RINGS Conference and Annual Meeting 2018

The State of the Art of Feminist and Gender Studies: Convergences, Divergences and Plurality of Views

Lisbon, Portugal, 17-19 October 2018


Call for papers:

This is a call for RINGS members. However, member organizations are encouraged to invite others towards extending membership, with particular emphasis on strengthening the participation of those from countries in the global South.

RINGS, the International Research Association of Institutions of Advanced Gender Studies is a global association of centres of advanced gender studies. The participating centres span Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and the Americas. Three national assembly meetings and conferences have been held since the inauguration of RINGS in October 2014 at Örebro University: the first one in Prague in 2015; the second in Cape Town in 2016; and the third in Reykjavik in 2017. The fourth RINGS annual meeting and conference will be hosted by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (CIEG) in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP), University of Lisbon.


Feminist and gender studies are a vibrant field of knowledge offering rich theoretical contributions for understanding the persistence of gender inequalities. Inspiring, and being inspired, by feminist and LGBTIQ+ activisms, they have also contributed to social change. But as in any other field of knowledge, controversies and divergences have emerged, feeding the field with lively and illuminating debates, as well as with dilemmas and difficult crossroads.

There are at least four reasons that help to explain this diversity – a great asset of the field – as well as some of the difficulties that it raises.

First, feminist and gender scholars come from a variety of backgrounds (e.g. different disciplines in the social sciences and the humanities as well as the arts), with different languages, different

scholar traditions, and different methodological approaches that impact how specific questions get framed and analysed; second, considering the different theoretical paradigms that cross cut all areas of knowledge referred to above – marxist, materialist and structuralist approaches, poststructuralist and postmodern perspectives, post-colonial, LGBTIQ+ and queer studies and intersectionality approaches - the theoretical lenses and the epistemological issues that are raised are also diverse; third, being a field that asserts its recognition in the academy while also making claims for social justice at the macro and micro levels of everyday life, its links to activism often brings about new divergences arising from different strategies in and around gender politics; and fourth, as new scholars are attracted to the field, their different generational and geopolitical locations can also account for dissent in the field.

However, these divergences and paradoxes are not understood as signs of weakness. On the contrary, these debates and controversies facilitate the contestation and reconceptualization of key concepts in the field, enriching and updating its meanings and uses, while offering theoretical, epistemological and empirical perspectives that, rather than competing, may constructively complement each other. This conference aims to take stock of this plurality of views, in a field that remains hotly contested and yet ever more alive.

We thus invite papers that interrogate the field in thinking about the convergences, dilemmas and paradoxes in different iterations of feminist thinking and gender studies, while considering core concepts of gender, sex and sexuality; intersectionality and activism; theory and methods.

Goals of the 2018 conference:

1) To share the state of the art of feminist and gender studies research, from transnational, transcultural and interdisciplinary perspectives;

2) To examine the convergences and divergences, dilemmas and paradoxes facing feminist and gender studies scholars from a variety of geographical, generational and socio-political locations.

3) To critically assess the place and role of feminist and gender studies research in addressing social and political inequalities in contemporary societies.

Technical information:

Host organization: The Interdisciplinary Centre for Gender Studies (CIEG) will host the event, in collaboration with the Institute for Social and Political Sciences (ISCSP), University of Lisbon.

Venue: Institute for Social and Political Sciences, University of Lisbon

Rua Almerindo Lessa

Campus do Alto da Ajuda

Lisboa - Portugal

Registration fee for institutions is variable by location, with a minimum of 100 euros. This fee will support RINGS solidarity fund. Participants from lower income countries can apply for funding from the solidarity fund to offset participation costs. For further information, please contact Anália Torres or Paula Campos Pinto at

Accommodation and travel costs are to be covered by participants. The hosts may be able to assist with accommodation if requested and will arrange for reduced prices.

Deadlines for abstract submission, notification and registration: Abstracts of maximum 500 words may be submitted before or on 30 April 2018 to, with the subject title: “RINGS abstract.” Acceptance notifications will be issued on May 31st. Conference registration will open on June 1st, 2018.

Contact for enquiries:

Clara Oliveira

Conference committee:

Anália Torres, CIEG/ISCSP, University of Lisbon, Chair

Paula Campos Pinto, CIEG/ISCSP, University of Lisbon

Irma Erlingsdóttir, University of Iceland

Tamara Shefer, University of Cape Town

Jeff Hearn, Örebro University

Annette von Alemann, University of Paderborn

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