Illinois State University’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS) is issuing a call for proposals for the WGSS Annual Student Research Symposium under the theme of “Reconcile, Rebuild, and Recover.” 

This year’s virtual symposium, running from April 12-16, will be a week-long celebration of student scholarship and ideas that are underrepresented in the traditional university curriculum. Organizers are seeking proposals for live, hybrid, and recorded presentations that include virtual poster sessions; performances of music, dance, theater, and spoken word; short videos or podcasts; workshops; art or craft demonstrations; academic papers; panel discussions; and artist’s talks.  

Open to undergraduate and graduate students, the deadline for submissions is March 1, 2021. Submissions should include the project title, contact information of presenters or performers, the name of the Illinois State faculty sponsor, and a description and sample of the proposed project. Send submissions to with the subject heading “WGSS Symposium.” 

Inspired by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s call to action with her work “The Hill We Climb,” symposium organizers say the poem is a reminder not to lose sight of how our collective spirits have been challenged. Gorman’s lyrical appeal to navigate this frustration, exhaustion, and doubt with the courage to “find light in this never-ending shade,” prompts us to pause and “rebuild, reconcile and recover.”

Declared the “24.5th” Symposium, the virtual celebration marks the return of the annual symposium after a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19. Next year, WGSS plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the symposium.  

Those with questions can email or call WGSS at (309) 438-2947.