The Future of Intersections of Gender

04 October 2021

We at Intersection of Gender have been reminded recently that funding for the Signature Areas will not continue past the 5-year mark of their establishment. 

We are writing to you, as our community, to share this news and to initiate a conversation about how best to plan for the future. It has been our mission to promote and support intersectional, feminist, decolonial, and anti-oppressive research across all faculties and units. We have spent the past three years developing programming to support the work of faculty, students, and community members. We believe IG has helped to change the conversations on campus about research, teaching, and community outreach in areas related to intersectionality, feminism and gender+ analysis, critical race theory, settler colonialism, classism, and disability. Much work remains to be done, however. This work is, in our view, central to any understanding of the university as a force for the public good, for interdisciplinary thinking, for multi-faculty collaborations, and for social change in general.

But we find ourselves at a crossroads. Without funding and without a clear institutional home, we run the risk of fading into oblivion. The 5-year plan for IG has always been to work toward establishing an Institute that would support the work that has been happening under the umbrella of the IG Signature Area. We must move quickly to become sustainable, financially and structurally. 

We are committed to making intersectional research, teaching, and training available to all members of the university, as well as in a local, provincial, national, and international capacity. We know an intersectional lens is dynamic, that it identifies power structures and oppressions in unprecedented and influential ways, and that it works to challenge and change existing practices of a neoliberal, settler colonial state. We have two years to build the infrastructure to support the future of Intersections of Gender at the University of Alberta and to imagine how that will look in a restructured model. 

Our goals at this point include:

  • Establishing an institutional home for IG. This means advocating for ourselves with Deans, with the Vice-President Research and Innovation, and exploring paths through governance to formalize our existence. 

  • Seeking funding to sustain our program and build on the excellent momentum related to intersectionality that has already been established. This involves meeting with the folks undertaking fundraising campaigns in External Relations and exploring any and all granting opportunities that could support research partnerships. We are also building relationships with government leaders locally and federally as well as international partnerships. 

  • Establishing a steering committee to provide feedback and advice as we proceed with these goals. 

To achieve any of these goals, we need your help and support. The future of IG depends on having robust support across campus and you have always provided us with that support. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Tell us your best ideas for the future. Suggest avenues of funding, structural and governance options, or provide us with other feedback or ideas about IG’s future here

  2. Be a champion. Promote IG and existing areas of intersectional gender research expertise; build new networks and collaboration among researchers from across all disciplines and Faculties at the University of Alberta; foster engagement in IG activities by promoting events and ideas. 

  3. Be a participant. Sign up for Research Fridays to share and engage with the latest intersectional research. Become an IG Affiliate. Reach out to be part of our intersectional researcher database. Suggest your own way of participating in intersectional research, teaching, and training. 

  4. Be a committee member. This is a Call for Interest for becoming a steering committee member. This steering committee will be a temporary, one-year commitment that will help navigate the development of IG’s future as an institute at the university. This call is open to faculty, ATS, and graduate students, with priority given to IG Affiliates. 

We welcome any and all contributions to IG; you are part of our past, present, and future, and your input and support are invaluable to maintaining and growing intersectional research, teaching, and training at the University of Alberta and beyond.