Micha Cárdenas's Plenary Address at the National Women's Studies Association

December 13, 2018

At this year's National Women's Studies Association meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, CRES principal faculty member Micha Cárdenas was honored as a plenary speaker on the "Future of Gender." This plenary panel also featured nationally renowned scholar-activists and cultural producers Cathy Cohen, Tourmaline, C. Riley Snorton, Dean Spade, and Kendall Thomas. To hear Professor Cárdenas's plenary talk, please click here. This panel asked the following questions: what are the implications for our freedom dreams if we can create spaces to truly reimagine gender and sexuality? Conversely, can we do so in the larger context of racial capitalism and hetero-patriarchy which often has a stranglehold on our collective imagination? How do we think of gender now in terms of identity, proximity to power, fluidity vs. binary? How might that framework evolve? How does gender fit into the larger matrix of power, freedom of expression, state violence and the biopolitics of the 21st century? What is/should be the role, if any, of the state and various institutions in defining gender and in the protection of group and individual rights? What does a radical trans politic look like and what does it offer to the trajectory of freedom-making in the coming decades? How do we assess "lesbian" politics in a society that is not only homophobic and transphobic, but patriarchal and misogynist? To what extent are we sometimes conflating identity with politics?