Page 1

Women’s and Gender Studies at Wake Forest University

News & Notes News from the Director

WGS 101: Building a Stronger WFU Community

This spring semester has simply flown by! I have quickly found out that there is never a dull moment in this dynamic program. Linda Mecum and I are challenged with something new every week; keeping up with that buzz of activities and inexhaustible

WGS 101 is a new course (1 hour), conducted via Blackboard administrators, that gives event organizers an interested audience and students an opportunity to experience and reflect analytically in writing on the diverse cultural and intellectual life of Wake Forest, with an emphasis on Women’s and Gender Studies events and topics. A passing grade requires attendance and short writeup of each approved event, plus a course review at the end of semester. Do you have a cultural event related to Women’s and Gender

Wanda Balzano

Director (Continued on page 2)

Plath Scholar Speaks at Wake Mary DeShazer (English/WGS)

No. 38/Spring-Summer 2006 Wanda Balzano, Director Linda Mecum, Editor 336/758-3758

Dr. Patricia Martin to Lecture Sociologists for Women in Society recently announced that the 2006 Feminist Activist Campus Lecture/Visit has been awarded to Dr. Angela Hattery, Zachary Smith Reynolds Associate Professor of Sociology and Core Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Wake Forest University. Via a competitive application process, Dr. Hattery’s proposal outlined the general and specific issues of violence against women nationally, in North Carolina, and Martin (Continued on page 10)

Studies that you would like students

Community (Continued on page 8) On April 6, 2006, faculty and students affiliated with the Women’s and Gender StudAnita Helle and Mary ies Program enDeShazer pose for a joyed a lecture by photo after Helle’s Professor Anita talk. Helle, editor of the forthcoming collection The Unraveling Archives: Essays on Sylvia Plath (University of Michigan Press, 2007). Helle is Associate Professor and Associate Chair of the English Department at Oregon State University and a scholar of American literature, modernist poetics, and feminist theory. The Unraveling Archive offers intriguing new inPlath Scholar (Continued on page 8)

Interview with Rose Stremlau

Shanna Depow

Annie McAdams (’07) The Women’s and Gender Studies Program has been enriched this spring by Visiting Professor Rose Stremlau, teaching WGS 377: Ethnohistory of Native American Women, and coteaching WGS 221: Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies. Originally from Chicago, Stremlau earned her B.A. in History and Sociology at the University of Chicago before continuing to Stremlau (Continued on page 2)

2 - Number of openly gay elected officials currently serving in North Carolina. 5 - Number of Karissa Flynn openly gay elected officials in the history of North Carolina. 2 - Number of states recognizing homosexual relationships in some manner. 18 - Number of state constitutions including a “marriage protection” amendment. 27 - Number of states restricting marriage to one man and one woman. 1,138 - Number of benefits restricted to access by married heterosexual couples only. The 2003 Supreme Court decision in the groundbreaking case of Lawrence v. Texas, abolishing any remaining sodomy laws, was “a rock lifted from our shoulders,” in the words of author John D’Emilio. On March 17, D’Emilio addressed a group of lawyers at a Continuing Legal Education Seminar held by North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Attorneys, which also featured Wake Forest Equality (Continued on page 2)

Equality for All?

My Visit with Rebecca Walker

Rebecca Walker, the influential feminist scholar and daughter of novelist Alice Walker, made a visit to Wake Shanna looks on as Forest in January, and I Rebecca Walker had the unique privilege autographs her of hanging out with her, book. one-on-one, on the night of her arrival. Well, we weren’t exactly “hanging out.” I was actually driving Ms. Walker from Durham back to Wake, where she was to address one of my classes and give a lecture the following Walker (Continued on page 8)

Upcoming Events June 15-18, 2006 National Women’s Studies Association 27th Annual Conference Oakland, California SPEAK Series Korinne Chiu: Body Image and SelfEsteem Dates/times/locations TBA Colloquium with Dr. Rose Stremlau Date/time/location TBA Dr. Patricia Martin Lecture Date/time/location TBA

Director (Continued from page 1) energies spun by committed faculty, students, and staff, we are both sustained and enlivened. Dr. Rose Stremlau, who has joined the Women’s and Gender Studies Program as Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor this spring with the kind support of Dean Debbie Best, has brought to our campus much dialogue on gender issues in Native American Studies. She has coordinated a film series (“Spiderwoman: Exploring the Tapestry of Native American Women’s History through Documentary Film”), and taught WGS 377: Ethno-History of Native American Women and WGS 221: Issues in Women’s and Gender Studies together with Professor Ulrike Wiethaus, who is also an untiring advocate for American Indian culture in North Carolina and beyond. Combining their imaginative talents, they have also successfully conducted a recent Round-Table Discussion on Indigenous Women Artists as Entrepreneurs—a truly interdisciplinary event, with the participation of Native American artists, faculty and students. So many events have ignited our passions and enlightened our minds in WGS this semester: from the visit of best-seller author and Third-Wave Foundation leader Rebecca Walker, spear-headed by Professor Linda Nielsen, to the lunch discussion with the international feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, planned by Professors Anne Boyle and Mary Foskett, from the poetry slam designed by students Jenny Billings and Miranda Mills to the faculty colloquia with Professors Angela Hattery, Earl Smith, and Ulrike Wiethaus, from the lecture of Plath-scholar Anita Helle, organized with the help of Prof. Mary DeShazer, to the participation in the Gender and the Arts conference at UNC Greensboro of a WFU students and faculty panel (I was there with students Shelley Graves and Lindsay Neuberger, and Professors Lynn Book and Mary Dalton). We also enjoyed the visit of Dublin-based Dr. Anne Mulhall, who addressed the issue of under-representation of women in the literary canon. What this means is that the program is moving forward, with the open-handed collaboration and enthusiasm of so many in our Wake Forest community. Thanks to a progressive administration, and in particular to the generous support of Dean Debbie Best, Women’s and Gender Studies—starting in the fall—will have its core faculty, comprised of six dedicated faculty members with a three-year term investment in the program. It is an important step for WGS that will provide institutional continuity and reliability. Also, in the fall, we are going to launch a new course, WGS 101, which, on the one hand, will reward students for getting involved in Wake Forest’s cultural life, and, on the other, will allow event organizers to secure an interested audience. For believing in and acting on this venture, I am grateful to the invaluable assistance of Prof. Perry Patterson, Associate Dean of the College Billy Hamilton, and the Curriculum Committees of the College and Women’s and Gender Studies. So much has been done in WGS, but we always look ahead for “the next big thing,” and, in that process, we invite you, as always, to share with us your ideas, feelings, and concerns. In the meantime, as the leaves now on the trees remind us of change, and a new season, we bid our farewells, as we celebrate the accomplishments of senior students, and their entrance into the “real” world. Soon the nests in the trees will be empty, and summer will come. It will be time to unwind, then—a time for reflection and creativity. News and Notes is published twice a year to report on Women’s and Gender Studies developments, including the next semester's course offerings, WGS student, alumnae/i and faculty activities, and short feature news articles. We welcome comments, suggestions, and address changes from all our readers. We particularly value our alumnae/i and encourage you to send news and/or articles.Please send your information to


Equality (Continued from page 1)

University of Law Professor Shannon Gilreath on the panel. D’Emilio spoke of the victory of the Lawrence decision and its continuing importance within the legal field and the lives of gay and lesbian Americans. More notably, he also discussed the ever present challenges to the gay movement stemming from the consistent reliance on courts. Despite the fact that the audience was filled with those who make their livelihood through the court system, the main sentiment of the discussion was a frustration with the means through which the gay movement has waged its fight for equal rights and protection under the law. The essential and devastating point of the gay rights movement has been dependence on the court in order to move forward. However, D’Emilio points out that the Supreme Court follows rather than leads. Many on both sides of the spectrum, including Justice Scalia within his dissenting opinion, came to the conclusion that the Lawrence decision would pave the way to the legalization of same sex marriage. The court, however, has never been one to forge a new path. For example, the Brown v. Board decision was born out of a widespread public call for desegregation and equality, and the decision in Lawrence itself relied on past precedent and historical rationale. It would be highly uncharacteristic of the Supreme Court to suddenly become progressive and declare same sex marriage legal. The court merely follows the current of history and responds accordingly. D’Emilio and others argue that our use of a court-based strategy has strongly and quickly mobilized the religious right in pursuing anti-rights action. Gilreath commented on the need to respond through local activism and grassroots activity, stating that “Homophobia will not end until every straight person knows and cares about one gay person.” The gay rights movement must move toward a strategy involving development and action in which community members, both gay and straight, work together to create laws protecting the rights of every citizen.

Stremlau (Continued from page 1) pursue her M.A. and Ph.D. in History at UNC-Chapel Hill. She specializes in the field of Native American History and American Women’s History, and her research focuses on the gendered implications of the federal Indian policy, as well as interracial sexual violence. Professor Stremlau first became interested in Native American history during a spring break service trip as an undergraduate. “As a non-Indian, I am fascinated by the way that Native and non-Native societies have interacted over time and across place. I think it is important for non-Indians to recognize that we are responsible for creating the kind of modern America in which Native cultures can thrive.” As a student in both of Professor Stremlau’s classes, I experienced first-hand her passion for Native American culture and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. She creates a dynamic classroom by engaging all of her seminar students in valuable discussions. Working closely with students in a small classroom environment, as opposed to teaching in a large lecture hall, is one of the aspects of working at Wake Forest that Professor Stremlau has enjoyed the most. “History of all kinds, including Native American Women’s History, is better learned in seminar settings rather than lectures. Because we have such a small group, we can discuss and critique texts together—that’s learning.” Professor Stremlau has accepted a position teaching Native American History at UNC-Pembroke next year, a traditionally Indian university. While there, she will also have an opportunity to continue her pioneering research into oral traditions concerning topics that have received little attention. She has promised us to come back to Wake next year in order to launch the fall WGS colloquium. We will miss Professor Stremlau, but she has left us with some valuable insights: “That Native nations have survived until 2006 is nothing short of a miracle—we who are non-Indians have a lot to learn from the Native past, particularly its political histories, if we want to create a truly free America for all its citizens.”


Faculty Congratulations

Kelly Curran ‘08 Ashley Graham ‘08 Anne McAdams ’07 Christina Sirockman ’07 Christina Stenhouse ’07

Lynn Book (Theatre) co-organized with Wanda Balzano (WGS) a panel on “Voice and Its Bodies” for the "Creative Action—Gender and the Arts” conference sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies at UNC-G in March 2006. Book moderated/presented on “Internet,” “Thinking Outside the Box,” and “Arts and Technologies” panels at "SEA—Self Employment in the Arts", Reynolda House/Wake Forest University, April 1, 2006. She has developed an interdisciplinary seminar on creative principles and practices, “Creativity and Innovation.” She guest taught Phase 1, “Creativity and Feasability,” with Stan Mandel (Babcock School of Management). Book developed an interactive campus and community forum, “Cook It Up—A Forum on Creativity” on new and hidden potentials in creative process with eight faculty from divergent disciplines as guest speakers, February 9 and 23, and March 2 and 16. She also presented "notes on desire", a performance art concert of original compositions for voice, text and electronics with guest musicians in the Ring Theatre on January 13-14. Book was Voice and Movement Director for Gint, Mainstage Theatre of Scales Fine Arts Center, February 9-19. She received Archie Funds for Faculty Excellence for research and development of new performance project on utopias, "Running Skywards", which will premiere at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), March 2007. Earl Smith (Sociology) is the recipient of the first Martin Luther Sharon Snow (center) and Megan Mulder (left), ZSR Library King “Building the Dream” Award, presented by Wake Forest UniverSpecial Collections, pose with Dr. Anne Mulhall, Arts and Husity and Winston-Salem State University at the 2006 Martin Luther manities Research Council Fellow on the Women in Modern King Celebration, Winston-Salem, NC. Irish Culture Project at University College, Dublin. Mulhall Angela Hattery (Sociology) presented "Sexual Abuse and the spoke on the significance of women’s contributions to Irish Probability for Intimate Partner Violence in Adulthood Among Africulture in literary journals during her April visit to Wake Forest. Many thanks to the other sponsors of this event: Center for can American Women and White Women," at the Southern SocioInternational Studies, Wake Forest University Press, W.I.S.E., and logical Society conference in New Orleans, March 23, 2006. Special Collections and Archives of ZSR Library. Earl Smith (Sociology) and Angela Hattery (Sociology) presented "African American Civil Society and the Prison Industrial Complex" at the Conference on Race, Class, Gender and Ethnicity: From Georgia to Guantanamo Understanding America's Incarceration Addiction and Its Effect on Communities, University of North Carolina School of Law, February 18, 2006. They also presented "The Racialization of American Prisons: Arrest, Rehabilitation, Release & Recidivism" at the North Carolina Sociological Association, February, Durham, NC. Smith and Hattery’s article "Hey Stud: Race, Sex, and Sports" was published in the Journal of Sexuality and Culture, 2006. Grant McAllister (German and Russian) recently wrote a book, Kleist's Female Leading Characters and the Subversion of Idealist Discourse (Peter Lang, 2005). He has also written an article, “Romantic Imagery in Tykwer's Lola Rennt” (German Studies Review, 2007). McAllister presented a paper, “Eckbert, Bertha, Bert: is there an ‘Other’ in Tieck's der blonde Eckbert?” November, 2005, at the Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference (MIFLIC) at Wake Forest University. He has developed a new first year seminar, Culture and Cultivation of the Intellect: Questions of Intellectual Freedom and Social Responsibility. Teresa Smith (Sociology, Salem College) has just been granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor at Salem College. At Wake, Smith teaches the WGS 321 research seminar “Women and Reproduction” for Women’s and Gender Studies. Mary Foskett (Religion) recently received the Kulynych Family Omicron Delta Kappa Award for her contribution to student life. Michelle Naughton (WGS adjunct) has been promoted to Full Professor in the Social Sciences and Health Policy Department of WFU Baptist Medical Center. Naughton teaches the WGS 321 research seminar “Women’s Health Issues.” Wanda Balzano (WGS) has edited, with Dr. Moynagh Sullivan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth), The Irish Review (no. 35)—Special Issue on Irish Feminisms. For Palgrave she is also editing, with Dr. Moynagh Sullivan and Dr. Anne Mulhall (University College Dublin), a collection of essays entitled Irish Postmodernisms and Popular Culture. She co-organized with Lynn Book (Theatre) a panel of faculty and students on “Voice and Its Bodies,” for the “Creative Action—Gender and the Arts” conference at UNCG, March 31, 2006, where she presented a paper on “Philomela and Echo Metamorphosed”; she also presented the following papers: “Maeve Brennan's Transnational Identity and the Aesthetics of the Gift" at the University of South Carolina conference on “Transnational Feminisms” (Feb. 24, 2006), and “Lady Morgan and the Abject in the Great 'O' Novel " at the National ACIS conference at the University of Missouri—St. Louis (April 21, 2006). This spring Balzano developed a new travel course for the Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, “Isle of Saints and Sinners: Ireland’s Literature and Culture.” She was also awarded an Archie Grant to pursue the study of Italian-American and Italian women’s needlework as a bridge between the immigrants and their original culture. Sharon Andrews (Theatre) directed Romulus Linney’s Gint, Mainstage Theatre, SFAC, February 9-19. She also recently received a Zachary T. Smith Professorship appointment. Andrews is currently developing a conference in Self Employment in the Arts. Sylvain Boko (Economics) was recently appointed Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Economics. He has received a National Science Foundation Grant for his research on economic policy and, ultimately, alleviating poverty in Africa. Mary DeShazer (English/WGS) wrote a book, Fractured Borders: Reading Women’s Cancer Literature (University of Michigan Press, 2005), and an essay, “’Lifting Each Other Off Our Knees’: South African Women’s Poetry of Resistance, 1980-1989,” in Cold War Literature: Writing the Global Conflict, edited by Andrew Hammond (Routledge, 2006, pp. 176-194). She presented “Virginia Woolf, Rapture, and Contemporary Women’s Cancer Fiction,” at the Modernist Studies Association Annual Conference in Chicago, November 5, 2005. Linda Nielsen (Education/WGS) brought Rebecca Walker, author of Black, White and Jewish, to Wake this spring, and wrote on father-daughter relationships in Military Spouse Magazine (December, 2005) and College Student Journal (Summer, 2006).



The Women’s and Gender Studies Program is delighted to announce that next semester WGS will have its own revolving Core Faculty. In light of the suggestions that emerged from the external program review conducted under the directorship of Professor Anne Boyle in the fall of 2004, the core faculty is going to be comprised of six rotating faculty members, with a portion of their time dedicated to Women’s and Gender Studies for a period of three years beginning in the fall of 2006. During the course of these years, each of the core faculty members will teach three courses: their regularly scheduled cross-listed course, the team-taught WGS 221 (“Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies”), and WGS 321 and/or 377, a special topics course that will reflect individual scholarship in the field. The core faculty will function as a quasi-departmental structure and will help solidify a strong program identity and membership, providing increased flexibility and variety in the WGS curriculum. Importantly, these faculty members’ contributions are being recognized by each respective department chair, by the offices of the Dean and the Provost as well as our program. In this respect, I want to acknowledge all of the above mentioned for endorsing such an undertaking. As I tried to gather support for this project over much of last semester, I found passionate faculty, caring administrators and co-operative department chairs with a shared vision, who made my task easy. The Women’s and Gender Studies core (rotating) faculty is comprised of faculty from across six disciplines, who are strongly committed to this interdisciplinary field. I am delighted to introduce them to you. They are: Sally Barbour, Anne Boyle, Mary Foskett, Michele Gillespie, Angela Hattery, and Perry Patterson. Sally Barbour (Associate Professor of Romance Languages) specializes in contemporary fiction in the francophone world and in Europe—especially works by women and the construction of the subject through narrative. Her many interests range from cinema to creative writing, and contemporary American and Afro-American fiction. In the fall she is going to teach WGS 377D: African and Caribbean Women Writers, with a LAC component and with a focus on female authors whose works concern women in Africa and its Caribbean diaspora. She has recently co-edited with Gerise Herndon Emerging Perspectives on Maryse Condé, A Writer of Her Own (Africa World Press, 2006) and Mango Season, Special Issue: Francophone Women Writers (Caribbean Centre, Goldsmith’s College, UK, 2006). Barbour’s book, Nathalie Sarraute and the Feminist Reader: Identities in Process, was published by Bucknell University Press in 1993. Anne Boyle (Professor of English) was the former director of WGS, and her areas of interest are in 19th- and 20th-Century American Literature, Composition, Writing Across the Curriculum, Writing and Technology, and Collaborative Writing. She has taught courses such as “Women Entrepreneurs in Literature and Life,” exploring the ways gender ideology and performance inhibit and/or enhance the opportunities and the lives women create for themselves. Her popular course on “Studies in Women and Literature” explores the woman as artist in texts by American and British women writers. Her book, “Strange and Lurid Bloom”: A Study of the Fiction of Caroline Gordon, was published by Fairleigh Dickinson Press in 2002.


Mary Foskett (Zachary T. Smith Associate Professor of Religion) carries out her research in the Gospels, Christian Apocrypha, Hermeneutics, Bible and Cultural Studies. One of her crosslisted courses with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program is on “Feminist and Contemporary Interpretations of the Bible.” In WGS she is also going to teach a course on the enigmatic figure of Mary Magdalene. She recently co-edited with Jeffrey Kah-Jin Kuan Ways of Being, Ways of Reading: Asian-American Biblical Interpretation (Chalice Press, 2006). She also wrote The Moral Teachings of Jesus (Abingdon Press, 2004) and A Virgin Conceived: Mary and Classical Representations of Virginity (Indiana University Press, 2002). Michele Gillespie (Kahle Family Associate Professor of History) focuses her research on constructions of gender, race, class and region in the American South across the long 19th century, 1790-1920. She edited the following publications: with Randal Hall, Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth of Modern America: Making the Modern South (Louisiana State University Press, 2006); with Susanna Delfino, Global Perspectives on Industrial Transformation in the American South (University of Missouri Press, 2005) and Neither Lady, Nor Slave: Working Women of the Old South (University of North Carolina Press, 2002); with Catherine Clinton, Taking Off the White Gloves: Southern Women and Women’s History (University of Missouri Press, 1998) and The Devil’s Lane: Sex and Race in the Early South (Oxford University Press, 1997). She also wrote Free Labor in an Unfree World: White Artisans in Slaveholding Georgia, 1789-1860 (University of Georgia Press, 2000). For WGS she is going to teach such courses as “Daughters of the South” and “Gender in Early America.” Angela Hattery (Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Fellow and Associate Professor of Sociology) centers her most current research on the ways in which men and women negotiate conflict in their intimate relationships with specific attention to intimate partner violence. She has also examined the ways in which the conflict between work and family is both experienced and resolved by men and women with young children. Her other areas of research include social psychology, race/ ethnicity, family, and sport. Among her courses for WGS are “Gender, Power, and Violence”, team taught with Prof. Earl Smith, and “Gender in Society,” which she will teach in the fall. Among her books are Women, Work, and Family: Balancing and Weaving (Sage Publications, 2001) and Violence in Intimate Partnerships (Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2006). Perry Patterson (Professor of Economics) spends most of his time teaching Economics and running WFU's freshman orientation and lower division advising programs. His crosslisted course with WGS on “Economics for a Multicultural Future” examines the challenges and promise of the increasingly diverse U.S. economy, with particular focus on the economics of gender, race and sexual orientation, and on feminist economic theory. Patterson is currently writing a book on this subject, and has published extensively on such issues as the economics of same-sex partners and the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the economics curriculum. He is also an occasional, but enthusiastic, teacher of Russian with Wake Forest’s Russian Department.

News from the Women’s Forum Anne Boyle (English/WGS) What Is the Women’s Forum? The Women’s Forum is an organization of women faculty and key administrators at Wake Forest University that works to encourage collegiality across all schools of the university, and to promote and sustain a healthy and stimulating working environment in which the contributions and needs of women are fully acknowledged and rewarded.

an intriguing history of women and medicine in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Through this context, Wood was able to provide insight into the recent scientific and political struggles surrounding the FDA’s decision to disregard scientific advice and medical evidence and delay approval of emergency contraception for adult women, as well as her own resignation. A lively debate about contraception, medical ethics and activism, and women’s leadership inside and outside the system followed the formal presentation.

What Has the Women’s Forum Been Doing? The Women’s Forum organized a general meeting in 2004 and invited its membership to discuss topics of importance in our community. By consensus, members determined that, during the 2005-2006 year, we would concentrate most of our energies on two primary tasks: Work-Life Balance Issues and Women’s Leadership. We targeted the following four areas of critical focus: ♦ Revising our parental leave, faculty illness, and shortterm disability policies; establishment of a child care facility for the Reynolda Campus; study of more flexible tenure policies; ♦ Equitable representation of women and minorities in decision-making roles within the University; ♦ Recruitment/retention of women and minority faculty; ♦ Creation of oversight structures to track progress regarding issues involving equity. What Has the Women’s Forum Accomplished?

In consultation with the University’s Human Resource Director and Legal Council, we met with President Hatch and Provost Gordon and encouraged them to adopt new parental leave policies for faculty and staff on both campuses. While the details of our proposals for faculty and staff at our different campuses vary slightly, the overall goals are the same: (1) permit paid time off for a period of approximately twelve weeks after the birth or adoption of a child; and (2) provide paid leave regardless of gender to the primary caregiver of a newborn or newly adopted child. Child Care Facility: President Hatch invited representatives from the Women’s Forum to discuss various options for establishing a child care facility for faculty and staff from the Reynolda Campus. A Women’s Forum representative also made a presentation to the senate, outlining these discussions and our options. President Hatch and Provost Gordon met with representations of the Women’s Forum to discuss the possibility of formalizing a tenure policy which would outline times when a more flexible tenure clock could be appropriate for all faculty members. Our leadership taskforce is finalizing a report with benchmark data on women and minorities in leadership for promoting diversity at WFU.

Time to Network and to Learn On April 5, members of the Women’s Forum and the Women’s Health Center of Excellence gathered to hear Dr. Susan Wood, the former Assistant Commissioner for Women's Health at the Food and Drug Administration. Wood’s presentation, “Women’s Health and Public Policy: Perspectives from the Inside and the Outside,” began with

Wanda Balzano (WGS), Lynn Book (Theatre), Shelley Graves (’06), Mary Dalton (Communication), and Lindsay Neuberger (Communication graduate student) at the Gender and the Arts conference at UNC-Greensboro in March.

Emily Hoar (’06) Student Assistant Women’s and Gender Studies Fall 2002—Spring 2006 WGS has been very fortunate to have Emily’s excellent assistance since she first came to Wake. Her only “break” from us was the fall 2004 semester that she spent in Australia. Emily is graduating with a B.A. in Communication. Congratulations, Emily! We’re going to miss you.


Can’t wait to be sprung from shadow, to be known from a hole in the ground. Scarcely silent though often unheard. Winding, wound. Wounded wind. She turned, and turns. She opens. Keep the keys, that devil told her. Guess the question. Dream the answer. Tore down almost level. A silence hardly likely. Juicy voices. Pour them on. Harryette Mullen’s Music sways her, she concedes, poetry reading on as darker she goes deeper. Harryette Mullen from Sleeping With the Dictionary (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002)

March 1 was presented by the Dillon Johnston Writers Reading Series and co-sponsored by WGS



Mary K. DeShazer, Fractured Borders: Reading Women’s Cancer Literature (Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2005) Fractured Borders surveys a wide range of contemporary writing about breast, uterine, and ovarian cancer, including works by Marilyn Hacker, Margaret Edson, Carole Maso, Audre Lorde, Eve Sedgwick, Mahasweta Devi, Lucille Clifton, Alicia Ostriker, Jayne Anne Phillips, Terry Tempest Williams, and Jeanette Winterson, among many others. Taking its title from two lines in Audre Lorde’s powerful elegy, “The Night-blooming Jasmine” (“death is a fractured border/through the center of my days”), this intellectually and emotionally engaging study examines writers’ depictions of the borders women inhabit in living with cancer as well as those they traverse when facing death. Mary DeShazer’s scholarly approach to cancer literature relies on close interpretive readings as well as a variety of theoretical perspectives which include postmodern theories of the body, performance theory, feminist literary criticism, French feminisms, and disability studies. This is a much needed book that will be a vademecum for a wide variety of readers: from cancer survivors and their families to health care activists and medical practitioners, from literary scholars and femitheorists to teachers of cultural studies and women’s health issues.


Grant P. McAllister, Kleist's Female Leading Characters and the Subversion of Idealist Discourse (Berlin, New York and Oxford: Peter Lang, 2005) Heinrich von Kleist's problematic relationship with the philosophy and the aesthetics of idealism informs his parodic, rebellious, and destructive oeuvre. This book focuses on this relationship and examines Kleist's female leading characters and their role as amorphous ciphers for his own subversive aesthetic theory. Through parody these characters call into question idealist philosophy regarding truth, knowledge, and gender, and offer a theory of aesthetic representation that replaces traditional binary oppositions with pluralities and nonclosure. Nietzsche may have opened the door to postmodernism; however, Kleist unlocked it with four cunning female voices. This is the first book in Kleist scholarship to focus solely on Kleist's female leading figures and their symbolic role as both character and literary theory—a theory anticipating Derridean deconstruction.

Mary M. Dalton and Laura R. Linder (eds), The Sitcom Reader: America Viewed and Skewed (Albany: SUNY Press, 2005) This is the first book to offer critical essays devoted specifically to the old and ubiquitous form of television programming: the situation comedy. As prime-time television remains a very influential medium, helping formulate cultural sensibilities, attitudes, values, and assessments of the social world, the study of this topic is essential. The book raises an important central question: how has the genre historically constructed their subjects in relation to the dominant ideology? The essays contained in this book are written from a variety of perspectives—theoretical, historical, and industrial—and they will form a strong foundation in media studies. They address relevant topics in relation to sitcoms, such as conventions of the form, the family, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, work and social class, and ideology, and are informed by cultural and media studies, feminist and queer theory.

Sylvain H. Boko, Mina Baliamoune-Lutz, Sitawa R. Kimuna (eds), Women in African Development: The Challenge of Globalization And Liberalization in the 21st Century (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2005) This book is the first of its kind to analyze and bring to the forefront of policy-making the linkages that exist between globalization and the role of women in development in Africa. Its basic premise is that one of the most effective ways to ensure increased and sustainable development in Africa is through the improvement of African women’s skills and ensuring their access to tools such as credit, training, and technology. It significantly recognizes that understanding and supporting the potentialities of African women in the context of the new economic realities facing Africa (i.e. globalization) is crucial to the future of Africa’s economic development. This is an important book which, standing as a policy manual, will help to disseminate the strategies, conclusions, and recommendations to a diversity of audiences, including NGOs, national and international government agencies, businesses, women’s groups, international educational organizations, as well as academic institutions and multilateral financial ones.


Michele Gillespie, Randal Hall (eds), Thomas Dixon Jr. and the Birth of Modern America: Making the Modern South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006) Thomas Dixon Jr.(1864–1946) is best remembered today as the author of the racist novels that served as the basis for D. W. Griffith’s controversial 1915 classic film The Birth of a Nation. But in his lifetime, Dixon also enjoyed great renown as a minister, lecturer, lawyer, and actor. And although the native southerner’s blatant racist, chauvinist, and white supremacist views are abhorrent today, they found enthusiastic reception among his audiences throughout the country. This book explains why. Distinguished scholars of religion, film, literature, music, history, and gender studies offer a provocative examination of Dixon’s ideas, personal life, and career and in the process illuminate the evolution of white racism in the early twentieth century and its legacy down to the present. The contributors analyze Dixon’s sermons, books, plays, and films, seeking to understand the appeal of his message within the white culture of the Progressive era. They also explore the critical responses of African Americans contemporary with Dixon. Dixon proves to have been a pioneer in understanding modern methods of moving mass audiences. He experimented with tricks to excite a crowd—intermingling politics, religion, and entertainment in ways that still reverberate today. He pushed for the war in Cuba, advocated the subservience of blacks and women, and was avidly anti-Communist as a writer and stage director. By delving into the context and complexity of Dixon’s life, this splendid book raises fascinating questions about the power of

VISITING SCHOLARS As the feminist scholarship and creative talents of Dr. Rose Stremlau continue to resonate with us this spring, we are grateful for all that she brought to our program: her expertise in Native American History; a generous participation in the community, with so many meaningful interactions with colleagues and students; the bountiful example of her untiring activism; her perfect blending of academic challenge and real-life experiences; also, her promise to come back for a colloquium in the fall. Next academic year we anticipate the arrival of Dr. Arnal Dayaratna. A graduate of Princeton, Dr. Dayaratna completed his Ph.D. in Literature at Duke University under the supervision of Prof. Fredric Jameson. His primary field of competence is in Gender/Sexuality Studies, Postcolonial Studies and South Asian and South Asian diasporic literature, with other areas of specialization including Asian Cinema, Critical Theory, and Globalization Studies. Dr. Dayaratna will join the Women’s and Gender Studies Program next spring as Visiting Scholar and Assistant Professor, while in the fall he will be teaching in the English Department. Thanks to the efforts of Dean Debbie Best and Provost Bill Gordon, he will hold a joint appointment with WGS and English. Originally from Sri Lanka, and having also lived in England and Japan, Dr. Dayaratna is the recipient of many research awards and honors, among which numbers the “Women’s Studies at Duke Dissertation Fellowship” for his thesis entitled Unveiling Pakistan, Veiling Partition, where he elaborated a feminist, non-secular history of India and Pakistan. His knowledge of languages is equally impressive, ranging from Japanese to Hindu and French. We warmly welcome him to Wake Forest.

WGS and Crosslisted Courses - Fall 2006

Congratulations and Farewell to our 2006 Graduating WGS Minors

Katharine Elinor Ball Jenny Elizabeth Billings Kathleen Maria Delsandro Shanna Rhea Depow Juliet Melbourn Lam Andrew Lobashevsky Erin Kate Winget

WGS 101 Window on Women’s and Gender Studies (Balzano/Mihalko) WGS 221 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (Balzano/DeShazer) WGS 321A Research Seminar: Women and Reproduction (T.Smith) WGS 321B Research Seminar: Gender and the Foreigner in a Transnational World (Balzano) WGS 359 Fathers and Daughters (Nielsen) WGS 377A Sp Tp: U.S. Women Poets (DeShazer) [Same as ENG 302A] WGS 377B Sp Tp: Sexuality and the Law (Gilreath) WGS 377C Sp Tp: Gender in Society (Hattery) WGS 377D Sp Tp: African and Caribbean Women Writers (Barbour) [Same as HMN 222] WGS 377E Sp Tp (Study Abroad): History of Chinese Women (Borei) WGS 396 Independent Study WGS 397A Internships: Non-PREPARE (Nielsen) WGS 100A-H RAD: Rape and Aggression Defense for Women (Gerardy) AES 151 Race and Ethnic Diversity in America (E.Smith) COM 340 American Rhetorical Movements to 1900 (Zulick) ITA 216 Italian Women and the City: A Topography of Memory (Morosini) POL 277 Feminist Political Thought (Browers) PSY 265 Human Sexuality (Batten) SOC 153 Contemporary Families (Harnois) SOC 305 Gender in Society (Hattery) SOC 360 Social Stratification and Social Inequality (Harnois)


Walker (Continued from page 1)

Plath Scholar (Continued from page 1)

day. This little blue Honda has never carried someone of such significance, I thought, as she climbed into my passenger seat in her long, cream-colored coat and dark slacks. I had no idea what to expect. I had begun to read her memoir, Black, White and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self, and was aware of the basic outline of her life and her various works. But achievements are much different from an actual, physical person. I was not, after all, sitting down and spending time with her achievements, I was spending time with a real woman, already the source of an exceptional career and life although she was still so young. And I was about to spend an hour and a half secluded with her, something that could be taxing even for close friends. I was nervous. But I had no choice but to drive. Although I had taken this assignment under the guise of interviewing Ms. Walker, it became apparent to me immediately that she had no interest in being interviewed, and wanted nothing more than to have a casual conversation and to enjoy the music on my stereo. This of course was an enormous relief to me, as driving and posing intriguing questions may as well be two mutually exclusive tasks. As we spoke, I realized what a lovely woman Rebecca Walker, the woman, really is. She is calm, collected, and confident. She speaks slowly and does not hesitate to take thoughtful pauses where others might insert meaningless babble. She radiates intelligence and serenity. And, perhaps most surprisingly, she seemed just as interested in hearing about me and my life as I was in hearing about hers. We talked about our childhoods, our relationships with our parents, our college experiences, and our favorite music. I found that we have a lot in common, and that the things we don’t have in common we could at least empathize about. We talked about feminist activism and politics, and about travel and publishing. And when I sensed that she was too exhausted to continue an upbeat conversation, we sat in silence and listened to Imogen Heap and the sound of the tires on the damp pavement. The following day Ms. Walker spoke to my Fathers and Daughters class about her relationship with her father, Mel Leventhal, a prominent Jewish civil rights lawyer. She talked candidly about her parents’ divorce, her former struggles with her father, and growing up on both sides of the country as well as both sides of racial and religious divides. Her experiences were compelling, and although she had grown up in a very different way than most of the class, her stories and the effects they had on her life seemed accessible to most of us. Afterward, she gave an informal lecture on the intersection of race and identity in American culture. A diverse group of individuals from the university and greater communities were present. As she read several chapters from her memoir, she made me question my feelings on what is inherently ‘black,’ ‘white,’ ‘feminine’ and ‘masculine,’ and internally scold myself for ever passing judgment on groups of people in the first place. As I looked around the room at facial expressions and heard the questions of others in the auditorium, I saw that I was not the only one feeling this way: many of us were hearing for the first time that things we think of as very ‘natural,’ things that we ourselves do and say every day, may in fact not be natural at all. Although Ms. Walker’s lecture was the intellectual highlight of her campus visit for me, my car ride with her was by far the personal highlight. Spending time conversing with Rebecca Walker reminded me just how easy it is to find things that you have in common with people who are very different from you, and with people who have lived very different lives than you have. I hope that I keep this lesson in mind for a long time, and that meeting new people and making new friends in this way never gets old for me.

sights into Plath’s literary production through extensive use of diverse archival sources, including visual art, photography, voice recordings, and unpublished autobiographical material. Helle has published essays on American poetry from the 1940s to the present in American Literary Scholarship as well as articles on Virginia Woolf, Mina Loy, Adrienne Rich, Carolyn Forche, and William Stafford. Helle’s article on Plath and the archives appeared in the fall 2005 issue of Feminist Studies. In her chapter in The Unraveling Archive, Helle takes postmodern theories of photography as a springboard for analyzing selected family photos that illuminate Plath’s poetic representations of Boston, Winthrop, and other New England sites in The Colossus and Other Poems. Helle’s lecture at Wake Forest was entitled “Dwelling in the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory.” The presentation focused on the ways in which Plath’s paintings, drawings, and travelogues enhance our understanding of the visual imagery that she employs in her poetry. Helle also explored new archival findings about the poetic collaboration of Plath and her husband, the English poet Ted Hughes. During her campus visit Helle gave a second presentation to students in WGS 358/658, Mothers and Daughters: Literature and Theory. In this context she discussed Plath’s poetry about motherhood and Kate Moses’ novel Wintering, which depicts Plath’s struggle as a poet and a single mother during her final three months of life. Students engaged in lively conversations with Professor Helle during class and at a reception afterwards. Women’s and Gender Studies would like to thank the Department of English and W.I.S.E. for co-sponsoring this event.


Retiring Faculty: Prof. Charles L. Richman The Women’s and Gender Studies Program acknowledges the exceptional service of retiring faculty Charles L. Richman, Professor of Psychology, who came to WFU in 1968 after several years as a research assistant and lecturer at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned his Ph.D. in experimental psychology. As part of his affiliation with Women’s and Gender Studies he successfully developed and taught PSY 364: “Prejudice, Discrimination, Racism, and Heterosexism.” Among his many activities to advance racial and cultural understanding, his very strong support of the Wake Forest Gay-Straight Student Alliance ranks high; he additionally chaired the Greensboro Jewish Federation’s community relations committee, which works to build bridges with the Christian and African-American communities; he conducted more than thirty seminars across the country training college professors on how to diversify their curricula and deal with subtle manifestations of racism in their courses and classrooms. He also taught rape self-defense to college women as head of the Wake Forest Karate Club for many years. In the eighties he published a crucial study of the emotional effects of educational stereotyping on black elementary students in North Carolina. For all these years he kept on researching and fighting sexism, heterosexism, religious intolerance, ethnocentrism, discrimination, stereotyping, and other manifestations of hate behavior. We will miss Charlie Richman, and we know that he will continue to devote his energy to equal access and equal opportunity as he remains an untiring advocate for the persecuted and the powerless. His exemplary passion for social justice and activism will keep informing our efforts, as it has those of many of his students over the years. We wish him a happy retirement.

Community (Continued from page 1) to attend? Send a link of the event to If it is compatible with the WGS mission statement, it will be posted on our website and will count as one of the relevant events of WGS 101. For more information, visit wgs_credit.htm. We look forward to hearing from you.

Senior Oration by WGS Minor Andy Lobashevsky ('06): Excerpt from “The Bubble Experience” This senior oration by Andy Lobashevsky ('06) was one of three winners selected at the 2006 Senior Colloquium and presented at the Honors and Awards Ceremony on May 14. […] Many people call Wake Forest a "bubble." And for a long time I didn't know what that meant, but it seemed popular to say it often. So, I did for a while, until I realized that I was subscribing to the same mentality I sought to critique. Apparently it is a common belief that while from the academic standpoint Wake encourages a worldly perspective, the student body is actually quite immune to the reality beyond the "magic" mouthwash of Student Health and the nonexistence of late fees in the library. But let's be honest, we naturally tend to create "bubbles" wherever we go. Outside of college if I'm at home, I'll be surrounded by the people I can most identify with…you know, the skaters, the kids in black T-shirts with tattoos up and down their arms. But here at Wake Forest, I'll walk into a classroom and there are freaks and weirdos everywhere, wearing their peachcolored polos…collars sticking straight up in an ominous fashion, and sunglasses dangling around their necks the whole day…even if it's overcast or 8 p.m. This is just one of the many ways that Wake has allowed me to experience a new world in college. So, don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for everyone here around me. I am fortunate that I have been given the freedom to burst my personal bubble. The point I really want to make is that the last four years were especially priceless because it seems so rare that we are given the invaluable opportunity to experience what's beyond our comfortable bubbles without risking something: whether it's our reputation, our material possessions, or our serenity with being who we are. […] I jumped head-first into the college scene and I tried to make my own experiences. I majored in chemistry, and I minored in women's and gender studies, where I was the only guy in a class of twenty-six for the introductory course. […] So, at twenty-one years of age, I have no earthshattering revelation about humanity to share with you, nor have I uncovered any universal truth. If anything, I am less certain about everything now than I was before I came here. But, I do realize that every one of the classes, the parties, and the projects that I got myself into were absolutely essential to bring me to this point in my life. So whether I was throwing dozens of Christmas trees into a bonfire on the county border or standing in line to take the MCAT with possibly the most nervous group of people on the planet, or singing Christmas carols with inner-city elementary school kids, my limits and horizons as a developing human were challenged, and I have grown. And so have you, for you see, even though we are all inherently different, we are all students returning from a four-year long vacation from the "real" life, and we hold our unique experiences as precious souvenirs to carry with us wherever we may go from here.

WGS Minor Liz Lundeen (’07) Named Truman Scholar Liz Lundeen of Grand Rapids, MI, who is majoring in Political Science and History with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, has been named 2006 Truman Scholar by the Washington-based Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation. As president of the foundation Secretary Madeleine K. Albright announced, 75 undergraduate students were carefully selected nationwide on the basis of leadership potential, intellectual ability, and likelihood of “making a difference.” The students were selected from among 598 candidates nominated by 311 colleges and universities. The selection panels interviewed finalists from a 3 - 4 state region and generally elected one student from each state and one or two at large from the region. Each panel typically included a university president, a federal judge, a distinguished public servant, and a past scholarship winner. The Truman scholarship provides $30,000 for graduate study. Established by Congress in 1975, the Foundation awards merit-based scholarships to college students who plan to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in government or elsewhere in public service. After serving as a Field Organizer for the League of Conservation Voters’ 2004 Environmental Victory Project in Wisconsin, Liz developed an interest in environmental public policy, one that she plans to pursue in a joint Law and Master’s in Public Policy degree. When asked about her plans, however, she said: “Before practicing environmental law, I plan to work for a few years in the public sphere, either for the government or for a non-profit agency.” Liz competes on Wake Forest’s varsity debate team and she is President of the College Democrats. This summer she is going to be the student leader for an annual service trip to a Russian orphanage with a program organized through Wake Forest’s Volunteer Service Corps. With the other recipients of the 2006 Truman Scholarships, on May 14 Liz went to William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri for a week-long leadership development program. She received her award in a special ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Missouri, on May 21, 2006. Congratulations, Liz!

WGS Minor Shannon Philmon (’07) Elected President of Student Government Born and reared in Raleigh, NC, Shannon Philmon is a junior majoring in Political Science with a double minor in Women’s and Gender Studies and Sociology. She serves as the chair of the Academic Committee, a position she has held for the past two years. She also serves as the student member on the University Committee on Academic Affairs, as the Domestic Affairs Chair of Amnesty International, and is an active member of WISE and College Democrats. Over the course of her time at Wake Forest, Shannon has devoted herself to serving the student body with passion. Passion, people and progress were in fact the keynotes of her campaign in the highly contested race for Student Government President, which she won in April. Soon after the favorable outcome of the elections was known, Shannon said that her main concern was to follow through on her campaign promises: “I made my platform so that I wouldn’t make promises that I can’t keep,” she said. “As president, I want to listen to the views of the students.” Among her priorities are the desire to close the troubling gap between Student Government and the student body and to establish a stronger bond between SG and the rest of the campus community; to preserve and start Wake Forest traditions that bring diverse students together; to fight for women’s issues and to increase awareness of issues as troubling as sexual assault; to improve the multicultural make-up at Wake Forest by working with neighboring universities such as WSSU and Salem College, thus creating a more integrated collegiate community throughout the Winston-Salem area. Her first program as elected president will be a series of roundtable discussions called Voice. It will give the students a chance to emphasize the issues that are most important to them. As she starts her term next academic year, we wish her the best.


Martin Luther King “Building the Dream” Award Presented to Professor Earl Smith Women’s and Gender Studies affiliated faculty Earl Smith was presented the first Martin Luther King “Building the Dream” Award by Wake Forest University and Winston-Salem State University at the Martin Luther King Celebration on January 23, 2006. The students nominated Professor Smith for his widespread and significant contributions in teaching (especially the course on Social Stratification in the American South that enrolls both WFU and WSSU students) as well as for his role in the mentoring of students and faculty, and for his contributions and presence in the larger community. Dr. Smith, Rubin Distinguished Professor of American Ethnic Studies and Professor of Sociology, is also the Director of the Wake Forest University American Ethnic Studies Program. He has been an active participant and leader in numerous facets of student education and faculty development. Professor Smith is a member in good standing in the Society for the Study of Social Problems, Southern Sociological Society, Sociologists for Women and Society and the American Sociological Association. He has also served as President of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. His numerous publications are wide-ranging, addressing such issues as women and minorities in American professions; race, sport, and the American dream; issues of health, wealth and violence in African American families; and many other relevant issues related to questions of gender, sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. Professor Smith is widely recognized as a leading authority on such critical questions as the changing demography of America (especially increasing immigration), the role of religion in American life, extended urbanization and suburbanization (especially the rise of “gated communities”), the increasing violence on and off the field by collegiate and professional athletes. His commentaries on the rise in segregation in both public and private middle and high schools have appeared nationally. Congratulations to Professor Smith!

Martin (Continued from page 1) on college and university campuses. She argued persuasively for the need to bring the lecture to Wake Forest in the fall of 2006. The lecture will be given by 2006 Feminist Activist Award winner Dr. Patricia Y. Martin, the Daisy Parker Flory Professor of Sociology and chair of the department at Florida State University. Professor Martin has published extensively in the area of gender and specifically violence against women. In her new book, "Rape Work: Victims, Gender and Emotions in Organization and Community Context" (Routledge, 2006), Patricia Yancey Martin argues that even well-meaning officials do harm by simply doing their jobs. That's because most put their organization's interests above those of the victim. "Mainstream organizations instruct—and often require—their members to treat victims unresponsively, in ways that add to rather than alleviate the trauma of rape," said Martin. "For example, they instruct them to remain skeptical, emotionally aloof and uninvolved, and to challenge victims as witnesses whose stories must be validated rather than comfort them as victims who warrant empathy and support." Professor Martin will give a public lecture, class lectures, and conduct workshops with faculty, staff, and administrators.


Open Invitation to WGS Open House Monday, August 21, 2006 1:00-3:00 p.m. Tribble Hall Main Lobby This is a great opportunity to meet WGS faculty, staff, and students, and to learn more about the Women’s and Gender Studies Program

Women at Wake Forest: Past, Present, and Future This is a first call to all members of the Wake Forest community (students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i) to participate in an open competition on the theme of Women at Wake Forest: Past, Present, and Future as we prepare to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Women at Wake in the spring of 2007. More information will be forthcoming by flyer and on the Women’s and Gender Studies website. Entries from all disciplines and approaches that interpret the theme of the competition will be accepted in the following four categories: Visual and Plastic Arts (photography, painting, collage, digital, film, video, sculpture, crafts, and other forms of visual and plastic art are welcome); Performing Arts (brief dramatic piece, dance-piece, music, for instance); Creative (fiction, drama, poetry) and Non-Fiction Writing (article-length memoirs, essays, interviews, etc.); Other (this category is open to a variety of sectors, such as service and/or leadership in the wider community, local, national and international; creative, non-traditional approaches; interactive cross-media performances; and any other challenging type of approach). Suggested length for prose: 2,500-4,000 words. Prizes as well as honorable mentions will be awarded for each category. Alongside the competition there will be a representative exposition of the entries. The deadline for submissions is December 8, 2006 (tentative). In the Performing Arts category, a proposal will be acceptable. All entries must be submitted to the office of Women’s and Gender Studies, PO Box 7365 (A106A Tribble Hall), WinstonSalem, NC 27109. Please send your entry without your name on it, or with your name properly concealed, so that the competition remains anonymous. In your cover letter, remember to provide complete contact information and specify the category you are entering. For further details contact the office of Women’s and Gender Studies at or 336-758-3758.

Wake Forest and Salem Students Raise Money to End Violence Against Women Last February Wake Forest University and Salem College presented The Vagina Monologues as part of the global celebration of V-Day under the successful joint directorship of WGS minor Shanna Depow (WFU, ‘06) and Nadja Mummery (Salem, ’06). A total of $5,894.25 was raised and donated to organizations working to end violence against women. With the kind permission of the authors and the student newspaper Old Gold & Black, we reproduce here two articles that capture the spirit and significance of the performance.

Benefit play seeks to empower women

Awareness, not sex, the focal point of Monologues play

The Vagina Monologues, a play meant to empower women and raise awareness of abuse, [was] performed Feb. 20-22 in the Ring Theater. The play is composed of monologues from Eve Ensler’s award-winning original creation that deals with all aspects of women’s lives and status in society. The university [worked] in conjunction with Salem College to produce this play as part of V-day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. The actors and directors of the monologues [had] been working for months to pull this show together. Junior Katie Schwartz described the work as a feminist play mostly about empowering women to feel comfortable with their bodies despite the pressures from society. “I am a girly-girl, I don’t hate men. I wear makeup, get my nails and hair done and am very much like the girl you are friends with, or dated, or sit next to in class and I can still care about the rights of other women and their plights,” Schwartz said. Schwartz believe[d] this [was] a production meant to break down stereotypes and bring all types of women together to raise money for those who have suffered. Still, the play [was] not meant to exclude men and addresse[d] the fact that men can sympathize with female victims of abuse. Sophomore Kelly Chauvin, fundraising and publicity chair for the production, said that there [had] been a lot of work and energy going into publicizing the play. Coordinators senior Shanna Depow and Nadja Mummery have done everything from directing the play, to reserving the space, to organizing the cast. “They’ve poured themselves into the show and they are the driving force behind our success,” said Chauvin. Both Chauvin and Schwartz [felt] that it [was] important for all students to see the play. “Frequently people do not realize how much (abuse) is a problem and how close it is to our communities, even the Wake Forest Community,” said Chauvin. Performances at the university [were] Feb. 20-22 in the Ring Theatre and Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 at Salem College in Bryant Hall. All proceeds [went] to two local battered women’s shelters and some of the money [went] to the larger organization that runs them and provides information for victims of abuse.

Despite progress in other arenas, women in America, not to mention other cultures, are still taught that their bodies are inappropriate and offensive. Rather than portraying themselves as sexual objects, […] the characters in the play speak frankly about a myriad of topics including gang rape, the inconveniences of gynecological visits and tampons and the celebration of the function of the clitoris. The Vagina Monologues is not merely about vaginas, but about giving women a forum to express that they have bodies, libidos, and an array of different experiences to share. This play does not claim to represent the voices of all women. It does, however, expose the complex, funny and disturbing accounts of real women concerning their bodies, their sexuality and sometimes even their vaginas. Women infrequently speak candidly about sex, menstruation or their physical experiences, even with one another. This is why the content of The Vagina Monologues is often so shocking or foreign even to female audience members. Rather than ignoring women and their bodies, as mainstream culture has done for hundreds of years, I believe it is a step in the right direction that women can openly acknowledge and discuss their vaginas both in and as a result of this play. […] The Vagina Monologues is not the most politically correct play ever written. However, I would argue that most women’s experiences with their own vaginas are far from politically correct. In this sense the play is very real, and its accessibility may partially account for its worldwide success. There have been over 2,500 productions in 54 countries of The Vagina Monologues […]. Women have the opportunity to prove their intellectual capabilities and strong characters elsewhere in society. However, their bodies remain unmentionable and taboo. Until the cultural restrictions on women’s bodies are lifted and audience members are no longer surprised or upset by the information and accounts found in the show, I maintain that The Vagina Monologues is a useful vehicle to spread awareness, promote dialogue and assist in the understanding of one another as complete human beings. 90 percent of [the proceeds went] to Family Services of Winston-Salem for the regular operation of their shelters for abused women, and the remaining 10 percent will assist women who were forced into sexual slavery in Japan during World War II as they fight for reparations and an official apology from the Japanese government.

By Katie Mulligan (’09)

By Shanna Depow (’06)

Jenny Billings (left) and Miranda Mills (right) are caught by the camera as they showcase their work in Shorty’s at the January 2006 “We Can All be Poets” poetry reading/slam for students, faculty, and staff. The event was sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies, the English Student Alliance, and the English Department.


News from and about our Minors Katharine Elinor Ball (’06) is co-recipient of the 2006 WGS Senior Academic Award. Katie graduated magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. Katie had the highest GPA in the WGS minor, was a leader in class participation, and conducted outstanding research as well. Katie will be teaching in Los Angeles for Teach For America, the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates of all academic majors who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become lifelong leaders in ensuring educational equity and excellence for all children. Their mission is to build the movement to eliminate educational inequity by enlisting our nation's most promising future leaders in the effort. Jenny Billings (’06), an English major and President of the English Student Alliance, has made the Dean’s List every semester while at Wake. Jenny showcased with Miranda Mills (’06) in February 2006 for “We Can All be Poets” poetry reading/slam for students and faculty. Her work as a research assistant for Dr. Linda Nielsen (WGS/Education) will be published in a national parenting magazine. Jenny’s weight loss success (over 110 pounds!) was recently featured in the Winston-Salem Journal. She is a tutor of Latin and English to WFU and local high-school students, is a mentor for pregnant African American teens through Hand to Hand of Catholic Social Services, and is resource center/book club creator for Hand to Hand. Jenny is Poetry Editor for Can I Poet Literary Magazine, an Old Gold and Black columnist, a writer of poetry online at, participates in poetry writing seminars, is a member of the sign language club, and is a member of College Republicans. Jenny has applied to the new Women’s and Gender Studies graduate program at UNC-G this fall. Laura Bullins (’07) has been working towards her Doula certification this spring and hopes to finish her training during the early part of the summer. Laura received a Pro Humanitate grant to travel to a rural area in southern Mexico later in the summer to study maternal care and postpartum mood disorders among Mayan women. She received a Starr travel grant to attend the Society for Applied Anthropology Conference in Vancouver this spring, a conference hosted in part by a group of anthropologists studying maternal issues. Laura has been assisting with Parenting and Lamaze classes at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health and with Newborns in Need, a charity that assists needy families with new babies, especially preemies. Shanna Depow (’06) co-directed/produced/organized The Vagina Monologues, an Eve Ensler play performed on WFU and Salem College campuses. The play is based on playwright/performer/activist Ensler's interviews with more than 200 women; with humor and grace the piece celebrates women’s sexuality and strength. Over $5,000 was raised and donated to local and international charities that work to end violence against women. Shanna was a Resident Assistant, a member of W.I.S.E. (Women’s Initiative for Support and Empowerment), a member of the WFU Concert Choir, and made the Dean’s List in the fall semester. Juliet Lam (’06) is the recipient of the 2006 WGS Senior Leadership Award. Juliet graduated cum laude, with a B.A. in Sociology and minors in Music and Women’s and Gender Studies. Juliet was a Family Services CONTACT telephone advocate—providing crisis intervention, supportive listening and resource/referral information to callers. She was a member of SPARC (Students Promoting Action and Responsibility in the Community) for 3 years, including Assistant Program Director, then a group leader—volunteering at organizations in the community including Habitat for Humanity, AIDS home, Battered Women’s Shelter, Meals on Wheels, Children’s Hospital, and Homeless Shelter. Juliet was a member of Innuendo (a Wake co-ed a cappella group), NOW (National Organization for Women), Screamin’ Demons, Pi Beta Phi, Intramural Volleyball, and the Darryl Hunt Project. In addition, she was a Sports Illustrated on Campus consultant, a Bible Study teacher, WXII News 12 Sports intern, CNN Sports intern, and Talbot’s sales associate. Juliet will be living in Charlotte and working for the Lash Group, a reimbursement and strategic consulting firm that works with pharmaceutical companies, medical technology manufacturers, and payers. She will provide patient education and assistance for access to products and coverage. Andrew Lobashevsky (’06) is co-recipient of the 2006 WGS Senior Academic Award. Andy graduated magna cum laude, with a B.S. in Chemistry with Biochemistry and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies. He did Honors in Chemistry on proteins, was a member of WAKE Radio, plays Jazz piano, and received grants from Reynolds Scholarship Program and the Richter Scholarship Program to travel extensively and study Salvador Dali’s works across the world. He presented his work in the WGS student colloquia series in the fall of 2005. Andy’s senior oration was one of three winners selected at the 2006 Senior Colloquium and presented at the Honors and Awards Ceremony on May 14. He has been accepted at University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical School. Tory Tevis (’07) is Vice President of Philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi and participated in Pi Phi’s Pancake Phest, a fall fundraiser with proceeds going to the campus-wide Brian Piccolo Foundation for cancer research. Tory assisted with other Piccolo Foundation events this year, is a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society, and looks forward to a WGS internship this summer. Non-Profit Organization US Postage PAID Winston-Salem, NC Permit No. 69

2006 Spring/Summer Newsletter  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you