Conference Report: Sibéal Listens: Fresh Voices and New Directions in Feminist and Gender Research
Last Thursday and Friday, the Women’s Studies Centre at the School of Social Justice, University College Dublin hosted Sibéal Listens: Fresh Voices and New Directions in Feminist and Gender Research, a one and a half day interdisciplinary postgraduate conference on gender and women’s studies. The conference, organised by feminist postgraduate network Sibéal, attracted budding feminist academics from a broad sweep of disciplines, with papers ranging from topics as diverse as gender and security, to women in Mexican Filmmaking, to low income women’s strategies for coping with consumerist culture. For a list of abstracts, speakers and delegates, see here.
The plenary session was chaired by Dr Katherine O’Donnell of UCD and featured a lively and optimistic discussion on the future of Sibéal. Panellists Dr Jennifer Redmond (NUI Maynooth) and Ms Maria Almquist (NUI Galway) conveyed their delight at the recent resurgence in interest in feminist and gender based research in Ireland, particularly in the last year. Delegates were overwhelmingly enthusiastic about the possibilities that lie ahead in terms of feminism being used to illuminate areas of research which would previously have been impervious to the feminist gaze, such as business studies, criminal law and security studies.
Sibéal (which means “she-mouth”) is a grassroots initiative of postgraduate students that aims to provide a platform for feminist networking and discussion. The website includes a list of members, and their research interests, and provides information and news about forthcoming conferences and publications in the field. The forum also creates a space for dialogue and interaction between feminist researchers at Irish schools and universities.
Any postgraduate researchers who incorporate feminist or gender based approaches (including masculinity studies) in their work, and who would like to join Sibéal, should contact the board at www.sibeal.ie.
The conference also featured the first Call for Papers for recently relaunched Irish Journal of Feminist Studies. To find out more about the Journal, please see the Sibéal website.