Call for Papers

Writing about Caribbean Gender and Social Justice Virtual Conference


Deadline Extended! November 20, 2020

Special COVID-19 Discount Registration

Conference dates: Friday, January 15 – Saturday, January 16, 2021

Venue: Zoom digital platform

Hosted by: The Institute for Gender and Development Studies, Regional Coordinating Office at The University of the West Indies, Mona in collaboration with the Association of Caribbean Women Writers & Scholars (ACWWS)

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 avast 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.

In addition to traditional scholarly abstracts, we invite panels with a creative writer and a literary critic in conversation about a given work.

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 300words or less is November 20, 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, Papamiento, 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: November 20, 2020
  • Notification of Acceptance: December 5, 2020

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