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GSISC 2024

Call for Proposals

Image text: Image of yarn vertically arranged in rainbow colors behind an archival photo of Black librarian sorting her books on a table - text reads: Gender & Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium 2024. Photograph from Spelman College Photographs Collection.

Save the date: GSISC 2024 on June 14, 2024 in Princeton, NJ.

Our Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies

Amid ongoing anti-trans, anti-LGBQ+, anti-critical race theory, and anti-reproductive freedom legislation sweeping the country, libraries and information workers find themselves as frequent targets of debate surrounding censorship, intellectual liberty, and bodily autonomy. This gathering seeks to create an inclusive space for difficult, fruitful conversations that foreground gender, sexuality, and the body, with consideration for libraries and cultural heritage institutions as sites of both liberation and oppression. The planning committee for the 2024 Gender and Sexuality in Information Studies Colloquium (GSISC) invites you to join us June 14, 2024 at Princeton University in Princeton, NJ, to foster dialogue among librarians, archivists, and information workers on our profession and its locus among the intersections of gender, queerness, race, sexuality, and the freedom to exist and thrive in our bodies. We invite proposals that address a range of topics regarding the problems and potential of libraries, archives, and cultural heritage institutions - past, present, and future - as sites that center our bodies.

Questions and considerations might include, but are not limited to:

  • Challenging/Reinforcing Norms |

    • How do queer and sexuality-based agendas challenge or reinforce white supremacy, heteronormativity, patriarchy, and ableism in GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) professions?
    • How do you stay engaged with gender and sexuality scholarship when it’s not supported by your institution?
    • What role does information organization have in challenging/reinforcing dominant cultural norms regarding gender, sexuality, and bodies?
    • What are the biases in library classification systems and metadata schemas connected to gender, sexuality, and the body?
      • Reclassing, alternative thesauri, weeding, shelf-shifting
    • How do we engage more inclusive, equitable, and just methods and practices in our work to resist the perpetuation of structural oppression and harm to marginalized bodies?
  • Programs, Services, and Spaces |

    • What are the histories of providing access to gender, sexuality, and reproductive justice materials in libraries and archives?
    • How do digital access, linked data (technologies that accelerate resources used in education), and the commodification of information threaten the privacy of protected classes?
    • What intersectional perspectives of queerness and gender might we apply to information work?
    • How are information workers engaging in queer, sexuality, and reproductive justice-based programming?
    • In what ways are information professionals concerned with the materiality of bodies in our spaces - e.g., labor, building design, access, safety, surveillance - beyond the discursive?
    • How do we resist/subvert censorship and surveillance of our bodies in libraries?
  • LGBTQ+ Identity in the Workplace |

    • What are the challenges of being queer or LGBT+ within structures that were not meant to engage queer bodies or queer professionals?
    • How do we cultivate radical self-care in the research process and while being ‘professionally queer’?
    • How do we protect our authentic selves in library spaces?
    • How does the political climate, including anti-trans, anti-LGBQ+, anti-critical race theory, and anti-reproductive freedom legislation, impact our work?

Submit your proposal: https://forms.gle/n2P3krCEFFjHSjn38

Please direct any questions or concerns to GSISC2024@gmail.com. Please note that we are a fully volunteer run conference. While we staff our inbox, sometimes we may take a few days to get back to you. 

Important dates

Early deadline for feedback on your proposal – October 1 - October 15, 2023

Feedback received on your proposal (early deadline proposals) - November 1, 2023

Final deadline for proposals – January 19, 2024

Notification of acceptance – February 19, 2024

Registration opens* - March 18, 2024

Colloquium date – June 14, 2024

Note: Further logistics will be unfolding.

* The planning committee is working to keep this a low cost registration.

Program Committee

Sara Howard (chair), Princeton University

August Roberts, Princeton University

Bernadette Birzer-Floresca, Tulane University

Caitlin Shanley, Temple University

Chloe Raub, Dumbarton Oaks

Holly Smith, Spelman College

Kristan Shawgo, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz, New York University

Valencia Johnson, Princeton University