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March 14, 2017

Keywords for Video Game Studies: Violence

Please join us for the third in a series of lectures:

Keywords for Video Game Studies

Speaker series

Third lecture: Violence

Date: May 17, 2017
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: EMU 023, Lease Crutcher Lewis Room, University of Oregon


“Mixed Realism: Videogames and the Violence of Fiction” with Timothy Welsh

This presentation offers a fresh perspective on videogame violence by placing it in the context of the literary. It will demonstrate an innovative critical methodology, “mixed realism,” through a comparison of Rockstar’s brutal anti-Western Red Dead Redemption and Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. The talk suggests a way to “read” across the tenuous boundary between  the fictional and the real in order to better understand the role of virtual environments in contemporary culture.

Timothy J. Welsh is an assistant professor of English at Loyola University New Orleans where he teaches in the Film + Digital Media concentration. His scholarly interests include digital media and culture, videogames, contemporary fiction, and critical theory.

An image of the flyer is shown below. PDF version here. We hope to see you there!

Image of event poster

Sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies and English. Series also sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the New Media and Culture Certificate program, Environmental Studies, the LGBTQIA Scholars Academic Residence Community, and UO Think.Play. For more information: or contact Dr. Edmond Y. Chang at
February 13, 2017

Faculty in the news: Kemi Balogun on beauty diplomacy in Nigeria

Professor Kemi Balogun’s current book project examines how women’s bodies symbolically represent Nigeria’s aesthetic center  and signal the country’s economic potential within the region.

Read the full article here. (OCR-optimized PDF)

February 1, 2017

Margaret Rhee interviews with Bitch Magazine and Ploughshares

Check out the Bitch Magazine audio interview here, where Professor Rhee discusses fembots on Westworld, and don’t miss “A Way I Could World-Build in Poetry”.

January 18, 2017

Dr. Juana María Rodríguez delivers second of two 2017 Sally Miller Gearhart Lecture(s) in Lesbian Studies

2017 Sally Miller Gearhart Lecture in Lesbian Studies — Part 2!

Please join us for the second of two very special lectures!

Group photo of sex workers in MexicoTitle: Feeling Photography, Visualizing Testimony, Imagining Alterity
Speaker: Dr. Juana María Rodríguez
Date: January 27, 2017, 11:00 – 12:30 pm
Location: Crater Lake South Room, EMU

Image of woman asleep in bed from aboveDescription: What does “seeing” tell us about the subjective experiences of those whose life stories we are invested in knowing? And how does the visual presence of the speaking subject of auto/biography complicate narratives of their lives? Rodríguez probes the ways forms of representation that combine biographical narrative with visual documentation transform our affective encounters with the social and sexual lives of sex workers in order to question the kinds of interpretive practices we bring to these knowledge projects. In the process, she reflects on how images and text function as complicated triggers for the attachments, identifications, desires, and traumas of our own corporeal embodiments and sexual histories.

Headshot of Juana Marí RodríguezBio: Juana María Rodríguez is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Performance Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of two books, Queer Latinidad: Identity Practices, Discursive Spaces (NYU Press 2003) and Sexual Futures, Queer Gestures, and Other Latina Longings (NYU Press 2014) which recently won the Alan Bray Memorial Book Prize at the MLA and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Foundation for LGBT Studies. Professor Rodríguez has published numerous articles related to her research interests in sexuality studies and queer theory; Latin/o American and Caribbean literature and culture; critical race studies; and technology and media arts and her work has appeared in a range of scholarly journals including GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies; Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory; Radical History Review; boundaries 2; a/b: Auto/Biography Studies; Genre: Forms of Discourse, PMLA, and Profession.

Poster PDF version


January 5, 2017

Keywords for Video Game Studies: Nature

Please join us for the second in a series of lectures:

Keywords for Video Game Studies

Speaker series

Second lecture: Nature

Date: February 22, 2017
Time: 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: EMU 023, Lease Crutcher Lewis Room, University of Oregon


“The Problem of Modeling (and Rendering) Trees” with Alenda Chang

Can you commune with nature in a video game? The rise of so-called “walking simulator” games suggests that you can, even as games remain undertheorized as environmental systems. Ranging from first-person walkers, to plant modeling software and asset libraries, to gestural terraforming in virtual reality, this presentation will outline just a few of the ways in which the environmental humanities can contribute to the future of game studies.

Alenda Y. Chang is an Assistant Professor in Film and Media Studies at UC Santa Barbara.  With a multidisciplinary background in biology, literature, and film, she specializes in merging ecocritical theory with the analysis of contemporary media.  Her writing has recently been featured in Ant Spider Bee, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and Qui Parle, and her current book project develops ecological frameworks for understanding and designing digital games.  She also maintains the Growing Games blog as a resource for researchers in game and ecomedia studies and the environmental humanities.

An image of the flyer is also available below. PDF version here. We hope to see you there!

Series made possible by Environmental Studies, English, Cinema Studies, the New Media and Culture Certificate program, Women’s and Gender Studies, and the Center for the Study of Women in Society.  Other support includes the LGBTQIA Scholars Academic Residence Community, LGBT Education Support Services, UO Housing, the UO Residence Hall Association, and UO Think.Play.  Contact Dr. Edmond Y. Chang for more information at
Image of Alenda Chang lecture event poster
November 21, 2016

Dr. Alexis Lothian delivers first of two 2017 Sally Miller Gearhart Lecture(s) in Lesbian Studies

Event poster [see PDF version for recognizable text]2017* Sally Miller Gearhart Lecture in Lesbian Studies — Part 1!

* Yes, we know that it is still 2016. 🙂

Please join us for the first of TWO very special lectures!

Title: Queer Longings in Straight Futures: Notes Toward a Prehistory  for Lesbian Speculation
Speaker: Dr. Alexis Lothian
Date: December 1, 2016, 4:00 – 5:30 pm
Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

Description: The story of lesbian science fiction is generally assumed to begin in the 1970s, as feminist political and literary movements converged with gay liberation. For her forthcoming book Old Futures: The Queer Cultural Politics of Speculative Fiction, Dr. Lothian researched speculative narratives by women, queers, and people of color that are not often included in genre histories of science fiction, from nineteenth-century utopias to twenty-first-century digital media. This talk expands upon arguments made in the book, drawing on her research in early-twentieth-century feminist speculative fiction to examine moments of desire and connection among women. Appearing amid futuristic visions that otherwise reproduce straight and narrow understandings of gender, race, and sexuality, these fleeting nonheteronormative imaginaries complicate our understanding what it has meant, and what it could mean, to speculatively enact the possibility of lesbian worlds.

Bio: Alexis Lothian is Assistant Professor in the Department of Women’s Studies and Core Faculty in the Design Cultures and Creativity Program at University of Maryland College Park. Her scholarship is situated at the intersection of queer studies, speculative fiction, and social justice in digital culture. She is completing a book manuscript titled Old Futures: The Queer Cultural Politics of Speculative Fiction, which will be published by NYU Press, and has published in venues that include Poetics Today, International Journal of Cultural Studies, Cinema Journal, Camera Obscura, Social Text Periscope, Journal of Digital Humanities, Extrapolation, and Ada: a Journal of Gender, New Media, and Technology. She is a founding member of the #transformDH digital humanities collective and the editorial team of the open access journal Transformative Works and Cultures, a member of the Tiptree Award motherboard, and co-chairs the academic track at the feminist science fiction convention WisCon.

Poster PDF version


Details about the second lecture will be posted in December!

November 14, 2016

Keywords for Video Game Studies: Diversity

Please join us for the first in a series of lectures:

Keywords for Video Game Studies

Speaker series

First lecture: Diversity

Date: November 30, 2016
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Location: EMU 119, University of Oregon

“Why Diversity and Intentional Inclusion Is Needed in Our Games” with Tanya DePass

A brief talk followed by Q&A with students, staff and faculty on why diversity and inclusion in video games and tabletop is not just important but vital to keeping the genre alive.  From Street Fighter to Mafia III, games are slowly getting better about who’s in the lead, who lives, who dies and who’s story is told; but it’s still moving at a snails pace.  This talk will go into why representation is important for the player base that is not reflected in advertising, or who we see as the “industry” versus who is actually making, playing and researching games.  The history of why #INeedDiverseGames, where it started, where it’s going and why it’s important to bring diversity of race, gender, sexuality and ability to the table along with the latest killing everyone simulator will be threaded throughout the talk.

Tanya DePass is the founder and Director of I Need Diverse Games, a not-for-profit foundation based in Chicago, that is dedicated to better diversification of all aspects of gaming.  She’s also the founder and Editor In Chief of  Fresh Out of Tokens podcast where games culture is discussed and viewed through a lense of feminism, intersectionality and diversity. She’s also the Diversity Liaison for GaymerX and often speaks on issues of diversity, feminism, race, intersectionality and other topics at multiple conventions throughout the year. Her writing about games and games critique appears in Uncanny Magazine, Polygon, Wiscon Chronicles, Vice Gaming, Paste Games and other publications.

An image of the flyer is also available below. We hope to see you there!

Series made possible by Women’s and Gender Studies, English, Environmental Studies, the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the New Media and Culture Certificate program, the LGBTQIA Scholars Academic Residence Community, LGBT Education Support Services, UO Housing, the UO Residence Hall Association. and UO Think.Play.  Contact Dr. Edmond Y. Chang for more information at
Poster for keywords in video game studies lecture 1: diversity
October 3, 2016

What’s New in Video Game Studies? A Conversation with Dr. Edmond Y. Chang

When: 7:00 – 9:00 pm, Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Where: Straub 251, University of Oregon

Constance Steinkuehler argues in “Why Game (Culture) Studies Now?” that “games are a productive context for research not only in terms of what they reveal about cognition (i.e., problem solving and its meaning) and the characteristics and features of successful and sustainable online communities but also in terms of what they can tell us (as both culture and cultural artifact) about life in a world that is increasingly globalized and networked.” In this conversation, I hope to outline some of the new and forthcoming ways scholars, teachers and gamers are answering the game studies call, including queer game studies, environmental game studies, race and indigeneity in games, games and disability, and video game pedagogy.

Image credit: Phillip Toledano

poster for what's new in video game studies

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…”

September 29, 2016

UO African American Workshop and Lecture Series

this post courtesy of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The University of Oregon African American Workshop and Lecture series connects national experts with UO thought leaders and change agents.  It is focused on helping our campus to better understand the most promising practices in this area and utilizing their expertise to institutionalize more effective environments, practices and policies. While some of the speakers will deliver large campus addresses, many of them will work with smaller groups of our campus community including advisors, deans, student leaders, faculty, staff, vice presidents and supervisors to raise awareness, hone existing practices and, in some instances, develop new skills.  Equally as important is the fact that the speakers and their areas of expertise align very well with the President’s three priorities of excellence, access and a successful student experience as well as with the IDEAL framework for Inclusion, Diversity, Evaluation, Achievement and Leadership. We are grateful to the Black Student Task Force (BSTF) for their vision in bringing this series to our campus, to the President’s Office in providing generous support for the series and to our campus community for their support and active participation.

Below, please find the topics that will be addressed by the speakers who are scheduled to visit during the 2016-2017 Term:

Envisioning, Attaining and Institutionalizing Diversity in STEM Education and Research
Dr. Kelly Mack – Monday, October 17, 2016
  – RSVP by October 14 @ noon

STEM at the UO – Students in Science
10:00 -11:30 a.m.
Crater Lake Room, North & South

Community Public Forum
1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Crater Lake Room, North & South

Historically, African Americans have made important contributions to medicine, technology, science and math, but those contributions have lagged recently in the wake of inadequate K-12 education and poor pipelines to science opportunities. The UO seeks to be a leader in STEM education and research by educating and empowering the broadest array of talent. To that end, we have invited Dr. Kelly Mack, Vice President for American Association of College and University’s national project to reform undergraduate STEM education. Dr. Kelly will host a town hall meeting with faculty, community partners, staff and students on the most promising practices for engaging faculty, undergraduate and graduate students in STEM education and professions. She will also meet with leaders who are responsible for faculty development to share tips and strategies for persistence among women, African Americans, and other minorities in higher education.

Show Me The Money: The Changing Landscape of Diversity in American Philanthropy (November 8, 2016): Access to higher education comes at a price and as state resources continue to decline, colleges and universities are turning to philanthropy to help educate our future generation of leaders. Berkeley and University of Michigan, among others, have raised millions of dollars in support of African American scholarships and other diversity initiatives. As we seek to become more excellent, it is only fitting that we seek philanthropic resources in this area. To help the UO learn more about how to raise money for African American initiatives and support diversity work more generally, we are bringing to campus George Zeno, whose successful leadership has raised millions of dollars in funding at UW and now at Berkeley. On campus, he will meet with development officers, Deans, students, and prospective donors to ensure that we are not just effectively fundraising, but that our fundraising opportunities are as inclusive as possible.

Transforming Our Judiciary, Changing Our World (October 31-November 3, 2016): Around the world, the judiciary is a leading force for societal transformation and change.  Among the global leaders in this area is Ghana’s first female Supreme Court Justice Lady Georgina Theodora Wood. She will visit our campus in early November 2016 to talk about the judicial reform that she has catalyzed in Ghana and other parts of the African continent, as well as her focus on alternative dispute resolution.

A Deeper Black: Race in America, (February 3, 2017):
Ta-Nehisi Coates is the author of “Between the World and Me” and winner of the 2015 National Book Award for nonfiction. Coates is the 2017 Ruhl Lecturer at the UO School of Journalism and Communication. Incoming UO freshmen are reading and discussing the book over the course of the coming school year as part of the 2016-17 UO Common Reading book selection. Coates’ lecture is titled “A Deeper Black: Race in America” and will tackle the systemic racism and racist policies that have been inseparable from the growth of the nation.

Empowered To Lead: Best Practices for Enhancing Campus Climate (Date TBA): Inclusive faculty recruitment and student success are important to our excellence as a university. To kick off the speakers’ series, we will explore these subjects with three workshops hosted by Dr. Benjamin Reese, VP for Equity and Inclusion at Duke University. Dr. Reese has more than 40 years of experience in the areas of organizational change, cross-cultural development, and conflict resolution. His first workshop will focus on search committees and institutionalizing best practices for ensuring excellent, diverse candidate pools. The second will focus on how implicit bias impacts assessments as they relate to performance evaluations and other feedback required from supervisors. The third workshop will focus specifically on how implicit bias can affect the way in which we advise students, the propensity to track students into certain majors and the assumptions that we make about experience, ability and mindset. In each of the workshops, participants will learn about the specific manifestations of implicit bias and how to counteract it in ways that lead to increased faculty diversity and better outcomes for selecting and engaging students.

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