Intersectional Inquiries and Collaborative Action: Gender and Race

(part of a series)

University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, Indiana USA
March 2-4, 2017

Intersectional Inquiries Conference Poster Final

Questions of race and gender continue to undergird broad sections of inquiry in the academy and beyond. The ongoing legacies and current manifestations of racism and sexism continue to demand intellectual analysis, institutional recognition, and collective intervention. Reaching a critical crescendo during the political upheavals of the 1960s’ civil rights/anti-colonial era and the responding cultural turn in the humanities, Black feminists have discussed the ways in which both race and gender are co-constitutive and rely on intersecting paradigms of power and constructions of difference. Indeed, the concept of “intersectionality,” coined by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, has become a key mode of framing how identities and sites of contestation around identity are multiple and complex. Furthermore, critics and activists from a myriad of socio-political milieus have underscored the importance of intersectional approaches in struggles for social justice and in the making of inclusive public spaces. From feminist scholarship to human rights policy to commentary via Twitter memes, intersectionality as a theoretical concept, method of analysis, and mode of collaborative action circulates in both grassroots and intellectual discourse.

The Intersectional Inquiries conference will offer a platform for scholars from various fields to interrogate the intersections of race and gender--as manifested materially and discursively--from a broad range of historical, global, and contemporary contexts. We call on scholars, activists, and students to attend rigorously to the ways that race structures gender, sexualities, class, and dis/ability and the dominating matrices of biopolitical violence and imperialism, as well as to trace how racialized subjectivities and non-normative embodiments challenge and radically fracture hierarchy. With this conference, our hope is to inspire impactful intellectual dialogue and assist in building ties that might lead to scholarly- and social justice-focused collaborations.


Patricia Hill Collins Posterrev8 Final Print Version

Our confirmed keynote speaker is Professor Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park.  Professor Collins recently co-authored Intersectionality (Polity 2016) with Sirma Bilge.  Her first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment (Routledge 1990), won the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association for significant scholarship in gender, and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.  Professor Collins is also the author and editor of several books dealing with race, gender, education, and politics, including On Intellectual Activism (Temple 2012); Another Kind of Public Education: Race, the Media, Schools, and Democratic Possibilities (Beacon 2009); and From Black Power to Hip Hop: Racism, Nationalism, and Feminism (Temple 2006).  

Taking up global demands for racial justice and the necropolitics of statecraft, our conference will include two plenary sessions, each of which will bring together an interdisciplinary group of scholars to reflect on how gender and race serve as sites of struggle in the academy and at the nexus of many intellectual, political, and geographic borders that mark our everyday lives. Kanisha D. Bond (University of Maryland, College Park), Roderick Ferguson (University of Chicago-Illinois), and Zethu Matebeni (University of Cape Town) will be discussing "Intersectionality or Diversity? Transforming the Neoliberal Academy in the Era of Black Lives Matter."  Nicole M. Guidotti-Hernández (University of Texas at Austin), Atalia Omer (University of Notre Dame), and Gina Athena Ulysse (Wesleyan University) will be discussing "Biopolitics and Borders: Intersectional Bodies and the Globalizing of Nation."


Registration for the conference is now open. Click HERE to register.

The registration fee includes Thursday 3/2 evening reception, Friday 3/3 lunch and dinner, Saturday 3/4 lunch, and all refreshments and meeting materials during the conference.

$90 Regular Faculty
$65 Student, Contingent Faculty, Independent Scholar, Activist, or Artist

Registration is free for Notre Dame faculty, students, and staff.


Conference Location

The conference will take place in McKenna Hall, the University of Notre Dame’s conference center. You can take a virtual tour of McKenna Hall HERE.

McKenna Hall is located on Notre Dame Avenue, directly east and across the street from the conference hotel, the Morris Inn. See the map below.

Gender neutral bathrooms will be available at the conference center.



Conference attendees have several options for lodging:

1) A block of rooms at Notre Dame’s Morris Inn has been reserved for conference attendees for the nights of March 1-4. Recently remodeled, this AAA 4-Diamond hotel is a mere 2-minute walk across the street from McKenna Hall, the conference location. The Morris Inn offers specially appointed guestrooms that comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Morris Inn is a smoke-free facility. Complimentary wireless high speed internet service is available to hotel guests. The hotel houses an upscale restaurant (Sorin's), a casual brewpub (Rohrs), and a fireside outdoor terrace.

The conference rate for rooms at the Morris Inn is $169.00 per night.

To make a reservation, please click HERE.  Attendees wanting to stay in the Morris Inn will need to make their reservations by Feb. 1.  All unused rooms will be released to the hotel on Feb 2.

The Morris Inn reservation line is 574-631-2000. When calling, please indicate you are with the Intersectional Inquiries Conference.

2) A block of rooms is also available for conference attendees at Fairfield Inn & Suites for the nights of March 1-4. Fairfield Inn & Suites immediately south of the Notre Dame campus on Angela Boulevard, near the Eddy Street Commons shopping and restaurant area. Reservations must be booked by Feb. 4, 2017.

The conference rate for rooms at Fairfield Inn & Suites is between $125-$135 per night depending on room.

To make a reservation, please click HERE.

3) Several additional hotels are within walking distance of the Notre Dame campus, including the Ivy Court Inn, The Inn at St. Mary’s, and the Hilton Garden Inn. Many other hotels are located within a few miles of the University, from upscale downtown options, like the DoubleTree by Hilton, to budget hotels, such as Days Inn, Comfort Suites, and Holiday Inn Express. We have not reserved rooms at these hotels as attendees will likely find cheaper rates online.


Travel, Transportation, and Parking

The University of Notre Dame and South Bend area are readily accessible by car, bus, train, and airplane, train.

The South Bend International Airport (SBIA) is serviced by Delta, United, and Allegiant airlines, with connections through Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Newark, Orlando, Phoenix, and Tampa. SBIA is 5 miles (8k) east of the University of Notre Dame campus and 3 miles (4.8k) northwest of downtown South Bend. Greyhound and Hoosier Ride provide bus service to and from SBIA. Taxi service and rental cars are available at SBIA.

Chicago’s O’Hare airport is the closest major international hub to South Bend. Coach USA shuttle serviceBarons Bus Line, and the South Shore Rail Line service the Notre Dame/South Bend area from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.

Coach USA shuttle service
Barons Bus Line
South Shore Rail Line

Valet parking for conference attendees is available adjacent to the Morris Inn for a fee. A free visitor parking lot is available a short distance away, in the BK1 lot, adjacent to the Hammes Bookstore. See the map below, or click HEREfor an interactive map of the Notre Dame campus.  Pull up to the valet at the Morris Inn to receive directions and pin code to self-parking lot.


More Information

Please direct any questions about the conference to:

Conference Organizers: Marjorie Housley, Tara Hudson, Z'étoile Imma, Mary Celeste Kearney, and Christine Venter, University of Notre Dame.

University of Notre Dame Co-Sponsors: Center for Civil and Human Rights, Center for Social Concerns, Center for Social Movements, Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement, College of Engineering, Department of Africana Studies, Department of American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of Art, Art History, & Design, Department of Classics, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Department of English, Department of Film, Television, & Theatre, Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, Department of History, Department of Political Science, Department of Psychology, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, Department of Sociology, Department of Theology, Gender Studies Program, Graduate School, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, Institute for Latino Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies, Kellogg Institute for International Studies' Africa Working Group, Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies, Program of Liberal Studies, and Undergraduate Studies, College of Arts & Letters.