When Alicia Sowisdral graduated from the Women's & Gender Studies MA Program in Spring 2008, she never imagined that her next steps in life would take her to Chicago and into a career as a stand up comedian. Alicia now hosts the monthly Pop Goes Alicia Live, which pulls together comedians, writers and thinkers to consider intersections of pop culture and gender. A show she is bringing to Durham, NC on December 4th is subtitled "Feminism you can laugh at." In a recent interview, she explained, "The show came out of this idea to create a space where the dialogues I was having privately could have a common space. I got into stand-up and storytelling in Chicago and I'm also a teacher, so I thought, 'how can I use these talents I have in a way that is entertaining and that also allows a space for critical dialogue?'"
Her MA in WGS was instrumental is shaping her approach to comedy. Sowisdral says, "My MA in WGS really helped me explore the relationship between theory and practice. [The program] gave me the space to create a community of colleagues and friends that are curious and interested in exploring feminism, gender and how we interact with each in our daily lives. In my performance work, and specifically Pop Goes Alicia LIVE, my goal is to create that same community for the audience." Recent editions of her Chicago show she hosts have addressed street harassment, victim blaming, slut shaming, feminism and men and how the bigger cultural landscape of gender shapes our views and experiences.
Alicia will be performing live in Durham on December 4th!
Do you care about issues of social justice, feminism, gender, race, class, sexuality and global dynamics? Are you interested in building your analysis of societal problems? Are you considering a career in non-profits or community service and/or further graduate study? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the WGS MA program might be for you! Applications to join the Fall 2014 cohort are due February 1st.
Unique in the country, this is currently the only master’s degree program in Women’s and Gender Studies in the state of North Carolina, and the only one available between Baltimore and Atlanta.
Love Your Body Week 2013 Recap & Photo Gallery
As has become tradition each October, the Wellness Center and the Women's & Gender Studies Program put on on a series of Love Your Body themed events over the course of a week. This year a student committee planned the Women's & Gender Studies schedule with a goal of covering many different aspects of body issues. Check out the gallery and recap below to learn more about how things went!
Did you know that each semester, up to three students get a $450 scholarship to pay for one of their WGS or WGS markered courses? If you are an undergradaute or graduate student with an interest in Women's & Gender Studies, apply for one of the Sally and Alan Cone Course Scholarships. These scholarships, named in honor of Sally Cone, one of our founding WGS Friends, have benefitted many students over the years. You could be next! The deadline for spring course scholarships is December 1st. Several other schoalrships are also available for students with an interst in WGS, including special projects grants, travel funding, outstanding work and Scholarships for undergraudate nad graduate majors in WGS.
The Women's & Gender Studies and African-American Studies Programs recently worked together to bring Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry, Tulane professor and host of the Melissa Harris-Perry show on MSNBC, to UNCG for a meet and greet with students. Dr. Harris-Perry was in Greensboro as the keynote speaker for Planned Parenthood's annual Health Heroes fundraising dinner, which WGS Friends Linda Carlisle and Sally Cone were instrumental in planning. Many UNCG students, administrators and alumni attended the dinner and talk.
On Thursday October 17th, 2013, about 40 WGS and AFS minors spent an hour and a half asking questions of the author. At least two alumni of the programs drove in from out of town to take advantage of the opportunity. Brittney Anderson (pictured right), who received her MA from the WGS program in May 2012, said, "When I heard about this event I had to attend. Before graduating, I saw a video of her lecture on the concept of the "crooked room" in relation to stereotypes about Black women in the US. Her ideas resonated with me so much that I chose her book Sister Citizen as my graduation gift to the WGS library. She was so personable, relatable and accessible as an African American woman public figure. She seemed like a favorite college professor, mentor and girlfriend all rolled into one!"
The WGS and AFS programs look forward to continuing collaboration and will continue to look out for unique development opportunities for students and alumni.
WGS Minor Kelton Hollister, who also majors in Sociology and minors in History, has been hard at work with other students as well as UNCG faculty and staff, to make UNCG a more friendly environment for trans* people. (The term "trans*" includes people of many gender identities that fall under the 'transgender umbrella.') Kelton is one of the founders and current coordinator of the new student group Trans*Form that is a space for transgender students to support each other and advocate for positive changes at UNCG.
The group came out of a dialogue in February 2013 convened by WGS, Student Activities and the Multicultural Resource Center to begin conversation about the many obstacles trans* students face at UNCG. Trans*Form recently became an official student group, with Dr. Gwen Hunnicutt, a professor of WGS and Sociology, as the advisor. Kelton is also a peer-educator through the Multicultural Resource Center at UNCG.
Trans*Form meets several times a month on Fridays from 4pm-5pm. The next meeting will be October 18th, 2013 from 4-5pm. For more information, contact Dr. Hunnicutt at email@example.com.
Dr. Michelle Dowd, Associate Professor of English and Affiliate of Women's and Gender Studies, has been awarded the 2013 Award for Best Teaching Edition from the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women (SSEMW), an interdisciplinary, international organization, for her co-edited volume Early Modern Women on the Fall: An Anthology (ed. with Thomas Festa; Tempe, AZ: Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2012). According to the publisher, "This anthology presents the works of eighteen early modern Englishwomen addressing the biblical story of the Fall from the Book of Genesis."
The 2008-2009 Linda Arnold Carlisle Faculty Research Grant from Women's and Gender Studies, supported Dowd's work on this project.a WGS faculty dialogue on gender and violence on November 6th, joined by Drs. Gwen Hunnicutt and Jennifer Feather. You can read more about her recent service as an AAAS Congressional Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Diana DeGette, working on issues of interpersonal violence, and her post to the American Psychological Association's newly formed Policy Review Task Force on the Prediction and Prevention of Gun Violence in the UNCG Campus Weekly article below. If you are interested in her work, please join us on November 6th to hear more!
Each year at our WGS graduation ceremony, we create a presentation that highlights our graduating students. Check out the beautiful Prezi below to learn more about our most recent alumni!
Excellence Professorship and Faculty Research Grant are both named in her honor. Her support extends beyond our program to UNCG and the humanities in general, and she recently recorded a video on the importance of liberal arts for North Carolina. Watch it by clicking the link below!
WGS Graduate Certificate alum La Wanda Wallace recently sat down with us to tell us about her exciting studies and research. In May 2013, Wallace received her PhD in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations with a WGS Graduate certificate. Her current focus is on "colorism" and she is interested in making the classroom a more inclusive place.
Read the full profile of Dr. Wallace here >>>
WGS Minor Taylor Chapman, who is also busy majoring in English at UNCG, spent her summer as a Full Circles Foundation Fellow. In her role with the organization, she served as a camp counselor for the inagural Raleigh, NC "Strong Camp," which is "a community-powered summer camp with day and residential components where girls explore the importance of and connections between having 'strong selves,' 'strong neighbors,' and a 'strong home' (Earth)." While working with the program, she made connections between the intersecting issues she has explored in WGS classes, her own experiences as someone "coming from a very poor, rural area and a family that faces structural obstacles systemically," as well as the experiences of the girls who attended the camp, and her views developed through connections to the feminist blogosphere. In a peice titled "Taking Shelter" on the Full Circles Foundation website, she shares her experiences working at the camp during the week themed "Strong Home."
Read Taylor's essay here >>>
Greetings at the beginning of an exciting new year. It's going to be a busy one. As the new interim director of the program, I want to welcome everybody back-- all our returning students and faculty and administrative staff. A special welcome to our new majors and graduate students and our new director of graduate studies Carisa Showden. Congratulations to Danielle Bouchard, our first tenured professor in WGS and Beth Walker, newly appointed as senior lecturer in the program.
Read more >>>
Congratulations to Dr. Danielle Bouchard, who successfully received tenure and is now an Associate Professor, and to Beth Walker, MA, who was promoted to Senior Lecturer.
Of Bouchard's success, Walker says, "Danielle's tenure is a monumental happening for our program. When she joined the faculty, she was the right person at the right time to not only support the growth of our program, but to expand the variety of issues addressed in the program. Its a fabulous thing that former director Mary Ellis Gibson had the vision to advocate for this tenure-track position, and that Danielle has brought so much to the program and has now been successful in achieving tenure." A unanimous vote of the cross-appointed Women's & Gender Studies faculty in Fall of 2013 recommended Bouchard for tenure.
"Beth Walker's promotion is well-deserved and long overdue," says Dr. Sarah Cervenak, Assistant Professor jointly appointed in WGS and African American Studies. "She has wonderfully educated so many of our students over the years. We are so proud of her achievement and what it means for our program!"
See the complete list of newly appointed Senior Lecturers >>>
The Women's & Gender Studies Program at UNCG hosted the Southeastern Women's Studies Association Conference April 18th-20th, 2013 in the Elliott University Center. Over the course of the three days, almost 400 people attended the event. The theme "Outrage: Discourses, Practices, and Politcs of Protest and Social Transformation" attracted presenters and attendees from around the US and Canda, and the impresive roster of diverse keynote speakers and films attracted many community members. The 2013 conference website remains live as an archive, and the 2014 SEWSA website is available for the upcoming conference, which will be hosted by UNCW.
According to an article in The Carolinian, UNCG's student newspaper, "The final day of the convention brought eager, bustling people into the EUC auditorium to see the final keynote speaker, Andrea Smith. Smith spoke to the packed auditorium about the “Academic Industrial Complex,” and how to make higher education for women and men more accessible and enjoyable." This and many other moments from throughout the confernece inspired thought-provoking dialogue that will certainly continue to impact UNCG and our Women's & Gender Studies program.
Read more about the confernece on the Carolinian website >>>
From a UNCG Campus Weekly article:
Charlotte Bunch, founding director and senior scholar at the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, Rutgers University, will present this year’s Duncan Women’s History Month Lecture at UNCG.
It will be held Tuesday, March 19, at 4 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House. Her talk is titled “Women’s Human Rights Globally: A Retrospective 20 Years After the UN World Conferences in Vienna, Cairo, and Beijing.”
Community historian Linda Evans recently offered UNCG Women's & Gender Studies Students five free tickets to a luncheon and lecture in honor of International Women's Day. WGS students Lori Durham, Wanda Wallace, Nicole Simmons, Tonya Doane and Arnis Boschulte attended and represented our program at the March 8th, 2013 event.
"Greensboro women have been, and still are, an important part of our nation's history," says Greensboro Historical Museum Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart. The event focused on the histories of three well-known Greensboro women: Willa Player, first woman president of Bennett College, first woman in the US to head a four-year college, and a supporter of the sit-in movement (pictured above, with Thurgood Marshall during his visit to Bennett); Tabitha Holton, first woman to be admitted to the North Carolina Bar; and Dolley Madison, first lady of the United States.
Dr. Linda Beatrice Brown, Willa B. Player Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Bennett College and niece of Player, spoke on the book she wrote about her aunt's presidency. Museum Director Carol Ghiorsi Hart discussed First Lady Dolley Madison from an anthropologist's perspective, and Community Historian Linda Evans shared the little-known story of Tabitha Holton, who helped her brothers study for the bar, which fuled her determination to become a lawyer herself.
"It was wonderful to hear about three powerful and inspiring women just as I am finishing my PhD and preparing for life as Dr. Wallace," said Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations (ELC) doctoral student and WGS Certificate student, Wanda Wallace. "I really appreciated that the Historical Museum offered tickets to WGS students to participate in this important program." Wallace recently defended her dissertation on issues of "colorism," and will graduate in May with a doctorate in ELC and a graduate certificate in WGS.
Community Historian Linda Evans, who planned the event, said, "The UNCG WGS students who attended were delightful and it was a pleasure having them at the museum. The program by Dr. Linda Brown inspired all of us in the audience." Thanks to the Historical Museum for including WGS students in this interesting event!
Dr. Danielle Bouchard's book A Community of Disagreement: Feminism in the University received a favorable review in the well-known journal Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. According to reviewer Nick Mitchell, her monograph, "offers a rigorous but friendly critique of the ways in which feminism's academic discourse on its own institutionality is overwritten by 'the general understanding of difference as a problem, one that requires a definitive solution (5)' (742)."
Coincidentally, Program Administrator Isabell Moore met reviewer Nick Mitchell at the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) conference in November 2012. He was excited to meet someone from UNCG because he had appreciated Dr. Bouchard's book so much, so a picture of him is featured at the end of the article on the NWSA trip.
Carrie Hart, a graduate of the WGS MA program and a current student in the UNCG Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations PhD program, has teamed up with filmmaker Rick Dillwood, to produce the web series "Keepin' It Queer."
The most recent episode, "Performativity," was released on February 20th and features Marla Sutherland, current WGS MA student; Sarah Colonna, WGS MA alum and current ELC PhD student and WGS instructor; Michelle Powell, current WGS instructor and ELC PhD student; as well as Ava Johnson, who works in the UNCG Registrar's office.
According to the website, "KiQ is a non-fiction web series that explores the idea of queerness as it manifests in various cultural patterns and practices." Beth Walker, WGS Lecturer who teaches many of the Intro to WGS classes and advises WGS majors and minors, says, "We are so proud of Carrie for creating this video series! It will most certainly be a wonderful teaching tool for WGS classrooms at UNCG and even around the country."
Wooten Gough, a WGS major known for his activism about immigrant rights and queer issues, was profiled in YES! Weekly as part of their Valentine's Day issue.
The Valentine's Day parade for social justice that he helped organize was also written up in the Greensboro News & Record.
We are proud that Wooten and so many of our WGS students are so engaged in the community, and use what they have learned in the classroom to advocate for positive changes in the world!
Over one-third of recent UNCG Excellence Award Recipeinets were WGS-affiliated. Out of fourteen faculty and staff members honored with Excellence Awards, five of them were WGS Faculty or WGS Affiliates.
Those celebrated included: Kathy Crowe, Karen Kilcup, Jody Natalle, Susanne Rinner & Hephzibah Roskelly. All have nice videos about their important achievements!
Here's the complete list:
Click on individual names and titles to view videos of each of the recipients.
Fun at the WGS Holiday Potluck
On December 7th, 2012, WGS hosted a potluck at the home of the WGS Director, Ann Dils, for all interested individuals associated with the program.
Students Recreate Judy Chicago's "The Dinner Party"
When Dr. Lisa Levenstein asked members of her 500-level course, "Feminist Politics in Recent U.S. History," to choose a topic for their end-of-semester presentation, MA student Laura Malloy and undergraduate WGS major Derrick Foust decided to study the feminist art movement of the 1970s and 1980s. This grassroots movement sought to challenge male-centered ideas about what constitutes art, increase the representation of women artists in mainstream galleries, and develop alternative venues for the showing of women's work.
MA Alum Rebecca Mann was recently elected as the new President of the Friends of WGS group, which works to advocate and fundraise for the WGS program. She was also recently mentioned in the Greensboro News & Record, drawing attention to her accomplishments and the recent profile of her in Ms. magazine.
Deana Coble, who served as the Friends of WGS president for the last several years, plans to stay invovled as an active supporter of WGS.
UNCG WGS Goes to NWSA
MA Alum and current Kinesiology PhD student Casey Buss, WGS Director Ann Dils, and WGS Program Administrator Isabell Moore all attended the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) conference in Oakland from November 8-11, 2012.
Laila Nur, a Greensboro musician who performed at the WGS Open house in September, 2012, was recently featured on NPR's The State of Things!
Her participation in the Open House got lots of positive feedback and we hope to collaborate with her more. We'll be able to say "we knew her when" as she gets better and better known around the country!
Dr. Mark Rifkin, an associate professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies at UNCG, has won the prestigious John Hope Franklin Publication Prize for best book in American Studies in 2011 from the American Studies Association.
"When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty," published by Oxford University Press, was chosen from all eligible books published in 2011. The book explores the complex relationship between contested U.S. notions of normality and shifting forms of Native American governance and self-representation.
As a result he was recently interviewed on WUNC's The State of Things about his work.
UNCG Women's & Gender Studies MA Alum Featured in Ms. Magazine
The Fall 2012 issue of Ms. Magazine featured UNCG WGS MA program alum Rebecca Mann's experience during her studies here. The article describes the current state of Women's Studies programs within the academy and explores students' experiences within the field.
The Women's and Gender Studies Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is proud to host the 2013 Southeastern Women's Studies Association (SEWSA) conference, April 18-20, 2013. Academics, activists, and artists will come together to explore the diverse histories, theories, and actions that inspire social change and that have and will transform interdisciplinary study of women, gender, sexuality, and other means of understanding social experience. Proposals accepted until November 30, 2012. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Discourses, Practices, and Politics of Protest and Social Transformation
Call for Papers and Submissions
Women’s and Gender Studies Facebook page reaches 500 likes in the first week of the semester!
Are you one of the 500? WGS is in the process of refocusing its attention on social media. We appreciate your involvement with this process! Please go to UNCG Women’s and Gender Studies Facebook page and like us, so that you can stay informed. The page will be dedicated to informing the community about future WGS events and conferences, offering a forum for meaningful discussion, and many of other forms of media related to the interests of WGS. WGS welcomes anyone to join, even if you are not affiliated with the program but have an interest in WGS.
Dr. Danielle Bouchard, UNCG's first full-time tenure track Assistant Professor in WGS!
Dr. Danielle Bouchard, UNCG’s first full-time tenure-track Assistant Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, has shaped our program in profound ways. As one of a growing number of scholars with doctoral degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies, Danielle is in an ideal position to foster student research, enrich our curriculum, and make important national and international contributions to women’s and gender studies scholarship.
Read more >>
Isabell Moore appointed WGS Program Administrator
Isabell Moore, who obtained her MA in Women's and Gender Studies from UNCG in 2009, now joins the program as the WGS Program Administrator.
Read a letter from Isabell >>