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September 30, 2016

WGS mourns the loss of Sandra Morgen

An announcement can be found on the CSWS website. Sandra Morgen spoke at the WGS commencement ceremony in 2014 and has been a long-time ally of WGS. Our condolences go out to her friends and family.

Photo of Sandra Morgen

Sandra Lynn Morgen 1950-2016
“Let me live lovingly, generously, courageously…”

August 30, 2016

What can you do with a degree in WGS?

We love to keep abreast of what our grads are doing in their lives and careers. If you’ve landed a sweet job, tell us about it with our alumni update form! We are working on compiling a list of careers our grads are pursuing for informational purposes for current and future students.

Rebecca Sprinson (Women’s and Gender Studies, ’09) is current featured on the CAS website for her work as the executive director of the Eugene Education Foundation. Check out her story here.

May 18, 2016

WGS Students to Present at All-Campus Undergraduate Research Symposium

Congratulations to WGS students Sophie Albanis, McKenna O’Dougherty and Daisy Ahlstone on their acceptance to the 2016 Undergraduate Research Symposium!

The Symposium will take place Friday, May 20, 2016 in the Global Scholars Hall, with primary activities and presentations beginning at 3:15 pm. A brief schedule:

  • 3:15 – 5:00 pm: Concurrent Session 1 oral presentations
  • 5:15 – 5:30 pm: Remarks from Provost Scott Coltrane & Vice Provost of Undergraduate Studies Lisa Freinkel
  • 5:30 – 7:30 pm: Poster and creative work presentations
  • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Concurrent Session 2 oral presentations

Sophie, McKenna and Daisy will give oral presentations with the following titles:

Sophie Albanis: “The Chieftain’s Weary Daughter”: The Feminist Legacy and Mainstream Appropriation of Sarah Winnemucca
McKenna O’Dougherty: Poetry as a Portal and the Spaces Left Blank by Modern Settler-Colonial Education: A Native Feminist Reading of Joy Harjo’s “Perhaps the World Ends Here”
Daisy Ahlstone: The Great Tip-stery: An Exploration of Alice Sheldon’s Gender Play in the James Tiptree, Jr. Papers (1960’s- 1970’s)

Please join us in congratulating Sophie, McKenna and Daisy and supporting WGS research and research at large by visiting our students and students from diverse disciplines at the Symposium.

The full program booklet for the symposium can be found here.

May 3, 2016

Summer schedule is live!

Photo of Bryce Creek swimming hole. Credit Halvor TwetoBy popular demand, our summer class schedule is up, full of major-required classes to help you get your requirements done at a cheaper price. Plus, this summer we are offering WGS 361 ONLINE so you can get elective/upper division credit for studying gender, queer theory and more through the lens of Buffy the Vampire Slayer–without having to come to campus!

Happy summer everyone!

p.s. Curious about the featured image? It’s Brice Creek swimmin’ hole–a staple of Eugene summer.

Class names

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies – NO PREREQS!
WGS 315 – History/Development of Feminist Theory
WGS 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity/Race/Culture
WGS 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms
WGS 352 – Gender, Literature & Culture
WGS 361 – Serious Research Mode: Critical Approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer – NO PREREQS!

See below for full descriptions. Registration is open now!

WGS Class Schedule

Class Descriptions

WGS 101 – Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies

Madhurima Das
MTWR 2:00 – 4:30, June 20 – July 17
! Fulfills Social Science group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement

This class introduces basic concepts and perspectives in Women’s and Gender Studies. Focusing on contemporary women’s  issues, we will examine gender with a particular emphasis on how it interacts with race, class, sexual orientation and ethnicity. The central aim is to foster critical reading and thinking about the ways in which the interlocking systems of colonialism, racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, ageism, and heterosexism shape people’s lives. We will also examine how women have resisted these inequalities, worked to create new systems of change, and engaged in national and global transformational politics. Specific topics may include race and racism, body image, sexuality, AIDS and cancer, sexual and domestic violence, and workplace and family issues. We will place these contemporary concerns within their historical, cultural, social, and theoretical contexts, and students will have the opportunity to engage in active discussion.

WGS 315 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity, Race, Culture

Jeremiah Favara
MTWR 10:00 – 11:50 pm, July 18 – August 14
! 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 321 – Feminist Perspectives: Identity/Race/Culture

Professor Lani Teves
MTWR 10:00 – 12:20, August 15 – September 4
! 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 351 – Intro to Global Feminisms

Professor Yvonne Braun
MTWR 10:00 – 11:50 pm June 20 – July 17
! 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 352 – Gender, Literature and Culture

2ND SESSION
Amy Billingsley
MTWR 2:00 – 3:50 pm, July 18 – August 14

3RD SESSION
Angela Rovak (3rd session)
MTWR 2:00 – 4:20 pm, August 15 – September 4

! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism and Tolerance requirement

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 361: ‘SERIOUS RESEARCH MODE’: Critical Approaches to Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Professor Edmond Chang
ONLINE
! Fulfills Arts & Letters group requirement
! Fulfills Identity, Pluralism & Tolerance requirement
! Counts for Queer Studies

When Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer television show debuted in 1997, no one could have foreseen the cult following, the spinoffs, the cultural phenomenon, and the critical and scholarly interest it would inspire. This course will take up a range of critical approaches including media studies, fandom studies, cultural studies, feminist and queer theory.  Our goal is to address the critical question “Why Buffy?” and how might Buffy help us think about the recent resurgence of the figure of the vampire, about the role of monsters, and about cultural anxieties over race, gender, sexuality, and bodies.

This online course will engage in watching, reading, guided discussion, and some analytical writing. You will be required to screen select Buffy episodes (and perhaps other things from the Whedon universe) as the focus of discussion and academic critique. Discussions, response papers, and other assignments will be held online via the course website and Canvas portal.

 

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

REDHEADS OF THE GEEKPOCALPYSE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF OREGON WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES DEPARTMENT PRESENT

BECHDEL TEST BURLESQUE
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.

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