Next April, the College will host the inaugural session of the Queer and Trans Studies Conference, a new biennial conference sponsored by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI). The event is designed to be an “interdisciplinary, intersectional conference for queer and trans scholarship” according to Timothy Bussey, assistant director of ODEI. It includes four tracks: healthcare and technology, visual and performing arts, humanities and popular culture, politics and society and the law.
“There isn’t really an event like this in this part of Ohio,” Bussey said. The conference is accepting works from both undergraduate and graduate students, and it is open to all community members. Bussey hopes that this will allow attendees to network and interact with peers from other institutions. Interest appears high, as ODEI has already received proposals from as far away as New England.
Though the conference is focused on showcasing academic works, intersectionality and accessibility are also priorities in its development. “We want this conference to be very accessible, so in a lot of ways this is mirroring what you would see in more community-based conferences” said Bussey. This commitment includes free registration, free breakfast and lunch for all attendees. Accessible spaces will be used when possible, and socialization and networking spaces for queer and trans people of color will also be available.
Undergraduate and graduate students can submit proposals through ODEI’s webpage until Dec. 21. Submissions may include ideas such as workshops, performances and facilitated dialogues or panels as well as academic papers.