Thursday, March 23, 2017

[348] Sexuality issues highlight Women’s and Gender Studies Conference March 22-25

MURFREESBORO — Compelling conversations, artistic expressions and explorations of important issues are on the agenda of MTSU’s 12th biennial Women’s and Gender Studies Interdisciplinary Conference.

With the theme of “Creating Global Change,” the March 22-25 conference on the second floor of the Student Union will attract scholars in women’s, gender and sexuality studies from around the world. Academic experts hailing from Germany, Jordan, Canada, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria, India and United Arab Emirates are slated to present their research.

“The conference theme and emphasis on social movements is appropriate in these political times when many women believe that it is our season to lead and to have our voices heard as we redirect the political agenda of our country, and, indeed, of the world,” said Vicky MacLean, director of Women’s and Gender Studies.

A printable campus parking map is available at
Off-campus visitors attending the daytime events should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

Among the events on the agenda are the keynote address, a spoken word art performance, an empowerment workshop and the screening of a documentary on sexual shaming.

Attorney and LGBT+ activist Urvashi Vaid will deliver the keynote address from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 23, in Ballroom A, B and C. Vaid’s theme is “Irresistible Revolution: Understanding the LGBT Movement Today.” Vaid will sign copies of her book “Irresistible Revolution: Confronting Race, Class and the Assumptions of LGBT Politics” from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Spoken word artist Andrea Gibson will deliver a performance on Thursday at 3 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. in Ballroom A, B and C. Gibson’s poetry and most recent book “Pansy” balances themes of love, gender, politics, sexuality, illness, family and forgiveness with an exploration of what it means to heal.

Feminist blogger and anti-violence advocate Wagatwe Wanjuki will facilitate a workshop titled “Beyond Hashtags: Using New Media to Combat Campus Rape Culture” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, March 24, in Ballroom C.

Wanjuki is a founding co-organizer of the “Know Your IX ED ACT NOW” campaign, which strives to hold schools accountable for protecting students’ right to a violence-free education.

The documentary film “UnSlut” will be screened from 5 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday in Ballroom C. The motion picture examines sexual bullying and the usage of the word “slut” as an insult, as well as the resulting ramifications. A discussion will follow the screening.

The conference is free to MTSU faculty, staff, and students.  All of the featured conference events are free and open to the public.

For more information, go to or call the Women’s and Gender Studies office at 615-898-5910.

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