A Vision: Center for Feminist Futures

The contemporary movement for gender justice stands at a generational crossroads. For at least two hundred years, the feminist struggle has waxed and waned but always persisted. New generations come along to take up the work, often challenging and moving beyond what came before. Now those who came of age in the 1960s are in the culminating phase of their careers as scholars, policy-makers, and activists. It is time to build the kind of intergenerational bridges that connect experience and wisdom to fresh visions and novel strategies. It is time to help empower future feminist leaders to chart their own course.

The fundamental objective of the Center for Feminist Futures will be to enable transformative intergenerational exchange and learning in every facet of our work. We will develop our own distinctive best practices for intergenerational leadership transition; we will collaborate across generations on forward-looking research; and we will mobilize research to find innovative solutions to persisting problems of gender inequality.

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About the Initiative

Mission Statement of Proposed Center

The Center for Feminist Futures inspires and promotes research, education, creative work, and public engagement in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies from intersectional, interdisciplinary, and global perspectives. To accelerate progress toward a more just future for all, the Center is committed to advancing efforts that translate and disseminate gender scholarship to broader publics, formulate new visions of feminist futures, and promote these visions in local, national, and global contexts. Our work aims to be collaborative and inclusive by engaging and establishing dialogue with a variety of audiences, including policy-makers, activists, educators, elected officials, philanthropic partners, and wider communities in Santa Barbara and around the world. The Center seeks to forge intergenerational connections between established and junior scholars, between seasoned activists and emerging voices. We aim to build bridges between academic disciplines, generations, geographies, and histories to learn from the past while demonstrating how indispensable diverse feminisms are for establishing equality, rights, and gender justice in the twenty-first century.

Intergenerational Connections

The Center will bring together faculty members, graduate students, undergraduates, visiting practitioners, and community members, including high school students to:

  • engage in collaborative and individual research
  • translate and disseminate research through op-eds, social media, and policy briefs
  • sponsor talks, performances, workshops, and reading groups on campus
  • create interdisciplinary courses offered through existing departments and programs
  • institute a regular weekly social hour to facilitate informal interaction

Scholarly Initiatives

UC Santa Barbara enjoys a robust history of strength in research and teaching around gender and sexuality, from the top rankings of the Department of Sociology in the field of sex and gender and the Department of History in women’s history to the Hull Chair, the first endowed chair in women’s studies in the University of California system. Led by a high-profile faculty director, the Center will feature thematic scholarly initiatives focused on forward-looking intergenerational collaboration. Potential themes include:

  • Feminist Environmental Justice: Building a Healthy Future
  • The Gig Economy, Gender, and the Future of Work
  • The Future of Politics with Feminists at the Table
  • The Unfinished Business of Race, Class, and Gender Equality
  • Technological Intimacies: How are Social Media Changing Relationships?