Feminist Research Seminar

group photo of 2017 Fall Feminist Research Seminar participants - Beyonce's Lemonade Lexicon


The IRWG Feminist Research Seminars are small, themed residential conferences bringing together a small group of scholars to address quandaries in theoretical or empirical research related to gender, women and sexuality. They will bring together 10 scholars, including 1-3 organizers. 

Drawing from applications from across the country, these annual seminars will occur in the spring and summer (April - August). They offer feminist scholars a unique opportunity to work together, uninterrupted, in an intimate and supportive setting for several days. IRWG Feminist Research Seminars are also designed to encourage connections for future collaboration among participants. 

The effectiveness of the IRWG Feminist Research Seminars derives from their attention to process. They are expressly designed to give the seminar organizers maximum flexibility in inviting other participants and crafting how they will spend their time. Organizers may have asked that participants circulate materials prior to the conference, or ask that some participants make short presentations to get discussions started; the content of the seminar is up to the organizers to achieve the most useful format for participants. The structure, however, builds in and privileges informal exchange among participants; these are not gatherings for passive presentation and reception.

One expectation is that participants will be able to spend the full 2.5 days and 3 evenings at the seminar.

While formats may vary, depending on the needs of the organizer(s) and participants, the main focus of the conference should be research problems with which the participants are grappling. Research concerns may be practical, substantive or more personal. They may be broad or narrow. 

Deadline: TBD. This program is on hold due to covid-19. Please check back for updates in winter 2022.


Funding is available for all seminar expenses, including, transportation (also to and from airport), meals, and lodging. Organizers will determine seminar participants.


Junior and senior tenure-track faculty from the University of Michigan and other institutions are eligible to apply to be seminar organizers.

Application Procedure:

To apply to be an organizer, you'll complete an online application via our InfoReady Portal once the call for proposals is open. You will also need to include the following information: 

  • a two-to-three page narrative on the topic, format and seminar goals
  • the organizers’ CVs
  • a list of potential participants with their institutional titles and affiliations (Note: participants should include both junior and senior faculty)


Email irwg@umich.edu or see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Past Recipients:

Spring 2020: Black and Brown Feminist Poethics (rescheduled to Spring 2022)
Organizers: LaMonda Horton-Stallings (Chair and Professor, Department of African American Studies, Georgetown University), and Deborah Vargas (Associate Professor and Henry Rutgers Term Chair in Comparative Sexuality, Gender, and Race, Rutgers University)

Spring 2019: Feminist Data Studies
Organizers: Patricia Garcia (Assistant Professor, School of Information, University of Michigan), and Marika Cifor (Assistant Professor, Information School, University of Washington)

Spring 2018: Writing Blackness and Gender into American Classical Art Music History 
Organizers: Naomi André (Associate Professor, Women's Studies, Department of African and Afroamerican Studies, and the Residential College, University of Michigan), and Tammy Kernodle (Professor, Miami University of Ohio)

Fall 2017: Opposition to the Political Participation of Women and Gender Justice Advocates: Building a Feminist Research Agenda 
Organizers: Denise Walsh (Associate Professor Politics, Women, Gender, and Sexuality, University of Virginia), and Jennifer M. Piscopo (Assistant Professor of Politics, Occidental College)

Fall 2017: Beyoncé's Lemonade Lexicon: Black Feminism and Spirituality in Theory & Praxis
Organizers: Kinitra D. Brooks (Associate Professor of English, University of Texas San Antonio), and Kameelah L. Martin (Professor of African American Studies, College of Charleston)

Spring 2017: Radical Transnationalism: Reimagining Solidarities, Violence, Empire
Organizers: Karen J. Leong (Women and Gender Studies, Asian Pacific American Studies, Arizona State University); Laura Briggs (Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts – Amherst); Judy Tzu-Chun Wu (Asian American Studies, University of California, Irvine)

Spring 2017: Meat: A Transnational Exploration
Organizers: Sushmita Chatterjee (Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies, Appalachian State University); Banu Subramaniam (Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Massachusetts – Amherst)

Fall 2016: Black Feminist Think Tank
Organizers: Sherie M. Randolph (History, Georgia Institute of Technology); Erica R. Edwards (English, University of California, Riverside)

Spring 2016: Talmud Interrupted: Queering the Study of an Ancient Jewish “Classic”
Co-Organizers: Rachel Neis (History, Judaic Studies, University of Michigan), Max Strassfeld (Religious Studies, Transgender Studies, University of Arizona), and Julia Watts Belser (Jewish Studies, Georgetown University)

Fall 2015: The Problem of Intersex Frogs: A Seminar on Feminism, Disability, and Environmental Justice
Co-Organizers: Elizabeth Reis (Gender Studies, University of Oregon) and Rosemarie Garland Thomson (English, Emory University)

Spring 2015Feminist Video Documentary Strategies in Social Dissent and Change 
Organizer: Carol Jacobsen (Art & Design, University of Michigan)

Fall 2014Feminist Postcolonial Science and Technology Studies: Instigations, Interrogations, and New Developments
Co-Organizers: Laura Foster (Gender Studies, Indiana University) and Kim TallBear(Anthropology, University of Texas‐Austin)