Welcome to the official blog for Villanova's Gender and Women's Studies program! Please come back often for information on events, programming, academic opportunities, alumni news, student accomplishments, and more! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Internship Opporutnity

Isles, a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, NJ, will be hiring unpaid interns in the upcoming semesters. Its mission is, “to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.” Check out more about the organization on their website.

If interested, contact grants@isles.org for more information.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Welcome to a New GWS Faculty Member: Kathleen Grimes!

Gender and Women’s Studies would like to give a warm welcome to new faculty member Kathleen Grimes! Katie received her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Notre Dame and her PhD. From Boston College this past May. Her doctorate is in Theological Ethics. Katie’s academic interests include liberation theologies, calling attention to the pervasive presence of white supremacy in the Catholic church, critically retrieving natural law theory, and sexual ethics. She places Catholic feminist ethics in conversation with Catholic tradition in order to address the challenges of the contemporary Church. Her article Butler Interprets Aquinas: How to Speak Thomistically About Sex has been published in the Journal of Religious Ethics. It can be viewed here. She is also a contributor for the Women in Theology blog, which can be viewed at here the WIT website.

Katie was attracted to Villanova University due to its commitment to the Catholic tradition, while also remaining open to other perspectives. She is teaching Faith, Reason, and Culture this semester.

Emma Watson's Address to the United Nations

Emma Watson, U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador, addressed the United Nations in New York City on Saturday, September 20, 2014. She addressed feminism and the HeForShe campaign that aims to get men to pledge a commitment to end gender inequality. Learn more about this initiative here.

Watson spoke about her work to help end gender inequality and what being a feminist means to her. Watch the full video below!

In My Body: Conference at Cabrini College

Cabrini College will host a two-day National Undergraduate Conference focusing on Body Image featuring keynote speakers, a performance from In My Body: The Musical, concurrent sessions, and workshops. Participants are invited to consider questions about what and who defines body image, as well as the significance of body image theoretically and historically.

The conference will be held Wednesday-Thursday, October 22 and 23, from 8:30 AM-9:00 PM (with a break each day between 4:30-6:30 PM).
Our very own GWS minor Sarah Milligan will be presenting “Selfies as a Form of Attention Seeking Self-Objectification” on a panel discussion entitled Language, Images, and the Media. This panel will take place on Thursday, October 23 from 11:05 AM-12:20 PM.
The keynote speaker Kate Bornstein is a transgender author, playwright, performance artist, gender theorist, and activist. She will present on Wednesday, October 22 from 7:00-8:00 PM.

There are many great panels, workshops, and discussions available. See a schedule for the conference here. If you are a Villanova student and are interested in attending, please contact the Gender and Women's Studies program at gws@villanova.edu.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's On Us: White House Initiative Against Sexual Assault

The White House has introduced the next phase in addressing sexual assault on college campuses with the “It’s on Us” campaign. Its aim is to emphasis that all people, including men, have an obligation to end sexual assault. The program will include several PSAs, partner organizations, and a pledge to stop and prevent sexual assault taken by several hundred campus student bodies. Read more about the initiative here.

The campaign organized a group of celebrities to spread the word about the initiative. Check out the video!  

A Woman’s Words: Slam Poetry Performance by Gayle Danley

Gayle Danley is a slam poetry artist. She has touched thousands with her Slam Poetry workshops, lectures, performances and speeches. Gayle has published three books: “Naked”, “Soulfull—A Slam Poetry Study Guide”, and “Passionate—Poems You Can Feel”. Her keynote and lecture series fuses her poetry with the ability to touch her audience through real life experiences, leaving a lasting emotional message. 

Gender and Women's Studies presents Gayle Danley's performance of A Woman's Words. This event will take place on Thursday, October 2 at 6:00 PM in the Driscoll Auditorium.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

GWS Faculty Member Honored

Katina Sawyer, assistant professor of psychology, has been honored by Women's Way, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia that has advocated for women and girls for 40 years. 

Women's Way named Professor Sawyer a recipient of a Powerful Voice Award for 2014. Professor Sawyer was celebrated as a "champion for diversity, inclusion, and work-life balance." Her winning combination of scholarship and activism embodies the ethic of GWS, which embraces both intellectual inquiry and concrete action toward social change. Professor Sawyer publishes scholarship on diversity in the workplace, works as a faculty advisor for NovaSVA, and volunteers for Women's Resource Center (women's community resource center), Dawn's Place (home for victims of human trafficking), and the William Way Center (LGBT community resource center). 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

GWS Academic Director Interviewed on NPR and another Nellie Bly Event!

The Gender and Women's Studies program's very own Academic Director, Dr. Jean Lutes, was interviewed on NPR today, Wednesday, September 10th! She discussed the life and legacy of Nellie Bly, which is the topic of the book edited by Dr. Lutes,  Around the World in Seventy-Two Days and Other Writings. Listen to the interview here.

There is also a Fringe Festival show about Nellie Bly playing this week. Nellie/Nellie is a music-driven dance theater exploration of Bly's Ten Days in a Mad-House. It's a highly physical show with live music, with everything from big dance numbers to small, heartbreaking moments. The creators hope to portray Bly as a complicated woman of her time with multi-faceted drives and reactions. The show runs Sept. 11, 12, and 13 at 8 pm at the Broad Street Ministry (in their big historic sanctuary in Center City). Tickets are free and you can reserve them here to reserve a seat. Here's a website with more information about the show: nelliefringe.tumblr.com 

Event: Jill McCorkel on "Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment"

GWS is co-sponsoring an event in room 205 of Falvey Memorial Library on Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 2:30 p.m. for a Scholarship@Villanova lecture featuring Professor Jill A. McCorkel, Department of Sociology and Criminology. Dr. McCorkel will be talking about her recently published book, Breaking Women: Gender, Race and the New Politics of Imprisonment. Dr. McCorkel will discuss how her four years of research in a major U.S. women’s prison helped her to uncover the reasons tougher drug policies have so greatly affected those incarcerated there, and how the very nature of punishment in women’s detention centers has been deeply altered as a result.

This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Not Alone: Sexual Assault on College Campuses, Examining The White House Report at Villanova

Photo: The Gender and Women's Studies Program presents a panel discussion, "Not Alone: Sexual Assault on College Campuses, Examining the White House Report at Villanova." This panel will discuss the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. Stacy Andes will provide information on resources available to Villanova students, Diane Moyer will provide an overview of the status of sexual assault on college campuses, and Theodora Sakellarides will report on her conversations with students at Villanova about the general culture around drinking and gender relations on the Villanova campus. This event will take place on September 24 at 6:00 PM in the Connelly Cinema.

The Gender and Women's Studies Program presents a panel discussion, "Not Alone: Sexual Assault on College Campuses, Examining the White House Report at Villanova." This panel will discuss the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. Stacy Andes will provide information on resources available to Villanova students, Diane Moyer will provide an overview of the status of sexual assault on college campuses, and Theodora Sakellarides will report on her conversations with students at Villanova about the general culture around drinking and gender relations on the Villanova campus.

This event will take place on September 24 at 6:00 PM in the Connelly Cinema.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Follow-Up: GWS Major Emily Tifft at the Supreme Court

The first time I argued a case before the Chief Justice of the United States, I lost on a technicality buried in the complex rules of tic-tac-toe. In the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court, Chief Justice Roberts and his co-counsel of second graders promptly declared that since I cheated in a game of tic-tac-toe, I should, as one “Justice” so eloquently phrased it, serve a life term “in the slammer!” I was only reprieved from punishment when the Chief Justice’s personal secretary interrupted “Court” to announce the arrival of juice boxes for snack time. Such was my life as the Visitor Programs Intern at the Supreme Court of the United States. I spent my summer hosting educational programming events for Court visitors of all ages—including using punishment for breaking the rules in tic-tac-toe as a mechanism for explaining the justice system. My job responsibilities did not, however, end there. Throughout the summer, I also gave public lectures in the Courtroom about the history, architecture, and function of the Supreme Court. I led private tours around the building for family, friends, and personal guests of the Justices. I compiled research for the Court’s Curator on extrajudicial activities of all former Supreme Court Justices, and created scavenger hunts for children through the dozens of Justice portraits in the Court’s main hall. Each day at the Supreme Court was different; whether I was consoling a swarm of angry protestors or entertaining the U.S. ambassador to France, I was never bored. Indeed, my summer was full of learning experiences, all of which shaped me into a better leader, learner, and communicator. Throughout my 12-week internship, I drew on past experiences at Villanova to shape what I wanted to get out of my time in Washington—and I came to fully understand why my GWS degree is so valuable.

On the second day of my internship, I sat in on a private luncheon Justice Sonia Sotomayor hosted with female judges and lawyers from Afghanistan. The women told Justice Sotomayor about the rampant gendered violence in their country, a place where women are killed simply for being women, and girls go to school at the risk of being tortured or raped. Justice Sotomayor spoke eloquently about the importance of female politicians in Afghani government, and expressed her fervent belief that justice will prevail in law, even amid Afghanistan’s struggles. I left the Court that day completely reaffirmed in my plans for the future. Using my English and Gender and Women’s Studies majors, I want to become a lawyer with a focus on gender issues and women’s rights. While I was naive about that area of the law when I first arrived at the Court, I expressed my interest in gender law to my supervisor in the Curator’s Office. Thanks to my supervisor’s influence, throughout the summer I repeatedly spoke with accomplished lawyers and judges from around the world, some of whom specialize in various aspects of gender rights law in places as varied as Bosnia, England, and Russia. I had the privilege of talking to Justice Ginsburg’s female law clerks about how the Justice’s career in gender law inspired them to become lawyers themselves. I gave tours to women who were from a generation when females were not accepted into American law schools, and met inspirational women from parts of the world where females in upper-level classrooms still seems an impossible dream. Each day, the experiences reaffirmed my passion and reminded of a lesson from a Philosophy of Women class or a Gender and the World course. It all showed me how the Supreme Court’s motto, “Equal Justice Under Law,” can apply to my own life. Each of my colleagues this summer worked toward that mission of equality in his or her own way. Luckily for me, through this internship, I rediscovered my own plans—the way I want to contribute to making the world a more just society. I know that my GWS degree will help me get there.