April 2-3: Sexuality and Gender Studies Conference at Penn State

Apr 2 2015 - 10:00am to Apr 3 2015 - 5:00pm
Reed Union Building

About the Conference

Faculty, staff and students will gather together for "Telling Our Stories." Panels and workshops are free and open to the public. Anyone is warmly welcomed to attend! Topics include:

  • Gender and Disney
  • What TV has taught me about my gender
  • Beyonce Bingo: Contemporary Female Icons
  • Women in STEM: Students Speak Out
  • Does "Pop Culture" equal "Rape Culture"?
  • 50 Shades of Awful: A Frank Discussion about the Hit Film and Domestic Violence
  • Gender and Gaming Culture


Conference Schedule



Thursday, April 2 – Schedule of Events


10:00-11:00 - Breakfast available (Reed 112)

Session #1

11:15-12:30 - Stories of Gender and the Bible (Reed 114)

Roundtable discussion led by students of ENGL 104. Moderated by Dr. John Champagne (English)

Session #2

12:15-1:00 - Women in STEM: Students Speak Out (Reed 113)

“You’re Smart for A Girl” – The Experiences of Female Students in STEM

Mirna George and Renée Harrison

Session #3

1:00-2:15 - Beyoncé Bingo: Contemporary Female Icons (Reed 114)

Game and open discussion led by students of WMNST 106. Moderated by Dr. Sarah Whitney (Women’s Studies)

Session #4

1:00-2:15 Bending and Breaking the Sex and Gender Barrier: Telling your Stories of Resilience and Overcoming Adversity (Reed 117 Auditorium)

Roundtable discussion led by students of WMNST/HD FS 250. Moderated by Dr. Ashley Sullivan (Early Childhood Education) with Dr. Laurie Urraro (Spanish) and Ms. Susan Galle-Boyko (Psychology)

Session #5

2:30-3:45 - Telling Queer Stories On Screen: Pariah and More (Reed 114)

Roundtable discussion with the students of WMNST/ENGL 227, Introduction to Culture and Sexuality

Moderated by Dr. Janet Neigh (English)

Session #6

2:30-3:45: Gender and Disney (Reed 113)

Alexandra Sorce, “The Enduring Impact of Cinderella”

Jessica Obriot, "The Disney Ideal of Dames"

Janelle Massillon, "Nobility Lost by the Portrayal of Princess Ariel"

Chuck Capper, “Male Models in Disney/Pixar's Cars”

Moderated by Ms. Erin Dick (English) 

Session #7

2:30-3:45 -  Trans-formations: Sharing stories of differenced subjectivities in the areas of literature, religion, and education (Reed 112)

Faculty roundtable led by Laurie Urraro, Susan Galle-Boyko, and Ashley Sullivan.  

Session #8

4:00-5:15 -  What TV Has Taught Me About Gender (Reed 114)

Dr. John Champagne, “Pretty Little Postfeminists” (Pretty Little Liars) , Ms. Erin Dick (The Bachelor), Dr. Rachel Adams-Goertel (Downton Abbey) and Dr. Tammie Merino (Hot in Cleveland)  

Friday, April 3 – Schedule of Events


8:00-9:00 - Breakfast (Reed 112)

Session #1

9:00-10:00 "Thanks, Mrs. Sawyer: How my first grade teacher is helping me translate twenty-first century education"

Led by Dr. Susan Russell, 2015 Penn State Laureate, Development Workshop for Faculty

Session #2

10:10-11:15 - Does “Pop Culture” = “Rape Culture”? (Reed 117)
Symposium Presenters: Alyssa Craig, Christa Franco, Taylor Morris, Joe Moore, Allison Gage, Ali Rupe, Kasey Jerioski, Danielle Carioto, Rebecca Dinsmore, and Kalli Oberlander. Moderated by Dr. Melanie Hetzel-Riggin (Psychology)

Session #3

11:20-12:10: Writing Gender: A Showcase for Authors (Reed 114)

Presenters: Kat Giordano, John Vallone, Katie O'Neill and Angela Roman. Moderated by Dr. Tom Noyes (Creative Writing)

Session #4

11:20-12:10 Overcoming Binaries & Inequities (Reed 113)

Ms. Monica Clem, Mercyhurst North East (Communications), “Transcending Organizational Gender Inequity Practices: A Psychoanalytical Approach." Andrew Hall, “Non-Gender Binary Characters in Gaming." Moderated by Dr. Craig Warren (English)

Session #5

11:20-12:10 A Gender and Theatre Roundtable (Reed 112)

Hosted by the students of THEA 105. Moderated by Ms. Emily Cassano (Theatre)

Session #6

12:15-1:30 - "A musician, an engineer, and a physicist walk into a bar....." Dr. Susan Russell (Reed 117)

An addition to the regular student and faculty panels throughout the Gender Conference, Sarah has invited Susan Russell, who has created dignity.psu.edu, a website dedicated to having the voice of students and other users heard.

Session #7

1:40-2:20  - Revisiting Worlds for Girls: Classics and Disney (Reed 114) 

Melinda Aley, “Looking at Disney Movie Posters Through Goffman’s Perspective”
Martha Larkin, ““This nothing’s more than matter”: Ophelia’s Flowers and Their Significance”
Arthur Wang, “Discovering Hidden Femininity: A Text Based Study of the Ballad of Mulan."

Moderated by Dr. Janelle Newman, English

Session #8

1:40-2:20 50 Shades of Awful- A Frank Discussion About A Hit Film and Domestic Violence (Reed 113)

Dr. Karrie Bowen (Communications)
Dr. Rhonda Matthews, Edinboro University (Political Science and Criminal Justice)

Session #9

2:30-3:30 Gender and Gaming Culture (Reed 114)

Dr. Christina Riley Brown, Mercyhurst University (English): “Gone Home, Gender, and First-Person Gaming Narratives: Some Teaching Reflections," Dr. Joshua Shaw (Philosophy) "Gender, The Last of Us, and the Daddening of Video Games" 
Moderated by Dr. Joshua Shaw


LADYFEST ERIE (McGarvey Commons) 11:00 am - 5:00 pm

Throughout the day in McGarvey Commons, there will be female artists and bands playing, everything from acoustic to hard rock. 
Sponsored by Trigon and Rebel Girl Radio, BVZ

Friday, April 3rd, McGarvey Commons – 11:00 am – 8:30 pm 
$3 at the door – Benefits Safenet Erie 
Featuring performances by: Charmaine Evonne, Roulette Waves, Sneezeweed, Jess Royer, Pocketmouse, Life(Liss) & the Graveyard Orchestra, Wings for Armor, Dysmorphia and Jolexx


Event Contact Name: 
Sarah Whitney
Event Contact Email: 
(814) 898-6158