Sarah and Katie at the final keynote.

Sarah and Katie at the final keynote.

If you follow our Twitter feed at all, you might have noticed a lot of live blogging last week with the hashtag #IGSA2016. That’s because¬†Sarah Jackson, Girl Museum’s Communications Officer, was my co-presenter at the International Girls Studies Association‘s inaugural conference, and we both really wanted to share all the amazing panels and women at the conference (there were also a handful of amazing men).

It was so incredible to spend three days surrounded by over 100 amazing women, all working or interested in the field of girls studies.¬†The conference had 33 panels, a plenary session, and three keynote speakers (two of which, Catherine Driscoll and Mary Celeste Kearney, are also members of Girl Museum’s advisory board). Although girls studies is still a relatively new field, I was in awe‚Äìas were many of the attendees‚Äìat the range of topics being studied. To give you just a small selection of the topics, some of the panel titles included “Girl Cultures on YouTube,” “Queering Girlhood,” “Girls at the end of the World,” “Wartime Girlhood,” and “Violence and Justice in the Lives of Girls.”

One of the panels I attended was “Girls at the end of the World,” which looked at apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic sci-fi and horror. It had¬†papers on the television shows¬†The 100 and Spooks: Code 9, as well as¬†the video game¬†The Last of Us: Left Behind. Sadly, the paper on¬†Caprica was cancelled due to a family illness.¬†Trying to describe the papers is difficult; though I could include the abstracts of each one here, suffice it to say that they all looked at a wide range of topics, from agency (the abilty¬†to make choices for oneself) to power, sacrifice, and passivity.

The entire conference was inpsiring, from the realization that there are a lot of us who work in the area of girls studies, to the specific work that people are doing in the field. On a personal level, it was amazing to spend three days at an academic conference, something I don’t get to do much of these days. And because¬†I was presenting on behalf of Girl Museum, it was so gratifying to see the level of interest in Girl Museum. Sarah and I both had so many people seek us out because they’re interested in future collaborations, and we felt the same way. I almost ran up to a few different¬†presenters, begging them to work with us‚Äìand the best bit was that everyone was open to and excited by the idea!

I don’t know where the next IGSA conference will be held‚Äìit is an international association, after all!‚Äìbut we’re all sure there will be more to come, and rest assured that Girl Museum will attend (and hopefully present) again!

-Katie Weidmann
Social Media Manager
Girl Museum Inc.

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