Why I Moved Our Conference: International Federation for Research in Women’s History (IFRWH) Comes to Canada, August 9-12, 2018

A Note from Eileen Boris, President of IFRWH and Hull Professor, Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

Over the years the IFRWH has met at the home institution of our President: Melbourne Australia, Belfast Northern Ireland, Sofia Bulgaria, and Sheffield United Kingdom. As the first President from the United States, I was looking forward to greeting historians of women, gender, and sexuality from around the world to celebrate our 30th anniversary at my beautiful campus, the University of California, Santa Barbara, nestled between the sea and mountains in what is called the American Rivera.(The IFRWH was founded in 1987). But the hate crimes, racial profiling, deportation regime, immigration restrictions, Muslim bans, border detention, attacks on reproductive rights and trans* existence, alternative facts, and media and science bashing of the Trump administration has led me to relocate the August 2018 conference to the downtown center of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories, Canada. The situation in the US is too unpredictable and volatile to risk disrespect to guests from abroad. We seek to minimalize inconveniences and will work with green card and visa holders in the US who wish to participate but might have difficulties leaving the country for an academic conference, another indication of how the Trump regime has upended normality.

Working with members of our steering committee, past officers, and officers of the Canadian and US Women’s History organizations (including Franca Iacovetta, Karen Balcom, Barbara Molony, Sandra Dawson, Susah Yohn, Nupur Chaudhuri, and Cheryl Warsh), I approached Professor Jennifer Spear, co-chair of the Berkshire Conference when held at the University of Massachusetts in 2011 and Chair of the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. Jennifer has proffered support and valiantly assembled a local arrangements team.We have moved the dates back by a few days so the conference now runs Thursday late afternoon through Sunday morning, August 9-12, 2018.

Unlike other international meetings scheduled for the US, ours was far enough away that we had not signed contracts. Vancouver in August is not cheap, but neither is Santa Barbara and the advantages are an international airport and a vibrant cosmopolitan and diverse city. Though our fundraising will be more complicated, we recognize the continuing need for subventions or partial aid for graduate students and some scholars coming from institutions in places under distress where academic travel is not available and personal resources cannot make up the difference. Canada has its own visa rules that we will offer a guide for scholars who need to obtain one.

Given these circumstances, we now issue a second Call for Papers, with a final date for submission of proposals as July 1, 2017.Notification will come by September 1, 2017. Registration will open shortly thereafter, with instructions sent out at that time. Those who have previously sent in proposals need not resend; we will be asking for confirmation of wanting to be considered for the program. Please visit us at http://www.femst.ucsb.edu/ifrwh/call for the theme of the conference, “Transnationalisms, Transgressions, Translations” and for more information contact us at ifrwh18@gmail.com