Session 3

3A: Pyle TBA~Decolonizing the Classroom and Institutional Spaces of (Un)Belonging

Radical Intellectualism: Reflections of a Black Woman Professor Utilizing the Classroom as a Counter-Space for Theorizing, Intellectual Activism, and Participatory Democracy

This paper explores the intersections between Black feminist activism and pedagogy within the context of university classrooms. The pedagogical work that Black women intellectuals engage in is rarely apolitical because Black women’s identities, consciousness, and lives are rarely apolitical. The public performance of Black womanhood in conjunction with the role of public intellectual transgresses against social constraints and boundaries set by race, class and gender. In this paper, I draw from Patricia Hill Collins’ work (2012) on the role of the intellectual in public spaces to examine the ways in which Black women intellectuals not only occupy marginality both in and outside of the classroom, but also utilize marginality as tool for intellectual activism and the classroom as a site of resistance (hooks, 1989).

  • Amber Tucker, Assistant Professor, Sociology, Cardinal Stritch University
  • Michelle Gilgannon, Assistant Professor, Cardinal Stritch University

Decolonizing Pedagogies: A Project for Decentering Whiteness in Faculty and Staff Development

How do we create inclusive classroom spaces? What does equity look like at Primarily White Institutions (PWIs)? How does one enact institutional transformation so that underserved and underrepresented students, faculty, and staff all feel like they belong within PWIs? These are the questions that guide our thinking for the Beloit College’s Decolonizing Pedagogies Project. This Mellon funded project has taken a developmental approach to faculty and staff development by adopting a self-reflective community organizing model that focuses on institutional wide initiatives that attempt to decenter whiteness in the curricula, teaching, advising and mentoring, operations, and culture of an historically white college.

  • Catherine Orr, Professor, Critical Identity Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, Beloit College
  • Lisa Anderson Levy, Professor, Anthropology, Beloit College

3B: Pyle TBA~Lived Experiences and Modes of Being

Normalizing Piety Through Modesty: Fashion, Rituals, and Social Media in Indonesia

When I was younger, veiling was only common for those who had just returned from the hajj, the most sought after Islamic pillar. In this presentation I argue that women’s decisions to veil is largely voluntary but also shaped by social pressures that can be quite extreme, and accelerated by the fast pace of social media circulation in Indonesia. Women’s decisions to become more pious are influenced by the overwhelming Islamic nature of their environment which includes pronouncements by various Islamic cleric and social media influencers and the liminality of seminal religious rituals. Both Instagram and YouTube serves as platforms that allow ordinary people, celebrities and social media influencers to converse, compliment, promote one another, promote brands, make a career, and even attack the person they follow. My research examines the constant social media conversations in Indonesia that attract young women and influence their decision to wear veils. As social media becomes increasingly defined by a homogenizing messages reflecting specific Islamic values and performative practices, Indonesian women are increasingly influenced to perform piety in their dress and voluntarily conform to wearing the veil.

  • Imelda Djatirman, Graduate Student, Center for Southeast Asian Studies, UW-Madison

Women’s Transformation of Cross-Gender Relationships Through/In Digital Space

This study investigates American Muslim women’s use of digital spaces to democratize women’s courtship practices, cross-sex relations, and dating habits. These transformations are primarily reflections of their fluid and multiple identities strengthened by transnational environments and a highly globalized world. In these contexts, women’s socialization habits and spheres have already changed. In addition to education, religiously-oriented organizations, workplaces, and enlarged public spheres, digital space allows Muslim women to engage in further relaxed and democratized communication with the opposite sex. Utilizing community observations and narratives of fifteen second-generation Muslim women in Milwaukee, this study first explores how women’s social interactions and cross-sex relationships have created a social change, and then offers a conceptual framework for American Muslim women’s courtship habits.

  • Enaya Othman, Assistant Professor, Language, Literatures, and Cultures, Marquette University

Pedagogies of Resilience: Integrating Somatic Experience into Undergraduate Curriculum

As a cultural anthropologist currently conducting participant-observation fieldwork with Somatic Experiencing (SE) practitioners, I am developing new pedagogical approaches to undergraduate education around building student capacity towards stress-reduction and resilience. The majority of undergraduate students enter college having experienced some kind of significant trauma and/or taking prescribed mood altering or antidepressant pharmaceuticals. Using “soma toys,” phenomenological exercises in “lived experience,” and a somatic experience journal, along with regular orienting, body scan, and internal/external meditation exercises, my goal is to bring the body back into the classroom. I’d like to share what I tried and the learning outcomes demonstrated by students.

  • Mitra Emad, Associate Professor, Anthropology/Sociology/Criminology/Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies, University of Minnesota Duluth

Learning from Social Work: Using a Trauma Informed Lens in Criminal Justice

The presentation will explore the relationship between social work and criminal justice practice in serving individuals involved in the criminal justice system. We will examine how a trauma informed approach in criminal justice contributes to wellness, and promotes positive health and behavioral health outcomes.

  • Kate Kipp (She/Her/Hers), Assistant Professor, Sociology and Social Work, UW-Stevens Point
  • Dorothy De Boer, Professor and Criminal Justice Coordinator, Sociology, UW-Stevens Point

3C: Pyle TBA~Queer and Feminist Textual Analysis

Philmont’s Problematic Public Memory Performance

This presentation explores the art of living-history museums, specifically examining Philmont Scout Ranch’s production of a selective American West history that restricts input from females, people of color, non-religious persons, and LBGTQA+ individuals. Philmont—the Boy Scouts’ largest high-adventure basecamp—annually houses 1,000+ seasonal staff and hosts 20,000+ summer trekkers on 140,177 Rocky Mountain acres. Informed by public memory rhetorical scholarship, I conducted a case study of Philmont’s 35 backcountry-living-history camps, specifically examining camp profiles, which delineate names, eras, values, clothes, languages, props, genders, and activities that employees, acting as historical characters, must assume. Of 105 living-history positions, women are only eligible for 29 roles, and all but 3 character descriptions suggest hiring staff of European or Mexican descent. Philmont’s editing of memory material problematically portrays American-white-male self-determination, setter-colonialism, and industrial establishment as wholesome, while largely ignoring indigenous, prostitute, and other western inhabitant perspectives. Such living-history sites warrant critical examination.

  • Mary-Kathryn Keran (She/Her/Hers), Graduate Student, English Composition and Rhetoric, UW-Madison

Rachid O.’s Homosexual Awakening: The Allegorical Representation of the Blond-haired, Blue-eyed French Boy

In much literature dedicated to homosexual awakening, the subject physically traverses sexual, ethnic, and cultural boundaries in search of homosexual fulfillment. In most cases, homosexual fantasy motivates travel and postcolonial paradigms to directly influence power dynamics in the more or less developed relationships. However, not all travels need be tangible in order to facilitate homosexual awakening. This presentation explores Rachid O.’s narrative Chocolat chaud (1998), where the childhood allegory about the blond-haired, blue-eyed French boy shows how photography and television produce Rachid’s affective experience. Whereas Rachid’s intimate moments initially remain confined to the domestic sphere, seeing Noé’s photograph for the first time awakens his desire to touch the image; subsequently, he succeeds in possessing a copy of the blond boy’s image at home. I emphasize Rachid’s perception of the world: its relation to intimacy and the form it takes through embodiment, identities and imaginaries. Affect theory allows me to study how these means of transcultural communication become a source of homosexual fantasy, which awakens desire in the Moroccan boy to search for a partner with ethnic and racial differences.

  • Luis Navarro-Ayala (He/Him/His), Professor, Modern Languages and Literatures, St. Norbert College

The Stigma of Spinsterhood – A Historical Look at Challenging the Norm and Remaining Single

This paper is inspired by the letters of the Queen of the Belgians, Marie Louise, after her political marriage in the 19th century. Wishing her relationship with her husband was more like that with her brothers, she questions her decision and explores (too late) the idea of remaining unmarried. This paper will look at her reflections based on her reality, her wishes for her still unwed sister and the concept of a woman choosing a single life.

  • Mary Duarte, Professor, History, Cardinal Stritch University

BaddDDD Azz Sonia Sanchez

Sonia Sanchez is a poet associated with the Black Arts Movement (20th century) who communicated her political views through her texts. This presentation will focus on her radical innovations in poetry, such as using forms like haiku and tanka and giving public readings of her works that combined the rhythms of jazz and blues, illustrating her words in exaggerated movement. She also used incorrect spelling, dialect, and broken English to evoke representations of slaves and uneducated Blacks of the past, following Langston Hughes and Sterling Brown. While immersing her poetry in Black linguistic and musical conventions, Sanchez also went out of her way to reach the general reading public. For example, she used free verse without considering traditional meter or rhyme. Her poems’ content often centers on her political views, especially Blacks’ oppression by racism. In “A Poem for Some Women,” for instance, Sanchez holds nothing back when depicts poverty, critiques the lack of Black unity in the struggle for civil rights, and examines relationships between women and men in Black communities. Her poems demonstrate how art can foster empathy among diverse populations and inspire people to resist oppression.

  • Anansi Carmichael, Undergraduate Student, English Literature, Purdue University

3D: Pyle TBA~In and Beyond #MeToo

Women’s Sexual Liberation in the Age of #METOO

Sexual liberation is key to women’s liberation. This concept has been part of the women’s movement since its conception. However, the conversation on sexual liberation stalled during the 1980s and 1990s as the topic was riddled with controversy and disagreement. Radical feminists argued that only lesbianism could lead to true liberation from the patriarchal structures of sex and sexuality. Conservative feminists pushed against these ideas and argued for the more “traditional” roles for women within their intimate relationships. As a result, the topic of sex, sexuality, and sexual liberation as a key concepts in women’s liberation were marginalized. In the age of #metoo, are we limiting the conversation about women’s sexual liberation to the experiences of harassment and abuses women face? Can a woman be sexually liberated in a society where oppressive conditions such as harassment and abuses exist? This paper will examine how women’s sexual liberation is discussed within the Third Wave, how the current culture impacts sexual liberation, and will discuss how to build women’s agency in the continued pursuit of sexual liberation.

  • Danielle Geary (She/Her/Hers), Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Carthage College

Masculinity, Feminism, and Consent

This presentations draws upon a survey of 500 undergraduate students that revealed connections amongst consent, masculinity, and feminism. This research is connected to a rape myth study that asked students to provide various perceptions of their ideologies as related and contextualized through their social identities. Demographic statistics as well as inferential statistics help show how these variables are connected. Discussion will center around the university culture and what this all means for student values and sexual assault.

  • Jennifer Huck (She/Her/Hers), Professor, Criminal Justice, Carroll University

Unlearning Rape Culture: Sexual Violence Prevention After #MeToo

Using the Noddings and Brooks’ approach to teaching controversial issues, this paper argues that we have a responsibility to go beyond safety or standard prevention programming to engage youth in critical thinking about how they can become part of the solution working toward the end of rape culture. This presentation uses the findings of a comprehensive sexual violence prevention program to highlight the future of sexual violence prevention programs after the critical moment of #MeToo. As the conversation surrounding sexual violence shifts, so must our approaches in educating youth about sexual violence. Using three cycles of research in the context of sexual violence prevention, this presentation highlights future steps for sexual violence prevention for high school youth, including participatory approaches to sexual violence prevention education, critical education about rape culture, specific solutions for engaging communities and wider change, as well as interdisciplinary approaches within the classroom. This presentation will include student artwork and action projects to provide a model for anti-rape culture education.

  • Victoria Dickman-Burnett (She/Her/Hers), PhD Candidate, Educational and Community-Based Action Research, University of Cincinnati

Beyond Title IX Compliance: Investigating White Masculine Violence and Power at Santa Clara University

In this paper I argue that Santa Clara University does not effectively prevent campus sexual assault nor remedy its effects on student survivors. Thus, the university fails to provide an equal education based on gender. I locate this power structure in the greater history of SCU’s racist, sexist, and colonial oppressions. Using survivors’ stories from The Amplify Project, my own campus network and embodied experience, and data from the 2018 Campus Climate Study, I isolate practices at various levels of SCU’s response to campus sexual assault which perpetuate this institutional sexist violence.

  • Alanna McCauley, Undergraduate Student, Philosophy, Marquette University

3E: Pyle TBA~Building Disability in Pride Madison

Disability Pride Madison is a grassroots organization that has produced the Disability Pride Festival for the last eight years. This coming year’s festival will be in Tenney Park on August 1, 2020 and we will be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the ADA. Performances at the festival all include at least one performer with a disability. Board members from DPM will cover Disability Justice, local disability politics and advocacy, intersectional identities, the importance of having community, economics of survival for a small, low-income grassroots group, how we are building networks of performers, makers and activists with disabilities and how activists and academics can inspire each other’s work, what we have learned about organizing groups of people across abilities and our plans for the future.

  • Ti S Banks, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Rachel Litchman, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Jason Glozier, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Cecil Leigh Wilson (Ze/Hir), Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Jess Draws, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Kirsten Schultz, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Sashe Mishur, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison
  • Kate Moran, Board Member, Disability Pride Madison

3F: Pyle TBA~Indigenous Forms of Resistance and Reimagination

More Than Linguistic Mediation: De/Gendering Pronouns for Animals in Works Translated into English

To what extent should a translator of literary works mediate culturally relevant information when translating from a source language into a target language such as English? How do translation decisions simultaneously pose challenges of unintentional cultural appropriation and create opportunities for more effective intercultural connectedness? Using examples of ethnic minority women’s environmental writings in China, the presenter will discuss pros and cons when translating third-person singular pronouns for animals in multiple linguistic and cultural border spaces, where multi-ethnic groups in China and indigenous environmental activists and those advocating a new scale of animacy in the United States share similar but also different views of the human and the more-than human connectedness. For example, most ethnic groups in China use 它 (it) for animals, but some do not use any pronouns for animals. How does this complicate translation decisions? With the discussion, the presenter aims to weave an ethnolinguistic strand into the recent critical reflections of human connections with the more-than-human beings against “linguistic imperialism”(Kimmerer 2015) and of translation as “central to feminist praxis” (Collins 2017).

  • Dong Isbister, Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, UW-Platteville

Post-Standing Rock: Why does the Amazon Burning Matter? Environment, Violence, & Well-Being of Indigenous Worldviews —Native Indigenous Women & Children in “Las Americas”

While teaching a course on “Native Americans and the Environment” (Fall 2019) at UW-LaCrosse in the Department of Ethnic & Racial Studies, I started off the class asking students “Why does the Amazon burning matter in Indian Country today?” I was fresh off of my own trips from the Amazon over the summer (and past few years). I had just been in Peru and Chile this past year and was talking with Native Indigenous people and elders as the Amazon was burning. My presentation will address the following: How do the fires impact Native women and children? How do they effect the well-being of our spiritual, cultural, and traditional knowledge in LAS AMERICAS and in Indian Country today? Does it matter? Does it impact migration, language, culture, and violence for those at the ground level–at ground zero? As an Indigenous woman, the lecture will explore these questions POST-Standing Rock and my own journey as both community organizer, mother/grandmother, teacher (K-12), and college teacher. I will address environmental racism, environmental justice, and the FIRES that are being lite now all over LAS AMERICAS (Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Mexico, USA, Haiti). I include a consideration of Indigenous resistance and leadership and the direct impact on women and children.

  • Diana Elena Moran Thundercloud (She/Her/Hers), Graduate Student and Community Fellow, Educational Leadership “Social Innovation and Sustainability Leadership Program,”Edgewood College

Indigenous Women Confront Violence: Grassroots Efforts

This presentation explores the context in which Indigenous women of Canada and the U.S. have been working to record, find, investigate, and ultimately end the murder and disappearances of indigenous women and girls. The focus is on grassroots efforts and resources for instructors and allies.

  • Julie Tharp, Professor, English, UW-Stevens Point

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Within the Indigenous community, women are reported missing or murdered at extraordinarily high rates. Eighty-four percent of Indigenous women have experienced violence and 54% of Indigenous women have experienced sexual violence. One in three native women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Despite these alarming statistics, little investigation has occurred. This film is intended to start a conversation on this issue. Native students and staff were interviewed on the campus of UW Oshkosh and asked to share their insights on the growing epidemic and crisis of MMIW.

  • Morgan Mulroe (She/Her/Hers), Undergraduate Student, Anthropology, UW-Oshkosh
  • Heidi Nicholls, Professor (She/Her/Hers), Anthropology UW-Oshkosh

3G: Pyle TBA~Women and the Praxis of Wellbeing

When Everyone Designs

Merry-go-strong (MGS) is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with 4W and communities in Kenya, by supporting women and children to expand their craft, mind, and resources. This presentation will provide examples of how design thinking is being applied to help nurture sustainable grassroots development in Kenya by working with local women to collaboratively innovate solutions to locally defined challenges of social and economic well-being. The presentation will also show examples of how University of Wisconsin – Madison students have been working to improve the quality of these women’s lives for several years and have won Wisconsin Idea Fellowship awards for their work on solar powered light kits and water carrying vests. The students continue to contribute to the project through designing a maker space and working with the women to develop other income generating opportunities.

  • Lesley Sager, Faculty Associate and Director of the Design Thinking Initiative at SoHE, Design Studies
  • Rebecca Alcock (She/Her/Hers), Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering, UW-Madison

Improving Science Literacy for Women and Girls through a Handheld Microscope (foldscope) in Rural Kenya

We aimed to reduce the gap in STEM, increase interest in science, and improve the quality of science education in women and girls across 13 villages in rural Kenya, using a commercially available, affordable, and portable paper microscope (foldscope). Partnering with a local women-empowering NGO and adopting the “train the trainers” model, we engaged women community teachers and secondary-school girls in week-long science camps. We discussed topics like microbial disease and cell biology, through training them to make the foldscope, collect, process, and observe environmental samples, and conduct simple experiments. We also hosted foldscope-centered workshop for primary-school science teachers to facilitate the launch of after-school science club in their own schools. Lastly, we expanded our program to other members by visiting their community centers and introduced the foldscope and science and health topics. The program contributed to a new perspective and approach to achieve gender equality in STEM education and realize women and girls’ rights to science-related careers. Propagated by woman and youth leaders, the science training using foldscope will reach more women and girls in areas with limited resources. Lastly, we expanded our program to other members by visiting their community centers and introduced the foldscope, along with related science and health topics.

  • Mengyao Niu, Graduate Student, Medical Microbiology and Immunology, UW-Madison

“We are just animals to them”: Migrant Domestic Workers, Victimization, and the Struggle for Justice

My broader research project describes how Singaporean migrant labor policy strategically maximizes the economic benefits of South and Southeast Asian migrant workers while minimizing the social, political, and economic costs borne by the state and its citizens. Despite comprising roughly 26% of the resident workforce, these low-wage foreign laborers are kept cheap, pliant, and precarious. Whereas extent research fixates on narrow permutations of gender + national origin + labor sector (e.g., male Thai construction workers, female Indonesian domestic workers), I use comparative methods to analyze how state-designated “male” and “female” migrant populations are forced into gendered employment configurations. Each deploys distinct forms of social boundary-making and control, including separate debt financing models, employment legislation, and labor dispute systems. Specifically, this talk draws upon a subset of the research: 8 months of casework at an NGO shelter for domestic workers, 60 in-depth interviews, and scores of case discussions. I describe the unique and extraordinary challenges faced by low-wage migrant women when they seek justice for victimization—including physical/sexual violence, wage theft, and forced labor.

  • Kurt Kuehne (He/Him/His), Graduate Student, Sociology, UW-Madison

Well-Being Pedagogy and Praxis in College Readiness Initiatives

With nearly 1000 college access/pipeline/readiness programs in the country, this presentation highlights a recent pilot study that examines and analyses how, and to what extent do college access/readiness programs conceptualize and use culturally relevant well-being praxis to prepare Black and Indigenous young women for higher education. Using a qualitative, phenomenological methodology and critical race theoretical framework, this study interviewed current and former staff of college access/readiness programs to uncover contemporary well-being pedagogy and praxis at the organizational level. Study findings, themes, and implications will be discussed and framed in a larger conversation around reconceptualizing the social and collective construction of well-being in educational spaces for minoritized college bound women attending Predominately White Institutions (PWIs).

  • Paris Wicker (She/Her/Hers), Graduate Student, Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis, UW-Madison

3H: Pyle TBA~Liberation and Leadership Through Revolutionary Art

Join us for a roundtable discussion from the performers of “Mirror Butterfly: The Migration Liberation Movement Suite” as they discuss their work within the context of a lifetime in activism and art around liberation via organizations where women’s leadership is paramount.

Charlotte Hill O’Neal aka Mama C, Nejma Nefertiti, and UW Spring 2020 Artist-in-Residence Gizelxanath Rodriguez will guide highlight themes of interdisciplinary, Indigenous rights, and ecological justice as part of an agenda for social change within the arts.

This panel includes a discussion of the “Contested Homes” performance given on Wednesday, April 15 at Mead Witter Foundation Concert Hall, other work, and the spring 2020 course with UW–Madison students titled “Artivism: Intercultural Solidarity and Decolonizing Performance.”

  • Charlotte Hill O’Neal, AKA Mama C
  • Nejma Nefertiti
  • Gizelxanath Rodriguez, UW Spring 2020 Artist in Residence.

3I: Pyle TBA~ Art-making and Self-Care with Upcycled Materials

During this hands-on, interactive workshop participants will be introduced to a variety of ways to engage in art-making for self-care with free or low cost materials. These art-making experiences can be utilized by anyone and almost anywhere. They are meant to instill a sense of relaxation, fun, and possibly open the door to a bit of self-discovery.

Accessiblity Note: Workshop is open to all abilities. If you need assistance due to hand dexterity or fine motor skills, please let the conference coordinators know so there can be an assistant in the room for you.

  • Gabrielle Javier-Cerulli holds a MA in expressive arts therapy, is the author of Art Journal Your Archetypes, and is the Program Coordinator/Artist of Dane Arts Mural Arts.

3J: Pyle TBA~ Using Threshold Concepts Across the WGS Curriculum

The presenters will demonstrate the utility of the threshold concepts framework in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies, briefly describing how they have incorporated it into their teaching of WGS courses, and how it has also shaped their approach to curriculum development and departmental assessment of student learning. Emphasis will be placed on the utility of this approach for small programs and departments that rely heavily on cross-listed courses and/or core courses taught by instructors whose primary training is in a field other than WGS. Participants will leave with ideas and strategies for using threshold concepts as a tool to start conversations about program-wide learning goals for students in WGS.

  • Holly Hassel, Professor, North Dakota State University, Department of English
  • Christie Launius, Professor, Kansas State University, Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department

3K: Pyle TBA: Queer(ing) Political Power: A Training in Civic Activism

This session will empower participants to build civic engagement and democratic learning programs on their campuses and in their communities. Aiming to decolonize political spaces, this training responds to the critical need for marginalized voices in grassroots political movements and reframes the fight for political power through participatory action and collaboration.
Problematizing the hegemony of contemporary US voters, our training addresses the key reasons students do not vote: lack of access to reliable information and lack of confidence in the electoral process. Through the development of unique action plans, this session will prepare attendees to expand the power of political agency to the diverse communities that make up their campuses, including nonvoting civic agents.

  • Carmen Linero Lopez (She/Her/Hers), National Campus Organizer