A message from SEWSA’s President:

Thank you, everyone, who took part in the spring 2017 conference in Atlanta, Georgia, March 23-25, 2017, and many thanks to our host, Kennesaw State University, and especially our annual conference co-chairs, Drs. Stacy Keltner and Letizia Guglielmo, for their tremendous efforts as well as Kennesaw’s student caucus co-chairs, Carolyn Buonomo and Dartricia Walker, and the rest of the conference executive committee. Additional thanks to our generous sponsors, organizers, and administrators at Kennesaw State University for making this conference a success. Thank you, presenters, moderators, attendees, and everyone responsible for making it possible for us to convene in Atlanta. A special thanks to Provost Brian McGee for coming to present the first annual Alison Piepmeier Outstanding Student Award to its winner, Lauren Frey, from North Carolina State University. This certainly made our celebration of our lost colleague even more momentous, as did the memorial roundtable session for Dr. Alison Piepmeier. All those who participated in the memorial session truly honored her memory. Congratulations again to the 2017 winner of the SEWSA Dissertation Grant, Jennifer L. Turner, from Virginia Tech and to all the winners of our Student Travel Grants and our Institutional Mini-Grants.

This year’s 41st annual SEWSA conference theme, #GENDER—Embodying, crafting, & disrupting ‘the digital’, reflects our political and methodological commitments to engaging our students and peers in and through emerging digital environments and technologies as well as reflecting on their transnational patterns and flows. As feminist scholars, activists, and artists, we are cognizant of (and often excited by) the democratic, collaborative, creative, and emancipatory possibilities of our digital age. We collaborate with colleagues across the globe, engage in collective political action, and share information and scholarship with diverse and multitudinous others. Yet we are also challenged to manage all of the ways digital environments and technologies make demands on us, as well as discern truth from fiction in an instant and navigate sometimes hostile terrain, given our newly expanded spheres of vulnerability. And while our virtual selves may fly across oceans and borders in moments, the fraught realities of geographical lines have taken on new dimensions and machinations of power we may not have imagined a mere six months ago.

This brings us to our next theme: Transformations: Leading Change, which focuses on the call to action prompted by our current cultural, political, and economic climate. Please consider submitting a proposal to present at our upcoming conference, March 1-3, 2018 at Clemson University, either for the general conference or one of our three caucuses: the LGBTQ Caucus, the People of Color Caucus, or the Student Caucus. We welcome you to join us in teaching, leading, learning, debating, protesting, celebrating, networking, breaking ground, sharing ideas, soliciting feedback, or soaking in the vibrant feminist energy of the region with its high concentration and caliber of Women’s Studies programs and departments. Insofar as it promotes the collaborative investigation of timely and vital issues and supports crucial Women’s and Gender Studies work in the region, I encourage you to stay involved or get involved in keeping SEWSA as diverse and well-supported as it can be.

- Jennifer Purvis
SEWSA President
2016-2018