Call for GSR Applications: Winter and Spring 2021

The Center for the Study of Women (CSW) is accepting applications for a 25% Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) for Winter 2021 and Spring 2021. In Winter 2021, the GSR’s main responsibility will be to plan the 2021 Thinking Gender Conference. In Spring 2021, the GSR will conduct research, writing, analysis, and other assignments based on the needs of the Center.

Thinking Gender is an annual public conference that draws scholars from across disciplines – humanities, social sciences, life sciences, arts, law, education, public health, and public policy – to share research on women, sexuality, and gender. Thinking Gender 2021 will be the 31st year of the conference. Due to the global pandemic, the conference will be held virtually over Zoom in spring 2021.

DEADLINE: Monday, November 30th, 2020

Interviews will be held the week of December 7th, 2020



Care, Mutual Aid, and Reproductive Labor in a Time of Crisis

The 2021 Thinking Gender Conference will focus on feminist, queer, trans, transnational, Indigenous, and intersectional approaches to care, mutual aid, and reproductive labor.

Held on March 9, 2020, last year’s Thinking Gender conference took place a week before UCLA shifted to remote operations as a part of global pandemic-related shutdowns. This year’s Thinking Gender follows a year that has been marked by overlapping and escalating crises: a global health emergency, unprecedented worldwide mobilizations against police brutality and state violence, and the rise of authoritarianism all over the world, among many others. These crises have exposed deeply differentiated vulnerabilities to death and privation, but by the same token, they have also brought into relief the renewed importance of building and maintaining alternatives structures for care, sustenance, and survival.  Grassroots bail funds, mutual aid pods, care collectives, and projects to provide emergency food and shelter have sprung up or grown exponentially in neighborhoods, cities, and municipalities across the US and across the world.

Such practices of care are not new, however, and feminist theorists, scholars, and activists have been crucial to understanding their dependencies on gendered and racialized labor. Feminist scholars have long tracked capitalism’s disavowed dependence on reproductive labor performed mainly by feminized and queer subjects, positing such subjects as agents of revolution. Black, Indigenous, post-colonial, and women of color feminists have highlighted the double edge of gendered care. On the one hand, it has been relegated to racialized, enslaved, and colonized subjects; on the other hand, its role in social reproduction has been instrumental to the survival, sustenance, and resistance practices of exploited, dispossessed, and colonized people around the globe. Indigenous feminists have been at the forefront of theorizing and building communities of care for not only humans, but also for land, water, and other more-than-human beings.  Working both within and outside of academic settings, these theorists have highlighted the material and immaterial forms of labor required for care work, its devaluation and elision as work, and its importance to revolution and resistance.

Building on such traditions of thought, some questions for engagement include:

  • What practices and forms of labor generally relegated to feminized, racialized, and/or queer subjects are becoming all the more vital in this moment of overlapping and escalating crisis? How are such practices and forms of labor at once recognized as essential and devalued and ignored in an attempt to manage social crisis?
  • Insofar as Black communities, communities of color, Indigenous peoples, and queer/trans communities have always experienced the state as the source of violence and privation, how have they developed alternative modes of social reproduction and organization that we might now call “mutual aid?” How might we draw on these alternative traditions to solve crises of today?
  • What happens when we reenvision the goals and practices of academia and the university through a framework of care rather than competition and through collaboration rather than discipline?

While we are particularly interested in applications from candidates with strong research and/or activist interests related to this theme, we invite all UCLA Graduate Students with an interest in intersectional feminism to apply.

The selected applicant will have the opportunity to collaborate with CSW Director Grace Hong in refining this conference theme and developing a program that makes a significant contribution to care, mutual aid, and reproductive labor research.


The Conference will take place in Spring 2021. This position provides a 25% Graduate Student Researcher (GSR) appointment with a monthly salary during Winter 2021 and Spring 2021. Fee remissions will be included.

The GSR must be registered as a full-time student (enrolled in a minimum of 12 units) during the academic year and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 throughout the duration of the appointment.


Under the supervision of the CSW Director and Management Services Officer and in collaboration with the CSW Program and Research Developer, the Conference Coordinator will:

  • Plan and oversee an interdisciplinary conference
    • Develop and implement plans that will aid the conference goal of serving graduate students and contributing to feminist research
  • Head the conference selection and program committee
    • Curate conference abstracts and papers
    • Review and critique submissions
    • Lead and prepare agendas for conference planning meetings
    • Write and prepare conference documents, including but not limited to calls for submissions, publicity materials, manuals, etc.
  • Build and engage with a network of prominent scholars and administrators to create an interdisciplinary program
    • Develop cross-campus fundraising strategies and hone academic development skills
    • Interact with high-level university administrators
    • Spearhead outreach initiatives


  • Registered UCLA graduate student in 2020-2021 academic year
  • Experience organizing or participating in research conferences
  • Demonstrated ability to lead networking, fundraising, and outreach initiatives
  • Demonstrated ability to work as part of a team and to collaborate during meetings and discussions
  • Strong organizational skills, including:
    • Demonstrated ability to set and meet deadlines and priorities
    • Ability to organize and present information effectively and concisely
    • Ability to set and maintain a reliable work schedule
  • Research interests related to the conference theme and compatible with CSW’s core research on women, sexuality, and gender. We encourage students in any discipline to apply.


The following materials are required when submitting your application through the online application system:

  • Cover Letter, outlining how your research interests relate to the conference theme, and what sessions you would incorporate (keynote speakers, workshops, etc.) that would both support the theme and serve the professional and research development needs of graduate students (1 page maximum)
  • CV
  • Unofficial UCLA Transcript (with most recent coursework and grades)
  • List of References: Provide at least two references (name, title, contact information, relation to applicant), one of whom must be a UCLA faculty member. We advise that references be able to comment on your research aptitude (particularly as it relates to the theme), organizational skills, and capacity to oversee the production of a conference.

If selected for an interview, please be prepared to suggest and discuss possible sessions related to the theme, speakers, outreach and fundraising strategies, and formats for the conference.


Please submit your application online via Submittable.

For questions, please contact the CSW Management Services Officer, Rosa Chung, at

DEADLINE: Monday, November 30th, 2020

Interviews will be held the week of December 7th, 2020