Anything But Safe: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender (ABS: SSG)

Venue: University of South Florida

Location: Tampa, Florida, United States

Event Date/Time: Mar 06, 2009 End Date/Time: Mar 08, 2009
Registration Date: Jan 05, 2009
Early Registration Date: Jan 05, 2009
Abstract Submission Date: Jan 05, 2009
Paper Submission Date: Mar 06, 2009
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Registration for the upcoming "ANYTHING BUT SAFE: Sex, Sexuality, and
Gender" National Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference at the
University of South Florida, on 6th, 7th, and 8th March 2009 is now
open. Deadline for proposals is January 5, 2009. Email 250-500 word
abstracts to Chrissy Auger at

Please visit our website at for
registration details and the complete conference program.

Conference Focus:
The theme of this interdisciplinary conference is sex, sexuality, and
gender. We hope this very broad topic will allow us to explore current
issues in scholarship and pedagogy that relate to all aspects of sex,
sexuality, and gender. It's inclusive but still specific. People like
sex, society eschews sexuality, and academia banters about gender

Our keynote speaker will be Kate Bornstein, an author, playwright, and
performance artist. Her most recent book is titled, Hello Cruel
World: 101 Alternatives to Suicides for Teens, Freaks, and other
Outlaws. Other information can be found at her website:

When we, as academics, associate sex, sexuality and gender as
'anything but safe,' we refer to the original idea that these terms
are culturally constructed. As constructions, they are necessarily
informed by cultural circumstances and manipulated according to the
existing expectations of class, race, and power relations. Moving
forward to post-modern/structuralist readings of these terms that
reject bright-line definitions in favor of more fluid imaginings that
are unstable, and hence unsafe, we seem to be left with no safe venue
in which to discuss sex, sexuality, and gender. Someone will
ultimately be left out or offended. Thus, conference presenters are
encouraged to investigate the various intersections of sex/gender
issues and their specific area of specialty (such as literature, film
studies, education/pedagogy, psychology, anthropology, sociology,
biology, medicine, history, American studies, political science,
international studies, or religious studies).

We would like paper or panel proposals to address how cultural
constructs of sex, sexuality and gender are 'anything but safe.' We
will give special consideration to proposals, that scrutinize how
these terms translate into society, politics, textbooks or within the
confines of the classroom. Possible topics are below:

• Pedagogical imperatives in multi-gendered classrooms
• Sex and authority or Gender and authority
• Eroticism in literature and film
• Putting the "liberal" into liberal arts
• Sex and society: sexually-charged current events
• Shattered images of masculinity/femininity in contemporary life and
• Nudity, pornography, and new media (tv, ads, Internet, youtube, cybersex...)
• Sexual rubrics: how (American) "society" evaluates others based upon
their sexual conduct
• Sex, sexuality, and elective surgery
• Feminists and the free-love movement
• Sexual warfare: war rapes/crimes against women,
gender/sexual-orientation/etc.-based hate crimes
• Ethics of female genital mutilation
• Cohabitation's impact on the sanctity/necessity of marriage
• Generation seX: what has become normalized in today's sexualities?
What remains taboo?
• Politicizing sex
• The female factor in contemporary international politics
• Sex and STDS
• Sex crimes and the law
• Sex and 21st Century religions
• Hot for teacher: problems in the recent student-teacher sex epidemic
• Rhetoric of seduction in film and literature
• Multiple mindsets: psychology behind swinging, orgies, infidelities, and so on

This conference aims to explore present and past narratives of sex,
sexuality, and gender and to ask what is at stake when these unsafe
narratives are shared. We plan to publish a selection of the
conference proceedings in a special issue of Banyan, our graduate
peer-reviewed online journal. Please visit our website at for more information.

Conference Venue: The Marshall Center at the University of South
Florida, Tampa, Florida. Besides conference events, we offer south
Florida temperatures and pristine beaches in March. We would also like
to extend free accommodations, in USF graduate homes, to traveling
graduate students.

"Anything but Safe" is hosted by USF's English Graduate Student
Association and supported by USF's Humanities Institute, the
First-Year Composition Program, the Committee on Issues of Sexual
Orientation and Gender Identity, and the Departments of Anthropology,
Communication, History and Sociology.


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