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Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies

Celebrating Our Faculty and Students

by T. Dickinson

In May 2016, we celebrated the success of the 2015-2016 graduating students. Graduate Certificates were earned by Chrischelle Borhani, Patricia Butler, Lyla P. Brooks, Kynsey Creel, Allen Mallory, Maria Ruiz, and Adena Weiser. A number of students completed majors in Women’s Studies, including Claire Tolentino, Emily Bond, Lisette Corbeille, Meaghan Kuzmich, Amanda Mosteller, Lexi Scoville, Allison Sowle and Hannah Atchison (fall 2016). Students with minors in Women’s Studies included Brady Armstrong, Roela Boci, Jasmine Davis, Jennifer Fox, Kathleen Lococo, McKenna Kelly, Paige Porter, Jennifer Smithies, Brianna S. Carrillo, Marcus Dominguez, Shaun A. Dowdell, Natasha Freeman, Lindsey N. Ford, Jacquelyn Forester (along with a minor in Queer Studies), Hannah Gray, Michelle Gralow, Richard Habeeb, America Martinez-Serrano, Mekahla Z. Peterson, LaTasha H. Pittmon, Lauren Pino, Mercedes T. Santiago, Toni A. Stock, Loren Taylor, Tyrone A.L. Tatum, Darrah Tinkler, Maya Tilmon, Sophia Tolentino, Carmen Tucker, Denisse Bernie Zambrini, Jacquelyn Zenger, and Haley Williams (fall 2016).

We also celebrated writing award winners and scholarship awardees. Riley Katz received the undergraduate writing award with the paper “Educational Outreach, Social Reform and Political Activism: Building a Transgender Movement.” Maria Ruiz received the graduate writing award with “Bargaining with Kyriarchy: Women in Religion Negotiate Feminism and Catholicism.” The Clarina Howard Nichols Scholarship winner was Laura Gunderson, and the Founders’ Scholarship in Academic Excellence in Women’s Studies was Lucia Duarte. We also showed our appreciation for the Undergraduate Ambassadors, the Advisory Council, and the faculty, including retiring faculty member, Torry Dickinson. Continue reading “Celebrating Our Faculty and Students”

In Grateful Recognition of Michele Janette’s Leadership as Head of Women’s Studies

In summer 2015, Dr. Michele Janette returned to the Department of English after completing a very productive five-year term as Head of Women’s Studies. Dr. Valerie Padilla-Carroll thanked her for her many and substantial contributions to the department, and presented her with an engraved glass sculpture at our End-of-Year Celebration in May 2015:

“Today I would like to say a few words about Michele and her time as Head of Women’s Studies.  When she first became Head I went to her office for the yearly goals meeting and she asked me what I wanted to do.  I said I wanted a tenure-track position.  She said “give me a published article–show me you can do the required scholarly research and I will fight for you.”  And after two years, she managed to convert my position to tenure track. That, to me, is representative of Michele as Head of Women’s Studies.  She fought for the department and for the faculty to secure resources and to support excellence in research.

Let me list just some of the things she did in her single term as Head of Women’s Studies: Continue reading “In Grateful Recognition of Michele Janette’s Leadership as Head of Women’s Studies”

Dr. Torry Dickinson Retires after Twenty Years with Women’s Studies

by Angela Hubler

This spring, Dr. Torry Dickinson retired after serving the Department of Women’s Studies, and Kansas State University as a whole, with commitment and passion, for 20 years.  Torry earned her bachelor of arts degree in Sociology from Livingston-Rutgers University in 1975, her master’s degree in Sociology from Binghamton University in 1977, a master’s certificate in Women and Public Policy from SUNY Albany in 1983, and her Ph.D. in Sociology from Binghamton University in 1983.  After earning her doctorate, Torry monitored the court-ordered consent decree to increase women in the Forest Service in California, served as Coordinator of the Displaced Homemakers Center, and was the Executive Director for the Association for Women in Science.  She taught as an instructor in Women’s Studies at California State University, Sacramento and at the University of California-Santa Cruz in Sociology.  In 1996, Torry joined the faculty of Kansas State University as the first tenure-track assistant professor in Women’s Studies. She was promoted to full professor in 2008. Continue reading “Dr. Torry Dickinson Retires after Twenty Years with Women’s Studies”

Dr. Bonnie Nelson, Former Director of Women’s Studies, Retires

Dr. Bonnie Nelson, former Director of Women’s Studies, and Women’s Studies affiliated faculty member since 1992, retired from the English Department in May 2016.  Throughout her 33 years at Kansas State, Bonnie’s teaching, service, and scholarship reflected her deep commitment to women’s issues.  As chair of the Commission on the Status of Women, she authored a brochure on How To Avoid Sexist Language in the University, which was distributed to every unit on campus. Bonnie was integrally involved in the growth of Women’s Studies, including the the addition of the graduate certificate, minor, and major.  She taught very popular courses including Women in Literature, Jane Austen’s Predecessors, and Restoration and 18th Century Drama.  We are grateful for the mark she has left not just in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies but on the university as a whole. She will be much missed.

More about Bonnie’s career can be found below in her retirement citation, which we share from Dr. Karin Westman, English Department Head. Continue reading “Dr. Bonnie Nelson, Former Director of Women’s Studies, Retires”

Dr. Sue Zschoche Retires from Department of History

One of Women’s Studies longest-standing affiliated faculty members, Dr. Sue Zschoche, retired in May 2016. Sue was closely involved in the governance of the department, and taught a number of courses that students identifyas vital to their understanding of gender and women’s studies: History of Family Violence, Women in American History, Women in Kansas, and American Feminisms. We wish her well in retirement, and extend our deep gratitude for all her contributions. Below is Dr. Zschoche’s retirement citation, shared by History Department Head, Dr. Michael Krysko.

Continue reading “Dr. Sue Zschoche Retires from Department of History”

Women’s Studies Changed its Department Name to GENDER, WOMEN and SEXUALITY STUDIES (GWSS)

by T. Dickinson

In spring 2016 the Department of Women’s Studies changed its name to the Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies to better represent the the scope of our department. Throughout our history at K-State, Women’s Studies has taught classes that address gender, women, and sexuality, even though the department has focused on women. Since the first Women’s Studies classes were taught at K-State in the mid-1970s, students have learned about how the world works and how people can bring about positive changes in gender and sexuality relations, and women’s lives. Continue reading “Women’s Studies Changed its Department Name to GENDER, WOMEN and SEXUALITY STUDIES (GWSS)”

What Happens When Students Become Teachers?

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By Laura Thacker, Women’s Studies Major and Graduate Certificate Earner

As of this writing, I am 28 years old and teaching a class in the K-State Women’s Studies Department that I love more than anything – Women and Disability. Teaching in this department is surreal; it was in this department that I learned what women’s studies was and the depth and breadth of possibilities available to me through this course of study. I earned a dual bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and English in 2012, a graduate certificate in women’s studies in 2014, and here it is, 2016 and I’m writing my own curriculum, teaching the class that I so badly wanted to take, and working with the best students in the world (okay, I might be a bit biased).

During the 2008-2009 school year, I was returning to Kansas State University after a car accident that left me permanently disabled. A once-familiar campus suddenly felt almost malevolent, a body I had always struggled with loving was now scarred and even more outside of the norm, and my trajectory was unclear. I felt embarrassed about my disability and its visibility and unsure of myself. Everywhere, that is, except for the women’s studies classroom. Continue reading “What Happens When Students Become Teachers?”

Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker Speaks to Women’s Studies in March 2016

by T. Dickinson

At a dinner organized by the Women’s Studies Advisory Council, Senator Kassebaum spoke to an enthusiastic room of over 100 Women’s Studies supporters at the Manhattan Country Club on Thursday, March 31. Attending the talk were members of the Women’s Studies Advisory Council, community supporters of Women’s Studies, students, faculty, staff, administrators, community leaders, and families of students.

Senator Kassebaum delivered a passionate speech about contemporary politics and the importance of women who take responsibility for community and political life. Women at all levels of politics have demonstrated their ability to be good negotiators who help converge diverse views, Senator Kassebaum said. Women have the skills to get past the divisiveness of today’s politics and to be leaders who move change forward. Senator Kassebaum argued that women are the key component in changing the paradigm of dishonesty that has dominated recent politics. “I think that women have always been the backbone of our republic,” Kassebaum Baker stated. Continue reading “Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker Speaks to Women’s Studies in March 2016”

What it Means to Me: Joining K-State’s Faculty

by Harlan Weaver

As the newest faculty member in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies, I am delighted to introduce myself to the GWSS community! I come to K-State after working as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Davidson College. Prior to that, I held an appointment as a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Berkeley, where I did ethnographic fieldwork in an animal shelter. And I completed my PhD in 2012 at the History of Consciousness Department at UC Santa Cruz, for which I wrote a dissertation focused on the ways that feeling, or “affect,” shapes trans*—trans, transgender, and transsexual—experiences of embodiment. My current book project, Bad Dog, focuses on what I term the “interspecies intersectionalities” that characterize relationships between humans and pit bull-type dogs (so-called “dangerous dogs”), or how these relationships not only reflect but also shape experiences of race, gender, sexuality, class, species, and breed. Through the book I articulate an understanding of “multi-species justice” that interrupts the norms of whiteness, class status, and heterosexuality that figure into popular understandings of good pet ownership, pushing instead for ways to think with and better understand marginalized humans and animals together. Continue reading “What it Means to Me: Joining K-State’s Faculty”