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!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

GWS Student Spotlight: Kevin Madden

Name: Kevin Madden

Year in school: Senior

Majors and minors: English major with minors in GWS, Spanish, and Honors

Hometown: Sarasota, FL

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to: Regensburg, Germany

Favorite GWS class: Gender and the World with Travis Foster

Why do you study GWS/why is it important to you? I study GWS because it feels kind of subversive. It challenges me to interrogate the metanarratives I unquestioningly accepted growing up about what it means to be a man, to be gay, to be a feminist. I was surprised by how few of those assumptions actually held true when I applied a bit of pressure to them. Studying GWS has equipped me with the tools to critically engage a world that insists on telling me how to understand my identity, and it has cultivated a deep sense of compassion for others who have been told all their lives that they belong on the social periphery. I don’t think so. Feminism has something to offer everyone, and as I continue to grow through my studies, I understand more and more that having meaningful, unique experiences is our common denominator, the unifying factor. Solidarity through difference, whether those differences are shared or not. I don’t think I could have comprehended that without GWS.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

GWS Student Spotlight: Mary Pat Norton!

Name: Mary Pat Norton

Year in school: Class of 2017, Junior

Majors and minors: English and art history with a minor in GWS

Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to: Urbino, Italy

Favorite GWS class: Ellen Bonds' Women in Literature

Why do you study GWS/why is it important to you? I study GWS because I am interested in studying how gender roles of different societies have evolved, and what I can do to eliminate stereotypes about both men and women.  

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#ItsOnUsNova: Sexual Violence Survey Discussion

Time for the last GWS event of the year! Join us for this important conversation!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Get to know the GWS Student Research Conference Keynote Speaker: Lauren Berlant

The 27th Annual Gender and Women's Studies Student Research Conference is coming up this Thursday, April 7! Please read about our keynote address Lauren Berlant. This information comes from her faculty webpage from the University of Chicago.

"My work has focused on the affective components of belonging in the U.S. nineteenth and twentieth centuries—now the twenty-first: in particular, in relation to juridical citizenship, to informal and normative modes of social belonging, and to practices of intimacy as they absorb legal, normative, and fantasmatic forces. These scenes of relation articulate state, juridical, and institutional practices of zoning and more abstract boundary-drawing—between public and private, white and non-white, and/or citizen and foreigner—with other kinds of social bonds through which people imagine and practice world-making.

I am interested in how modes of social membership flourish that absorb the blows of power while preserving critical and optimistic attachments to the political as a site of a vaguely rendered, collective ongoingness or potentiality. To this end, I have finished a trilogy on national sentimentality—in order of their historical address, The Anatomy of National Fantasy (Chicago, 1991); The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (2009); and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (Duke, 1997). I have also followed out this interest in collective attachments and affects in my edited volumes Intimacy (Chicago, 2000); Our Monica, Ourselves: Clinton and the Affairs of State (with Lisa Duggan; NYU, 2001); and Compassion: the Culture and Politics of an Emotion (Routledge, 2004).

My next book, Cruel Optimism, is about the wearing out of the fantasy of the good life that has bound people to various kinds of intimate and political normativity despite their constant inadequacy to the fantasies that bring people to them. So its intervention is two-pronged, to do with conceptualizing affect historically, and with addressing the neoliberal sensorium insofar as it is shaped by the recognition that the social democratic/liberal fantasy of mass upward mobility, meritocracy, and durable intimacy has less and less traction in the world. Here “optimism” does not mean the emotion of optimism but the affective structure of attachment that enables people to survive and even flourish amidst the ordinariness of life-in-crisis, life without foundations, anchors, or footing. Looking at ways to think about attachment and suffering that attend to the structural and therefore that would be misdescribed by the exceptionalist analytic of trauma and the modernist model of “everyday life,” it provides, I hope, better genres for the historical present.

Also related to the impact of these circuits of social exemplification is an interest in pedagogies of normativity in the academy, culture, and politics. I have edited two volumes of Critical Inquiry called On the Case, which bring together leading thinkers to examine the “case”—the standard unit in law, medicine, psychoanalysis, the humanities, the sciences, and popular culture. What makes a case ordinary, easily dealt with, or forgettable? What makes some cases, and not others, challenges to the way ordinary life or institutional systems usually proceed? How do kinds of people become examples of kinds of thing? The project works through cases—of torture, of scientific paradigms, of OCD and Obesity, of the cinematic closeup, of literary personhood, of philosophical norms for adjudicating ethics, of servants, and gods, and lyric poetry, and sexuality. But all of the essays address their cases with an eye to understanding how cases have been and might be made.

Selected Publications:

Cruel Optimism: by Lauren Berlant

The Queen of America goes to Washington City: by Lauren Berlant
The Female Complaint: by Lauren Berlant
The Anatomy of National Fantasy: by Lauren Berlant

Cruel Optimism (Duke UP, 2011), 2011 René Wellek Prize, American Comparative Literature Association
"Love as a Properly Political Concept" (Response to Michael Hardt), Cultural Anthropology (2011)
"Affect and the Politics of Austerity," Variant 38/40, with Gesa Helms, Marina Vischmidt (2011)
"Opulism," SAQ (2010)
"Neither Monstrous nor Pastoral, but Scary and Sweet: Some Thoughts on Sex and Emotional Performance in Intimacies and What Do Gay Men Want?" Women and Performance (2009)
"Affect Is the New Trauma," The Minnesota Review (2009). Rpt. 2010.
“The Broken Circuit: An Interview with Lauren Berlant,” by Sina Najafi and David Serlin, Cabinet (2008).
“Thinking about Feeling Historical,” Emotion, Space, and Society 1, 1 (2008). Rpt. Political Emotions, ed., Janet Staiger, Ann Cvetkovich, and Ann Reynolds (2010).
"Risky Bigness: On Obesity, Eating, and the Ambiguity of "Health," in Jonathan Metzl et al., Against Health/ (NYU, 2010).
The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (Duke UP, 2008).
“Nearly Utopian, Nearly Normal: Post-Fordist Affect in La Promesse and Rosetta” Public Culture 19, 2 (2007): 272-301.
Keyword, “Citizenship,” in Keywords of American Cultural Studies, Edited by Bruce Burgett and Glenn Hendler, http://www.nd.edu/~ghendler/keywords.html (NYU press, 2007).
“Cruel Optimism,” Differences 17, 5 (2006): 21-36; and New Formations (2008; longer version).
“Starved,” SAQ 106:3 (2007), 433-444.
“Slow Death,” in Critical Inquiry 33 (Summer 2007): 754-780.
The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship (Duke UP, 1997).
Compassion, ed. (Routledge, 2004).
Our Monica, Ourselves:  The Clinton Affair and the National Interest.  Ed. with Lisa Duggan (NYU Press, 2001).
Venus Inferred, with Laura Letinsky (University of Chicago, 2000).
“Unfeeling Kerry,” Theory and Event 8, 2 (2005).
“The Epistemology of State Emotion,” in Dissent in Dangerous Times, ed. Austin Sarat (Ann Arbor MI: University of Michigan Press, 2005).
“Two Girls, Fat and Thin,” in Regarding Sedgwick, eds. Stephen Barber and David Clark (New York:  Routledge, 2002).
“Love (A Queer Feeling),” Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality, eds.  Tim Dean and Christopher Lane (Chicago, 2000), 432-451.
“Sex in Public.” Written with Michael Warner. Critical Inquiry (Winter 1998).
Editor, “Intimacy: A Special Issue,” Critical Inquiry (Winter 1998).
“Poor Eliza,” in American Literature (1998).
“Pax Americana: The Case of Show Boat,” in Institutions of the Novel (Duke UP, 1997).
“The Female Woman: Fanny Fern and the Form of Sentiment,” in The Culture of Sentiment (Oxford, 1993).
“National Brands/National Body: Imitation of Life,” in The Phantom Public Sphere (Minnesota UP, 1993).
The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life (Chicago, 1991).

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1985. Teaching at Chicago since 1984."

Thursday, March 31, 2016

GWS Student Spotlight: Victoria Rose Vicente

Name: Victoria Rose Vicente

Year in school: Senior

Majors and minors: Nursing, GWS (minor)

Hometown: Upper Darby, PA

Favorite place you’ve ever traveled to: Ghana, Africa

Favorite GWS class: Race, Class, and Gender with Professor Carol Anthony. This class was a wonderful combination of such important issues. It provided me with a didactic understanding of the intersectionality of these topics.

Why do you study GWS/why is it important to you? : GWS plays such a huge role in my practice as a nurse. Understanding that patients are people that experience life through a multitude of different lenses makes me a more compassionate nurse. GWS has opened up my mind and heart to the possibility that differences make us great. We are all unique, but share the common bond of humanity.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The 27th Annual Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference: April 7!

The 27th Annual Gender and Women’s Studies Student Research Conference is coming up soon! The conference will be held on Thursday, April 7 in the Connelly Center. The general schedule for the conference is as follows:

1:00 PM – Welcome
1:10 PM – Session One: Panels – Connelly Meeting Rooms
2:20 PM – Session Two: Performance Showcase - Connelly Cinema
3:20 PM – Session Three: Panels - Connelly Meeting Rooms
4:30 PM – Keynote Address: Lauren Berlant – Connelly Cinema

The panels and keynote address are free and open to the public. Lauren Berlant’s keynote address is titled “On Being in Life without Wanting the World:  Rankine, Isherwood, and Dissociative Life.” This talk is located in a shattered, formally inconsistent, yet intelligible zone defined by "being in life without wanting the world." Reading with Claudia Rankine (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely), the novel and film of A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood, 1964; Tom Ford, 2009), and Harryette  Mullen (Sleeping with the Dictionary), it describes an aesthetics and a subjectivity shaped on one side by suicide and on the other by a life drive that is also, paradoxically, negative, in that it turns toward life by turning away from the world of injury, negation, and contingency that    endures as a defining presence for biopolitically-defined subjects. It suggests attending to and developing a dissociative poetics. 

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Check out the Fall 2016 GWS Courses!

AAH 3005-001
Gender, Sexuality and Visual Culture
Timothy McCall
TR 2:30-3:45
CLA 3040-001
Women in the
Classical World
MW 1:30-2:45 
COM 3351-001
Gender and Film
Susan Mackey-Kallis
TR 2:30-3:45
COM 3402-001
Family Communication
Derek Arnold
MWF 10:30-11:20
ENG 2300-001
Women in Literature
Ellen Bonds
TR 1:00-2:15
ENG 3690-001
Virginia Woolf
Megan Quigley
TR 4:00-5:15
ENG 5000-002
American Modernism: Cather, Hemingway, Faulkner, and Hurston
Jean Lutes
TR 10:00-11:15
GWS 2050-001
Gender and the World
Elizabeth Kolsky
TR 1:00-2:15
HIS 1150-001
Topics in the
Atlantic World
Catherine Kerrison
MWF 12:30-1:20
HIS 3360-001
Women in the Pre-Modern West
Rebecca Winer
TR 11:30-12:45
HON 4900-001
Social Inequality
Rick Eckstein
TR 10:00-11:15
PHI 2420-001
Philosophy of Women
Chris Ma
MW 3:00-4:15
PHI 4900-001
Feminist Theories
Chaone Mallory
MW 3:00-4:15
PJ 2800-001
Race, Class, and Gender
Brighid Dwyer
W 6:10-8:50
PJ 5000-001
Homeless Chic?: U.S. Poverty and Privilege
Jennifer Joyce
TR 10:00-11:15
SOC 2300-001
Sociology of the Family
Melissa Hodges
       TR 11:30-12:45
SOC 3500-001
Sociology of Gender
Melissa Hodges
TR 1:00-2:15
Shakespeare on Stage
Chelsea Phillips
MW 1:30-2:45
THL 5000-001
Religion, Media and Gender
Stefanie Knauss
TR 4:00-5:15
THL 5000-101
Religion, Media and Gender
Stefanie Knauss
R 6:10-8:50

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

International Women's Day!

Every year on March 8, we celebrate International Women's Day. The theme for this year is "Pledge for Parity." Parity means being in a state of equality, in status and pay. IWD reports that "the World Economic Forum predicted in 2014 that it would take until 2095 to achieve global gender parity. Then one year later in 2015, they estimated that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn't close entirely until 2133."

To help support the "Pledge for Parity, visit International Women's Day here to take your own #pledgeforparity. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Introducing our Weekly Women in History Segment!: Elizabeth Blackwell

For out first Women in History post, check out this article about the first female doctor in the United States: Elizabeth Blackwell.

She was trained at the Geneva Medical College and worked in gynecology. Aside from her work in the medical field, she was also very involved in social reform movements such as "women’s rights, family planning, hygiene, eugenics, medical education, sexual purity and Christian socialism."

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret

The Gender and Women's Studies program hosted the Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret last Friday, January 16 to a packed, sold-out crowd. Below is an account from GWS student Kendall Connolly about the event and how the experience pushed her to think about larger gender issues in the community.

"On the 16th of January, Villanova University had the privilege of sharing their “catholic heritage” with Martha Graham Cracker. Her cabaret attracted a mixed audience of all genders and all ages of Villanovans to a tiny theatre in Gary Hall. Anxious to see the “guts and glamour of a Martha Graham Cracker Cabaret,” many audience members opted to stand for the duration of the two-hour show as not to miss it. Fortunately for those standing, the show lived up to its name. Not only was the cabaret highly entertaining and hysterical, but Martha Graham Cracker brought up issues that the audience was longing to hear about.
            Graham Cracker recalled an instance where she encountered the phrase “use thy freedom well.” She then demonstrated what this quote meant to her by telling the audience about the time her and her band visited Poland. In the middle of a crowded theatre and dressed head to toe in drag, Graham Cracker shouted “where my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters at?” She called this a “cultural boo boo” because no one in the room responded. Later, she found out that one man in the theatre had to leave because he could not reveal his true identity. She announced to the audience “use thy freedom well” because some people don’t have such freedoms. With this story, Graham Cracker demonstrated that gay men and women in America have certain freedoms that gay individuals in other cultures do not. The lesson was that members of LGBTQ are finally starting to earn the freedoms they rightfully deserve, and as such, must not take those freedoms lightly. Graham Cracker is a living example of not taking her freedoms for granted because she expressed herself and owns her identity while simultaneously informing others to do the same.
            With the story of her visit to Poland, Graham Cracker touched on a large topic currently facing LGBTQ individuals internationally. For homosexual individuals residing in Poland, there are many less freedoms and rights available to them. For example, there is no recognition of same-sex relationships with regards to family rights. As such, they are not permitted to be married or to adopt children. Even with the few laws that protected homosexual individuals, it is clear that there is still discrimination present. However, the question still remains: if Poland has limited rights for gay and lesbian people, and nonexistent rights for those of nonbinary genders, what does that mean for transculture? While many cultures are already resistant to excepting homosexual individuals into their culture, they are less so inclined to accepting transgender people. Clear, the transcommunity is lumped together with the homosexual community, however, they are very different and while people may accept same sex relationships, the idea of gender transformations is very alien to us. Poland and many other countries must now deal with the rights of the transcommunity.
            Based on the lack of transgender rights and small amount of gay-lesbian rights, I do not think it is an overstep to say that gay-lesbian rights acts as a stepping stone to transgender right. It appears that the transcommunity depends on the gay-lesbian community to make their dreams a reality. It is admirable that these two communities have combined together to change culture, however, this has led to an interdependence in their shared community. This is not a bad thing, but it is noteworthy that their community relies on one another regardless of how different their identities are."