Gender, Bodies & Technology (GBT) is an initiative within Women’s and Gender Studies at Virginia Tech that aims to explore the multiple, proliferating, and gendered dimensions of technologized bodies and embodied technologies. We foreground research, theories, and performance that highlight the discursive and material nodes around which gender, bodies, and technologies both cohere and fracture. How, we ask, might topics such as gene editing technologies, facial recognition software, Big Data, environmental crises, or Black superheroes produce new lines of inquiry when filtered through a GBT perspective?
Our conference, TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance, asks how analyses of gender, race, disability, and/or queerness can structure our immediate and ongoing responses to technologically-enabled crises, such as election hacking and environmental degradation. We aim to capture the breadth and dynamism of resistance movements, practices, and figures that have emerged in the wake of--and that transcend--the 2016 US presidential election. We also seek to explore and complicate what these and other movements can teach us about power, and about how technology is invoked, deployed, manipulated, exploited, and imagined in order to harness and reimagine that power.
Located in central Appalachia, and recognized for its research in robotics and autonomous vehicle technologies, Virginia Tech is an especially apt location from which to explore these topics. Inspired by keynote addresses from Ruha Benjamin and Dean Spade, we aim for #GBT2019 to put participants’ local realities into wider conversations about how resistance can and must be intersectionally enacted, how it must center disabled, queer, and other non-dominant and non-human bodies, and how to build and imagine from critically resistant perspectives.
GBT is committed to making “TechnoLogics: Power and Resistance” as accessible a space as we possibly can. To that end, we are working to build the following infrastructure into the conference:
- A guide for presenters that will allow them to develop slides built with software that can be auto-captioned;
- Making digital copies of shared materials available via our website;
- A guide to accessibility at the Hotel Roanoke, with photos of all relevant conference and transit spaces, available on our website before the conference;
- A non-scented product request (both by the hotel and the participants);
- A ban on flash photography;
- Interaction badges;
- Food labels: all food served at the conference will be labeled for specific dietary conflicts and needs.
We also have a dedicated gmail account for all of your accessibility-related concerns and questions: GBTAccess@gmail.com. You are welcome and encouraged to email us here about any and all of your concerns, thoughts, questions, and/or ideas about how we might be able to make the conference work better for you.