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Grant Spotlight: Women & Gender Studies Conference at GMU

December 17, 2018 / Catherine Nicholas / Spotlight - Grants

Dr. Christine Anderson was kind enough to write up the following report from the Women & Gender Studies Conference at GMU for us.  A grant from the Foundation covered the cost of bus transportation for all students attending.

“I just wanted to let you know how well our students performed at the Women & Gender Studies Conference at George Mason University on November 16, 2018. The theme of the conference was the “ Politics of Gender & Justice: The Intersection of Identity & Discipline.”

 I took 19 students total from my dual enrollment “Gender, Politics, and Consumerism in a Global Context” classes. 11 of these were former students (took the course last year as juniors) who presented at this conference. The remaining 8 students are currently in my GPC class and attended the conference.

The first panel of MLWGS student presentations was: Is Feminism Possible in a Global Capitalist Context? made up of Katelynn Bortz, Oliver Fisk, Molly Goodman, Samra Kanwal, Abigail Walters. First, Katy, Abbey, and Molly presented “Is it Worth It? Intention vs. Reality of Commodity Feminism” and argued that the intentions of those who wear the feminist goods (t-shirts, stickers, buttons, etc.) is to promote justice for the female sex, yet the idea of selling these objects for a price in a capitalist marketplace contradicts the idea of inclusion. Then, Oliver and Samra presented “Is Feminism Possible Under Capitalism” explored the paradoxical nature of companies’ management of production in both the East and the West, and asserted  that the production of goods discussed by the first presentation by companies such as Nike and Dove are inherently antifeminist, placing women in dangerous and subservient roles.

The second panel of MLWGS student presentations was: What’s Poppin’: Representations of Intersectional Identity in Popular Culture made up of Josie Holland, Julia Park, Alicen Potts, Katy Rose Price, Emily Turner, Lauren Waller. First, Julia and Emily presented “Male Gaze or Female Gays? An ‘InQueery’ of the Heteronormative Representation of Lesbian Women on TV” and argued that queer women in television exist sporadically; when they are represented, they are often portrayed with a heteronormative lens, or are quickly removed from the show. Secondly, Lauren and Josei presented “From the Bottom Up: A Look at the Intersections of Class, Gender, and Race in Hip-Hop” explored how the demographics of artists and audiences shifted due to consumer influences, and the role class consciousness played in music. They argued that the perception of an artist’s socioeconomic background is often instrumental to his or her success. Finally, Katy Rose and Alicen presented “Art and African American Culture” and explored how black male and female artists use their platforms to project socially empowering messages of black pride, and inform consumers of cultural appropriation.

Overall, it was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to mentor these students and experience their intellectual growth as budding scholars and feminists. They represented themselves individually, collectively, and institutionally  with excellence and honor. As long as I teach this course, I will continue to encourage students to attend and present at this annual conference and have already made some good contacts with scholars and the school. THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE FOUNDATION FOR FUNDING THIS UNIQUE EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE FOR OUR STUDENTS!”

The 2018-19 Annual Fund supports all of our enhancement grant programming.

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