Call for Papers

Conference on Joy and Restoration

On April 24-25, 2021, Onisha Etkins and Sherine Powerful are hosting the 2021 Graduate Student Conference for the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. This conference is additionally co-sponsored by the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights and the Women, Gender and Health Interdisciplinary Concentration.

This virtual conference, titled “Cultivating Joy and Collective Restoration: (Re)Imagining and (Re)Claiming Pleasure and Liberation”, aims to bring together graduate students, early career scholars, community activists, educators, and creatives of all kinds to explore how Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities are reimagining and reclaiming pleasure and healing, and how this is liberatory and restorative work, particularly during times of crisis like the COVID-19 pandemic. Our offerings include movement sessions, collective imagining workshops, keynote presenters, and graduate student panels.

Our Call for Proposals is now open. We invite proposals from individuals or pairs, prioritizing those in humanities graduate programs (e.g. studying explorations of the nature of pleasure, joy, healing, and liberation through the history of emotions, theories of desire and pleasure, happiness and flourishing philosophies, etc.) We also welcome all disciplines, noting that transdisciplinary and anti-disciplinary work will be critical in highlighting experiences that embody what reclaiming joy/pleasure looks like.

Proposals will be accepted until Friday, February 28, 2021. Please visit to learn more and/or submit a proposal. And please share widely with your students, classmates, colleagues, and wider networks if you have capacity. We look forward to creating and cultivating together!

Conference on Joy and Restoration flyer