A statement on behalf of FGEN’s conference team regarding the forthcoming conference, the first day of which falls on one of UCU days of industrial action.
We are going ahead with the conference on Friday 1st and Saturday 2nd April.
Members of the conference team are all active members of UCU who support the programme of industrial action, and one of us is a Trade Union official. We have therefore considered our position very carefully and have communicated with UCU. We feel that the conference is as much (if not more!) an activist focused event as an academic one and given the urgent need to respond to the trans hostile culture in the UK we believe it is important to go ahead.
Our choice of venue is due to our boycott of Goldsmiths and UCL in solidarity with their local campaigns and so that we hold the event away from a university venue so as not to cross wider UCU picket lines.
While many of us are academics, the event is independent from any university and we will distance ourselves from promoting university allegiances, for example, we will ask that presenters do not include institutional logos on slides.
We very much hope that the event will be seen in the spirit of an activist – focused teach out, however, we do, of course, respect that there may be some people who decide they will not attend.
All best wishes,
FGEN conference team.