Call For Abstracts

2019 Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference

Roots and Wings: Looking Back, Looking Forward





The theme of the 2019 BFIC encourages us to engage in conversation about where we come from, where we are, and where we are going.  We have roots–traditions, histories, perspectives and frameworks that provide us with context, identity, community and strength that propel us forward. But can roots also trip us up? What about wings? What novel ideas, innovative forms of practice and research, fresh partnerships, and policies and strategies for educating practitioners/clinicians have emerged from our roots, propelling us forward? What new questions need answers? What new problems demand solutions? Is the state of our science and practice what we need it to be? What are our gaps and blind spots? What excites and stirs our passions? What do need to do now to fly into our future? THIS IS AN EDIT.

We invite your contributions to this conversation and we welcome many different types of submissions. From your vantage point as a parent, practitioner, clinician, educator, policy maker, researcher, activist, communicator, we welcome:

  1. Abstracts for 4-minute essays that outline your heartfelt vision about our theme–roots and/or wings;
  2. Abstracts for presentations by several individuals representing different roles–researchers, practitioners, policymakers—who have common or contrasting perspectives on a particular topic;
  3. Proposals for presentations that synthesize research findings, methodologies, or approaches in a specific area, emphasizing the “state of the science” and proposing next steps;
  4. Proposals for presentations that synthesize practices or policies with an eye toward the future;
  5. Proposals for discussions of how feminist, queer, intersectional, cultural, biopsychosocial, social justice, or reproductive justice perspectives–both theoretical and practical–have shaped our past and present and will contribute to our future;
  6. Proposals for descriptions of navigating feeding and nurturing in the face of all forms of prejudice and discrimination–and what needs to change;
  7. Innovative approaches to addressing the challenges of infant feeding;
  8. Innovative research, practice or policy based on social justice, reproductive justice or health equity;
  9. Innovative approaches to developing customs, communities or programs that will better support lactation and caregivers;
  10. Proposals for discussion of the ethical considerations that frame our work.


BY OCTOBER 22, 2018 we invite abstracts of 300-500 words containing:

  1. Your name, affiliation, and contact information including email address and phone number
  2. Your preference for presentation format (select from the formats listed below). We will consider, but cannot guarantee, your preferred format.
  3. A description of the proposed activity


Send your abstract as a word document to with the subject line: “BFIC 2019 Abstract


Presentation Formats

  • 4 -MINUTE ESSAY: these essays must stay within the 4-minute limit. We seek engaging stories told without any technology.
  • PANEL PRESENTATION: These 10-15-minute presentations will be part of a plenary panel. Each panel has 2-3 speakers. Discussion will follow presentations.  Presenters will have access to LCD to use PowerPoint. If your panel is accepted, you will learn if each presentation has been allotted 10 minutes or 15 minutes.
  • DISCUSSION SESSION: There are two types of discussion sessions: 60-minute sessions with several facilitators and 30-minute sessions with a single facilitator. Multiple discussion sessions will be held concurrently. The format for these sessions is ‘facilitated and engaged discussion,’ not prolonged presentation or lecture. Each facilitator may present for no more than  10 minutes followed by open discussion. Facilitators in discussion sessions will not have access to computers, projectors or screens.
  • STORYTELLING: This format invites you to tell stories that illustrate or enhance conference themes. Stories should reflect the experience of an individual, team, or community. These can be told like a traditional story, with a beginning, middle and end, or as spoken word poetry. Stories should be 5-10 minutes. We do not expect you to have written the story/poem at the time you submit the abstract. Instead, describe the individual, team or community whose experience you seek to represent, your connection to them, the theme(s) you expect to cover, and whether one or more people will be performing (and their names).
  • POSTER: Posters are ideal for the presentation of a research study, program evaluation, project design, or clinical intervention. Several poster sessions will be held and are very interactive.
  • GROUP SESSION: For this format, multiple people collectively submit an abstract for a full panel or 60-minute discussion session with at least 15 minutes devoted to Q&A. Groups will consist of at least 3 people representing different perspectives on a topic. Session leaders should be prepared to engage with the audience in a respectful but challenging way. Possible topics include code compliance; inclusive language; milk expression; or where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going on a particular issue (e.g., racial equity; intersectionality; feminism; baby friendly health care, baby friendly communities).  Be creative! Group sessions can consist of a combination of 4-minute essays, storytelling, research presentations, and/or …surprise us!
  • WORKSHOP: During these 60-minute interactive sessions, presenters will focus on “how to” and “skills for” topics. Participants in workshops can also work together on a common task and/or agree to collaborate after the conference. While one hour is not sufficient for people to become adept at a new skill, we envision that the audience will come away with a better understanding of, or appreciation for, the topic.  We expect that these workshops will help us fly into the future.


Click here to access the Call For Abstracts.

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