The Academic Conference and the Status of Women: The Annual Meetings of the Israeli Geographical Society
The academic conference, a site of possible changes in professional knowledge and hierarchy, is an area of academic life rarely studied. Through three main concerns this article illuminates this point for the first time with respect to the status of women and gender research at the last thirty-two annual meetings of the Israeli Geographical Society. First, although men still present the majority of the conference papers, women have increased their share and now constitute one-third of all active participants. Second, women's appearance as chairs of sessions and keynote speakers is significantly lower in proportion to their overall participation in the conference, and they are consistently more involved in its less prestigious aspects. Third, the production of geographic knowledge as reflected in conference papers is gendered, but its pattern differs from that in academia in general. The findings reveal a new facet of the gendered construction of academic life in general, and of Israeli geography in particular, and offer new avenues to revealing the impact of social exclusion on academia.
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