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September 29, 2015

Studying Sex in China

Please join us Monday, October 5th and Tuesday, October 6th for our first event of the year! Studying Sex in China comprises a seminar (Modernity and Sex in China, on Monday) and a panel discussion (The Current State of Gender Studies in the People’s Republic of China, on Tuesday). This event is hosted by the University of Oregon Confucius Institute and is co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies.

When: October 5th, 2015, Monday, 4:00 pm and October 6th, 2015, Tuesday at 4:00 pm
Where: Knight Library Browsing Room
Cost: Free!

(Find the flyer here also, for higher resolution viewing.)

Gender in China poster
September 16, 2015

Welcome Dr. Edmond Chang and Dr. Margaret Rhee

Photo of Drs. Chang, Rhee and StabileDear WGS faculty, students, staff, and supporters,

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Edmond Chang and Dr. Margaret Rhee to the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Oregon. Both are Visiting Assistant Professors of Women’s and Gender Studies and will be teaching new courses in the department this year, including:

WGS 199: Gender and Pop Culture (“Welcome to the Whedonverse”)
WGS 331: Science/Technology and Gender (“The Fembot, Women and Construction of Difference in Film and Media”)
WGS 422: Explicit Sex and Politics
WGS 422: Advanced Queer Theory
WGS 422: AIDS Art and Activism
WGS 422: Queer(ing) Video Game Studies

Dr. Chang earned his Ph.D. from the University of Washington, where he wrote a dissertation entitled “Technoqueer: Re/con/figuring Posthuman Narratives.” His areas of interest include technoculture, gender and sexuality, cultural studies, video games, popular culture, and contemporary American literature. He has recently published an essay on queerness and celebrity studies called “Gay for Brad” in Deconstructing Brad Pitt, “Teaching Harry Potter: Pedagogy as Play, Performance, and Textual Poaching” in Playing Harry Potter: Essays and Interviews on Fandom and Performance, and “Love is in the Air: Queer (Im)Possibility and Straightwashing in FrontierVille and World of Warcraft” in QED: A Journal of GLBTQ Worldmaking. He is also part of MLA Books’ forthcoming Digital Pedagogy in the Humanities: Concepts, Models, and Experiments authoring the keyword entry “queer.” For more information, see his website here.

Dr. Rhee received her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in ethnic and new media studies in 2014. From 2014 – 2015, she was the Institute of American Cultures postdoctoral fellow at UCLA. She has published academic articles in Cinema Journal, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Visual Cultures and the Americas, and Amerasia Journal. She co-edited a special issue of Ada: A Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology titled “Hacking the Black/White Binary,” with Brittney Cooper. She is currently working on a monograph How We Became Human: Race, Robots, and the Asian American Body. She is also a poet and new media artist. As a poet, she is the author of chapbooks Yellow (Tinfish Press, 2011) and Radio Heart; or, How Robots Fall Out of Love (Finishing Line Press, 2015). She co-edited Glitter Tongue: queer and trans love poems and Mixed Blood, a literary journal on race and innovative poetics edited by CS Giscombe. As a new media artist, she co-conceptualized a participatory action digital storytelling project in the San Francisco Jail.


August 19, 2015

New classes–sci fi, pop culture, Islam, explicit sex & politics and more!

Collage of pictures related to new classes

The WGS department is growing and we are adding new classes as part of this growth. Check them out below!

Class names

WGS 199 – Gender and Pop Culture – NO PREREQS!
WGS 331 – Sci/Technol & Gender – The Fembot, Women, and the Construction of Difference in Film and Media
WGS 399 – Gender and Muslim Modernity – NO PREREQS!
WGS 410/510 – Feminist Science Fiction – NO PREREQS!
QST/ WGS 422/522 – Advanced Queer Theory & Cultural Studies
QST/ WGS 422/522 – Explicit Sex and Politics

See below for full descriptions. Registration is now re-opened for all students regardless of class standing–don’t miss these very special new classes!

WGS Class Schedule


WGS199: Gender & Popular Culture – “Welcome to the Whedonverse: Feminism, Fandom, and Popular Culture”
Professor Edmond Chang

This class will take up the challenge of reading, exploring, and critiquing popular culture through the lenses of scholarship, television, film, and everyday media.  Specifically, we will look at the works and fandoms of Joss Whedon—including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Avengers—to unpack and analyze the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, and other formations.

WGS 331 – Gender, Science, and Technology: The Fembot, Women, and the Construction of Difference in Film and Media
Professor Margaret Rhee

In this course, we will investigate the cinematic and media representations of the female robot—the fembot. Drawing from theorist Donna Haraway’s essay, “The Cyborg Manifesto,” we will analyze representations of the robot and themes such as gendered labor, sexuality, and intimacy through a feminist and science and technology lens.

WGS 399 – Gender and Muslim Modernities
Professor Nadia Loan

This course aims to introduce students to the diversity of gender roles in various parts of the Muslim world and the role of contextual forces such as colonialism, nationalism, globalization etc. in forging gender identities. In the first half of the course we will consider how colonial and nationalist regimes participated in shaping and redefining gender relations as well as notions of the feminine in the Muslim world. The second half of course will look more closely at the manner in which gender and identity is interwoven with and produced through new and emerging political, cultural and religious practices in the present.

WGS 410/510 – Feminist Science Fiction
Professor Carol Stabile

In the words of author and linguist Suzette Haden Elgin, “SF is the only genre of literature in which it’s possible for a writer to explore the question of what this world would be like if you could get rid of [X], where [X] is filled in with any of the multitude of real world facts that constrain and oppress women.” Science fiction has also provided a space for feminist writers to explore relationships with science, technology, and identity, unfettered by the sexist constraints of professions or institutions and outside the generic conventions of other types of fiction.In this course, we will be looking at feminist science fiction as a form of theory, as a strategy for thinking critically about the present and imagining “what this world would be like” under different circumstances.

QST/ WGS 422/522 – Advanced Queer Theory & Cultural Studies
Professor Edmond Chang

This advanced class will offer an intensive survey of the key terms, texts, and questions of the interdisciplinary fields that make up queer theory and cultural studies, paying particular attention to recent debates and conversations.  Through the lenses literature, scholarship, new and old media, and even popular culture, we will engage gender, sexuality, race, nation, (dis)ability, technology, and other identities and intersectionalities.

QST/ WGS 422/522 – Explicit Sex and Politics
Professor Margaret Rhee

This course on “Explicit Sex and Politics” draws upon the work of queer feminist writers and activists such as Kathy Acker, Juana Maria Rodriguez, Samuel Delany, Audre Lorde, and Joel Tan. Through close examination of these texts and queer theory, we will explore questions of power, culture, and representations of queer sex as activist strategy. When is “explicit” sex a feminist and queer activist strategy? How does sex border our notions of queer activism and the “romance” of community?

Register today and secure your seat!

June 11, 2015

WGS Spring 2015 Newsletter

Graphic of a newsletter in an envelope

Happy summer everyone!

The WGS Spring term newsletter is now available. Check it out here.

You can also subscribe to receive it via email by clicking the button at the top. Inside: research updates, winners of our scholarships and awards, faculty awards, pictures of the Sally Miller Gearhart 2015 Lecture and more!

For those of you that like the paper newsletter, we will print a limited number of abbreviated copies to be distributed at graduation. Full versions will be printed and mailed in July, and will also be available as usual in the main office. If you would like to request a paper newsletter via mail, please contact the main office and we will make sure you receive one.

June 4, 2015

2015 Sally Miller Gearhart Lecture In Pictures

The 2015 Sally Miller Gearhart lecture by Ana-Maurine Lara was a beautifully unique addition to the biennial lecture series tradition. Ana-Maurine Lara, award-winning author, scholar, and poet, gave a rich reading of some of her original poetry, incorporating visual imagery, movement, call-and-response and audience involvement through the reading of short poems.

The Department of Women’s and Gender Studies would like to thank Dr. Lara, Carla Blumberg and Sally Miller Gearhart, the faculty and staff of WGS, students, members of the community and all who contributed to this event and the lecture series, whether through organization or attendance.

See you in 2017 for the next Sally Miller Gearhart lecture!


April 22, 2015

“Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gädlä Wälättä P̣eṭros”

“Same-Sex Intimacies in an Early Modern African Text about an Ethiopian Female Saint, Gädlä Wälättä P̣eṭros”

Who: Wendy Belcher (Princeton University)
When: 12 noon, Friday, April 24
Where: Browsing Room of the Knight Library

The 17th-century Ethiopian book The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Wälättä P̣eṭros (Gädlä Wälättä P̣eṭros) features a lifelong partnership between two women and the depiction of same-sex sexuality among nuns.


April 3, 2015

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

What Ducks Do web images750X300-2_0April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month and there are lots of activities, conversations, resources and help on campus this month for raising awareness, helping survivors and rallying the campus community to push for positive change.

You can see the full list of events here on the student life website.

Remember: Anyone can be the target of sexual violence, and everyone can contribute to a healthier, safer campus.


April 2, 2015

Professor Ernesto Martínez delivers keynote address at WGSS student research colloquium, PSU

Professor Martínez will give the keynote address at the 9th annual WGSS student research colloquium tomorrow, April 3 at Portland State University.

Talk details:

“On the Queer Practice and Racial Politics of Intelligibility”

How do queers of color develop reliable knowledge about their lives despite being subject to the ideological violence of racist and homophobic societies?

What importance do we attribute to the strategies queer people of color employ to resist such violence and to negotiate levels of intelligibility, and what are the implications of such interventions for social theory?

March 21, 2015

Health at Every Age: Determinants and Outcomes of Physical and Mental Health Throughout the Lifespan

Poster with conference infoWhen: April 10-12th, 2015
Where: University of Oregon

The 12th annual Western Regional International Health Conference will be an opportunity for a diverse group of students, activists, academics, and leaders passionate about the advancement of global health and social justice to explore the determinants and challenges in fostering physical and mental health at every stage of life.


March 20, 2015

Afro-Sappho Futurisms: Drawing on the Past to Imagine us Into the Future

Poster for Sally Miller Gearhart event

When: Monday, April 13th, 4:00 pm
Where: Browsing Room, Knight Library
Who: Ana-Maurine Lara

Facebook/RSVP link

Drawing on poetry and critical scholarship, Ana-Maurine Lara will lead audiences into the archives of the imagination, to consider some invisible spaces of lesbian desire, love and freedom from the past as a lexicon for imagining new collective futures.


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