History Department
History Department

About the Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality

UT gender symposium logo

The Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality has been a fixture in The University of Texas (UT) Department of History since 2002, offering a forum for graduate students and faculty to present papers and works-in-progress for discussion in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.


The Gender Symposium seeks to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the discussion of historical approaches to gender and sexuality. We aim to build a community of scholars working together to explore the benefits and challenges of incorporating these issues into their research. Gender and sexuality are not topics that we see as narrowly defined. We encourage engagement with a variety of subjects, methodologies, and approaches. Our goal is to explore the creative and scholarly potential of gender and sexuality as fields of inquiry.


When and where we meet

Typically, meetings last about two hours and are held on Fridays at 12noon-2:00 p.m. in the Garrison Hall Conference Room 1.102. Meetings are open to all.

Each year, the symposium invites prominent outside scholars in gender or sexuality studies to campus for a formal talk, as well as activities that offer the visiting scholar the opportunity to meet and discuss research with UT graduate students from a variety of disciplines.

Graduate student-oriented and graduate-run organization

As a graduate student-oriented and graduate student-run organization the symposium maintains a commitment to offering grad students opportunities to have their work reviewed by peers, create ties with students across disciplines, and build relationships with faculty members and visiting scholars.  We encourage diverse styles of presentation, including:  informal presentations about research experience and/or primary sources, workshops that focus on a work-in-progress, critical discussions of a selection of readings, and formal presentations of conference papers or dissertation chapters.

Want to participate?

To participate in the symposium as a presenter, panelist, speaker, performer, etc., please see our Call for Presenters page or directly contact the symposium’s organizers at gendersymposium@gmail.com.

To receive emails about upcoming gender symposium events and updates, please subscribe to our listserv at this link.

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Featured speakers in Spring 2019

  • “Singing a Song of Angry Women”: Gendered Soundscape of Feminists in South Korea”
    February 1. Jeongin Lee, Ph.D. Student, Ethnomusicology Department.
  • “The Professionalization of Women in Iran through the Field of Modern Education, 1900-1950”
    February 15. Isabelle Headrick, Ph.D. Student, History Department.
  • “‘Your Humble Petitioner’: Working-Class Respect and Female Voice at the Height of the British Empire”
    March 1. Stefanie Shackleton, Ph.D. Candidiate, History Department
  • Roundtable: “Interpreting Gendered and Sexual Violence”
    March 29. Liz O’Brien, Ph.D. Candidate in History; John Carranza, Ph.D. Candidate in History; and Chris Babits, Ph.D. Candidate in History.
  • Roundtable: “Coherence and Contingency: ‘Women’ and ‘Gender’ Across Time”
    March 29. Daina Ramey Berry, Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History with appointments in African and African Diaspora Studies, American Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies;
    Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor, Associate Professor of History (UC Davis); Lisa G. Materson, Associate Professor of History (UC Davis); and Nakia D. Parker, Ph.D. Candidate in History.
  • "Sexual Health and Revolutionary Potential: The Case of Vladimir Bekhterev’s Research on Workers and Children in the Soviet Twenties"
    April 5. Peter Worger, Ph.D. Student, History Department.
  • “Masculinity is the System: British Punk and Working-Class Masculinities, 1976-1990s”
    April 26. Eddie Watson, Ph.D. Student, History Department.
  • “Going Nowhere, Together: Masculinity and Immobility at a Sri Lankan Rickshaw Stand”
    May 3. daniel dillon, Ph.D. Candidate in Asian Studies.

Past presenters

The 2018-2019 academic year included the following presentations:

● "Getting to Know the Gender Symposium" roundtable discussion with the Gender Symposium Committee, coordinators past and present, faculty, and presenters
● "Theorizing Espionage as a Mode of Modernist Selfhood"
● "George Eliot and Her Women: The Representation of Women and Gender in George Eliot’s Fiction"
● "‘Scandalizing the Public’: Clothing and Perception in Mexico City’s Seventeenth-Century Inquisitorial Sumptuary Trials"
● "From White Slavery to Yellow Traffic: Chinese Women, Intimate Labor, and the Brothel Economy in British Malaya, 1900s-1930s"
● "Whether it was with my family or with my job, I feel so damn guilty:” Working Mothers in Student Affairs"
● "Gendered Political Spheres: Property Rights Litigation and Democracy Activism in Post-1990 Nepal"
● "Fashioning China: Precarious creativity of women designers in Shanzhai culture"
● "La Resistencia: Cultural and Socio-Political Resistance of Black Women in Puerto Rico"
● "Darwinian Sensualities: Havelock Ellis, Sexual Inversion, and Late Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Theory"
● "Woman Fighters, Sentiment, and Female Subjectivity in Chinese Martial Arts Narrative, 1895-1945."
● "Voices from the Shadows: Narratives of Homosexuality in Yugoslav Popular Music"
● "The Young within Thy Walls: Petitioners, Spanish-Indian Offspring, and the Origins of the Terms 'Mestiza' and 'Mestizo' in the 16th Century Spanish Empire"
● “A Simulacrum of Birth: The Pedagogical Instruments and Obstetrical Course of Madame du Coudray"
● “Quiet Storms: African American Women Senior-level Administrators at Predominantly White Institutions as Tempered Radicals for Social Justice”
● “Gendered Construction of Peacemaking in Postwar El Salvador”
● “Women, Diplomacy, and Propaganda in U.S.-Chinese Détente, 1964-1979”
● “Rebellion in the General Hospital: Medical Experimentation, Forced Sterilization, and Revolutionary Doctors in Mexico City, 1932"
● “Spirit Queens: Gender, Play and Possession in Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat”
● “Invading ethnography: A queer of color approach”
● “Gender and Performance: Body Autonomy, Resilience and Naked Female Bodies”

Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality | Fall 2018 Schedule
Download here.