The inaugural International Girls Studies Association conference was held at the University of East Anglia (UK) on 7th-9th April 2016. Explore the CFP and the conference schedule below.

International Girl Studies Association Inaugural Conference
University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK
7th-9th April 2016


9AM-9.50AM Registration and tea/coffee

9.50-10.00AM Welcome

10AM-11:15AM Opening Keynote

“The Girl: Dynamics of Anxiety and Reassurance”
Catherine Driscoll, University of Sydney

SESSION A: 11:30AM – 1PM

Creative Girlhoods

Chair: Su Holmes, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Eylem Atakav (University of East Anglia, UK): Until Every Child is Safe, film screening and discussion
  • Laura Lockhart (University of Western Ontario, Canada): “Light, Sound, Meaning: Rural young women share their lives,” discussion based on photography project

Working with Girls: Leaders, Activists, Students

Chair: Natalie Coulter, York University, Canada

  • Michele Paule (Oxford Brookes University, UK): “ ‘Banning Bossy’ and ‘Leaning In’: Girls’ mediated perceptions and experiences of leadership”
  • Britney Brinkman (Chatham University, USA): “Flip the Script: Fostering girls’ media activism through feminist community-based research”
  • Amy Rutstein-Riley (Lesley University, USA): “The Work of Girlhood: A journey of relational pedagogy and scholarship”

Girl Cultures on You Tube

Chair: Jessalynn Keller, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Lauren Weinzimmer (University of Minnesota, USA): “All Play and No Work?: The edited lives of YouTube Beauty Vloggers”
  • Anastasia Todd (Arizona State University, USA): “There Are More Important Things That Need To Be Talked About Than Taupe Eyeshadow: Virtual (dis)orientations and luminosity of disabled girlhood”
  • Catherine McDermott (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): “Genres of the Self: Grace Helbig’s affective aesthetics”

Girls and Music Cultures

Chair: Tori Cann, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Bridget Coulter (University of Sheffield, UK): “Pop music and the construction of adolescent female identity”
  • Caroline Kaltefleiter (State University of New York at Cortland, USA): “Start your own revolution: Anarchy and action of the riot grrrrl movement”
  • Michelle Newman (Coventry University, UK): “ ‘You don’t have to be a Debbie Harry, you can be a Patti Smith:’ The performance of girls in rock”

1PM-2PM: Lunch


Girls and Media: Agency, Activism and Pleasure

Chair: Sarah Hill, University of East Anglia

  • Kirsten Pike (Northwestern University at Qatar, Qatar): “Complicating Second-Wave Feminist Media Histories: Girl writers and activists”
  • Jessalynn Keller (University of East Anglia, UK): “#CropTopDay: Girls’ media activism as a challenge to normative girlhoods”
  • Natalie Coulter (York University, Canada): “Do ‘tween’ girls really just wanna have fun?”

Girls Voices

Chairs: Heather Warren-Crow, Texas Tech University, USA

  • Heather Warren-Crow (Texas Tech University): “Creakers and Screamers”
  • Leisha Jones (Penn State University): “Done and done to. Doing. I’ll do all of this: Girl voice mutiny in Eimear McBride’s Girl is a Half-Formed Thing”
  • Patricia Pender, University of Newcastle: “I wanna begat myself: Feminist self-construction in Caitlin Moran’s How to Build a Girl”

Queering Girlhood

Chair: Mary Celeste Kearney, University of Notre Dame, USA

  • Anais Duong-Pedica (University of York, UK): “Girlhood memories of sexual and romantic experiences with girls”
  • Barbara Brickman (University of Alabama, USA): “There are worse things I could do: The queer girl, bedroom culture and Grease’s sexual retrospection”
  • Moon Charania (Spelman College, USA) and Cory Albertson (Georgia State University, USA): “Single, white, female: Queer trauma and feminist melancholy in the new Disney”

Girls at the end of the World: Small screen portrayals of young femininity in apocalyptic sci-fi and horror

Chair: Christine Cornea, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Rhys Owain Thomas (University of East Anglia, UK): “Girlhood, liminality and posthumanism in Caprica”
  • Heather Wintle (Independent Scholar, UK): “Are you just gonna keep letting this control your life? Interrogating the adolescent videogame heroine’s agency in The Last of Us: Left Behind”
  • Christine Cornea (University of East Anglia, UK): “Post-apocalyptic patriotism: The girls in Spooks: Code 9”
  • Athena Bellas (University of Melbourne, Australia): “I’m in charge here: Girls in power in The 100”

3:30PM-4PM: Coffee/tea

4PM-5:15PM: Plenary Session

Pedagogies of Girlhood: Schools, Feminism and the Media

Chair: IGSA conference organizers

  • Hanna Retallack and Jessica Ringrose (UCL Institute of Education, UK): “’Fuck your body image’: Fourth wave feminism, social media affect and teen girls’ embodied protest”
  • Marnina Gonick (Mount St. Vincent University, Canada): “Back to biology: Pseudo-science, nostalgia and girls’ schooling”
  • Ileana Jimenez, Feminist Teacher (, @feministteacher, USA): “#SayHerName Loudly: Black Girls Blog #BlackLivesMatter

5:30PM-7PM Drinks Reception, sponsored by Berghahn Books.


SESSION C: 9AM – 10:30AM

Performing Girlhoods and Playing with Future Identities

Chair: Heather Fitzsimmons Frey, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Heather Fitzsimmons Frey (University of Toronto, Canada): “Middle-class Victorian girls’ at home theatricals and the future: New girls, new women and girls playing boys in the drawing room”
  • Christine Hatton (University of Newcastle, Australia): “Re-framing the girl zone through drama: Creative acts and disruptive interventions in contemporary girls’ education
  • Johanna Sixtensson (Malmö University, Sweden): Negotiating Space. Teenage Girls’ Narratives about Every Day Life in the Swedish town of Malmö”

Adolescent Girls’ Migration in the South: Gender, Agency and the Lifecycle

Chair: Catherine Driscoll, University of Sydney, Australia

  • Marina de Regt (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands): Being Young and Female: Vital Conjunctures in the Lives of Migrant Girls in Addis Ababa
  • Nicoletta del Franco (AFF): Emerging youth culture among migrant girls in Dhaka

Confessionals, Identities, and Performing the Self

Chair: Helen Warner, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Jodi McAlister (Macquarie University, Australia): “Here there be monsters: Girls navigating virginity loss in confessional narratives”
  • Kate Douglas (Flinders University, Australia): “Share the shame: Curating girlhood on Mortified!”
  • Karolina Dmitrov-Devold (Lillehammer University College, Norway): “Performing the self in the mainstream: Personal bloggers in Norway”
  • Michele Meek (University of Rhode Island, USA): “A Dangerous Girl or a Girl in Danger?: Shifting Sexual Agency of the ‘Long Island Lolita’”

Girlhood Franchises: Performances, Products, and Popularity

Chair: Sarah Projansky, University of Utah

  • Jessica Bay (York University/Ryerson University, Canada): “Consuming capital: The Hunger Games and licensed Products”
  • Sarah Ralph (Northumbria University, UK): “On Wednesdays we wear pink: Mean girls’ enduring reception, resonance and cultural reference”
  • Georgina Newton (Bournemouth University, UK): “An investigation into the media consumption of young working class girls”

10:30AM – 10:50AM: Coffee/tea

SESSION D: 10:50AM – 12:20PM

Wartime Girlhood

Chair: Miriam Forman-Brunell, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA

  • Tammy Razi (Sapir Academic College, Israel): “Dangerous Liaisons: Oriental Spaces and Jewish Girls in Mandatory Palestine”
  • Kara Ritzheimer (Oregon State University, USA): “Nazi girlhood and the Nazi girl”
  • Kate Taylor-Jones (University of Sheffield, UK): “Girlhood interrupted: Gender, film propaganda and imperial Japan”

Girls and Sexuality

Chair: Eylem Atakav, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Emily Lockhart (York University, Canada): “Representations of ‘sexting’ and sexual violence on legal dramas: Implications for adolescents’ sexual subjectivities”
  • Siri Lindholm (London College of Fashion, UK): “The Lolita effect and other contradictions on modern ‘sexualisation’ discourses”
  • Alexa Appel (University of Sydney, Australia): “Feminine adolescent development and the evangelical girl-rearing manual: A ‘postfeminisation’ of purity rhetoric?”

Girlhood in the Global North: Towards Comparative Dialogues Roundtable

Chair: Claudia Mitchell, McGill University, Canada

  • Bodil Formark, Umea University, Sweden
  • Claudia Mitchell, McGill University, Canada
  • Heta Mulari, Finnish Youth Research Society, Finland
  • Ann Smith, McGill University, Canada
  • Olga Zdravomyslova, Executive Director of the International Foundation for Socio-economic and Political Studies (The Gorbachev-Foundation),
  • Annelie Branstrom Ohman, Umeå University, Sweden
  • Linda Arnell, Umeå University, Sweden

The Girl in (Historical) Fiction and Folktales

Chair: Crystal Endsley, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York

  • Catherine Paula Han (Cardiff University, UK): “Love and jealousy ‘warbled with the lisp of childhood’: The cultural afterlives of Jane Eyre’s (1847) Adele Varens”
  • Sharifah Osman (University of Malaya, Malaysia): “Folktales and Femininity: Girlhood and the transmission of cultural values in Malaysian children’s literature”
  • Tomoko Aoyama (The University of Queensland, Australia): “Girls in the late works of Nogami Yaeko and Ishii Momoko”

12:20PM-1:15PM: Lunch

1:15PM-2:30PM Keynote

“The Slave Girls”
Rozena Maart, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Girls’ Bodies Across Mediums

Chair: Su Holmes, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Emma Dunn (Ryerson University / York University, Canada): ‘(Un)natural Citizens: The Metaphor of ‘Anorexic as Alien’ in Canadian television’
  • Su Holmes (University of East Anglia, UK): “My anorexia story: Girls constructing narratives of identity on You Tube”
  • Janice Hladki (McMaster University, Canada): ‘The Willful Obstinacy of the Chubby Girl: Fatness, Disability and Girlhood in Visual Art Practice’
  • Jennifer Dawn Whitney (University of Cardiff): “Precocious playthings: the role of the doll in the American child beauty pageant”

Girls and the Culture Industries: Exploring Issues of Structure and Construction

Chair: Sharon Mazzarella, James Madison University, USA

  • Sarah Projansky (University of Utah, USA): “Finding gender in media franchising”
  • Angharad N. Valdivia (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA): “Girls holdup half the sky: Global narratives of gender equity meet neoliberal philanthropy”
  • Sharon Mazzarella (James Madison University, USA): “Reviving Ophelia, Annie, Nancy, and her sisters: Constructing girlhood in the trade press”
  • Debra Merskin (University of Oregon, USA): “Bark, hoot, pant, cry: Girls and the formation of identity in animal books”

Girls’ Leisure Subcultures Across the Twentieth Century

Chair: Tori Cann, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Tim Snelson (University of East Anglia, UK): “Swing Sister Swing: Thirties girlhood, the swing craze and the jitterbug film cycle”
  • Katie Milestone (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): “Time to go out: Girls and night clubbing from 1956-1976”
  • Joan Ormrod (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK): “Teenage Dream Tonight: Fantasy, pop, and UK girls comics 1957-64”
  • Sheryl Clark (Goldsmiths University, London): “Girlhood and girl’s participation in sports-based initiatives in the UK”

Posthumanist Perspectives on the Girl

Chair: Shauna Pomerantz, Brock University, Canada

  • Shauna Pomerantz and Rebecca Raby (Brock University, Canada): “Girls, Intra-Active: The SpaceTime Mattering of Smart Girlhood.”
  • Anna Nygren (Independent Scholar, Sweden): “Girls and Horses”
  • Ulla-Maija Salo (University of Helsinki, Finland): “Forest daughters, mother nature and green criticism”

4PM-4:30PM Coffee/tea


Cultural Production and Fandom

Chair: Sarah Godfrey, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Helena Dare-Edwards (University of East Anglia, UK): “Fangirling and ‘mimetic language:’ The power of ‘feels’, reclaiming emotion and ‘GIF-ing’ as practice on Tumblr”
  • Aria Halliday (Purdue University, USA): “My anaconda feminism: Nicki Minaj, consumption and Twitter/Instagram (re)production”
  • Aino Tormulainen (University of Eastern Finland): “Finnish Girl Power: National versions on a cultural timeline”

Intergenerational Politics

Chair: Alison Winch, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Emily Aguilo-Perez (Pennsylvania State University): “I hated her, she loved her! Barbie in intergenerational Puerto Rican girlhoods and familial relationships”
  • Sigal Barack Brandes (University of Tel Aviv, Israel) and Einat Lachover (SAPIR Academic College, Israel): “Branding relations: Mother daughter discourse on beauty and body in an Israeli campaign by Dove”
  • Annalie Branstrom-Ohman (Umeå University, Sweden) and Amanda Brohman: “The
    (Un-) Making of a feminist cool girl: A cross-generational dialogue”

Visual Encounters and the Politics of Place in Girlhood Studies: Transnational Perspectives

Chair: April Mandrona, McGill University, Canada

  • Claudia Mitchell (McGill University, Canada), Naydene De Lange (Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa), and Xuan Thuy Nguyen (Mount Saint Vincent University, Canada): “Being seen and heard: The participation of girls with disabilities in Vietnam in a photo voice project”
  • Ann Smith (McGill University, Canada): “Tambu’s girlhood: Working with images of rurality in Nervous Conditions as a realist novel”
  • Katja Gillandr-Gadin (Mid Sweden University, Sweden) and Eva Soderberg (Stockholm University, Sweden): “The place of girls? Portrayals of rural girlhood in Nordic Child and youth literature”
  • April Mandrona (McGill University, Canada): “Girls in stitches: Sewing as a site of oppression and resistance for rural South African girls”

CONFERENCE DINNER 6:30PM, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts
Must be pre-registered.


SESSION G: 9AM – 10:30AM

Girlhood and the Postfeminist Sisterhood on Screen

Chair: Sarah Godfrey, University of East Anglia

  • Melanie Kennedy (University of Leicester): “Bratz, BFFs, Mermaids and Mean Girls: Female friendship and ‘authentic’ neoliberal selfhood in tween popular culture”
  • Marie-Alix Thouaille (University of East Anglia): “Girling the second wave: Authorship, girlfriendship and collaborative text(iles) in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
  • Sarah Hill (University of East Anglia): “Searching for sisterly solidarity: Portrayals of girl friendship in contemporary British cinema”

Inside Out? Sexual/Digital Revolution and the Teenager

Chair: Leslie Regan Shade, University of Toronto, Canada

  • Rachel Thomson (University of Sussex): “Making the can-do girl or desperately searching for the subject of feminist sex research”
  • Lucy Robinson (University of Sussex): “Citizen girls and sexual knowledge in Thatcher’s Britain”
  • Pamela Thurschwell (University of Sussex): “Surviving sex: From Molly Ringwald to Katniss and The Fault in Our Stars”

Archiving Girlhood: Practices and Possibilities

Chair: Heather Warren-Crow, Texas Tech University

  • Nickianne Moody (Liverpool John Moores University): “Building the femorabilia special collection”
  • Marlene Mendonca (York University, Canada): “Archiving Girlhood: The Construction of Identity Through Scrapbooks in 20th Century America.”
  • Joanne Knowles (Liverpool John Moores University): Future wives and mothers: The domestic sphere in teenage girls’ magazines of the 1970s and 80s”
  • Katie Weidmann and Sarah Jackson: Girl Museum

Victorian Girls and Print Culture

Chair: Rebecca Harrison, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Beth Rodgers (Aberystwyth University): “Girls of today? Debating and defining the girl in late Victorian girls’ magazines”
  • Kristine Moruzi (Deakin University, Australia): “Charity in girls’ periodicals”
  • Michelle Smith (Deakin University, Australia): “The bloom on a peach: Acceptable beauty in late-Victorian and Edwardian girls’ print cultures”
  • Lois Burke (Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland): ‘The Parish Girl’s Progress: Girlhood and Bildungsromam in Victorian and Neo-Victorian Literature’

10:30AM-10:50AM: Coffee/tea

SESSION H: 10:50AM-12:20PM

What It Feels like for a girl: Filming, girlhood and emotion

Chair: Linda Arnell, Umeå University, Sweden

  • Fiona Handyside (University of Exeter): “The persistence of binaries”
  • Danielle Hipkins (University of Exeter): “Finding vocabularies of film-feeling
  • Alexandra Allan (University of Exeter): “Constructing girlhood in and on film”

Screening Girlhood

Chair: Hannah Hamad, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Desiree deJesus (Concordia University): “Between a rock and a hard place: Poverty subcultures and girlhood in contemporary American…”
  • Julia Dobson (University of Sheffield): “Machines for changing identity: The negotiation of girlhoods in Celine Sciamma’s Cinema…”
  • Elspeth Mitchell (University of Leeds): “Encountering girls: The figure of the girl in contemporary moving-image art practices”

eGirls, eCitizens: A Dialogue on Theory and Practice

Chair: Jessalynn Keller, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Jacquelyn Burkell (University of Western Ontario, Canada): “Big cities, small towns, and virtual spaces: Social media experiences of rural and urban girls”
  • Valerie Steeves (University of Ottawa, Canada): “Pretty and just a little but sexy, I guess: Publicity, privacy and the pressure to perform ‘appropriate’ femininity on social media”
  • Leslie Shade (University of Toronto, Canada): “I want my Internet! Young women on the politics of usage-based billing”
  • Jane Bailey (University of Ottawa): “What policymakers should know: Perspectives from the eGirls project”

12:20PM-1:30PM: Lunch


The Politics of Global Girlhood

Chair: Karen Brown, University of Minnesota, USA

  • Emily Bent (Pace University, New York City) and Heather Switzer (Arizona State University): “Oppositional girlhoods and the challenge of relational politics”
  • Crystal Leigh Endsley (John Jay College of Criminal Justice): ‘Writing Myself Alive: Cultural Production and Representation for the Global Girl in Trenton, New Jersey and East Africa’
  • Tracy Rogers (University of Otago, New Zealand): “Constraining and enabling discourses of girlhood and schooling in Cambodia”

Gender Fluidity in Girlhood

Chair: Bodil Formark Umeå University, Sweden

  • Rachel Reinke (Arizona State University): “Toward a theory of transgender girlhoods…”
  • Melinda Luisa de Jesús (California College of the Arts): “Re/Constructing girlhood: Transgender girls in girls studies”

Violence and Justice in the Lives of Girls

Chair: Helen Warner, University of East Anglia, UK

  • Rebecca Bromwich (Canadian Bar Association, Canada): “Looking for Ashley: Re-reading what the Smith case reveals about governance of girls”
  • Rosemary Carlton (Universite de Montreal, Canada): “Failing to self-protect: Responsibilsation for risk in child protection practice with sexually abused teenage girls”

The Girl in (Contemporary) Fiction

Chair: Kirsten Pike, Northwestern University at Qatar, Qatar

  • Maša Grdešić, University of Zagreb: “The young woman as writer in HBO’s Girls”
  • Rachael McLennan (University of East Anglia): Late Girlhood in Jennifer Egan’s Invisible Circus, Look at Me, and A Visit from the Goon Squad
  • Claudia Nelson and Anne Morey (Texas A&M University): “The vanishing girl in youth literature: The case of Caroline Lawrence’s Roman mysteries”

3PM-3:30PM: Coffee/tea

3:30PM-5PM: Closing Keynote

“Girls Make Media: Then, Now, and So What?”
Mary Celeste Kearney, University of Notre Dame, USA

Submissions have now closed. However, below is the CFP for reference. The final schedule will be posted soon.

International Girl Studies Association is seeking submissions for our inaugural conference which is being held at the University of East Anglia, Norwich from 7-9 April 2016. The inaugural conference seeks to bring together researchers and students working on girls and girlhood in any part of the world and in any discipline or interdisciplinary field.

Girl Studies has become one of the most dynamic academic fields, encompassing a vast array of disciplines and interdisciplinary approaches. This conference aims to bring together scholars from across the world to explore experiences of girlhood, recent developments within the field, investigating new questions and revisiting historical issues.

We seek proposals that address some of the key issues in girls studies and we welcome both individual and panel presentations. Moreover, we are also keen to move beyond the traditional conference format and would encourage collaborative work, creative, visual, screenings and performance based work. We are also keen to invite proposals from individuals working in collaboration with girls, the community and partner organisations.

Confirmed Keynotes:

Professor Catherine Driscoll (University of Sydney, AUS)
Professor Christine Griffin (University of Bath, UK)
Professor Mary Celeste Kearney (University of Notre Dame, USA)
Professor Rozena Maart (University of KwaZulu-Natal, SA)

Topics may include (but are not limited to)

  • Histories of girlhood
  • Global girlhood(s)
  • Intersectional girlhood
  • Queer girls
  • Representation of girlhood
  • Intergenerational girlhoods
  • Girlhood and consumption
  • Mediated girlhoods
  • Methodological approaches to girls’ studies
  • Girls and feminism
  • Girls and sport
  • Girls and politics
  • Girls and education
  • Young femininities
  • Body image
  • Subcultures and girlhood
  • Girls and digital media
  • Girls and activism
  • Girls and literature
  • Girls and popular culture
  • Girlhood during austerity
  • Girls and sexuality
  • Girls and health
  • Neoliberal girlhoods
  • Ethnographies of girlhood