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April 21, 2016

Bechdel Test Burlesque

Poster for Bechdel Test BurlesqueDate: Friday April 29th 2016
Times: Doors 7:30 PM.  Show 8 PM.
Cost: Free to UO students, faculty, staff, and community on a first come basis
Place: Global Scholars Hall Great Room (GSH 123)
Other info: Ages 17+ Contains some nudity


Naked. Nerdy. Feminist. This is Bechdel Test Burlesque, the super-powered byproduct of the intersection of feminism and pop culture! Five of the Northwest’s top burlesque producers have joined forces to build a more feminist world through smart, sexy, nerdy burlesque.

Bechdel Test Burlesque is invited to the University of Oregon for a free performance thanks to Assistant Professor Edmond Y. Chang and the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. The performance is presented in partnership with and as a finale event of the Residence Hall Association’s Geek Week. Audiences should come ready to celebrate their fandom and their feminism. Cosplay encouraged.

This special brand of thrill-joy feminism aims to subvert pop culture tropes, celebrate body and sex positivity, and honor strong female characters from fan favorite films, comics, literature, television, and more. This critically acclaimed performance intends to introduce the art of burlesque to a new audience while adding a critical voice to the dialogue around gender, race, sexuality, consent, and nerdy pop culture.

“It’s a great concept, stripping burlesque of all male-centric notions of ‘naughtiness’ and titillation and somatic advertising.” – David Schmader, The Stranger

“…smash the patriarchy with striptease!” –  Amanda Vail, Women Write About Comics

“Fucking Awesome” – Alison Bechdel

This event is made possible by the generosity of the UO Residence Hall Association and Residence Life, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the School of Journalism and Communication, and UO’s Sexual Wellness Advocacy Team.  With added thanks to Phoenix Inn Suites Eugene, UO Scheduling and Event Services, and the Underrepresented Minority Recruitment Program.

April 15, 2016

“The Politics of Style: Black Women, Social Movements, and Global Fashion Economies” Tanisha Ford

Flyer for Tanisha Ford talkWhen: April 29, 2016, 12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Where: Knight Library Browsing Room, 1501 Kincaid St, Eugene (on UO campus)

Tanisha Ford is an assistant professor of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her book Liberated Threads uncovers how and why black women use beauty culture and fashion as a form of resistance and cultural-political expression. From the Civil Rights and Black Power era of the 1960s through anti-apartheid activism in the 1980s and beyond, black women have used their clothing, hair, and style not simply as a fashion statement but as a powerful tool of resistance.

Whether using stiletto heels as weapons to protect against police attacks or incorporating African-themed designs into everyday  wear, these fashion-forward women celebrated their identities and pushed for equality. In this thought-provoking book, Ford  explores how and why black women in places as far-flung as New York City, Atlanta, London, and Johannesburg incorporated style and beauty culture into their activism.

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society; the Departments of English, Ethnic Studies, and
Women’s and Gender Studies; the College Scholars Program; the CSWS Women of Color Project; the Office of
Equity and Inclusion; and the Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs.

PDF copy of flyer

“Sex, Alcohol, and Violence: How Status Competition Creates Risk” Elizabeth Armstrong

Flyer for Elizabeth Armstrong lectureWhen: April 21, 2016, 7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Ford Alumni Center, Giustina Ballroom, 1720 E. 13th Ave, Eugene (on UO campus)

Professor Elizabeth Armstrong (University of Michigan) will give a public lecture, “Sex, Alcohol, and Violence: How Status  Competition Creates Risk,” as part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Elizabeth Armstrong is coauthor of Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality (Harvard University Press, 2013). Her research interests are in the areas of sexuality, gender, culture, organizations, social movements, and higher education.

Sponsored by the Department of Sociology, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, Division of Student Life, and
the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

More information at the official announcement on the CSWS website.

PDF copy of flyer

March 2, 2016

WGS faculty in the media

Four of our faculty were recently featured in various media spheres. Click the links below to read their comments on topics ranging from economic equality to video game representation.

Margaret Rhee discusses “Love and Romance in the AI Age” in Oregon Quarterly and is featured in podcast on ImagineOtherwise

Elizabeth Reis quoted by Time article “Gender is not just chromosomes and genitals” and in The Atlantic’s “When parents and surrogates disagree on abortion”

Yvonne Braun comments on women’s economic, social and medical well-being across the US on WalletHub

Oluwakemi Balogun interviewed by CAScade magazine for her work on Nigerian beauty pageants

Edmond Chang calls for better representation in video games at UC Santa Barbara talk

February 23, 2016

WGS Spring Classes – Schedule Up!

Class names

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies – NO PREREQS!
WGS 199 – Heroes, Monsters, & Queens: Dressing Up as Critical Play – NO PREREQS!
WGS 315 – History/Development of Feminist Theory
WGS 331 – The Body
WGS 352 – Gender, Literature & Culture
WGS 407/507 – Asian American Sexual Representations
WGS 422/522 – Queer Ethnic Literature

See below for full descriptions. Registration is open now!

WGS Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

WGS 199: Heroes, Monsters, & Queens: Dressing Up as Critical Play
Professor Edmond Chang
Thursdays 2:00 – 4:50 pm
! Counts for Queer Studies

What does it mean to dress up? We dress up to go to work, to go on a date, to work out, to impress, but what about dressing up to play? This class will take up the ways we “present the self in everyday life” (to borrow Erving Goffman’s phrase) that reveal, challenge, and complicate norms about fashion, costume, and the roles we play. In particular, we will look at the pop cultural treatment of subcultures of fashion, cosplay, drag, and live-action role-playing games to think about how “dressing up” intersects with race, gender, class, ability, space, and time. Part of the course will focus on scholarship, film and other media, and everyday practices. Part of the course will engage in observation, reflective writing, experiential learning, and actual live-action game play from basic mechanics to character creation to role-playing and adventuring.

WGS 315 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture
Professor Kemi Balogun
Mondays & Wednesdays 12:00 – 1:20 pm
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement

What is feminist theory? What is the relationship between theory and practice? What does it mean to do theory?

This course will provide you with a broad overview of the key feminist theoretical debates from the “Second Wave” of feminism to the present. Though we will emphasize feminist theories dating from the late 1960s to the present, we will include earlier historical suppositions as well. By the end of the quarter you will be able to understand feminist theoretical writings not only as abstract philosophical statements but also as products of and responses to specific historical moments.

The selected readings represent different approaches to theoretical inquiry as well as feminist work conducted from within a wide range of disciplines: anthropology, cultural studies, history, media studies, literature, philosophy, psychology, and science and technology. Our goals are that you sharpen your critical skills, appreciate the diversity of approaches and assumptions of feminist theorists, apply feminist theories to disciplinary issues, and develop your own voices as theorists.

WGS 331 – The Body
Professor Margaret Rhee
Tuesdays & Thursdays 4:00 – 5:20 pm
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

This course is a theoretical study of the body with the particular focus on how the body intertwines with technology. For much of history, the body has been understood as a biological object, and feminist theorists have challenged this narrow conception of the body. In this course, we will take on the challenge of deconstructing and representing the body through a feminist science and technology studies lens. Through rigorous reading, writing, and discussion, we will examine formative work by Anne Fausto-Sterling, Donna Haraway, Charis Thompson, Lisa, Nakamura, Carol Stabile, Alondra Nelson and other feminists on the topic of the body, technology, and science. Additional themes include genomics, the history of dissection, cyborgs, bioethics, biopolitics, blood politics, and necropolitics. Students will study and also contribute to the project of theorizing and politicizing the body in a special creative class project.

WGS 352 – Gender, Literature and Culture
Professor Edmond Chang
Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00 – 1:20 pm
! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

Because some of the most compelling feminist theory is expressed in literature, this class explores the way novels, short stories, memoirs, and poetry contribute to the terms of feminist analysis in a variety of political and national contexts.

In this class we will focus on the theoretical insights offered by literature written by women and on some central issues raised by feminist literary critics. Among the questions we will explore are: What is the relationship between gender and writing? What do women need in order to write? How well (or poorly) do literary traditions fit the expression of women’s experiences? How do women challenge these traditions? What (if anything) constitutes “women’s writing”? How do race, class, and nationality shape literature by women? Is literature a form of feminist theory? Is literature a form of political activism?

The literature for this course is primarily contemporary and it intentionally deals with women’s place in a range of political, cultural, and national contexts. We will study the cultural specificity of each work and their shared themes.

WGS 407/507 – Asian American Sexual Representations
Professor Margaret Rhee
Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00 – 11:20 am
! Counts for Queer Studies

This course is a theoretical and historical exploration of Asian American gender and sexuality. With a queer theoretical lens, we will investigate gender and sexuality through the experiences and representations of Asian Americans within the United States and across transnational border. Through a varied archive of media and literature, we will provide a genealogical mapping of Asian American gender and sexuality through poetry, film, pornography, critical theory, and archival study. This course takes on a rigorous study of the history of racialization of Asian American gender and sexuality and outlines new developments in queer Asian American cultural critique, and connections with queer and gender studies. Titles include: “Sexual Naturalization” by Susan Koshy, “Racial Castration” by David Eng, and “The Hypersexuality of Race” by Celine Parrenas Shimizu. Students will study and also contribute to the project of theorizing and politicizing Asian American gender and sexuality in a special final class anthology project.

WGS 422/522 – Queer Ethnic Literature
Professor Ernesto Martínez
Tuesdays 2:00 – 4:50 pm
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

This year’s seminar is dedicated to understanding queer memory within the context of the queer African American and queer Latina/o/x literary tradition.


Professor Elizabeth Reis quoted in Time article, “Gender is Not Just Chromosomes and Genitals”

The internet and social media are perhaps the most important aspects of the modern age that serve to amplify the voices and experiences of historically oppressed, marginalized or minority populations, and those who identify as genderqueer, transgender or intersex are prime examples.

At the time of writing, South Dakota has just passed a controversial bill that attempts to restrict bathroom usage of individuals to the bathroom that matches with their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. But where does this leave people with intersex characteristics, whether visible or invisible? Professor Elizabeth Reis comments in a new Time article on the matter.

Image is from linked article, credit Peter Dazeley.

November 17, 2015

“We are Not Red Indians”: The Gender of Anticolonial Sovereignty

We are not red indians flyer

Please join us for this very special guest lecture with Audra Simpson, PhD, of Columbia University.

When: 17 November 2015, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm

Where: Knight Library Browsing Room

Across the borders of time, place, and sentiment, Simpson reflects upon the deep specificity and global illegibility of indigenous struggle and life in the face of death and dispossession in North America. Audra Simpson, PhD, is an associate professor of anthropology at Columbia University. She is the author of Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Duke University Press, 2014).

PDF version of flyer

November 11, 2015

More new classes for winter!

Class names

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies – NO PREREQS!
WGS 199 – Art, Activism and Pop Culture – NO PREREQS!
WGS 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture
WGS 331 – Rethinking Gender and Technology
WGS 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms – NO PREREQS!
WGS/QST 361 – Gender and Video games – NO PREREQS!
WGS 410/510 – Native Feminisms

See below for full descriptions. Registration opens next week, Monday, November 16th! Register early and secure your seat!

WGS Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

WGS 199: Art, Activism and Pop Culture
Professor Margaret Rhee

In this course, we will investigate how art and activism intersect to address pressing contemporary social issues concerning gender, race, and sexuality. In particular, the course focuses on how art is utilized as activism, and vice versa, to address social issues such as the prison industrial complex, sexual assault, and HIV/AIDS. The course takes on a special emphasis on how artist-activists-students have utilized art to organize and create change on the college campus. Along with rigorous reading and writing, students will also engage in the topic of art and activism through constructionist learning—learning through creating—in a special lab component of the class. In groups, students’ will collectively create art/activist projects that address campus, local, or national issues through a feminist lens. The class will conclude with a special symposium where students will present their work to the WGS department and larger campus.

WGS 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture
Professor Lani Teves
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills American Cultures requirement

This course examines the ways in which race, class, gender, and sexuality intersect to form systems of inequality, formations of identity, and sites for political agency. Multi-racial interdisciplinary feminist perspectives have interrogated the politics within feminist discussions to re-center intersecting identities to better understand the histories, experiences, and the contemporary politics of women of color. This challenge to both the academy and institutional systems has called for a complication of monolithic assumptions within the “study of women.” The readings emphasize theoretical dialogues confronting the complexities of inclusion/exclusion in feminism, first/third world constructions, and difference within difference that further complicate our assumptions of identity, community, and culture. Such frameworks through the course include, but are not limited to; indigenous feminisms, critical race theory, borderlands, and globalization. Through film and literary narratives students will have the opportunity to critically analyze the social positions, representations, and political projects centering the lives and experiences of women of color.

WGS 331 – Rethinking Gender and Technology
Professor Nadia Loan
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement

Do technologies shape the way in which we understand and enact gender identities or does gender influence the use of technologies? Starting with these questions, this course will probe deep into the world of gender and technology to critically examine the relationship between these two concepts. We will use a broad definition of technology so as to include computers, computer networks and digital media as well as a wide array of everyday objects and things (for e.g. the microwave oven). This course will highlight the social, cultural and political factors that influence the relationship between gender and technology and explore how the meanings and uses of technology are historically and culturally located.

WGS 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms
Professor Irum Shiekh
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills International Cultures requirement

This course is an exploration of global feminisms, feminist activism, and women’s movements organizing locally and across borders. Through films, readings, and discussion, we will explore the varied expressions of women’s activism at the community, national, and transnational levels, considering how feminists construct diverse interpretations of feminism and how, in the era of globalization, feminist and women’s movements engage and challenge the state, civil society, international agencies, and corporations for a more just world. At the same time, we will explore the tensions, coalitions, and conflicts within transnational feminist theorizing and praxis using case studies from diverse regions around the world. This course meets the Social Science group requirement in that it will consider multiple examples of movements from all over the globe and therefore be broadly comparative in scope. It will also consider multiple different cultural contexts.

WGS/QST 361 – Video Games and Virtual Worlds
Professor Edmond Chang
! Fulfills QST minor requirements
! Fulfills Arts & Letters requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement

Alexander Galloway in Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture argues that play “is a symbolic action for larger issues in culture” (16) and that video games “render social realities into playable form” (17). Using a broad archive of “imagined worlds”–drawing on literature, film, television, digital games, and scholarship–this course will consider the questions: Why study these “imagined worlds,” how are they important, and what values do they have? In this course, we will look at and analyze texts of media old and new through the interdisciplinary lenses of cultural studies and comparative media and deploy virtual worlds and video games as theories about and to unpack and analyze the intersections race, gender, class, nation, sexuality, and technology, particularly in the US context.

WGS 410/510 – Native Feminisms
Professor Lani Teves

This course examines the foundational and aspirational trajectory of Native feminist scholarship. We will begin by questioning the usefulness of gender as a category of analysis within Native communities and how Native women have responded to feminism. We will trace the intellectual origins of Native feminisms, each week reading a key text in recent publication. With an emphasis on the praxis of Native feminism, we will cover a range of indigenous contexts, but focus primarily on the Americas and the Indigenous Pacific. Topics explored include cultural revitalization and gender roles, change and continuity under cycles of colonialism and settler-colonialism, the connection between colonialism and sexual violence in Native communities, debates over citizenship and sovereignty, and contemporary Native gender roles and identities.


Making Love to James Baldwin: A Novelist’s Exploration of How Gay AAPIs Can Navigate Race in the Bedroom

Ocampo Flyer

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies invites you to

MAKING LOVE TO JAMES BALDWIN: A Novelist’s Exploration of How Gay AAPIs Can Navigate Race in the Bedroom

When: Wednesday, November 18, 2015, 12:00 – 1:20 PM
Where: Villard 300

Featuring a guest lecture and writing workshop with San Francisco Writers grantee/activist/novelist, Paul Ocampo

BIO: Paul Ocampo was born in the Philippines and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of eleven. After graduating from Berkeley, he assisted Maxine Hong Kingston in editing the anthology Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace which includes his short story “Butterfly.” He has been published in Lodestar Quarterly, Walang Hiya, Kuwento: Lost Things and others. He recently received a San Francisco Arts Commission grant of $8,000 to complete a historical novel on the Philippines’ national hero and novelist Jose Rizal. He graduated from the MFA program at Arizona State University in 2011.
Part of WGS/QST 422/522 Explicit Sex and Politics
Fall 2015
Free and open to the public
Workshop limited 15 participants – first come first served; please email to RSVP

October 29, 2015

Queer Talk & Poetics: A Lunchtime Affair


The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies invites you to

QUEER TALK & POETICS: A Lunchtime Affair

When: Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 12:00 – 1:20 PM
Where: Villard 300

Featuring a talk and poetry reading by TC Tolbert

“Attending/To Attend: Failure as the End Where We Start”

BIO: TC Tolbert often identifies as a trans and genderqueer feminist, collaborator, dancer, and poet but really s/he’s just a human in love with humans doing human things. The author of Gephyromania and several chapbooks, TC is also co-editor of Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. His favorite thing in the world is Compositional Improvisation(which is another way of saying being alive).

For more information:

Light refreshments provided
Part of a class talk for WGS/QST 422/522 Explicit Sex and Politics
Fall 2015
Free and open to the public

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