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POSTPONED: 2019-20 HI Conference: Global Gender and Sexuality Studies presents, “Democracy Wide Open: Critiquing the Present, Imagining a Feminist Future”

April 2, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - April 3, 2020 @ 5:00 pm

Group of women holding banner that reads sin mujeres no hay revolucion


Globally, there is rising concern over the future of liberal democracies. Far-right politicians and political parties are gaining power, often threatening the institutions, norms and practices of democratic governments. Building a politics of resentment that targets racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ communities, women and feminists, religious minorities, immigrants and the poor, they question the legal and economic rights that were hard won by these groups.

Thus, the current political situation demands renewed attention to the successes, failings, and as yet unrealized promises of democracy. Feminist scholars from diverse perspectives have long engaged with the most thorny issues for democracy, including issues of power, representation, deliberation, legitimacy, inclusion, freedom and justice. Feminist theorists and activists have been some of the harshest critics of the failings of existing democracies. At the same time, feminist scholars defend the importance of every day democratic practices and the crucial possibilities that emerge from engaged activism. Join us as we discuss with scholars and activists how to understand the current democratic crisis, to imagine what a feminist democratic future would look like, and to create together that future.

Download the conference schedule (PDF)

Wednesday, April 1

[7:00pm @ Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center] Suffrage: Women’s Long Battle for the Vote
Book Signing + Reading with Dr. Ellen Carol DuBois, UCLA
Sponsored by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center and Talking Leaves Books

Thursday, April 2

[5:00pm-6:00pm] Putting Feminist Politics into Practice at the Local Level: Policy Interns

  • Dr. Karen King, Commissioner of Public Advocacy, Erie County Commission on the Status of Women
  • GGS Students: Jessica Mason, Ebehitale Imobhio, Alanna Fino, Angela Menditto
  • Moderator: Karolina Kulicka, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

[6:00pm-7:30pm] Building a Just Community Through Activism in Buffalo

  • Zainab Saleh, Frontline Arts Buffalo
  • Jennifer Connor, Justice for Migrant Families
  • Rebecca Town, Public Defender, Legal Aid Bureau Buffalo

[7:30pm-8:30pm] Reception open to all

Friday, April 3

[9:30am-10:00am] Conference Registration and Breakfast

[10:00am-10:15am] Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Dr. Gwynn Thomas, University at Buffalo

[10:15am-12:15pm] Crossing Borders, Living at Intersections, Dreaming Feminist Possibilities

  • Dr. Anna Sampaio, Santa Clara University
  • Dr. Danielle Phillips-Cunningham, Texas Women’s University
  • Dr. Rachel Havrelock, University of Illinois, Chicago

[12:15pm-1:15pm] Lunch provided for all conference participants

[1:15pm-3:15pm] Finding Freedom through Poetics and Religion

  • Dr. Natasha Behl, Arizona State University
  • Dr. Marla Segol, University at Buffalo
  • Dr. Zenzele Isoke, University of Minnesota

[3:15pm-3:30pm] Coffee Break

[3:30pm-5:30pm] Imagining New Paradigms and Transforming Cultures

  • Dr. Renee Heberle, University of Toledo
  • Dr. Susan Burgess, Ohio University
  • Dr. Sara Angevine, Whittier College

[5:30pm-6:00pm] Closing Reflections

Organized by the department of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies and the UB Humanities Institute, with the support of the UB School of Architecture + Planning, and the UB CAS departments of History, Comparative Literature, English, and Political Science.


April 2, 2020 @ 5:00 pm
April 3, 2020 @ 5:00 pm


Humanities Institute
Dept of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies


403 Hayes Hall – South Campus