AWHN Symposium 2019: ‘The Female Frame: Biopolitics and Wellbeing in Australian and Global Perspective’

The Female Frame: Biopolitics and Wellbeing in Australian and Global Perspective

Australian Women’s History Network 2019 Symposium

Wednesday 2 October 2019

The University of Western Australia, Perth


KEYNOTE: Professor Tanya Fitzgerald, Graduate School of Education, University of Western Australia, “In the frame: Academic women and intimate friendships 1920-1960.”

KEYNOTE: Professor Ann Curthoys, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Western Australia, “An African-American feminist visits Perth in 1960: who she met, what she saw, what she said, and what she wore.”

The Australian Women’s History Network 2019 Symposium will focus on the female frame and contemporary approaches to wellbeing in local and global perspective.

We use the phrase “female frame” as a catalyst for discussion on the way bodies are socially constructed and gendered. Our focus stretches from the individual subject to the national body, and we place these bodies alongside biopolitics and wellbeing to open a conversation around legacy and impact. Participants are encouraged to consider this topic from multiple perspectives – aesthetic and economic, physical and psychological, colonial, political and historical – and to consider the question of how the female frame can be a function, source, and signifier of change and growth both within Australia and globally.

Bringing together academic, professional and policy sectors, this day-long symposium will be an intellectually stimulating opportunity for creative research, and a platform for future collaboration.

Would you like to be involved?

We invite presentations that will promote thoughtful discussion, and encourage presenters to suggest innovative and creative methods of presentation, including panel presentations, full panels, roundtables, workshops, performances, film showings, and conversations. We will offer a workshop for HASS teachers and pre-service teachers, and we would be pleased to receive proposals from this sector.

Please send expressions of interest to present at the conference by 15 July 2019 to using the subject heading ‘2019 Symposium.’

Expressions of interest should include details of presentation method, topic, and any technical or venue requirements in 250 words, accompanied by a short biography of approximately 100 words.

Please note that academic presenters must be AWHN Members.

We invite contributions on – but not limited to – the following topics:

National wellbeing Pregnancy and childbirth Female relationships
Reproductive rights Postpartum depression Women and work
Beauty – evolution over time, rise of selfie and social media culture, self-expression The body in the legal domain (abortion, reproductive rights, sex work) Body shaming and objectification of the female body


Prostitution & sex workers Representation of the female body in art Embodiment and vulnerability
 “Socially constructed” diseases (female hysteria) Cultural inscriptions of the female body Female body and the representations of identity
Hypochondria Disciplining bodies The ageing female body
Gender equality, health and wellbeing The labouring female body Materiality and historicity of the body
Female medical practitioners in history Sex and/or gender in the workplace Maternal bodies and mothering
Death and dying bodies Bodies in captivity Biopolitics and power
Food and diets Disability Violence

Registration (to open in July)

Member registration: $45

Member concession registration: $25

Non-Member registration including one year membership: $80

Non-Member registration (concession): $50

All registration rates include admission to the symposium, welcome pack, lunch and refreshments.

Travel bursaries

Two travel bursaries of $500 will be available to unwaged ECRs and current PhD candidates without access to institutional funding support.