Gender Conference Schedule

When Apr 18, 2012 07:00 PM to
Apr 20, 2012 07:30 PM
Where Smith Chapel and other locations
Contact Name Sarah Whitney
Contact Phone 814-898-6158
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Penn State Behrend’s

Fifth Annual Gender Conference

April 18-20, 2012

Smith Chapel (and other locations)

Wednesday, April 18 ~ Featured Speaker

7:00 p.m. - “Menstrual Cycles, Hormones, and Mate Preferences: Thoughts on Human Evolution”
Dr. Wendy Wood, University of Southern California
Reed Hall #117

Do women judge men differently, depending on the time of month? According to popular evolutionary psychology theories, women’s hormones influence their mate preferences. But findings from a recent meta-analytic review challenge these theories. Instead, research supports an alternative evolutionary model, in which people evolved to be intensive social learners. In evidence of social learning, women’s menstrual cycles and their mate preferences shift flexibly across societies, depending on the roles that women have learned to perform.

Dr. Wood is current Provost Professor of Psychology and Business at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the faculty at USC she served as Co-Director of the Social Science Institute at Duke University, and as a distinguished faculty member and Associate Vice President of Research at Texas A&M University. Her research addresses evolutionary models of gender differences in human behavior. Sponsored by the Psychological Science & Human Behavior Colloquium Series.

Thursday, April 19

8:30–9:45 a.m.: Meet & Greet & Eat with Dr. Wendy Wood
Smith Chapel Living Room (Downstairs)

Faculty and students are invited to a special, informal opportunity to meet Dr. Wood and to ask her questions. Breakfast foods will be available. Dr. Wood specializes in studying gendered behavior. Gendered behavior, she argues, is best understood as a product of social roles within a society. Among Dr. Wood’s research topics are the studies of sex differences in mate preferences, behavioral styles in groups, experiences of emotion, and group performances.

9:30–10:45 a.m.: “Inequity and Survival” - Student Voices
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Moderator: Dr. Rachel Adams Goertel

• “Morning Coffee – A Short Piece” – Kelli Goellner
• “Art is Therapy: Domestic Violence and the Healing Power of Art” - Kristen Bessetti
• “How Do You See It? Actions in the Workplace” - Jamie Songer, Renee Fanning, Amir Wirr
• “Gender Education Inequality in Africa” – Cynthia Dunn
• “Seduction and Dominance as Portrayed Within the Media” Elisa Kownacki & Megan Sipos (interactive poster)

11:00 a.m.–12:20 p.m.: Safe Zone Training with special student panel
Smith Chapel Living Room (Downstairs)
Facilitator: Mr. Andy Herrera, Director of Educational Equity & Diversity

11:00 a.m.–Noon ~ Training (RSVP required)
Noon–12:30 p.m. ~ Panel with Behrend Trigon (open to all)

It is of utmost importance that colleges and universities strive to assure that GLBTQ students are provided with a safe and healthy learning environment. In order to help these students identify individuals or areas on campus which may be more supportive or understanding, the nationally acclaimed Safe Zone Program was created. In this workshop, faculty and staff address concepts and resources related to GLBT students. They have the option to place a rainbow colored sticker on their door or a “visually-friendly” location within their office or working area. This allows for GLBTQ students to easily identify these locations and to seek guidance or support from the faculty or staff member.

This particular workshop will also include a panel comprised of members of Trigon (Behrend’s GLBT student organization). These students will share some of their own experiences on campus and how faculty and staff can be more sensitive and supportive to them. The panel is open to all.

To register for the Safe Zone training (which includes lunch), please RSVP to The Office of Educational Equity & Diversity at or 898-7101. Lunch will be provided.

No RSVP is necessary to attend the student panel; all are welcome.

1:00–2:15 p.m.: "The Gendering of Passion in Federico Garcia Lorca's
"The House of Bernarda Alba": A Student Workshop in Drama
Facilitator: Dr. John Champagne
Smith Chapel Worship Space

Students enrolled in a modern drama class will perform parts of this script – a classic play about a strong matriarch and her five daughters in the villages of Spain. Some of the roles will be gender reversed (played by men) and Dr. Champagne and the students will lead us in a discussion of how this alters our understanding of the play. Featuring the voices of:

• Chikodili Agwuna
• Kassandra Barrett
• Victoria Butler
• Sara Coe
• John Fuller
• Juliana Lima
• Michael Livingston
• Jacqueline Paladino
• Ryan Price
• Alexander Uhal
• Kamille Watson
• Mitchell Wilston
• Sabrina Zottola

2:30–3:45 p.m.: “Twenty First Century Women” – Student Discussion
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Facilitated by Dr. Sarah Whitney

A roundtable discussion with audience participation/questions hosted by students in the Women's Studies Program.

Just in the past ten years much has changed for women’s positions in society. Nationally, women now make up 57% of all college students, outnumbering men for the first time ever in American higher education. Yet women still only earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men with comparable backgrounds. The past decade has also witnessed the waging of the “Mommy Wars” in the press, career moms vs. stay-at-home moms critiquing each other’s decisions with vitriol, defending their own life choices, and formulating theories about the “right” and only way to parent. At the same time, the recent nation-wide economic downturn has lost many women their jobs or forced previous stay-at-home moms back into the workplace. Against the backdrop of all these changes, how can we understand women’s roles today? We are looking for students of all gender identities and convictions to discuss what new challenges women face in today’s world.

4:00–5:30 p.m.: The Unstable Body: A Faculty Panel
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Moderator: Dr. John Champagne

The human body—a locus of change, growth, and decay, but also of identification, projection, and essentialist understanding—stands at the unfixable border between the tangible and the fluid, the constant and the unpredictable, the stable and the unstable. In this faculty panel, we explore what happens when bodies are read as unstable, when their meanings cannot be contained and when fluctuations in corporeality are read as cultural dangers that need to be regulated, or as moments of liberation that break the mold of our ways of understanding. Panelists:

• John Champagne (English) - the representation of masculinity in the art and literature of the Italian fascist period.
• Joshua Shaw (Philosophy) - gender, sexuality, and embodiment in digital games.
• Amy Carney (History) - masculinity and the family in Nazi Germany.
• Elena Corbett (History) - representations of Islamic femininity and the revolutions.
• Mara Taylor (German & Women’s Studies) - how the unstable queer body can create an unstable text around it.
• Meredith Kenyon (Assistant Professor of English, University of Pittsburgh-Titusville) – a special guest and former member of the English faculty who will speak about her ongoing work and respond to the panelists.

6:00 p.m.: Recommended Event: The Literary Nonfiction of Sharman Apt Russell
(Reception in Smith Chapel Living Room; Reading in Smith Chapel Worship Space)

Sharman Apt Russell’s collections of essays include Songs of the Fluteplayer: Seasons of Life in the Southwest, which recounts her years as a back-to-the-lander in rural New Mexico, and which won the 1992 Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award and New Mexico Zia Award, An Obsession with Butterflies: Our Long Love Affair with a Singular Insect, Anatomy of a Rose: Exploring the Secret Life of Flowers, which has been translated into Korean, Chinese, Swedish, German, Spanish, and Portuguese and, like other of her books, Russian and Italian, and her most recent book, Standing in the Light: My Life as a Pantheist, which was a New Mexico Book Award finalist and one of Booklists’ top ten religious books of 2008. She is a professor in the Humanities Department at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, and also serves as part-time faculty in creative nonfiction for the low-residency MFA program at Antioch University in Los Angeles. Part of the Creative Writers Speakers Series.

Friday, April 20

9:05–9:55 a.m.: “The Celebrity Industry” - Student Discussion
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Facilitated by Ms. Margo Wolfe

A roundtable discussion with audience participation/questions hosted by students in the Women’s Studies Program.

From Rihanna’s recent collaboration with her ex-boyfriend Chris Brown, previously convicted of abusing, to Angelina Jolie’s current weight, to the controversies surrounding Whitney Houston’s death, to rumors about George Clooney’s and Keanu Reeves’ sexuality, gossip and opinions about celebrities bombard us every day. Most of our debates about celebrities revolve around their positions as role models, and focus on what messages about gender and sexuality celebrities are sending through their behaviors and images. But why are we all so entranced? What is the pull of the celebrity industry? We are looking for students whose opinions fall anywhere on the fan spectrum to discuss how our culture engages with celebrities, why they are so important to us, and how we can rethink the celebrity industry.

10:10–11:00 a.m.: “A Romance Writer Talks to Students”
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Facilitator: Dr. Mara Taylor

Open to all – Come meet Sarah MacLean, keynote speaker, in a special informal session. MacLean will be talking to students about her work as a romance novelist. Breakfast foods available outside before and after (no food in Chapel).

11:15 a.m.–12:05 p.m.: No Holds Barred: A Roller Derby Q and A
Smith Chapel Living Room (Downstairs)

Roller derby is one of the fastest-growing sports for women, and it has a striking new presence in Erie. The Eerie Roller Girls is a non-profit, all female founded and operated flat track roller derby league, made up of confident and courageous women of Erie, PA. The league’s goals are to bring a new level of athleticism and sportswomanship to our area, and to bring confidence to all our women and future derby girls of America.

Members will be on hand with their gear to discuss the sport, what it means to them, and its impact on women’s empowerment. All are welcome to find out more!

12:30–2:00 p.m.: Keynote Talk:
“Real Heroines Rip Their Own Bodices”
Sarah MacLean
Smith Chapel Worship Space

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sarah MacLean grew up obsessed with historical romance. She earned degrees in history from Smith College and Harvard University before she set pen to paper and wrote her first book, the Young Adult novel The Season. MacLean went on to pen a successful historical romance series that includes Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord and Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart. In February 2012, she will release A Rogue By Any Other Name, the first volume in a new series. MacLean will discuss the challenges of romance writing, as well as myths and misconceptions about the field.

2:30–3:20 p.m.: “Heroines of Page and Screen”- Student Voices
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Moderator: Dr. Terri Caruso

• “Why Buffy is My Role Model” – Kalli Oberlander
• “Then & Now: Women in Literature” - Amanda Woiner
• “Little Women v. Twilight: A Tale of Descending Morals” - Courtney Wotus
• “Of Baby Birds and Peaceful Nests: The Lovely Bones” – Samantha Vertosick

3:30–4:20 p.m.: “Communicating Gender”- Student Voices
Smith Chapel Worship Space
Moderator: To Be Announced

• “The Impact of Idealized Body Images” - Paige Rogers, Jessica Wilson, Ashley Brightwell
• “Communication Showdown – Gender and Social Anxiety in Computer Mediated Communication” - Preston Barrett, Zachary Cathcart, Anthony Mead
• "The Effects of Parental Attachment and Conflict on College Students’ Relationship Quality" – Jessica Margosian, Taylor Hennon, Emily Sherry

6:00–7:30 p.m.: Women of Word: A Poetic Conversation Celebrating the Strength of Women
Theatre (located next to Turnbull Hall)

In this free performance, poets from the Erie area gather together to present work that celebrates the enduring strength of women. For the first time, Man Made Words will be joining the performance.

Women of Word is a group conversing about life experience in verse. The group examines male issues as well, and its goal is to give all women a voice. For more info, contact poet Thasia at 814-873-3930.

Poets & Man Made Words Presenters:

• Heidi Blakeslee
• Thasia Anne
• Marjorie Wonner
• Kat Wolper
• Peachez Williams
• Cookie
• Marisa Moks-Unger
• Jose Otero
• Poet Joe Gallagher
• Kim Noyes
• Farman Wolper

Special thanks to our crew: Bear Lunger, James Trevison, Cameron Barrett and Tom Unger.

The Gender Conference would like to thank:

Sandi Jones
Ian McGinnity
Beverly DiNicola
Jackie May
School of Humanities & Social Sciences

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