Session 5

5A: Pyle TBA~Using Performance to Raise Awareness About Sex-Trafficking

Our Children in the Ring of Sex Trafficking

In the US, children and adolescents are at risk for Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking (DMST), formally known as ‘‘recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act’’ (TVPA, 2000) because of poverty, gender inequality, and high crime rates. Northwest Indiana (NWI) is a hotspot for human trafficking and statewide numbers are growing, but neither the state nor the region tracks data on child sex trafficking while public education and prevention/treatment resources are sparse. Rough “guesstimates” indicate a 50% increase in child trafficking cases in Indiana from 2012 to 2018. Ninety percent of trafficked minors are female and nearly 30% are 15 or younger, with 10% ages 12-14 (Zoeller, 2016). My project documents DMST in NWI and identifies the psychological impact of sex trafficking on child and adolescent victims. My presentation also reports Purdue University Northwest students’ responses to a performance art “teach-in” raising awareness about DMST that included dance, music, voice, and print and non-print visual media emphasizing that children are harvested from their own communities and, school students are unaccompanied are a greater risk for DMST.

  • Amari Boyd, Undergraduate Student, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Purdue Northwest University

Using theater to Identify Victims of Trafficking in Transit Situations

In this panel, students and instructor will present their work in the UW-Madison Global Health Field Course Human Trafficking and Human Rights Advocacy and Training in Morocco and Spain. This course follows UNESCO mission to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. With that mission in mind, this course uses methodologies that facilitate the construction of collective narratives and life stories without breaking the imposed silence in victims of trafficking. We use embodied language that recognizes experiences as fundamental, life stories from approaches of care and Forum Theater (Theater of the Oppressed) to identify human rights violations.

  • Araceli Alonso, PhD, UW-Madison
  • Nia Cayenne, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison
  • Megan Johnston, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison
  • Maura Keenan, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison
  • Isabelle Lombardi, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison
  • Rachel Sina, Undergraduate Student, UW-Madison

5B: Pyle TBA~Female Identity and the Arts of Reinvention

Ababil: A Poetry Analysis

My poem, “Ababil,” examines the intersections of gender, religion, and cultural production. It engages in a critique of systems of surveillance and policing of the body, but does so from a perspective that decolonizes Muslimness to examine its subversive potentiality in the Qur’anic text. “Ababil” engages in a critical cultural practice which seeks to emphasize Muslimness as a site for engagement with feminism and decolonial epistemologies. In doing so, it looks intersectionally at multiple sites of oppression, shedding light on the relationship between different forms of reproduction- cultural, social, and sexual.
Like the content, the formal elements of the poem engage in a conversation with structural oppression. They call into question the male-dominated hero narrative, the epic hero’s journey, to formulate a narrative of agency grounded in an embodied womanhood. The poem rewrites the narrative of Ababil, the Qur’anic revolt against structures of power that deny religious identification. The flight and plight of the bird represents the exploitation of women’s reproductive potentiality by systems of patriarchy, capitalism, and colonization. Ultimately, Ababil transforms into the Maryamic figure who finds self-actualization in an embodied reconceptualization of Muslim womanhood.

  • Ibtisam Abujad (She/Her/Hers), Graduate Student, English, Marquette University

Memory Sculpture, the Work of Doris Salcedo and the Case of Colombia

For Doris Salcedo, art is a way to be aware of the situation that surrounds us. “In a country like Colombia, life is constantly interrupted by acts of violence. There is a reality which is intrusive, that disrupts the way you wish to live. In other words, life imposes upon you this awareness of the other. Violence, horror, forces you to notice the Other, to see others’ suffering. When pain is extreme there is no way to avoid it” (Salcedo 13). (In Salcedo, Doris, Carlos Basualdo, Nancy Princenthal, and Andreas Huyssen. Doris Salcedo. London: Phaidon, 2000).

The UNHCR report for 2016 shows that Colombia is the country with the highest number of internally displaced persons in the world, with a number of 7.7 million. Some of these displaced are widowed women turned heads of families by violence. Displacement can last for years. The Colombian artist Doris Salcedo has dedicated part of her work to show this time of transit where identities are being rearranged and transformed. Her work Atrabilarios (1997), was called by the critic Andreas Huyssen a “Memory Sculpture” that manages to find the “expressionless moment” of which Walter Benjamin speaks, where what constitutes art connects and brings to memory the history of each displaced person. My paper will analyze these meeting points through the lens of psychoanalysis.

  • Beatriz L. Botero (She/Her/Hers), Professor, Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, UW-Madison

Immigration in Our Bodies

This presentation will focus on my personal journey as an undocumented immigrant woman who came to the U.S as a child. I will provide historical context on why people migrate from Latin America to the U.S., beginning with colonization, and how this connects to the current state of reality. Participants will also learn about the treacherous journey migrants must face, and the added layers of vulnerabilities that women, children, and LGBT folks often endure as well as the fears and trauma they must deal with back home, en-route, at detention centers, and even while living in the United States. The presentation will provide a deeper level of understanding of immigrants’ experiences and their resilience.

  • Erika Rosales (She/Her/Hers), Human Resources Coordinator/Social Justice Change Team Lead, WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research

Writing the Poetry of (Female) Identity, Foreignness and the Domestic Sphere of Motherhood (On Southern Cone Women Poets)

The plurality of female identity in an urban imaginary rendered as a gallery of “poseurs” and “outsiders,” a representation “steeped in tango, blues or the Latin American vanguardistas”(Hakimi), is a central thought in Alicia Borinsky’s My Husband’s Woman (2016). In Luisa Futoransky’s poetry (Seqüana Barrossa, 2007), the female voice is translated into a river of languages of the nomadic woman: a verbal flow that confronts the “non-transferrable humiliations encountered in the language of others” (Roffé), exacerbating also the experience of exile and foreignness. Silvia Goldman’s lyrical thought (De los peces la sed, 2018) turns the language of motherhood and maternity into a multiple linguistic registers, combining irony and dark humor with everyday language, the ludic language of infancy, surrealist imagery or classical mythology to establish a domestic sphere from where to speak about identity, otherness, absence, death, and love. This presentation will consider the ways these poets render the voices and experiences of contemporary women visible through their poetry while also delineating a landscape of multiple cultural identities, of up-rootedness and homelessness, but also self-invention and reinvention.

  • Sarli E. Mercado, Professor, Spanish and Portuguese, UW-Madison

5C: Pyle TBA~Institutional Comparisons of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiatives

Microagressions Hurt You and Me

Within this roundtable discussion, we will provide participants with a definition of microaggressions from the UW Platteville Doyle Center Ally Training Program, along with some examples. We will encourage participants to share microaggressions that they have experienced first or second hand, and appropriate ways to address these comments when they hear them. The discussion will also focus on the domino effect that these microaggressions might cause to the recipient and to society, in general.

  • Julie Phillips (She/Her/Hers), Associate Professor, Teacher Education, University of Dubuque
  • Rea Kirk (She/Her/Hers), Professor, UW-Platteville

Real Eau-topias: The Culture of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

What is the role of social science in social justice activism? The Real Eau-topias Project adapts Erik Olin Wright’s “real utopias” framework to an ongoing collaborative research project on the lived experience of the moral values of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the college campus context. Undergraduate researchers conducted focus group interviews with students to measure their lived experiences and cultural meanings: they ask what “equity,” “diversity,” and “inclusivity” mean to them, and they ask about the positive experiences they have had on campus to learn what students’ ideal higher education experiences would be like. By putting the discussion of EDI in the context of both criticism and positive experiences, we gain insight into the group’s shared cultural ideals and what sorts of practical changes or reforms could be made on campus. In this presentation, three student researchers provide brief overviews of their results that focus on the topics of safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ students, the way education and privilege impact student perception and consumption of the arts, and mental health on campus.

  • Ellen Mahaffy (She/Her/Hers), Associate Professor, Communication & Journalism, UW-Eau Claire
  • Peter Hart-Brinson (He/Him/His), Professor, UW-Eau Claire
  • Grace Huftel (She/Her/Hers), Undergraduate Student, UW-Eau Claire
  • Anna Accolla (She/Her/Hers), Undergraduate Student, UW-Eau Claire
  • Clara Neupert (She/Her/Hers), Undergraduate Student, UW-Eau Claire

5D: Pyle TBA~Challenging Approaches to Sexual Assault in Institutional Spaces

Sexual Abuse in Collegiate Athletics: Hegemonic Masculinity and Institutional Failures

The #MeToo movement has brought unprecedented attention to sexual victimization in a variety of institutions, including sport. Specifically, we look at the impact of hegemonic masculinity and an accommodating organizational culture on college campuses. The case studies of Penn State University and Michigan State University provide vivid illustrations of how the campus climate protected and abetted both Jerry Sandusky and Larry Nassar in their abuse of children and adolescents. If athletic departments are allowed to operate in relative isolation to the larger academic mission of the campus, then cases of sexual abuse are likely to continue. In addition, the federal government is failing in its compliance roles by not reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes important extensions and modifications of the Clery Act, and considering substantial changes to how Title IX adjudicates sexual assault allegations. While the #MeToo movement has the potential to galvanize funding for sexual abuse prevention, its success depends on transforming institutional cultures.

  • Pamela J. Forman, Professor, Sociology, UW-Eau Claire

This paper is authored by Pamela J. Forman, Anne M. Nurse, and Amelia D. Montie

Clery Timely Warning Notices as a Sexual Assault Prevention Tool

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in five female students experienced attempted or completed sexual assault by her fourth year of college. The Clery Act was created to provide further transparency around campus safety, including sexual assault. While all universities are mandated to follow the Act, the legislation does not provide guidance on what language universities should employ, how much leeway an institution has in determining if a sexual assault represents an immediate public safety threat, or recommended best practices for timely warning notices. The need for guidance is evident. Victim blaming, racial/ethnic stereotypes and LGBTQ+ inclusivity can all be implied through the nature of recommendations that colleges offer. Language matters, especially when timely warnings are one of the few forms of urgent communication a university sends to everyone affiliated with their institution. We provide recommendations for next steps in utilizing timely warnings as a sexual assault prevention tool.

  • Sandra Sulzer (She/Her/Hers), Assistant Professor, Kinesiology & Health Science, Utah State University
  • Shantoia Jones, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Tia Smith, Xavier University of Louisiana
  • Amanda DeRito, Utah State University
  • Joanna Kimmitt, California State University-Dominguez Hills
  • Maya Miyairi, Utah State University

5E: Pyle TBA~Interrupting Ableism Across Space and Ways of Being

Femininity in Extremis: Performativity, Youth, and Ability in The Hamilton Complex

At the 2015 “On the Edge: ASSITEJ Artistic Gathering” in Birmingham, UK, Theatre for Youth scholars and practitioners alike were thrown into a heated debate over the ethics of The Hamilton Complex, a show devised in Belgium under the direction of Lies Pauwels and showcasing vignettes on gender performativity, sexuality, and societal pressure as performed and (potentially) conceived by thirteen thirteen-year-olds and one adult male body builder. The piece, which explored how the age of thirteen can be perceived in a myriad of ways, also directly confronted the idea of the male gaze as it permeates society. While, as a whole, the piece was controversial in its choice to have young female bodies directly encountering sexualization and invitations for the adult gaze, it also invited an intriguing intervention through the inclusion of the female actress designated as “Queen” – a young woman whose physical and cognitive abilities led to an even deeper conversation around the duties and responsibilities of theatre-makers working with differently-abled young people. In this paper, I will argue that this piece was both revolutionary and necessary in the development of TYA and its understanding of young adulthood in all its forms.

  • Claire Mason (She/Her/Hers), Faculty Associate, Department of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, UW-Madison

Plus Size, Where? : Cultural Analysis of the Perceptions of Plus Size Women in the Lens of Media, Fashion, and Identity

This presentation examines Plus Size women’s sense of self in relation to fashion and beauty industry marketing campaigns that feature Plus Size women in “body-positive” images. Although this strategy was praised as progressive and inclusive when it was new, its purpose is to generate profits rather than assert that all sizes matter.
My research shows that such contradictions between Plus Size women’s experiences and seemingly “body-positive” representations in ads negatively promote self-image, for example, Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. Responses to a Qualtrics survey of 20 diverse, randomly selected Plus Size women in Northwest Indiana (NWI) and subsequent in-depth interviews with 5 respondents reveal that NWI Plus Size women are not empowered by “body positive” advertising because it does not reflect their realities. This validates the claims of Fat Studies scholars Bellafonte (2010), Bishop, Gruys, and Evans (2018) and Peters (2014). One way to reduce bias against Plus Size women and empower them is to establish Fat Studies in universities where it does not already exist and to integrate Fat Studies content into courses of Economics, Media Studies, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS), and similar disciplines.

  • Julia Cook-Jones, Graduate Student, Purdue University Northwest- Office of Student Life, Purdue University Northwest

Reconstructing Trauma through Storytelling and Mathematics

My sophomore year at UW-Madison I worked on an independent study where I incorporated my personal experiences as a formerly homeless, disabled survivor of sexual violence into my love for mathematics. I researched trauma theory, disability theory, and mathematical theory and found parallels between the symbolic, spatial language of mathematics and the indirect, nonverbal ways that people talked about trauma. The project that emerged from this research has two components; in an analytical essay, I share how the nonverbal, symbolic language of mathematics has helped me reinstate value into traumatic experiences where my bodymind was defined as valueless. I will discuss how using mathematics to expand the definition of trauma is an activist tool when ableist discourse thrives in reducing bodies to statistics, quantities, and one-dimensional categories. I will also share how I took this research into trauma and mathematics into my own creative practice to write an autoethnographic story about my experiences as a disabled runaway in the form of a math textbook. This textbook deconstructs the way mathematics has historically been used to reduce bodies by instead using mathematics as a tool to expand narrative possibility.

  • Rachel Litchman (She/Her/Hers), Gender and Women’s Studies, Sociology, UW-Madison and Disability Pride Madison

Corporeal Stories: Trauma, Resilience, & Love

While projects of resistance to androcentric, white, ableist notions of the “flawless” and “complete” body are important and necessary, remaining an under examined area of feminist studies, we propose a workshop around cultural and individual praxis that engages curiosity and sense of discovery around human capacities for resilience and self love. This workshop will present a student-teacher collaboration around a creative-activist research project, focusing on the stories of fragmented/distorted/rejected/ abject body parts that have survived social stigma through an emergent body positivity focused on love and self-care.

  • Mitra Emad, Professor, Anthropology, Sociology, Criminology, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Azrin Awal, Undergraduate Student, University of Minnesota-Duluth
  • Jade Moorse, Undergraduate Student, University of Minnesota-Duluth

5F: Pyle TBD~Subversive Stitch: Feminist Uses of Art as Activism

Vantage Point

Encompassing over 425 square feet (111” x 46”), Vantage Point is a completely hand-stitched modular installation that uses found embroidery as well as my own. Its materials and construction evoke discussion of the value of women’s domestic labor and the capacity of an artist’s hand. Its size and content drive it out of the home and into the world of contemporary art and political discourse.

A first glance will see an idealized landscape with blue sky, green grass, and puffy white clouds. Closer inspection will reveal a myriad of manmade and natural disasters in locations across the globe. Terms picked up from news stories and research are a ticker above and below informing the scenes. The world I made is still beautiful, but the impact of human consumption and waste is everywhere.

I propose an installation of the work and a corresponding 30-minute PowerPoint that connects the art to current and historical environmental issues. A catalog and glossary of terms accompanies the exhibit. This piece is not a polemic, it is the subversive stitch. In this traditional “women’s work”, the seemingly innocuous medium of fabric and stitching sets the stage for much deeper exploration of environmental issues and social ills.

This talk will conclude with an exhibit walk of Vantage Point in the Pyle Center’s Lee Lounge.

  • Maggy Rozycki Hiltner (She/Her/Hers), Artist, Vantage Point

Unverifiable, Considering Potential Animism in Textiles, and its Power in Art

How are contemporary textiles arts being used to evoke and embody history, both collective and personal? In what ways does society currently address the idea that clothing and textiles may harbor essence, force, spirit, or animism, transmitted from the source material, by the hands of the maker(s), or through the body of the wearer? In what ways does this concept enter into popular culture? And why should we care?

Through this presentation of my masters thesis, I will show how contemporary artists, myself and others, are utilizing second hand materials to access history, comment on political issues and create visceral connections with the past.

  • Emily Popp (She/Her/Hers), Master of Fine Arts, 2019 Graduate of the School of Human Ecology Textiles and Fashion, UW-Madison

5G: Pyle TBA~ Women Directly Impacted by Incarceration Organizing for Housing Systems Change

Although women’s rates of incarceration have been growing at twice the rate of men’s for the last 40 years, women’s voices are often excluded from policymaking. The FREE campaign develops the leadership and promotes the expertise of women directly impacted by mass incarceration and excessive supervision. We engage power-holders to address the harm done by our broken justice system, to heal communities, and to promote sensible and equitable policies. FREE is led by women members of Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO), created by and for people who have lived experience with the justice system. Over the last year and a half, FREE has built a network of leaders from around the state, and has begun to develop an agenda for change anchored in a key challenges: safe housing that provides a base for economic stability and community and family reunification. In this conversation, members of the FREE campaign and their allies will describe the process of developing this issue-based agenda, as well as the strategies and self-reflection used to develop and stay accountable to feminist and trauma-informed organizing practice. Audience members will be invited to join the discussion and reflect on related issues in their own work.

  • Molly Clark-Barol, (She/Her/Hers), Human Ecology and Sociology, UW-Madison

5H: Pyle TBA~Feminist Theorizations and Performances of the Arts

Eat, Dance, Write: Arts, Activism, Research, and the Self

Giovanna Urbino argues that food consumption is a cultural ritual in which class, ethnic, and gender conventions intersect down to the nitty gritty details of who cooks the meal, who serves it, and the order in which the diners are served and eat. Thus, the symbiotic relationship between ingredients and emotion plays a prominent role in subject constitution.

Colette Morrow asserts that performed dance catalyzes an embodied form of empathy among spectators that make it a powerful tool for countering prejudice and fostering social justice. With this in mind, the discussion addresses competing choreographic trends in dance activism today, particularly the tension between approaches that document oppression and celebrate oppressed populations.

Lonzhane A. Coleman’s auto-narrative both employs and critiques literary and feminist theory as a powerful yet limited research tool. It underscores the ways in which theory offers a framework for knowing the world and ourselves that constrains and liberates one’s sense of self.

  • Colette Morrow, Associate Professor, English, Communications, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Purdue University Northwest
  • Giovanna Urbina, Undergraduate Student, Secondary English Teaching, President of PNW Feminist Club, Purdue University Northwest
  • Lonzhane A. Coleman, Co-Chair, Purdue Intersectional Feminist Alliance, Purdue University Northwest

Redstockings for a Blue Broad: Monica Lewinsky in the #MeToo Era

In this mixed media performance, Saunders and Finley explore the shift from Monica Lewinsky being lambasted to lauded. Text and sound elements will touch on media coverage, popular culture, feminist pedagogy, and the #MeToo movement, and the infamous blue dress will take center stage. The artists have collaborated previously, addressing subject matter ranging from Pussy Riot to Yoko Ono, with the latter being a live drawing performance at a conference at Sarah Lawrence College. Artists’ websites can be seen at and

  • Heather Saunders, Director of Ingalls Library & Sessional Instructor, Drawing and Painting, The Cleveland Museum of Art & OCAD University.
  • Erin Finley, OCAD University.

5I: 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.

5J: Socially Engaged Learning in the Intro to WGS Course

Drawing from their forthcoming book, Socially Engaged Classrooms: A Guide to

Teaching Introductory Women’s and Gender Studies (Palgrave-McMillan 2020), the co-presenters share four key insights about aids and barriers to student learning derived from their collaborative SoTL study of student learning in intro to WAGS courses. The presenters will use the four key insights as a heuristic, inviting participants to examine their own pedagogical and curricular approaches in the introductory WAGS course. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to reflect on and discuss with others the implications for curriculum, instructional approaches, and assessment practices in ways that build from the threshold concepts in Women’s and Gender Studies and the four themes from Socially Engaged Classrooms. The goal will be for participants to identify how these dispositional, content, and process knowledges can be cultivated in their own classrooms.

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