March 31-April 2, 2016
Intersectionality in the New Millennium: An Assessment of Culture, Power, and Society

The Women's and Gender Studies program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC, hosted SEWSA's 40th anniversary conference in 2016. More than twenty-five years after Kimberlé Crenshaw coined the term intersectionality to capture how race, class, and gender, among other identity variables, interconnect to create the multiple oppressions that Black feminists and feminists of color had been describing for at least one hundred and thirty years since Sojourner Truth gave her famous ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ speech in Akron, Ohio in 1851. In her groundbreaking 1989 article, Crenshaw focused specifically on the intersection of race and sex in anti-discrimination cases in the lives of Black women. Since then, a wide range of theoretical and empirical work has emerged in Critical Race, Feminist, Post-Colonial, Queer, and Women’s and Gender Studies, utilizing intersectional approaches to understand how interlocking systems of oppression based on categories of race, class, sex, gender, sexuality, nation, ethnicity, coloniality, (dis)ability, etc. shape the possibilities and limitations in people’s lives.

SEWSA's 40th anniversary was focused on further exploring Crenshaw's ideas of intersectionality by inviting paper and panel proposals that included:

  • intersections of gender, race, class, sexuality, etc. in history, politics, art, law, science, culture, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, essays, speeches, and letters that point to challenges and opportunities in women's lives
  • the rhetoric of intersectionality:  how the rhetorical, linguistic lens of intersectionality can help us analyze and interpret language that is used to limit or expand women's lives in a global context
  • how the conceptual and/or methodological framework of intersectionality can help us understand and address some of the most difficult issues and important social movements of our time, i.e. war, terrorism, poverty, police brutality, gun violence, Occupy, Black Lives Matter, etc.
  • how gender, race, class, sexuality, etc. is portrayed in social media, and/or how social media, multimedia works of art, and/or technology are helping bridge the gaps between and among the various categories of identity
  • how the conceptual framework of intersectionality can help us craft inclusive language that opens up possibilities for women in a global context
  • the difficulties and limitations of doing intersectional research
  • illustrative examples of intersectional research
  • how intersectionality impacts research in the traditional disciplines
  • theoretical approaches to art, culture, science, politics, and society that are interdisciplinary or combine methodological approaches from multiple disciplines
  • any other topics related to Women’s and Gender Studies


Thank you to Winthrop University for hosting SEWSA's 40th anniversary conference!