Making Women Visible: A Conference in Honour of Barbara Brookes
15-17 February 2016, University of Otago.
Making Women Visible honours Professor Barbara Brookes, one of New Zealand’s most important scholars, who has worked at the cutting-edge of historical enquiry for several decades. Over the course of her career, Barbara’s scholarship has encompassed diverse topics (including reproductive politics, mental health, film, photography, performance, race relations, disability, sexuality and feminism). These topics have been approached in imaginative ways (biography, the histories of emotion, comparative and transnational approaches), but throughout she has consistently placed women at the centre of her work.
This conference (15-17 February 2016) not only celebrates a distinguished career, but also marks the arrival of Barbara’s much-awaited survey history of New Zealand women, which will be officially launched as part of the conference programme. Its publication invites a renewed focus on New Zealand women’s history. It has been over twenty years since the suffrage centenary that was the catalyst for the publication of a number of important books, including Sandra Coney’s foundational survey history, Standing in the Sunshine. Since 1993, the number of books, edited collections, articles and theses concerned with aspects of women’s history has greatly expanded and the methodological approaches have undergone evolution. We think it is time, therefore, to reflect on the body of scholarship produced by historians since the early 1990s – to consider its impact on the teaching, researching, and writing of women’s history since then and also to look forward to where the field is headed.
The conference theme focuses on one of the core goals of women’s history, which has been to make women visible, therefore we invite papers that address ‘visibility’ from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The conference committee particularly invites proposals for individual papers and panels that reflect Barbara’s areas of research, speak to the theme of visibility and consider the generation of scholarship since the early 1990s with a view to what has changed and what challenges lie ahead. We are especially keen to receive paper proposals from postgraduates as well as those working in the arts and heritage sector.
In addition to streamed paper sessions, the conference will feature special forums led by two prominent New Zealand historians, Professor Charlotte Macdonald and Professor Margaret Tennant.
Professor Barbara Brookes will offer a keynote address, to be followed by a conference reception, and the launch of her new book, A History of New Zealand Women (Bridget Williams Books, 2016).
A key outcome will be the publication of an edited volume of essays arising from the conference.
Please submit a 250-word abstract along with a short biographical statement by 31 August 2015 to email@example.com
If you wish to propose a panel, please provide a panel title, along with abstracts and biographical statements for each presenter, and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 August 2015.
Conference committee: Jane Adams, Katie Cooper, Jane McCabe, Sarah Christie and Angela Wanhalla (University of Otago)