Women’s and Gender Studies at Wake Forest University
News & Notes News From the Director
As I start this new position, my theoretical, political and pedagogical stance lies in Judith Butler’s notion that to question how thinking is thought, or, for instance, how remembering is remembered, is crucial. The point is not to prescribe a new way of life (or of doing Women’s and Gender Studies); rather, the aim is that of opening up fields of Director (Continued on page 2) WGS is very pleased to announce for spring 2006 the much anticipated visit of Rose Stremlau, who has completed her dissertation on Cherokee families at Chapel Hill under the directorship of historians Theda Perdue and Michael Green. During her visit at Wake Forest Prof. Stremlau, whose publications are in the area of gender, masculinity, sexual violence, and Native American studies, will teach WGS 221: Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies (team taught with Prof. Ulrike Wiethaus, Humanities) and WGS 377: Ethnohistory of Native American Women. She will also co-ordinate a film series, “Spiderwoman: Exploring the Tapestry of Native American Women’s History Through Documentary Film.” We thank Dean Debbie Best for her support of our efforts to enrich WGS by bringing this unique scholar to our campus.
WGS Minors Abroad Nicole Fitzpatrick (’07): I am studying in Vienna, Austria, at IES with 140 students from all over the world. My “Female as Writer and Perspective in Austrian Literature” course is taught by a man, Professor Gunter Haika, who also teaches at the WFU Flow House in Vienna. The class has been extremely interesting with texts that critique of Austria's role and responsibility in WWII from a female perspective. We are learning how female writers in the fifties tried to speak out for women's rights after WWII mainly by disguising hidden messages within their writing. While some stories seem to be superficial, many of the writers had a deeper understanding of women in Abroad (Continued on page 4)
WFU and GSSA Win Kaleidoscope Award Karissa Flynn (’07) Wake Forest University and the Gay Straight Student Alliance (GSSA) were recently honored with a Kaleidoscope Award from PFLAG Winston-Salem. PFLAG, which stands for Parents, Family, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, is a national organization that was formed with the ideal of creating an environment of support and acceptance for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community. Through a variety of programs, PFLAG works to WFU and GSSA (Continued on page 2)
WGS Kicks Off Student Presentation Series Emily Hoar (’06) Initiating SPEAK (Student Presentations on Experience, Art, and Knowledge), Ritu Bhattacharya’s (’08) presentation “At the Heart of the Tragedy” and Andy Lobashevsky’s (’06) presentation “Sexuality and the Erotic in the Works of Salvador Dali” were the first two student colloquia of the year for this new Women’s and Gender Studies series. Both students gave captivating presentations to an array of intrigued listeners. Judging from these first two colloquia, Women’s and Gender Studies has an exciting year ahead and a lot to look forward to. Ritu is a sophomore who was moved by the events of the tsunami in December 2004. She organized an impressive Tsunami Relief Benefit Concert in Wait Chapel on February 5, 2005. This concert raised over $5,000 to benefit Student Series (Continued on page 2)
No. 37/Fall 2005 Wanda Balzano, Director Linda Mecum, Editor 336/758-3758 email@example.com www.wfu.edu/academics/wgs
Upcoming Events January 2006 “We Can All Be Poets” Reading/Slam Student Presentation Series with Miranda Mills (’06) and Jenny Billings (’06) 8:00 p.m., Shorty’s February 28, 2006 Ecofeminist Thea/ologies and Ethics Rosemary Radford Ruether, Professor of Feminist Theology, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA 11:00, Location TBA February 28-March 1, 2006 Phyllis Trible Lecture Series: Gender, Sexuality, and Faith Elizabeth Bounds, Kelly Brown Douglas, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Phyllis Trible Divinity School, WFU Spring 2006 Spiderwoman Film Series: Native American Women’s History Through Documentary Film February 21 - Kinnalda: Navajo Rite of Passage March 21 - And Women Wove It in a Basket April 18 - Navajo Women Warriors & Honoring Our Voices 7:30 p.m., 239 Greene Hall March 1, 2006 Harryette Mullen Poetry Reading 7:00 p.m., Hanes Gallery (SFAC)
Recent Events October 18, 2005 Temporal Men and the Eternal Bridegroom: Moravian Masculinity in the 18th Century Katherine Faull, Bucknell University October 19, 2005 Love Your Body Day Celebration With WISE Film and Panel Discussion: Angela Hattery (SOC), Janel Leone (COM), and Natascha Romeo (HES) October 21, 2005 Luncheon for Women’s and Gender Studies Minors October 23, 2005 Workshop and Performance on the Life of Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (1656-80), Mohawk Holy Woman; Sarah Hassenplug (playwright) and Theresa Steele (performer) October 28-29, 2005 Students in WGS 221 attended South Atlantic Regional Collegiate Global Women’s and Human Rights Conference Spelman College, Atlanta, GA November 14, 2005 OSAMA film screening followed by a discussion with Michaelle Browers (Political Science), Peter Brunette (Film Studies), and Dean Franco (English); in conjunction with the Secrest Artists Series performance of the Ensemble Kaboul, Music of Afghanistan. November 15, 2005 Interview with political refugee and artist Ustad Farida Mahwash
Director (Continued from page 1)
possibilities without dictating which kinds of possibilities ought to be made real. This project has already been successfully pursued by committed administrators and directors, dedicated students, staff, and colleagues who have been associated with Women’s and Gender Studies at Wake Forest, whether this was its past Director, Anne Boyle (English), who has notably expanded both the academic scope and the imaginative life of the program, or Linda Nielsen (WGS/Education) and Mary DeShazer (English/WGS), who have provided the necessary drive and support since its inception, or the administrative coordinator, Linda Mecum, whose professionalism and creative insight have helped to advance the program, or the many who have joined together to be part of the organizational as well as the dynamic teaching structure of WGS. I am here to continue this good service on the Wake Forest campus, while also reaching out to the broader community without ever losing sight of the dialogue between the educational issues and the moral challenges of the world outside the academia, which is one of the keys to our mission. The interdisciplinarity of the discourses of feminisms, masculinity, sex, gender and sexuality is what makes this program “troubling” (to use Butler’s term) in local, national and global contexts, as well as in the humanities and social and natural sciences, but it is also what makes it ever challenging and new. It is why students and faculty set out to explore together, although from the perspective of their separate disciplines, the intersections of identity with religion, class, age, professional rank, race and ethnicity, disability, and geographical location. It is in this collaborative spirit that Women’s and Gender Studies has already started SPEAK (a series of Student Presentations on Experience, Art, and Knowledge), where students share their creativity, research, and internship experiences with the larger Wake Forest community. The students are not necessarily WGS minors, but they emphasize gender, diversity, and equality issues in their studies. Next term we will also start a series of faculty colloquia, so that we can celebrate our scholarly research and activism in Women’s and Gender Studies. Everyone is welcome! I am looking forward to getting to know even more of Wake Forest’s faculty. Sharing our research interests and activism is one of the ways in which we can truly bring together the divided horizons of our passions, our beliefs, and our differences under the common sky of WGS. Faculty, students, and staff from various parts of our campus have warmly received me here, and I cherish the opportunity to exchange this gift of hospitality by inviting all the members of our community to contribute to our mission and to be part of any of our vibrant organizational committees (Curriculum, Research and Development, Campus Connections, Community Connections). Do join us. As they say in my native country, “Siete i benvenuti!”
WFU and GSSA (Continued from page 1) promote the well-being of LGBT persons, their families and friends. The group focuses specifically on support, education, and advocacy. PFLAG’s Kaleidoscope Award is given to organizations, businesses, and community leaders who have worked to further the goals of PFLAG over the past year. Fellow recipients this year include Wachovia Bank, Que Pasa Media, the Adam Foundation, Wake Forest Baptist Church, and a variety of religious leaders from local Episcopal and Unitarian churches. Wake Forest University and GSSA have continually been making strides towards improving the climate on campus for the LGBT community. The university includes sexual orientation in its nondiscrimination statement, as well as providing LGBT employees with domestic partner benefits. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program continues to integrate LGBT issues into the curriculum of a myriad of courses, such as “Sexuality and the Law.” Since 1991, WFU’s GSSA has served as a driving student force on this campus, promoting equality and non-discrimination. Interested individuals are always welcome at any GSSA event throughout the year. In the spring, GSSA will be holding the third annual Demon Drag show to raise money for AIDS Care Service of Winston-Salem, and also hopes to host another forum on homosexuality and Christianity. While the award is a great honor for both GSSA and for the University as a whole, there is still much to be done to eradicate discrimination and harassment from the Wake Forest community. It is important that the ultimate goal is not forgotten in the face of one small step towards success.
Student Series Continued from page 1)
the tsunami-ravaged regions of South East Asia. But Ritu did not want to end with that. She began to craft a plan to help heal children who were psychologically scarred by the tragedy. With the help of the University, The Center of Women’s Development and Research, Women’s and Gender Studies, the Pro Humanitate Center and Dream Catchers, she was able to make this plan a reality. “Dance is a lot about how I feel,” said Ritu. “It provides a physical outlet, and hopefully will do the same for the children. They had a lot of anger.” Bharatnatyam is an Indian classical dance which is used to pass stories from generation to generation. Ritu traveled to the Southern Belt of India and taught Bharatnatyam to girls in schools and orphanages to help them release their inner anxieties they would not discuss. Though at first Ritu was seen as an outsider and perhaps even a threat, the people of the rustic villages became more comfortable with her presence. With her translator having to leave after the first day, Ritu spent most of her month in India without significant verbal communication. “Without words, we learned to communicate with gestures and facial expressions,” said Ritu. She said she could almost feel the emotions coming from the orphans as they displayed anger and aggression through their dances. The exhausting work of teaching hundreds of children between the schools and the orphanages, and spending more than six hours each day with the kids was worthwhile. According to Ritu, “The thought that I could have somehow influenced these girls to learn to dance was one of the most powerful moments.” Chemistry major Andy Lobashevsky’s presentation was captivating in a different fashion. Andy focused on how Dali explored his erotic nature through his distinct and unique surrealist perspective. “I think that sexuality and the erotic are indispensable resources and inspirations of a prolific and monumental artist in any medium. In fact I believe that consciously embracing these facets of our human existence unlocks many avenues for not only self-knowledge but also creative and expressive potential,” said Andy. “By studying Dali, whom I admire on a number of levels, we can identify our own conception of sexuality, while at the same time appreciating the complexity of his philosophy, symbolism, and art.” Andy received grants from the Reynolds Scholarship program and the Richter Scholar Program to travel extensively and see Dali’s works across the world in the summer of 2005. First he went to Florida’s Salvador Dali museum to see the largest collection of Dali artwork in the world, then was able to go to Catalunya, Spain to meet with a personal friend of the artist, and finally Rotterdam, Holland to see some of the most well known works by Dali. He was able to travel to many of the places depicted in Dali’s paintings and, as a result, he felt that he “gained a more profound understanding of the significance of Dali’s works taken as a whole.” The presentation included a terrific slideshow where Andy’s photographs were displayed next to the paintings in order to show how the Spanish landscape influenced Dali’s art. Andy shared with the audience his great enthusiasm for Dali’s paintings and also for the liberal arts education. Here’s what he said: “I’m so grateful that I got the opportunity to get a taste of the different studies and fields of interest in the liberal arts curriculum. The Women’s and Gender Studies Program has been instrumental in my exploration of the various disciplines that Wake Forest has to offer. As a result of the cross-listed classes, I have been given a very thorough presentation of gender relations and feminism. I feel like I have become well rounded, and now I have more knowledge that I can apply at various instances later on in my life.”
Faculty Congratulations Dr. Sylvain Boko (Economics) recently had a book published. Women in African Development: The Challenge of Globalization and Liberalization in the 21st Century was published by Africa World Press. Co-editors were Dr. Mina Baliamoune-Lutz and Dr. Sitawa R. Kimuna. Dr. Charles Richman (Psychology) recently conducted women’s self-defense courses at the Women’s Wellness Center (Greensboro), Fitness Today (High Point), and Congress on Women’s Health and Gender-Based Medicine (Hilton Head). Dr. Linda Nielsen (Education/WGS) and the students in her “Fathers and Daughters” class were featured in a PBS documentary, “Fathers and Daughters: Journeys of the Heart,” which was released nationwide in June 2005. Dr. Michaelle Browers (Political Science) has received a Fulbright Scholar Award to conduct research in Egypt, Lebanon, and Yemen on “Cross-Ideological Alliances in the Arab Region: Strategic Framing and Ideological Transformation.” Dr. Brook Davis, Ms. Sharon Andrews, and Mr. John Friedenberg (Theatre) with stage manager Mike Kelly (’05) met for five weeks this summer with seven students to create Wake World, a piece of theatre presented to first-year students during fall 2005 orientation week. Wake World offered insights into first-year life on the Wake Forest University campus. Dr. Mary M. Dalton (Communication) and Dr. Laura R. Linder (Marist College) have co-edited The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed, which has been published by SUNY Press. Dalton and Linder also wrote “Cybill: Privileging Liberal Feminism in Daily Sitcom Life,” which was presented at the Women and Society Conference at Marist College in September 2005. Dr. Wanda Balzano (WGS) is in the process of editing, with Dr. Moynagh Sullivan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), The Irish Review – Special Issue on Irish Feminism. Her essay, "Una Troy and Siobhan Piercy," was published in Women Emerging: A Decade of Irish Feminist Scholarship, edited by Rebecca Pelan and Alan Hayes (Galway: Women’s Studies Centre, 2005). Balzano was awarded the Everett Helm Visiting Fellowship by the Lilly Library at Indiana University (Bloomington) for resident research in its rare book and manuscript collections. Over the summer, in addition to the publication of translations and reviews, she delivered papers and participated in a number of conferences in the US, Italy and the Czech Republic.
News from and about our Minors Jenny Billings (’06) is an English major conducting research on father-daughter relationships in the Winston-Salem area as an internship project with Professor Linda Nielsen. She is a mentor and tutor, as well as a book-club leader at Hand to Hand of Social Catholic Services, a Latin and English tutor for high school students and fellow Wake Forest students, and a member of College Republicans. Jenny is President of the English Student Alliance and a regular contributor to two WFU literary magazines--Can I Poet With You (editor) and 3 to 4 ounces. Jenny was a 2005 homecoming court nominee. She participates in walks to fund Juvenile Diabetes and Forsyth County health programs, and is an active Weight Watchers member—having lost over one hundred pounds. Jenny enjoys playing with her Shih Tzu, “Tola,” and spending time with family and friends. Jenny plans to attend graduate school in English. Shanna Depow (’06) is a Resident Advisor, a member of Collegium Musicum Vocal Ensemble and Concert Choir, a photographer for The Howler yearbook, and a member of WISE (Women’s Initiative for Support and Empowerment). Shanna spent the spring semester abroad in London, enrolled at the University of Westminster. While there, she took a full course load, including two Women's Studies classes, “Introduction to Women's Studies” and “Feminist Theory and Sexual Politics.” While in the UK Shanna traveled independently around England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
We Had Words Another hurricane, the third this month, strikes at the heart of a city far from here. Tomorrow, its leftovers will fill our drain and leak into the basement to advance on our low-tide mark a seepage shot with grit and aftermath. My sleep tonight will be a skimming stone affair; every hour fulfilling an ellipsis predicted by the last. This day, all day, is hypothetical. When it steals inside an offhand dusk, not even I will muster a send-off beyond the thought of dust in darkness, a breathless stowaway, like your words on the flip side of my tongue, one almost completely slipped inside another. I was saying, likening the way you like to single out a single word to bear the weight of this, to boarded windows and spineless pines bent double in thin air; cars afloat on streets that have lost the run of themselves by now; a casket in a clutch of branches, an item of clothing tied to a TV aerial, for help. It bypasses us completely. Your full leg, white as that whip-lashed shirt, has drifted over mine. A siren flares on the pike. It plays itself out in hours perched on high ground; our breath brimming over; our new words islanded and arch, to steer us wide of harm. Vona Groarke (Poet in Residence, English)
Kristi Harshman (’07) is a member of the 2003and 2004 WFU National Championship Field Hockey team and Athletes in Action (AIA). A Sociology major, Kristi volunteers for Special Olympics, Read Across America, and Samaritan Inn. She takes advantage of other volunteer opportunities through CHAMPS. Emily Hoar (’06) has been a student assistant for WGS since coming to Wake in the fall of 2002. Emily is a member of Phi Mu Sorority, has her own WAKE Radio program, is a member of the Handbell Choir, and plays club field hockey. She is also on the Dean’s List. Liz Lundeen (’07) is enjoying the semester in London and elsewhere in Europe—plenty of progressive causes! Liz is looking forward to returning to Wake in the spring to continue as a double Politics and History major and is planning to pursue a joint post-graduate degree in law and public policy. Tory Tevis (’07), currently studying in Barcelona, Spain, is enjoying Salsa lessons and traveling! Tory is an intern with FAD (Fashion/Art/Design), an organization that works with artists from many fields, where she assists with obtaining sponsorships and planning inaugurations/exhibitions/workshops all over Barcelona. She is a newly inducted member of Phi Alpha Theta.
WOMEN’S AND GENDER STUDIES WELCOMES NEW MINORS! Aparna Bansal ‘07 Laura Bullins ‘07 Katie Delsandro ’06 Shanna Depow ’06 Karissa Flynn ‘07 Elizabeth Iversen ’08 Juliet Lam ‘06 Emily Mathews ‘08 Shana Settle ‘06 Victoria Tevis ’07
Abroad (Continued from page 1)
their work. Presently, my perception of Austrian women is not complete. It seems that young women my age are a little more comfortable with their sexuality and openly discuss their thoughts about sex and homosexuality. Their labeling of others is different. For example, as I have learned from more than one Austrian woman, two women kissing on the lips would not necessarily be considered a homosexual act. Older generations of Austrian women seem to be very concerned with looking presentable and proper in terms of the way they dress and act in public. Perhaps my observations are not perfect as I do live and go to school with mostly American students, but my experiences taking dance classes with Austrian students and meeting others by chance have led me to these early impressions. Liz Lundeen (’07): I am studying in London, England, this semester. As for my gender perceptions, I find myself asking questions relevant to gender on a daily basis in my classes. Dr. Mary Dalton's class on “Gender in Hitchcock” obviously incites discussion, but the Theatre class also brings up plenty of gender issues, in regard to casting in plays we have seen, contemporary adaptations of ancient playwrights, etc. There is an abundance of political progressive causes in regard to the much more blatant (and consistent) protest of the war in front of Parliament. On balance, more people in London appear to share liberal beliefs, judging from select public interactions. Our neighborhood is filled with families, tons of young children, and what appears to be a great number of stay-at-home-moms. I'm sure my perceptions might be different if we lived closer to the city of London, but, in very general terms, I would have to say that I have not sensed a more progressive tone with regard to gender issues in Europe, compared to the United States. That is not to say that things are less progressive with regard to gender, but rather, I have yet to perceive a large difference. Shannon Philmon (’07): I am studying in Barcelona, Spain. As part of the WGS minor, I’m taking a class on “Women and Mediterranean Literature.” Thus far, we’ve studied the author Mercé Rodereda and her work, The Time of the Doves, and have discussed issues of patriarchy, domestic violence, marital oppression and the daily life of women during the dictatorship of Franco. One of the most interesting things I have done in relation to this course is to take a walking tour of the setting of the novel. We walked around different areas discussed in the passages and read them as we walked from each area of importance. It was fascinating to see exactly what the author was writing about as we read it. Women here are very outspoken and independent but still are not given equal pay or rights. They still feel the need to please men and suffer greatly from the threat of domestic violence which is so prevalent. Spanish democracy has brought about much progress in the role of women within society, but women still have a long way to go. Tory Tevis (’07): I am studying in Barcelona. While Spain used to be one of the most conservative countries in Europe, it has quickly transformed since the end of the Franco regime to being extremely liberal. I and many other Wake students here are living with families—a surprising number of which consist only of a señora or a single mother with children. It seems independent women are the norm here...
WGS and Crosslisted Courses Fall 2005 WGS 221
Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies (Wiethaus/Stremlau) WGS 321/621 Seminar: Women’s Health Issues (Naughton) WGS 358/658 Mothers and Daughters— Literature and Theory (DeShazer) WGS 359 Fathers and Daughters (Nielsen) WGS 377A Sp. Tp.: Ethnohistory of Native American Women (Stremlau) WGS 396/696 Independent Study WGS 397A Internships: Non-PREPARE (Nielsen) WGS 397B Internships: PREPARE (Cameron) WGS 100A-H RAD: Rape and Aggression Defense for Women (Gerardy) ART 251 Women and Art (Smith) COM 341 American Rhetorical Movements Since 1900 (Zulick) COM 370B Sp. Tp.: Family Communication (Leone) ECN 273 Economics for a Multicultural Future (Patterson) ENG 357/657 Studies in Chicano/a Literature (Franco) ENG 362/662 Irish Literature in the 20th Century: Gender and Aesthetics in Contemporary Irish Literature (Holdridge) PSY 265 Human Sexuality (Batten) REL 366/666 Gender and Religion (Crainshaw/ Boyd) SOC 153 Contemporary Families (Irvin) SOC 305 Gender in Society (Harris) SOC 359 Race and Ethnic Diversity in American Society (Wahl) SOC 360 Social Stratification and Social Inequality (Rosenthal) For more about any of these courses—description/day/ time/location/—visit our website: www.wfu.edu/ academics/wgs
News and Notes is published twice each year, fall and spring, to report on Women’s and Gender Studies developments. We welcome comments and suggestions from our readers at firstname.lastname@example.org
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