The inaugural Gender, Bodies, and Technology conference has attracted scholars from 10 countries in disciplines from the humanities, social and natural sciences, visual and performing arts, engineering, and technology. The conference will take place at Hotel Roanoke from April 22-24.

“Performance art and new media, in addition to more traditional paper presentations, will be used to explore how technologies, broadly defined, construct, reinforce, and destabilize gendered bodies,” said Barbara Ellen Smith, director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Virginia Tech and sponsor of the conference. “An assemblage of people and technologies, we see the conference itself as enacting the conference theme.”

The conference includes an opening plenary address by Jennifer Terry, associate professor of women's studies at the University of California-Irvine and author of An American Obsession: Science, Medicine, and Homosexuality in Modern Society; and a luncheon keynote by Alondra Nelson, associate professor of sociology at Columbia University and author of the forthcoming Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Politics of Health and Race, who will speak on "The Social Life of DNA.”

The conference also features the premiere of fig.1, a solo performance on aging and body image by Mark Evans Bryan featuring Sue Ott Rowlands, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech and founding artistic director of the Glacity Theatre Collective in Toledo and the Cleveland Women's Theatre Project. There will also be two rooms set aside for art installations.

Over 30 faculty from Virginia Tech’s College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, and the College of Engineering are involved as planners, presenters, or moderators. There are currently 140 registrants, coming from as far away as Australia, Germany, Korea, Sweden, and the West Indies.

The registration deadline is April 15. Registration is available online.