WGSC Member and UW-Stout WGSS Professor Rickie-Ann Legleigner Publishes New Book

Rickie Ann Legleitner headshot

Rickie Ann Legleitner headshotRickie-Ann Legleitner, WGSC member and UW-Stout Professor in the English department, advis0r to the Women and Gender Sexuality Studies program, and inclusive excellence action plan coordinator, published a new book called, “Women Writing the American Artist in Novels of Development from 1850-1932: The Artist Embodied.”

From 1850-1932, American women artists found their bodies and desires narrowly defined by cultural, social, and legal patriarchal systems. Women were typically depicted as “abnormal” for harboring desires that lay outside of motherhood, yet female coming-of-age stories complicate this rhetoric by revealing how the roles of wife and mother are themselves “abnormal” in their self-sacrificial demands. The Artist Embodied: The Development of Women Artists in American Literature from 1850-1940 contends that in the female Künstlerromane, or artist novels, the protagonist’s body demands an outlet to articulate desires that defy restricting patriarchal rhetoric. This demand becomes an artistic drive to express an embodied knowledge in a new language of artistic invention that establishes the female body as generative beyond corporeal reproduction.This book explores the development of the female artist in American literature by women writers, including the work of E.D.E.N Southworth, Elizabeth Stuart Phelps, Kate Chopin, Willa Cather, Jessie Fauset, and Zelda Fitzgerald. Each of these authors depicts the coming-of-age of women artists to assert the legitimacy of their art, pushing back against the erroneous notion that women are, at best, talented hobbyists, and, at worst, a scribbling mob drawing attention away from more substantial works by critically acclaimed male authors.

WGSC Member and UWGB Professor Jessica Van Slooten Received Faculty of the Year Award

Jessica Van Slooten with Faculty of the Year AwardMay 2021

Jessica Van Slooten with Faculty of the Year AwardMay 2021UW System Wisconsin and Gender Studies Consortium Member and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Manitowoc Professor of Women’s & Gender Studies Jessica Van Slooten received the 2021 Faculty of the Year Award from the UWGB-Manitowoc campus. 

Professor Van Slooten has been a long-standing leader in the WGSC and previously participated in many critical efforts to grow Women’s and Gender Studies within UW Colleges.  She is passionate about her work, cares deeply about pedagogy, and is a generous colleague and thoughtful scholar.

Congratulations, Professor Van Slooten, on this exciting accomplishment!

WGSC Member and UW-Stout WGSS Professor Writes About Facilitating Classroom Discussions in Recently Published Book Chapter

Rickie-Ann Legleitner holding book titled “Civil Liberties in Real Life: Seven Studies"

Rickie-Ann LegleitnerRickie-Ann Legleitner, WGSC member and UW-Stout Professor in the English department, adviser to the Women and Gender Sexuality Studies program, and inclusive excellence action plan coordinator, wrote a chapter called “Facilitating Difficult Discussions: Politics and Free Speech in the Classroom” in a book published last year.

In the book titled “Civil Liberties in Real Life: Seven Studies,” Professor Legleitner “offers a series of guidelines for keeping students engaged, open-minded and motivated even when subjects could be divisive or uncomfortable and emotionally charged.” She collaborates with students to come up with a list of guidelines to guide their classroom discussions, which students can refer to as they move through the semester.

Students are encouraged to listen to each other, rather than concentrate on what they want to say next and open themselves to learning from each other. There is also an emphasis on fact and lived experiences as well, Legleitner said. “In a classroom, if you are going to have a productive conversation, you have to listen. If you go in screaming you will not change people’s opinions, only their opinion of you.”

Read more in this piece by UW-Stout.

Caregiving Task Force Member and UW-La Crosse Graduate Featured in La Crosse Tribune

Melissa Baca
Melissa Baca with daughters, left to right, Sydnee Touche, 18, Keelee Baca, 13, and Carlee Baca, 17
Melissa Baca with her 3 daughters. L to R: Sydnee Touche, 18, Keelee Baca, 13, and Carlee Baca, 17

Melissa Baca, Caregiving Task Force member and UW-La Crosse graduate was featured in the La Crosse Tribune on December 19, 2020, in a piece called “Single mom graduating from UW-L this weekend hopes to create a ripple from the support she received.”

Baca completed her degree in the UW-L Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department while also also “raising her three teenage daughters, working as a caregiver, moonlighting as an advocacy journalist and caring for her oldest daughter, who suffers from Type 1 diabetes.”

“Having her daughters see her getting her degree is monumental to Baca, and she knows the impact it will have, saying she’s been reading studies about how children whose mothers received higher education are more likely to go to college themselves.”

Read the full piece here.

Caregiving Task Force Member Co-Authored Article About Gender Equity Amidst the Pandemic

Kristyn Masters
Kristyn Masters
Dr. Kristyn Masters

Caregiving Task Force member and UW-Madison Biomedical Engineering faculty member Dr. Kristyn Masters has co-authored an article in PLOS Computational Biology, Ten simple rules for women principal investigators during a pandemic.”

Noting the evaporation of childcare options during the pandemic, which disproportionately increases the workload for large numbers of women, as well as the higher teaching and service loads that women Principle Investigators (PIs) carry, the authors provide a list of 10 suggestions for women PIs and for university leadership.

The authors credit the Caregiving Task Force for contributing to the “suggestions to university leadership regarding institutional policies that can better support women PIs—now and in the future.”

Read the full article here.

More information about the Caregiving Task Force can be found here.

WGSC Director Featured in Badger Herald Article

An individual holding a child's hand walking up Henry Mall on the UW-Madison campus
Photo Credit: Riley Steinbrenner of The Badger Herald

WGSC Director and Caregiving Task Force Co-Chair Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti was featured in a December 2020 article by The Badger Herald, “Women Face Additional Challenges Balancing Work, Home Life Amid Pandemic.”

“I think that there are a lot of ingrained gender roles that are still embedded in the distribution of household labor…I definitely think the number one thing is as much flexibility as possible in [work]places where people who are providing caregiving at home are also working full time.”

–Dr. Stephanie Rytilahti, Caregiving Task Force Co-Chair

Read more about the Caregiving Task Force, including resources and recommendations, here.

Dong Isbister of UW-Platteville WGS Published an Anthology

Dong Isbister headshot
Dong Isbister's book cover
Cover Image of “Chinese Women Writers on the Environment: A Multi-Ethnic Anthology of Fiction and Nonfiction”

Dr. Dong Isbister, Professor and Program Coordinator of WGS at UW-Platteville, has published an anthology, “Chinese Women Writers on the Environment: A Multi-Ethnic Anthology of Fiction and Nonfiction.”

This book’s genesis began in 2014 at a conference in Wisconsin entitled, “Gendered Planet: Ethics, Ecology, and Equity.” At the conference, Professor Isbister delivered a presentation on Sana’s story, “Dalema’s Sacred Tree.” After her presentation, she was asked by a member of the audience when she was going to translate the story.

Professor Isbister held a variety of roles in bringing this project to fruition over the past 5+ years. She managed the project, including communications with the publisher, China Writers Association, the writers, and the translators throughout the whole process. In addition, her roles also included editing and translating; she translated two pieces and co-translated four pieces for the anthology.

Dong Isbister headshot
Professor Dong Isbister

One recognition of the anthology is a translation grant awarded by Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.  The anthology also won multiple university grants or LAE Dean’s Funds at UW-Platteville (2014-2019).

Congratulations, Professor Isbister, on this incredible accomplishment!

Below is an excerpt from the anthology’s introduction:

This edited collection of twenty-two pieces of ecologically oriented writing by contemporary female authors from thirteen different Chinese ethnic minorities were translated from the original Chinese into English (with two exceptions) by a host of translators under the direction of the three editors. The anthology is an expression of a hope that through translation into English we might expand the horizons of global literary study, ethnic literary study, environmental study, and the study of women writers. The voices found in this volume represent a range of ethnic groups that constitute smaller slices of the Chinese demographic puzzle: Daur, Evenki, Hui, Kazakh, Manchu, Mongolian, She, Tujia, Uyghur, Va, Xibo, Yi, and Zhuang.

Much has been written about the economic development of China since the 1970s, and this collection seeks to give a global voice to another kind of development: the rich and unprecedented flourishing of several generations of women writers in China. As a whole, these authors articulate subjects that reach deep into history and time yet also speak to the present—the changing demographics and social conditions that this economic and social development has set into motion.


Caregiving Task Force’s Recommendations Mentioned in Inside Higher Ed

The Caregiving Task Force was highlighted in a piece called “Babar in the Room,” published in Inside Higher Ed in August 2020.

The Inside Higher Ed piece lists the Caregiving Recommendations created in June 2020 by the Caregiving Task Force.

Faculty parents are once again being asked to perform a miracle: Get their students and their own kids through the semester in one piece. Does it have to be this way?

Read the full article here.

WGSC Published a Ms. Article: “COVID-19, Disaster Capitalism and the Crisis in Women’s and Gender Studies”

UW Oshkosh WGS-Tammy Ladwig

The WGSC Published a Ms. Magazine article titled, “COVID-19, Disaster Capitalism and the Crisis in Women’s and Gender Studies.

This piece contextualizes some of the trends happening in GWS and higher education within Wisconsin in a larger national and historical context.

UW Oshkosh WGS-Tammy Ladwig
A scene from a 2018 Women’s and Gender Studies class as Tammy Ladwig teaches at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. (University of Wisconsin Oshkosh / Flickr)

“For those at the intersections of multiple identities, the current moment only enhances the oppressive forces of Western society—from the impoverished mother of color navigating job loss and daily fear for her children’s safety, to the trans student forced to return to an unsafe home—the current health and racial crises have exacerbated these harms.

Given this landscape, it’s easy to overlook the calamity also taking place in higher education or even its relevance to these other pressing matters. Yet, access to higher education and the programs that teach people how to articulate the relationship between racial justice, queer organizing, labor activism, feminism(s) and other movements for equality are crucially important at this moment.”