WOMEN'S AND GENDER STUDIES NORTHERN ARIZONA UNIVERSITY // SPRING 2018
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IN THIS ISSUE Letter From The Director
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Aurora Levins Morales Good Bye To Dr. Das
Alumni Spotlight Alumni Spotlight Spring 2018 Graduates Graduating Students
Class Spotlight Guest Lecture New in the New OfficeIn TheZines Office - Zines
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR
SANJAM AHLUWALIA It has been a productive year for the WGS program at NAU. Completing my first year as director of the program, it is my pleasure to highlight some of our achievements. Within the program we pride ourselves on the cutting edge interdisciplinary, intersectional, and transnational curriculum WGS offers for undergraduates and graduate students across campus. The core faculty and our affiliates across campus are deeply dedicated to our students’ success and to achieve that, they offered a wide array of courses incorporating most recent feminist scholarship. Besides offering a full and varied roster of classes over the two semesters, the program organized a series of events that were open to the campus as well as the wider Flagstaff community. The programming we offered this year provided a public forum to discuss issues that have global resonances, even as we engaged them from our
very local Flagstaff location. WGS took leadership in bringing the global conversations around the social movement #Metoo. There is additional information on this event and others in the March Programming section of this newsletter. We successfully completed our 7 year program report and review. External consultants highlighted the important work on diversity WGS does for the university, noting: The program at NAU is well-established and the university is stronger for the presence and service of WGS. With especially good relations with Ethnic Studies and Applied Indigenous Studies, and an intersectional understanding of gender, WGS is the fulcrum that unites all diversityfocused academic programs. This helps to ensure that women, students of color, LGBTQ students, and students with disabilities have courses, programs, and events that speak to their ...
March Programming March Programming Int'l Women's Day Int'l Women's Day Art, Essay, & Inaugural Inaugural Essay, & Art, Poetry Competition Poetry TheCompetition Hunting Ground The Hunting Ground
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Winning Submisssions Winning Submisssions
Missing Missing Women Women Me Too Conference Me Too Conference Critical Critical ContentContent Corner Corner Dr. Das Contact Info Zine Library
LETTER FROM THE DIRECTOR CONTINUED
the issue of faculty turnover, we are also hoping to launch a national search for a tenure-track faculty position housed within WGS this coming ...experiences and provide them a voice in issues academic year. Do stay tuned for additional affecting campus life. Obviously this helps the information on this exciting opportunity. university advance its diversity mission in a more meaningful way. It is clear that faculty put extra Thank you for your continued support of the WGS time and energy into student success, especially program and we look forward to another year of that of 1st generation students, queer students, providing the campus and Flagstaff community and students of color. WGS plays a pivotal role in with leadership on intersectional and NAU’s efforts to attract and retain diverse transnational conversations on histories and students and maintain a welcoming climate for politics of gender, race, and sexuality, both diversity. The diverse expertise and studentthrough our curricular and programmatic centeredness of the WGS faculty, moreover, are a initiatives. critical component of NAU’s ability to attract and retain diverse students. We are determined to widen the reach of our ideas. Noting how concerned younger children were about social and political issues around them, this year, for the first time, WGS made an effort to reach out to younger generation of students in Flagstaff. We organized and publicized a writing contest on feminist themes open to students at the middle and high school levels. We were very impressed with the submissions we gathered and have published a couple in this newsletter. Given our success this year, we intend to continue this writing contest both as a way to highlight our presence in the community and to build on our connections with younger feminists in the wider Flagstaff area. We will, of course, continue to provide a platform for conversations on important social movements such as #Metoo. One of the continuing challenges faced by our program, also highlighted by the external consultants, has been the nature of faculty appointments. With core faculty primarily in non-tenure-track positions, we have had a considerable turnover among our faculty, as outstanding scholars leave to take up tenure-line positions elsewhere. As we say farewell to one of our dear colleagues, Dr. Devaleena Das, we look forward to welcoming Fadila Habchi, from Yale University as our new Transnational Feminist faculty member. To address
SAYING GOODBYE TO DR. DAS
HISTORIAN AS CURANDERA
We were blessed to cohost historian, artist, healer and activist Aurora Levins Morales. During her visit, Aurora read from her foundational writings on healing and spirituality and engaged with students in a workshop that emphasized her philosophy that “historians” are also “curanderas” (healers) when (and if) they apply their knowledge to and for the community. Aurora described how storytelling and resistant history were routes to healing the collective trauma of racism. Aurora's writing and organizing embodies methodologies for movement building across race, class, gender and sexuality.
SANJAM AHLUWALIA We would like to honor and recognize the wonderful work our colleague Dr. Das has done with our students and for our program this past year. Dr. Das will be leaving NAU at the end of the Spring term to join the University of Minnesota, Duluth. We would like to wish her all the very best for what promises to be an academically rich career, marked by passion for teaching and deep commitment to scholarship. We would like to thank her for her intellectual generosity and feminist curiosity—we are all that much richer for having had her among our midst this past year. We wish her all the very best for her future endeavors.
CONGRATS SPRING GRADUATES WGS Major
Jillian Cross Elliot Rumpf Alison Whitney
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT KAYLYNNE GRAY I'm now working as a grant writer full time at an incredible non-profit in Portland, Oregon called Sisters of the Road. Sisters is a non-profit cafe serving low-income and houseless people in Downtown Portland. It's run by community members and staff (many of which were formerly a part of the houseless community) and is grounded in community organizing principles. I love serving my community with my passion for writing, and I support the monthly Womxn's Day in the Cafe where we build a supportive community, heal together, make art and center all womxn in a closed, safer space. I am applying to graduate school at the moment, looking at expanding my WGS knowledge with an interdisciplinary Masters program.
WGS continues to inform the way I navigate the world, the way I reflect on my own identity development, and my current/future academic and creative endeavors. Since leaving NAU, I have worked with queer-identified college and university students around the state of Oregon to put forth legislation to change higher education and public policy. I would also provide mentorship and academic planning support.
Serving my community remains integral to my life, and this is something I got really passionate about through opportunities during my undergrad in WGS at NAU. The hardest part of leaving university is the dedicated space and time to engaging with texts, and being able to discuss them with peers. I learned so much from my classmates in WGS and QS classes, and I really miss that structure. My advice would be to never stop engaging in critical dialogue- it is crucial in these strange, tumultuous times to keep fighting the good fight, taking time to rest and take care of your community, and to reflect on being part of this movement with writing/art/ grounding-alonetime-in-the-woods.
Serv Case Grace Dolan Brandi Donahou Kaley Greenman Melinda Irwin Natalie Lampros Rachel Rose Joshua Walker Kaileigh Walker Adaline Walter Elizabeth Wendler
Queer Studies Minor Grace Dolan Jojo Gordon Kelsey Lamberton
WGS Graduate Certificate Celeste Jackson Mallory Johnson
SPOTLIGHT * FEMINIST MEDIA STUDIES
GUEST LECTURE BY STEVIE GUNTER, MEMES AS PRAXIS; UNDOING NEOLIBERAL FEMINISM FOR THE 4TH WAVE
On April 19, 2018 NAU alum Stevie Gunter presented a guest lecture and workshop on internet memes as intersectional and inclusive feminist praxis. Stevie was invited by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program to help teach a unit on participatory digital media for their new pilot course Feminist Media Studies. This course uses intersectional feminist theories and methods of analysis to investigate representations of race, sexuality, and gender that circulate in contemporary Western TV, advertisements, cinema, pop news, and social media. Gunter’s event was open to the public and attended by students in various WGS courses; WGS and Queer Studies majors and minors; and NAU faculty and staff. PHOTO OF STEVIE GUNTER
MEME MADE BY WGS MINOR KYLER EDSITTY FOR THE CLASS PROJECT
Students taking the Feminist Media Studies course were asked to prepare for the event by reading Debbie Atkinson’s article “Participation and Affect.” Extending from that text, Gunter’s lesson, entitled “Memes as Praxis: Undoing Neoliberal Feminism for the Fourth Wave,” outlined the historical intent and development of memes (as well as the etymology of term meme!) and explored how and why memes thrive in our ever-shifting internet culture. Gunter’s argument—that memes are not an inherent source of community development but can be made so through our active engagement with them as sources of connective education—was demonstrated in the next part of the class: Gunter organized a workshop where students built resonant memes to communicate ideas covered in the course or other issues relevant to WGS. At the end of the workshop, these memes were digitally displayed and discussed. You can check out some of the memes shared in the workshop and developed for the related viral meme course project by searching #WGS299_S18 on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.
NEW IN THE OFFICE * ZINES
In an effort to incorporate aspects that would extend the impact of our programming beyond the events themselves, with our focus on addressing, preventing and healing from sexual assault/violence - we wanted to build more resources that students, classes, and faculty could access throughout the year. The idea to stock zines came as a collaborative tandem to the library starting it's own zine library. We hope to stock more zines and for classes to create their own.
Titles Available Now:
Speak Out : A Zine Exploring Gendered Violence by Speak Out Santa Cruz Wildseed Feminism : A Resource Book for Abortion Care by Rachel Blanton Wildseed #2 : Herbal Remedies for Lifelong Reproductive Care by Rachel Blanton Doing It Better : Conflict Resolution after Abuse in Leftist Communities by Joel Biel Support : Feminist Relationship Tools to Heal Yourself and End Rape Culture by Cindy Crabb Learning Good Consent : Building Ethical Relationships in A Complicated World by Cindy Crabb Current - A Journal of Transnational Inqueery by 2016 WGS Capstone students Intersectionality by Shelbie Smithson, Taylor Tracey, Marcia Smih, Arianna Tapia, Kendall Sportsman and Frank Tedsco
WGS hosted a series of four events in March, primarily addressing and promoting awareness around sexual assault and sexual violence . Starting with a celebration of International Women's Day and our inaugural High School and Middle School Art, Essay & Poetry Competition, we also screened two films with panels and held a conference focused on the #MeToo movement
CONTEST SUBMISSIONS Santana Maestes Garcia
“Not What You Expected” * Poem * 12th Grade
“Ruby Bridges” * Essay * 6th Grade
"I Too Sing America" * Poem * 8th Grade
"Shirley Temple" * Essay * 7th Grade
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
This International Women's Day, WGS celebrated our Inaugural Poetry, Art, and Essay competition for high school and middle school students. We started the competition to initiate building relationships outside of NAU, with the hope for reciprocal crossover (WGS students teaching or facilitating workshops in the surrounding middle and high schools, and high/middle school students submitting work for the competition and getting their foot in the door with our program). The longterm aim is to create space for mentorship between WGS students and middle/high school students. Many of the students who submitted work for the competition were in attendance on March 8th and it was an honor to get to share and recognize their work.
John F. Jaramillo III
"Eiusdem Sexus Amans" * Poem * 12th Grade
Cora G. Cunningham
"Malala Sprouted A Seed" * Poem * 6th Grade
“Vote for Women’s Rights!” * Art * 7th Grade
THE HUNTING GROUND
WGS screened the film The Hunting Ground, which uncovers the epidemic of sexual assaults and rape crimes that occur on U.S. college campuses, their institutional cover-ups, and the devastating toll they take on students and their families. The screening was followed up with a panel discussion, grounded in an intersectional framework, of how sexual assault impacts our lives and communities. Panelists provided important critiques of the film, a thoughts on how to envision justice for survivors/victims of sexual assault and rape without police or prisons, how to heal and move on from sexual trauma, and what would be necessary to create a society in which sexual violence doesn't occur. While not a perfect film, it was a baseline to initiate the conversation around sexual assault and rape that happens on college campuses. We hope to continue the conversation and expand on it next year by including more programming to give students/community members tools and resources to respond to and to stop sexual violence from happening.
CONTEST WINNERS Not What You Expected Santana Maestes Garcia, 12th G
Malala Sprouted a Seed Cora Cunningham, 6th G
I am who I was when I was five I am who I will be when I am 80 I am a woman raised by fighters A woman of survivors I have overcome battles through my family Have learned lessons through the eyes of loved ones
Maulana Fazlullah seized the voices of Swat. He started with schooled girls who learned and were taught. He broke down the walls of the radio system His followers hid in the shadows
I have been told I am too strong to cry never strong enough to hide my pain I am the girl who is “too confident” The girl who looks in the mirror and prays that it shatters I will forever be a woman who is questioned I will always have the answers Trying to block out the screams of society “Sit like a girl” “Dress like a girl” I don't know what that means When I was raised to show off my scars Even if they didn't compliment my dress Wore the bruises on my knees Like the disapproval on their face White knuckles because I’m tired I don't want to be “that girl” I don't care if I’m “not what you expected” I remember holding in my tears because showing weakness is what they expected Being afraid is what they expected Silence is what they expected I will not be a mirror to your insecurity I will not hide my strength because it makes you feel weak Wanting to be everything in a world that only taught limitation Feeling the barrier every time I open my mouth When you have spent your entire life trying to free yourself But to be free in the hands of people who don't accept different I don't need your approval nor do I need your encouragement But I do long for your acceptance I am the women that I have always been and will always be
He was a threat who loomed in the dark, a distant nightmare, plotting in Afghanistan The people thought they were safe, tucked into the arms of the valley. Creeping darkness, and wavering light. The Taliban crept closer. Men started disappearing into the chilly, moonlight night. The Taliban sprouted a weed It drew the life out of neighboring flowers And slowly, at a snail’s pace, it spread its seeds. New weeds were sprouting. A roaring lion swallowed the classroom. Fire lit up the collections of 3-year-old drawings. The Taliban had blown up a pre-school, a place where little girls learned to count. Then Malala sprouted a seed It covered up the weeds, a daffodil of hope. A new voice resonated in the dark. A new light was growing. The seed was stomped on. Malala had been shot. The Taliban refused to subside. She nearly died, but she did not lose her voice. Braveness in the dark. Malala had done nothing wrong. She sought rights. Her voice as a weapon. She stood to fight. Women and Men. She sees their rights the same. Others do too, because Malala sprouted a seed.
#METOO: GLOBAL FEMINIST EXPRESSIONS
As part of the programming for Women’s History Month in March, WGS organized a panel discussion on feminist conversations around #Metoo movement. Panelists Drs. David Church, Jessi Quizar, and Sanjam Ahluwalia, Professor Jennifer Denetdale from University of New Mexico, Flagstaff Mayor Coral Evans, and WGS alumni Katherine Yelle, engaged in productive dialogue about this contemporary moment of feminist critique on sexism, sexual assault, and sexual violence. Panelists together explored the challenges of this moment of public reckoning, and possibilities for how we may emerge stronger, through an embrace of inclusive, non-prescriptive, and counter-hegemonic narratives of pleasure, sex, sexuality, gender, and family. Photos (Left, from top to bottom) : 1. #MeToo panelists David Church, Jessi Quizar, Jennifer Denetdale, Victoria Fimea, and Coral Evans. 2. Close up of Mayor Coral Evans speaking 3. Audience in the Native American Cultural Center 4. Spike Manning holding baby with Sanjam Ahluwalia and Eli Chevalier
MISSING WOMEN:FEMALE SELECTIVE ABORTION AND INFANTICIDE To mark the International Women’s Day, WGS screened a film, Missing Women: Female-Selective Abortion and Infanticide. The film presented a tale from another place that focused upon reproductive control, especially over women’s bodies and reproductive abilities. While reproductive restraints, is not a new story, the form that it takes in places such as India, Pakistan, and China as shown in the documentary, is different from the form that reproductive restraints take in our immediate context here in AZ and within the US. The film was screened to generate conversations about the merits of adopting a transnational feminist position which helps illuminate issues of reproductive and sexual health beyond the narrow confines of national borders. The screening of the film was bookended by brief commentaries by WGS and ES faculty, Drs. Dilofarid Miskinzod, Devaleena Das, Binod Paudyal, and Sanjam Ahluwalia. Photo (Below) Faculty Meredith Heller, with panelists Sanjam Ahluwalia, Devaleena Das, Dilofarid Miskinzod, and Binod Paudyal after the event
CRITICAL CONTENT CORNER Recommendations on media (podcasts, music, movies, art, etc.) with a nutritional value, and spotlighting organizers, educators, activists, and resources that inspire, and help build a critical consciousness outside of the classroom. If you have something you would like to submit to this section email your suggestion to Womens.Studies@nau.edu
This hands-on type of relationship building both to promote environmental stewardship RUSTBELT ABOLITION RADIO serves and also nourishes and resources the human Rustbelt Abolition Radio is an abolitionist media souls who have been made to feel that they do and movement-building project based in Detroit, not belong. We also utilize traditional skillMI. Each episode broadcasts the voices of those and naturalist knowledge to rekindle HOW TO SURVIVE THE END OF impacted by incarceration and explores ongoing building and revitalize our connection to all of our work in the movement to abolish the carceral ancestors, as well as the ancestors of the land we THE WORLD state (that is, prisons, police, courts as well as are occupying. In that vein, we strive to racial domination and capitalist understand further how this work can support exploitation). The show seeks to indigenous communities in Turtle Island who strengthen community collaboration . As such, continue to be harmed by processes of we aim to expand our ability to struggle colonization. against the ways in which the carceral state impacts our daily lives and to create a space CRITICAL RESISTANCE where we can both imagine and remake our Critical Resistance seeks to build an international world anew. It feels like the world is ending. movement to end the Prison Industrial Complex But the world has ended before. by challenging the belief that caging and How do we learn from apocalypse? How do we controlling people makes us safe. We believe that move through these endings with grace, rigor, basic necessities such as food, shelter, and and curiosity? Join Autumn Brown and Adrienne freedom are what really make our communities Maree Brown, two sisters who share many secure. As such, our work is part of global identities, as writers, activists, facilitators, and QUEER NATURE struggles against inequality and powerlessness. inheritors of multiracial diasporic lineages, as The success of the movement requires that it well as a particular interest in the question of reflect communities most affected by the PIC. survival, as we embark on a podcast that will Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot delve into the practices we need as a community, support any work that extends its life or scope. to move through endings and coming out whole on the other side, whatever that might be.
Queer Nature is a queer-run nature education and ancestral skills program serving the local LGBTQ+ community. We recognize that many people, including LGBTQ people, have for various reasons not had easy cultural access to outdoors pursuits, especially ‘survival skills’ like bushcraft, tactical skills, and (ethical) hunting. Our program envisions and implements How do we survive in the age of Trump? Kamau ecological literacy and wilderness self-reliance and Hari are here for you. In season 2 of Politically skills as vital and often overlooked parts of the Re-Active, comedians and longtime friends W. healing and wholing of populations who have Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu navigate the US been silenced, marginalized, and even political landscape. Join Hari, Kamau and their represented as 'unnatural.' Our curriculums guests every week as they discuss how to move necessarily go beyond recreation in nature to forward, how to be an active part of the deep and creative engagement with the natural resistance, and how to stay joyful in the face of world to build inter-species alliances and an the unknown. enduring sense of belonging. *descriptions edited from podcast/organizations websites
Thanks for reading! Stay connected with WGS via Facebook NAU Women's & Gender Studies or @NAUWGS Email Womens.Studies@nau.edu Phone (928) 523 - 3300 In Person SBS West Room 100G