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The “What Is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium will take place at the University of Colorado Boulder in Norlin Library N410 on April 17-18, 2019. Co-organized by Maya Livio, Lori Emerson, and Thea Lindquist, the event will examine the recent proliferation of labs, surveying the lab landscape and exploring ways in which intersectional feminist approaches can be integrated into labs and the work they do. “What is a Feminist Lab?” will also bring lab leaders and collaborators from across the U.S. and Canada into dialogue with representatives from many of the university’s interdisciplinary labs.

It is hard not to notice the propagation of labs over the last decade—labs now number in the thousands in North America alone, and include everything from physical spaces for research to collectives who share similar interests but collaborate remotely. The growth in number and types of labs reflects a sea-change in how many scholars and artists have moved away from 19th century models, typified by individuals working within the boundaries of personal offices or studios and the confines of their discipline to produce single-authored works. Instead, researchers and artists may be rallying around labs because the term and structure put into better focus their desires for new modes of knowledge production—modes that are collaborative, experimental, emergent, and responsive. Yet despite the novel forms taken up by labs for some time, their colonial and masculinist lineages have not yet been properly addressed. This is a significant omission, as inherited lab models can have direct influence not only on the types of projects taken up by a lab, but on its overall ethos, the way equity is handled in its organization, its epistemic models, as well as on the accessibility of its methods and outputs. The “What is a Feminist Lab?” Symposium will take up questions around these challenges. 

Featured speakers include:

  • Ashley Baccus-Clark
  • Ingrid Burrington
  • Max Liboiron
  • Elizabeth Losh
  • Tara McPherson
  • Marisa Parham
  • Jacqueline Wernimont
  • Darren Wershler

CU Boulder lab tours/presentations: