CFP: Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars Conference 2021

The planning committee for the Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars (ACWWS) Virtual Conference, co-hosted by the Institute for Gender & Development Studies, has decided to extend the deadline for abstracts until Friday, October 30, 2020.

The main theme is “Writing about Caribbean Gender and Social Justice.” The conference—hosted by the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at The University of the West Indies-Mona in collaboration with the ACWWS—will take place January 15-16, 2021, via Zoom digital platform.

Summary: In the past five years, freedom of movement has been an issue around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic brought the world as we once knew it to a standstill; African Americans and their allies around the world took to the streets to protest police violence and their inability to circulate in public spaces in the same ways as their white-skinned neighbors. The US president attempted to implement a Muslim Ban on travel into the States, build a vast wall on that nation’s southwest border, and puts children in cages. UK deportations and immigration policies that require proof of financial solvency, implemented before the health crisis, curtailed travel on numerous fronts. In no less frightening ways, the #MeToo / #NiUnaMenos movements continue to reveal how vulnerable women have been when moving about the workplace.

This conference seeks to have participants explore how women from the Caribbean are impacted by social injustices, and how they write about these experiences. The work to be addressed at the conference will cover a wide array of genres: poetry, novels, plays, and short stories, but also calls for activist engagement, public policy, medical discourses, blogs, and social media posts.

The ACWWS Conference is a biennial event, bringing together creative writers, academics, researchers, students and the general public to critically reflect on the writing and scholarship of Caribbean/diaspora women.

Possible paper topics: The 2020 ACWWS Conference promotes the organization’s mission: to celebrate and circulate the literature, orature, and multidisciplinary research about Caribbean women, gender, and sexuality; to provide a forum for critical examinations of this body of work; to increase awareness of the Caribbean diaspora; to foster a climate of cooperation among all linguistic and cultural groups of the Caribbean. Conference organizers are especially eager to invite papers that address issues of gender (in)justice in the following ways:

· gender disparities in Caribbean art and artistry (painting, sculpture, film, music, carnival, fashion, architecture, literature, etc.) · unfair im/migration practices as experienced in by Caribbean women in recent years · women in Caribbean religious practices · Caribbean women in politics, policy, and law · Caribbean gender performances · negotiating linguistic identity/ies · Caribbean women and Caribbean ecologies · Caribbean women in medicine and health · Caribbean women and the media, technology, and the Digital Humanities · NGOs in the Caribbean · decolonizing knowledge in the Caribbean and the Diaspora · how difference—especially gender difference—matters to the production of knowledge; the relevance of feminist and womanist approaches to knowledge and/or cultural production · historical ways of knowing and expressing culture in the contemporary era in the new decade.

Guide for Conference Presenters: The deadline to submit abstracts of 300 words or less is October 30, 2020. Papers will be presented online. We welcome proposals for panels in any of the languages of the Caribbean (e.g. French, Kreyol, English, Dutch, Papiamento, Spanish), although we may not be able to accommodate translation. Reading time should not exceed 15 minutes.

We will also accept proposals for creative writing readings; please note your proposed genre. Reading time should not exceed 10 minutes.

Please email your abstract as a Word document or PDF to, along with your name, title, mailing address, email address, and institution.

Important Dates:

  • Deadline for submission: October 30, 2020
  • Notification of Acceptance: November 30, 2020

For any enquiries regarding the programme, please contact Dr. Aza Weir-Soley at, or Professor Opal Palmer-Adisa at

[Artwork above: Still from “53+1=54+1=55. Letter of the Year,” by María Magdalena Campos-Pons and music composer Neil Leonard, was a commissioned, site-specific multimedia installation created in 2013 for the 55th Venice Biennale contemporary art exhibition in Italy, displayed in the Cuban Pavilion. See more information at]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s