Kentucky Gender & Women's Studies Conference
Founded after the 2016 election, the Kentucky Gender and Women's Studies (KYGWS) Conference was first conceptualized by myself and three other GWS graduate students at the University of Kentucky--Billy Korinko, Ashley Ruderman-Looff, and Miles Feroli. The conference was initially funded by a $17,000 Inclusive Excellence Student Program Grant from the University of Kentucky Office of Institutional Diversity. The inaugural KYGWS Conference took place on September 16, 2017, with keynote addresses from Dr. Susan Bordo and Dr. Patricia Hill Collins.
The Second Annual KYGWS Conference was co-chaired by myself and Mel Lesch, another GWS graduate student at the University of Kentucky. The second conference was funded by a $17,500 Student Center Challenge Grant from the University of Kentucky Division of Student and Academic Life. It was held on September 8, 2018 with keynote addresses from Andrea Jenkins and Garth Greenwell.
"Organized by GWS doctoral students, the KYGWS conference seeks to provide attendees with a chance to connect with, learn from, and strengthen solidarities with one another. The co-organizers seek to give students and faculty from throughout Kentucky and surrounding states an opportunity to transform their lived experience or classroom study into illuminating analysis or applied research that can pave the way for a greater understanding of marginalized individuals, disadvantaged communities, and/or cultural differences.
In addition to creating a space for undergraduate and graduate students to practice and acquire skills for further conference presentations, the KYGWS conference will allow attendees to meet and learn from other students from diverse world-views and cultures. Conference attendees have the opportunity to present their research, but we also invite students to attend the conference to be in community and conversation with scholars of all levels."