April 11, 2015

The 2015 Women and Gender Research Conference

In April 2015, the University of South Dakota hosted the Biennial Women and Gender Research Conference. This year's theme was "Gender and Work: Exploring Intersectionality, Resistance, and Identity." Earlier this month, USD released an official press release about the conference, detailing its theme, keynote speakers, screenings, and more information about the featured scholarly activity. Keynote speakers included Teresa Córdova, Director of Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Illinois-Chicago, and Alice Kessler-Harris, R. Gordon Hoxie Professor of American History in Honor of Dwight D. Eisenhower at Columbia University and Distinguished Lecturer of the Organization of American Historians (OAH). Click on the bold text to view the full conference program.

At the conference, I presented within the session "Unsung Heroines and Fantasy Goddesses" with fellow presenters Kristina Popiel from the University of Minnesota who presented on the labor poetry of Diana García, and Janelle Thornton from the University of South Dakota who presented on the utilization of the modern goddess myth within The Hunger Games and CW's "The Arrow." Dr. Prentiss Clark, Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of South Dakota, moderated the panel.

My presentation, "The Intersection of L. T. Meade's Professional and Domestic Victorian Celebrity," discusses the author's public success as a prolific writer and editor, her private roles as a wife and mother, and the way in which interviewers reframed this dynamic in solely domestic terms. Though she authored over 250 novels in the course of her lifetime and served as editor of Atalanta magazine, interviews often dismissed the value, impact, and prolific nature of her work and instead focused on aspects of her home, its decor, and her duties as wife and mother.

At the conclusion of the conference, I received a student paper award for my presentation. I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the conference participants, in particular the conference coordinator, Dr. Miglena Sternadori.

Other conference highlights included the "Working Identity" art exhibit at the Washington Street Arts Center curated by Susan Heggestad, a Silent Witness Exhibit to support an end to domestic violence, and screenings of "Honor Diaries," "Miss Representation," and "The Cherokee Word for Water" (see the trailer posted below).

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