Intersectionality Research Salons™
What’s a Salon?
Dating back to at least the 16th century, literary salons are gatherings of people who share similar interests in literature, the arts, culture, and such. Drinks, alcohol specifically, have often been a key feature of salons, fueling the free flow and exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions. In 1920s Harlem, arts patron A’lelia Walker, daughter of Madame CJ Walker famously hosted lavish not-to-be-missed salons — called The Dark Tower — that attracted key writers, poets, artists, musicians, and activists of the Harlem Renaissance such as Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes (to name just two luminaries).
Okay, got it. So what’s an Intersectionality Research Salon?
Inspired by the Dark Tower salon (without, obviously the lavish surroundings, fashion and drinks), we envision our Intersectionality Research Salons to be a welcoming and open space, albeit virtual, for salon guests and salonistes (our fancy word for salon attendees) to chat, discuss, ask questions, and share resources about all things intersectionality research-related.
Here’s what an Intersectionality Research Salon is NOT:
- Not a webinar,
- Not a journal club, and
- Definitely NOT a lecture series. Think chill and laid-back, but intellectually stimulating and engaging. IN other words, come prepared to talk, interact, and share (and get) resources from our active Salon chat.
Each month, we invite an intersectionality researcher, thought leader, activist or community leader doing intersectionality work in some form or fashion to be the salon guest. Then this happens:
- Dr. Lisa Bowleg, ITI Founder and President kicks things off by welcoming everyone, sharing the rules of the road, and introduces the salon guest(s);
- Salon guests typically spend roughly 10 to 15 minutes speaking informally about what they’ve been working on, thinking about, or grappling with, intersectionality-research related wise. In line with the salon vibe, we ask guests to just talk and not prepare anything ahead of time. That’s right, no PowerPoint!
- Once the salon guest(s) has finished speaking, we open the salon for all to engage about the topic. This is where we dialogue as a collective. To start things off, the moderator might ask the salon guest a few questions or make a comment, but then the salon is open for all to ask the salon guest or fellow salonistes questions about the topic at hand, make a comment, ask new questions, or follow up on previous questions or comments.
- Salonistes can also put comments and questions in the chat, but they might be missed. It’s far better to simply ask your question.
- Finally, the Zoom chat is the place for anyone to drop any resources that come up during the discussion.
Before the salon skim, or better yet if you have the time, read the article(s) they’ve recommended. We include this information below the guest’s bio.
And because it’s a salon, we encourage you to grab your favorite drink, your hors d’oeuvres, your snacks, your dinner… whatever. Come prepared to chat, make new friends and colleagues, and build our intersectionality research community. We can’t wait to host you.
We prefer that you do. It’s much more engaging for everyone to be able to see each other, and our reactions. That said, we understand that there are lots of good reasons that you might not want to have your camera on, and we respect that too.
Well, yes and no. We record them for internal purposes to make sure that we: (1) can follow up and check the discussion, if need be, for the Salon Takeaways; and (2) also to make sure we get any resources that may have come up during the conversation.
We don’t, however, share the Zoom recording. Why? Because we want everyone to feel free to chat, ask questions, make mistakes, and just talk to and with each other, without having to worry about the conversation being recorded or posted on social media.
Regular saloniste, Dr. Tonia Poteat said it best, “Attending an Intersectionality Research Salon is like attending a dinner party. You wouldn’t record a dinner party. If you missed it, you missed it.” So, if you have to a miss a salon, you can grab the nuggets in the Salon Takeaways.
Sometime after the last salon, and before the next one, we email out to everyone who has ever registered for a salon, a brief summary of the previous salon. The Salon Takeaways typically starts with a brief reflection from ITI Founder, Lisa Bowleg, followed by a short list of key takeaways from the salon, a list of resources shared during the chat, and any other announcements (e.g., postdoctoral fellowship or job opportunities) that we think may be of interest. The Takeaways are meant to be a quick snapshot of the salon and some of the things that grabbed us; we don’t intend them to be a full summary of the salon. You can find our archive of Salon Takeaways here.
We host them on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (except July, when we’re at our Intersectionality Summer IntensiveTM and August, when we’re recovering from the Intensive), from 5:00 to 6:30 pm ET.
They are free!
You can find the list of upcoming guests here. You can also see our archive of previous salon guests and topics here:
Sounds good. We’re always interested in learning about salon guests. We invite you to fill out this Salon Recommendation form. And if we deem your recommendation a good fit and we’ve available slots, we’ll be in touch.
To join, register here: