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, October 28, 2014

GWS Faculty Member Judy Giesberg Distinguished Lecture Series

GWS faculty member Judy Giesberg will be heading the 2014 Steven and Janice Brose Distinguished Lecture Series entitled “Know(ing) It When You See It: Pornography and Sexual Culture in the Civil War North” November 6th-8th at Penn State University.

The series is described as: “From 1842 to 1873, American lawmakers passed a series of measures intended to protect youth from the ill effects of pornography, initially in response to similar measures being taken in France and Great Britain.  But the unique circumstances of the U.S. Civil War determined that Americans would have a different experience with pornography and anti-pornography than their European counterparts. With easy and expanding access to photographic technologies, accelerated delivery of the mails, and new customs laws that restricted the importation of obscene materials, the U.S. Civil War made possible the triumph of a thriving trade in domestic pornography—and let loose a spirited morality campaign to stamp it out, culminating in the passing of Comstock Laws.  This lecture series will explore the trade in pornography that came into its own in the Civil War era and the strong reaction it elicited.”

The list of talks is:

·         Thursday, November 6 at 7 pm, NLI Boardroom: “Lewd, Wicked, Scandalous:” American Pornography Comes of Age

·         Friday, November 7 at 7 pm, NLI Assembly Room: “Storming the Enemy’s Entrenchments:” Civil War Courts Martial and the Sexual Culture of the U.S. Army Camp

·         Saturday, November 8 at 4 pm, NLI Boardroom: “Time to Kill:” Anthony Comstock and the Obscenity of War

***Admission is free and open to the public***

The GWS Department congratulates Professor Giesberg on this amazing honor!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

GWS Event: Gabeba Baderoon "Muslims, Slavery and the Making of Race and Sex in South Africa"

Villanova's Gay Straight Coalition LGBT Awareness Week

GSC Will be hosting LGBT Awareness week October 27-30. See below for all of the great events going on!

Monday – Thursday:  Info & expressions of support at the Oreo

Tuesday, October 28:  Student Panel, “That’s So Gay” featuring students from GSC talking about being gay and being an ally on campus.  7:00pm, Tolentine 215 (pizza served)

Wednesday, October 29:  Moving Beyond the Gender Binary: What We Need to Know About Gender Expression Featuring guest speaker Villanova professor, Katina Sawyer, Ph.D..  4:30pm, Tolentine 215

Thursday October 30:  VIGIL.  Meet at the Oreo, 7pm 

Cabrini Conference Keynote Speaker Kate Bornstein

Julia Hart, a graduate student in Professor Lutes’s GWS graduate course, attended Cabrini College’s Body Image Conference Keynote, speaker Kate Bornstein, on October 22. She wrote this in response to the amazing presentation.  

Kate Bornstein: A Message of Affirmation

The first day of Cabrini College’s undergraduate conference on body image culminated with a talk by the keynote speaker, Kate Bornstein. An author, artist, and gender theorist, Ms. Bornstein discussed a range of topics, but all of them tied back to her three primary points of focus: gender, sex, and desire.

Throughout her talk, Ms. Bornstein drew upon her personal experiences as an individual who was born male but eventually received sex reassignment surgery and now identifies as female. However, she also noted that she does not feel entirely like a man or entirely like a woman and talked about how it can be a struggle for others to understand her fluid, shifting relationship with gender and sex. While she related her experiences as a transsexual individual to body image, she also discussed her own personal battle with anorexia and the journey she has undergone throughout her life in pursuit of self-acceptance.

While Ms. Bornstein’s talk also touched on other topics—including the role of religion and spirituality in individuals’ understanding of gender, sex, and desire—the core of her discussion was a message of self-acceptance. Her talk displayed her powerful abilities as a speaker as she held the audience captivated for the entire hour, skillfully encouraging audience members to think about the issues she discussed by posing questions and urging listeners to contemplate their responses individually. She was not afraid to make jokes and drew frequently upon humor in her talk, but neither was she afraid to delve into intensely emotional topics, including rape and suicide, in her discussion of the fundamental roles gender, sex, and desire play in our lives. 

Ms. Bornstein’s talk was equal parts humorous, engaging, informative, thought-provoking and poignant. Her message was one of affirmation, and she called for the need for all of us to put an end to the self-loathing and self-hatred so often imposed by society; to learn to accept ourselves and others, regardless of how we look or dress; and, finally, to stop feeling ashamed of gender, sex, and desire. Instead, Ms. Bornstein suggests, we should start embracing them proudly and fearlessly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

GWS Co-Sponsored Event: Freedpeople and Forty Acres: African Americans and Sherman's March

Gender and Women's Studies is co-sponsoring an event on Wednesday, October 22 at 4:00 PM in the Connelly Cinema. Anne Sarah Rubin, Department of History at the University of Maryland, will be giving a talk titled "Freedpeople and Forty Acres: African Americans and Sherman's March."

GWS Co-Sponsored Event: Paying for the Party

GWS is co-sponsoring an event this Tuesday, October 21 at 6:30 PM in Mendel 102. Dr. Elizabeth Armstrong will be discussing her research that is the subject of her book Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality. Elizabeth A. Armstrong is a sociologist with research interests in the areas of sexuality, gender, culture, organizations, social movements, and higher education. Her book, “Paying for the Party: How College Maintains Inequality,” is based on five years of interview research. Mapping different pathways available to college students, the authors demonstrate that the most well-resourced and seductive route is a "party pathway" anchored in the Greek system and facilitated by the administration. This pathway exerts influence over the academic and social experiences of all students, and while it benefits the affluent and well-connected, Armstrong and Hamilton make clear how it seriously disadvantages the majority. Eye-opening and provocative, Paying for the Party reveals how outcomes can differ so dramatically for those whom universities enroll.