CfP: The Neoliberal University: Gender, Class, & Sexuality

This panel intends to investigate processes of bureaucratization and business-afication of the university and the role that these have in re-shaping the interrelations of class, gender, and sexuality; and the specific ways that the change from educational pedagogy to business model has impacted classed, gendered, and sexual practices and relationships.

The rise of neoliberalism coincided with the increase of enrollments in universities and this panel proposes to investigate these two in relation to each other. The scale of the university has increased in terms of rising numbers of students enrolled. Also, as university has become more accessible to larger numbers of citizens, the importance of higher education as a marker of class has become, relatively, more available.

In the light of these shifts, the question is how the (increasing) importance of the university as a site of emancipation takes on questions of gender norms and practices, as well as forms of sexuality.

On the one hand, universities can be seen as sites of normative structures regarding gender, sexuality, race / ethnicity, class, age and more, shaping normativity from aesthetics to  (gendered) harassment on college campuses.

On the other hand, universities have also been the sites for social justice and emancipation, regarding gender and sexuality, by the way of Women’s & Gender studies, LGBT studies and Queer Theory.

This panel seeks to bring together a collection of papers on the role of the neoliberal university in shaping, marking, and creating new expressions and relations of gender, class, and sexuality. In this way, it opens up the discussion to allow for the varied ways that universities implement and allow possibly opposing development of providing spaces for emancipation as well as reproducing normative spaces in terms of gendered, sexualized and classed possibilities.

Papers should seek to elaborate on both theoretical elements and empirical cases (from the Global North and South) and aspects of the role of the university in the 21stCentury and its impact on gender, class, and sexuality.

Categories: Conferences, Higher Education

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