-apocalyptic narratives, the construction of sexualities, gender relations, performances, and gendered bodies in urban spaces has been robustly imagined, documented, and regulated. Keeping in mind the rich interdisciplinarity suggested by these approaches, this conference seeks to address the following questions: 

How have evolving conceptions of gender and sexuality altered the city in the past, present, and future? 

How has the city altered conceptions of gender / sexuality? How have understandings of gender / sexuality shaped the material and social / cultural spaces of the city? How do gender / sexuality impact access to urban spaces and why? How are conceptions of gender and sexuality reinforced, challenged, or subverted through gendered / sexed bodies and the urban spaces they inhabit? And more.