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'Gender, Bodies & Technology' conference attracts international participation


Sue Ott Rowlands Sue Ott Rowlands

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 18, 2012 – The second bi-annual “Gender, Bodies & Technology: (Dis)Integrating Frames” conference is attracting scholars from 10 countries in disciplines from the humanities, social and natural sciences, visual and performing arts, engineering, and technology.  The conference will take place at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center from April 26 to 28.

"The innovation of this conference comes from teachers, scholars, and students at Virginia Tech whose work crosses disciplines and generates ground-breaking projects in the arts, technologies, and traditional scholarship,” said Katrina Powell, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at the university. “When we held the first conference in 2010, participants noted that we created a space for scholars across the globe to present their pioneering work. The energy and enthusiasm of the 2010 conference was inspiring and we're looking forward to the art installations, workshops, and lectures of GBT 2012."  

The conference features three keynote speakers: Judy Wajcman, head of the sociology department at the London School of Economics and Political Science; Judith Halberstam, professor of English, American studies and ethnicity, and gender studies at the University of Southern California; and Allucquére Rosanne (Sandy) Stone, professor of new media and performance studies at University of Texas at Austin’s ACTLab.

On Friday, April 27, at 12:30 p.m., Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech, will perform her one-woman play, Mud Nostalgia.

More than 30 faculty from Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and the College of Engineering are involved as planners, presenters, or moderators. To date, participants have registered from Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Given the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of this scholarship, the title of the conference gives us pause for critical reflection on the different frameworks we bring to our analysis from our various intellectual trajectories,” said Sharon Elber, the conference coordinator. “Although we see this body of scholarship to have some convergent themes, we also appreciate the value of divergent intellectual paradigms and the important space that learning from each other can provide in terms of thinking through our own scholarship in new ways. Additionally, we are very keen to try to integrate the arts and more traditional forms of scholarship in our programming and the ‘frameworks’ metaphor seemed appropriate to that end as well.”

All events are included in the conference registration fee. Registration for individual events will be available at the door. Rates for afternoon events are $17 per person and include a luncheon buffet.  Evening events are $10 and include a light reception.  Registration is available online until April 12.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech includes programs in the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college seeks to illuminate human experience and expression by creating works of lasting scholarly, cultural, and aesthetic value; empower individuals to engage critically with the complexities of a diverse, global society; and foster the inquiry, innovation, and growth that produce individual and social transformation.