GSWS 40th Anniversary Conference

Friday, February 28, 2014 - 2:00pm

Houston Hall

Please note: this location is not ADA accessible.

Please SAVE THE DATE for our upcoming GSWS 40th Anniversary Conference! 

In the Spring of 1973 faculty, staff, students and community members staged a sit-in in College Hall in response to a series of rapes on campus and demanded that Penn improve the campus environment for women. This multi-day protest galvanized a series of transformations including the establishment of a women’s center, the appointment of the first victim support specialist, and the development of courses on women and gender.

Forty years on, Penn’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program and the Penn Women’s Center invite you to celebrate this landmark anniversary at a two-day conference featuring faculty and student panels on a range of topics, including the role of gender in art, literature, health care, the labor market, and religion. Join us in lively discussions as we reflect upon past achievements, present challenges, and opportunities for gender-based scholarship and activism. Conference highlights include panels of key members of the Penn community whose activism forty years ago set in motion a transformation in the position of women on campus, and a keynote lecture by author and founder of, Jessica Valenti.


Thursday, February 27

3:00pm- 4:30pm

Plenary Session

Negotiating Feminist Terms

Benjamin Franklin Room,  Houston Hall

Moderator: Christine Poggi, History of Art/ Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies

Joan DeJean, French: “Gender”

Toorjo Ghose, Social Policy and Practice: “Sex”

Ayako Kano, East Asian Languages and Civilizations: “Feminism”

Deborah Thomas, Anthropology /Africana Studies: “Postcolonial”

Andy Lamas, Urban Studies:  “Class”

Melanie Adley, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies: “Queer”

Jeanne Vaccaro, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies: “Transgender”

4:30pm- 6:00pm

Plenary Session


Activism Against Sexual Violence at Penn

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Moderators: Demie Kurz, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies and Litty Paxton, Penn Women’s Center

Gloria Gay, Former Associate Director, Penn Women’s Center

Jessica Mertz, Associate Director, Penn Women’s Center

Joann Mitchell, Vice President for Institutional Affairs, Former Director of Affirmative Action at Penn

Peggy Sanday, Emeritus Professor, Anthropology

Carol Tracy, Executive Director, Women’s Law Project, Former Director, Penn Women’s Center


6:00pm- 7:00pm

Reception & Light Dinner

Second Floor Lobby, Houston Hall


7:00pm- 8:30pm

Keynote Address


Jessica Valenti: “Purity, Sexism, and Activism”

Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

Friday, February 28                                                                                                            


 Visualizing Feminism

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: André Dombrowski, History of Art

Liliane Weissberg, German /Comparative Literature: “Moritz Daniel Oppenheim and the Invention of a Jewish Bourgeoisie”

Gwendolyn DuBois Shaw, History of Art: “Reviving May Howard Jackson”

Christine Poggi, History of Art/ Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies: “Masking Gender in Picasso’s Gosol Nudes”

Iggy Cortez, History of Art: “Recognition and Collaboration in Tacita Dean’s STILLNESS”

Jeanne Vaccaro, Gender, Sexuality & Women’s  Studies: "Waves, Weaving and a Barred ROOM: Transfeminism and an Architectonics of Coalition"


Histories of Nursing:

Reframing the Power in Women's Spaces

 Golkin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: Linda Maldonado, Nursing

Katharine Smith, Nursing: “‘I had it all my own way:’ College Women, Control and Nursing”

Kathleen Nishida, Nursing: “An American Model of Nursing in Japan (1920-1940): Imperialism or Opportunity?”

Amanda Mahoney, Nursing: “Not ‘Just Traditional Nursing:’ Nurses and the Socio-technical System of Medical Research, 1940-1965”

Briana Ralston, Nursing: “‘The specialized nursing care that such a unit demands...’: The Nursing Role in the Development of Neonatal Intensive Care Units Between 1955 and 1982”



Race, Gender, and Labor

Golkin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: Sambuddha (Tutun) Chauduri, Social Policy and Practice

Deborah Thomas (organizer), Anthropology/Africana Studies: “Race and the Social Organization of Affect: Jamaican Guestworkers in U.S. Hotels”

Chenoa Flippen, Sociology: “Intersectionality at Work: Determinants of Labor Supply Among Immigrant Latinas”

Tamara Walker, History: “Black Women, Port Cities, and Labor in Colonial Latin America”


Lightning Round Talks: Graduate Student Research

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Yoel Roth, Communication: “Queer in the Database”

Alexandra Sastre, Communication: "Tumblr’s Transethnic Imaginary”

Kevin Gotkin, Communication: “Cripping Computing”

Travis Lau, English: “Transcorporeality and Toxicity”

Clare Mullaney, English: “Threading Past and Future”

Matthew Goldmark, Spanish: “Queer Archives”

Elisa Modolo, Italian: “Symbolic Motherhood”

Mary Zaborskis, English: “Age Drag”

Sara Mourad, Communication: “Queer Visibility”

Jasmine Salters, Communication: "Personals are Political"

Sarah Abboud, Nursing: “Virginity in Arab American Women”



Plenary Lunch and Award Ceremony


Bodek Lounge, Houston Hall

Welcome: Anita Allen, Vice Provost for Faculty and Henry R Silverman Professor of Law 

1973: Celebrating Our Founders and Early Activism at Penn

Moderator: Michelle Fine, member of WEOUP, Women for Equal Employment Opportunity at the University of Pennsylvania

Helen Davies, Founding member, WEOUP

Phyllis Rackin, Founding member, WEOUP

Carroll Smith-Rosenberg, Founding member, Former Director, Penn Women’s Studies

Carol Tracy, Founding member, Former Director, Penn Women’s Center

Jacqueline Wade, Former Director, Penn Women’s Center


Race, Class, Gender, and Religion

Golkin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: Melissa Wilde, Sociology

Sabrina Danielsen, Sociology: “Religion, Race, Class and Gender in the Politics of Abortion before Roe v. Wade”

Katie Clonan-Roy and Charlotte Jacobs, Education: “Towards a Model of Positive Youth Development Specific to Minority Girls: Perspectives on Development, Resilience, and Empowerment”

Rachel Ellis, Sociology: “Incarceration an Intersectionality: Race/Class/Gender/Religion in a Women’s Prison”

Aliya Hamid Rao, Sociology: “The Gendered Costs of Conversion: The Case of Polygyny for Men and Women Converts to Islam”

Women in Literature

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: Didem Uca, German

Rita Barnard, English: "Writing Winnie Mandela"

Kathryn Hellerstein, German: “Brazen and Modest: Women and the Making of Modern Yiddish Literature”

David Wallace, English: “Life Writing”

Emily Gerstell, English: “All's [Not] Well: Vendible Virginity in Shakespeare's Problem Play” 

 Workshop for Students:

Challenges and New Directions in Recent Feminism

Griski Meeting Room, Houston Hall

Led by Heather Love, English, and Tamara Walker, History/Africana Studies


 Roundtable Session: New Directions in Disability and Feminism

Benjamin Franklin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator/ Panelist: Nancy Hirschmann, Political Science

Heather Love, English

Sharronna Pearl, Communication

Lance Wahlert, Medical Ethics & Health Policy

Mediated Gender and Sexuality

Golkin Room, Houston Hall

Moderator: Bridget Swanson, German

Simon Richter, German: “Comic Penetration: Ralf König and the Mainstreaming of Homosexuality in Germany”

Catriona MacLeod, German: “Gender and Monumentality in Girls in Uniform”

Stefania Benini, Italian: "Gendered Space and Subjectivity in Marina Spada's Cinema"

Charlotte Ickes, History of Art: “Blaxploitation’s Lateral Lines”


Champagne and Cake Reception

Second Floor Lounge, Houston Hall

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