The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal is a multidisciplinary, peer reviewed, online journal that grows out of the Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues conference.

The goal of The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal is to further extend the dialogues beyond the conference weekend in order to reach a broader audience and to invite more voices into the forum. We recognize the importance of creatively engaging diverse tools for feminist activism, particularly those that support dialogues across difference.

Our hope for this publication is to build a collaborative, open-access forum for students, faculty, and the community on topics relating to the themes of the Biennial Seneca Fall Dialogues conference. Submissions will contribute to the Seneca Falls Dialogues commitment to promote leadership, development, nonviolent activism, and the ideals set forth in the 1848 Declaration of Sentiments and the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights.

The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal seeks to honor the work of those who came before us as we build an accessible and inclusive publication by Women and Gender Studies students and faculty in the continued pursuit of equality.

Recent Submissions

  • Nature, Technology, and Ruined Women: Ecofeminism and Princess Mononoke

    Sierra, Wendi; Berwald, Alysah; Guck, Melissa; Maeder, Erica; St. John Fisher College (10/27/2015)
    This article examines the popular anime Princess Mononoke through the lens of ecofeminism. In particular, we provide a close reading of the two female lead characters, San and Lady Eboshi, to demonstrate the problematic gender tropes that are often woven into films about ecological issues.
  • The potential of ecofeminism to develop ‘deep’ sustainability competencies for education for sustainable development

    Iverson, Susan V.; Kent State University (10/27/2015)
    Education for sustainable development (ESD) has gained much currency in the literature; yet, less attention has been given to understanding or defining learning outcomes, or rather, what competencies for sustainability should students develop and be able to demonstrate. In this position paper, I ask (and answer) the question, “What might be gained by bringing a feminist lens, and specifically an ecofeminist perspective, to ESD?” I argue that infusing ecofeminism into ESD can develop students’ sustainability competence beyond individual level change to thinking and acting systemically; it can develop the critical consciousness, activist skills, and deeper sustainability knowledge needed to foster social change.
  • Unusual Subjects: Finding Model Communities Among Marginalized Populations

    Faehmel, Babette; Farley, Tiombe; Ma'at, Vashti; Schenectady County Community College; SUNY Albany University; SUNY Empire State College (10/27/2015)
    Unusual subjects: Finding model communities among marginalized populations This paper is inspired by the questions that we have asked ourselves since we first met at Schenectady County Community College. What is it, we wondered, that keeps so many of our fellow Americans seemingly wedded to a political economy that is sustainable only at great cost? Could we use our academic work to help spread awareness about people who dared to demand different lives? And might our studies suggest strategies to work for change? We currently all pursue different projects, but we share a belief that one obstacle to progressive change in the U.S. is our investment into an ideology that posits individualism and consumer capitalism as the only real pathway to success and happiness. Visions of a society based on solidarity, community, and a more sustainable economy, by contrast, are cast as naïve and unachievable pipe dreams. In this paper we argue that one does not have to search for long to find examples of communities that have rejected the status quo, embraced counter-hegemonic values, and thrived in spite of scarce resources and adversity. By drawing on our research on an urban squat, African-American beauty culture, and polyamorous families, we hope to contribute to a dialogue about how we today can work constructively for progressive social change.
  • Sisterhood & Feminism: Engaging Gender and Women’s Studies Students in the Community

    Clark-Taylor, Angela; Bryant, Jane L.; Storey, Susan; Nigro, Julianne Lawlor; University of Rochester (10/27/2015)
  • Mapping Injustice Towards Feminist Activism

    Knight, Wanda B.; Keifer-Boyd, Karen T.; The Pennsylvania State University (11/20/2019)
    Strategies for crafting feminist activism begin with a conversation, invites and involves the participation of many people, involves artists and creative communicators, and generates action. The essay is a discussion with examples of how to craft feminist activism from dialogue to committed action—to stop injustice and work toward intersectional justice. We begin the dialogue with intersectional theory and then facilitate a group process of visualization using metaphors of entanglement. The concept of intersectionality considers how hegemonic structures intersect to oppress the lives of racially marginalized communities. The goal of the dialogue is to examine the potential consequences of the interaction between multiple forms of subordination. While intersectionality theory helps to reveal the impact of multiple forms of oppression, making a simple analogy to an intersection warrants a reconsideration of how each form of oppression mutually informs the other. An entangled metaphor considers a more complicated rhizomatic relationship with complexly interwoven, twisted and tangled parts of minoritized identities and intersecting inequalities. Building from visualizations of entanglement, we discuss how to craft feminist activism to raise awareness of global responsibility toward social justice and democracy.
  • Let's Change the Subject: Grounding Social Change in Indigenous HIstory and Philosophy

    Ruehl, Robert Michael; St. John Fisher College (11/20/2019)
    This article urges altering the discourse around social change. Too often it is antagonistic and negative; it also overlooks continuing colonizing practices and how injustices to Indigenous peoples have helped to shape past and current injustices toward other groups. First, the article foregrounds the religio-political ideology of the Doctrine of Christian Discovery and the boarding-school experience to remind readers about the broader criminal history of the United States toward Indigenous nations and peoples and how colonization is not a thing of the past. Any call for social change should remember this. Second, the article looks at three dimensions of Indigenous philosophy that would be good to affirm as we strive for a better world: relatedness, sustained peace, and an ethic of preservative care. Limited calls for justice that avoid continuing colonizing practices and that begin with negations and hate are not responsible and will help to continue the sustained violence we no longer want. For sustained peace, the strategy should be to begin with an affirmation (here an affirmation of Indigenous wisdom) and a broader historical understanding of the injustices that continue to bring harm to millions of people within the borders of the United States. By changing the subject in this way, it will not only make for more peaceful activism, but it will also create better allies to Indigenous nations and peoples.
  • Editorial Introduction to The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal, v. 1

    LeSavoy, Barbara; Uman, Deborah; St. John Fisher College; The College at Brockport, State University of New York (10/27/2015)
  • The 1848 Declarations of Sentiments: Usurpations and Incantations

    Shafer, Leah; Hobart and William Smith Colleges (10/27/2015)
    Three video recordings of participants reciting the "1848 Declaration of Sentiments" at the Seneca Falls Dialogues conferences. In the first video titled "Sentiments and Usurpations", an excerpt is repeated over and over until it begins to sound like an incantation. In the second video, "Declaration of Sentiments 2014", still images accompany an audio track featuring the voices of the participants. The third video, "Declaration of Sentiments Wesleyan Chapel" uses the 2014 audio track for an avant-garde exploration of the interior of the Wesleyan Chapel.
  • Confronting Student Resistance to Ecofeminism: Three Perspectives

    Browdy de Hernandez, Jennifer; Kent, Holly; Martell, Colleen; Bard College at SImon's Rock; Moravian College; University of Illinois at Springfield (10/27/2015)
    Teaching ecofeminism is a dynamic, vital practice, demanding a great deal of both educators and students. At the heart of this essay is the question: how can we teach ecofeminism effectively? In this work, we reflect on our successes and failures teaching ecofeminism within various topics and in different settings. While each co-author of this piece brings ecofeminism into our classrooms, we do so in very different ways and have diverse approaches to making ecofeminist theories and ideas feel vital, necessary, and relevant for our students. In our essay, we aim to offer some productive and provocative suggestions and ideas that will be of use to other students, activists, and teachers working in this rich and important field.
  • Doing the *: Performing the Radical in Antisexist and Antiracist Work

    LeSavoy, Barbara; Whitehorne, Angelica; Mohamed, Jasmine; Pickett, Kendra; April, Mackenzie L.; The College at Brockport (11/20/2019)
    The essay summarizes excerpts from the 6th Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogue’s (SFD) session, “Doing the *: Performing the Radical in Antisexist and Antiracist Work.” In this dialogue, students read, displayed, or performed excerpts from feminist manifestos that they authored in a feminist theory or women and gender studies course at The College at Brockport. The manifesto assignment asked students to select a contemporary feminist issue, and using text or text with performance, expose and analyze the issue drawing from “The Combahee River Collective” joined with “Trans *: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variability.”” Prompted by the 6th Biennial SFD theme, “Race and Intersecting Feminist Futures, “we selected the Combahee River Collective and Trans * as our main theoretical frame because of ways these writings disrupt white heteronormativity and ways that they integrate an intersectional lens as means to critique gender and racial inequalities.
  • #BlackLivesMatter: Intersectionality, Violence, and Socially Transformative Art

    Harrison, Denise A.; Bedford, Denise; Fong, Laura C.; Hoeptner Poling, Linda; Fields-Gould, Evonne; Kurahashi, Yuko; Kerr, Dianne; Blavos, Alexis A.; Community Member, Kent State University; Georgetown University; et al. (11/20/2019)
    This paper is designed to elicit dialogue on the impact of the #Blacklivesmatter (BLM) movement and be a call to action in the wake of murder and sustained oppression of the Black body in America. The paper focuses on the intersectionality of the BLM movement using art, “racial” analysis, creative pedagogy, and the theatre of the oppressed. Included is a monologue of a mother whose child has been murdered by a “peace officer” that leads the audience on an emotional journey. In addition, sobering statistics of documented murders of Black transgender women are presented, as are the health effects of discrimination. The language of oppression and its use in the media are explored, as is a discussion of socially transformative art. Finally, recommendations are made to continue to use art and theatre as tools to raise awareness of injustice and to promote social resistance.
  • Editorial Introduction: We all Write: Reclaiming a Sacred Space

    Uman, Deborah; LeSavoy, Barbara; St. John Fisher College; The College at Brockport, State University of New York (11/20/2019)
    The project of the Seneca Falls Dialogues is founded on hope in the face of continued discrimination and inequities, and the essays in this journal continue to move that agenda forward.
  • We Marched. Now What?!: Positionality, Persistence, and Power as Catalysts for Change

    Rich, Kaelyn E.L. (11/20/2019)
    Keynote address delivered on October 20, 2018, at the Seneca Falls Dialogues Bi-annual Conference, Seneca Falls, New York.
  • Media and Social Media Best Practices for Feminist Activist Groups and Organizations

    Rozelle, Arien; St. John Fisher College (11/20/2019)
    Feminist organizations and activist groups from the Women’s Suffrage movement to the Women’s March have utilized media relations tactics and techniques to share organizational messages. Over time, the art of media relations has evolved from a tactical role to a strategic necessity, one that is vital to the success of any activist organization or group as they seek to inform, educate and/or persuade their intended audience through the use of media and social media. This essay identifies best practices for feminist activist groups and organizations to help begin or improve their media relations efforts, ranging from initial hiring, to media relations planning and social media strategy.
  • Empowerment through Dialogue: Women’s Experience with Division of Labor as a Leisure Constraint in Family Life

    Agate, Sarah; Agate, Joel; The College at Brockport (12/6/2017)
    Women in American society experience high levels of stress and the resultant physical and psychological challenges. While leisure is often seen as a context for stress relief, a variety of leisure constraints make it difficult for many women to have this experience. A focus group was conducted with five women who are mothers of young children to explore the division of labor in family travel. This paper reports on the experience of participant empowerment, which occurred through the dialogue that took place. Findings from this study have implications for those seeking to empower people who experience discrimination and marginalization in a variety of settings. We explore the value of creating safe spaces and facilitating dialogue as a means of mitigating against alienation, enhancing community building, and creating solidarity.
  • Underrepresented: The Lack of Black Designers Featured in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue

    Ellington, Tameka N.; Kent State University (12/6/2017)
    During the Fall 2012 New York Fashion Week preview, only two African American designers showcased collections of the 127 designers (Mullins). Spring 2015 Fashion Week showcased 25 African American/African (Black) designers (Superselected), which is a significant increase. However, there is still minimal to no presence of Black designers in high-fashion magazines. There has been lay/popular research on this phenomenon (Kearney; madamenoire; Mullins; Williams; Woodberry), but no academic data has been published regarding this injustice. Through a Critical Race Theory (CRT) lens the coverage or lack thereof that Black designers receive is divulged. CRT recognizes that racism is engrained in the fabric and system of the American society (UCLA School of Public Affairs). A content analysis of Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue was conducted for year 2000 and 2012 in order to track a possible increase in coverage. The data revealed that there was no increase of exposure Black designer received in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue from year 2000 to 2012. Tokenism was found as an issue which did not allow for other non-token Black designers to be recognized. The results suggest that there is continued need for diversification in high-fashion publications.
  • Constructing Sexuality and Fetishizing Women in American History: Debunking Myths in Popular Culture from Pocahontas to the Cold War

    Wagman, Jamie; Dee, Katlynn; Tipton, Alison; Whisman, Adrienne; Saint Mary's College (12/6/2017)
    This paper features recent teaching and scholarship produced in U.S. Women’s History and Women’s History coursework at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. We discuss using visual culture analysis and intersectionality in the U.S. History and Women’s History classroom to produce scholarship that interrogates the intersection of race, class, gender and sexuality at a particular historical moment and examines visual primary sources. We give examples of scholarship produced in coursework using these methods, from studying the Lavender Scare and popular culture’s constructions of Democracy that equated communism with homosexuality to the ways in which middle class social reformers used their class status and white privilege to help prostitutes while also harming them in the early 20th century. We also look at contemporary popular culture constructions of Pocahontas and the ways in which her depictions reinforce white supremacy and distort narratives of Native-America history. The paper engages readers with images and discussion questions about a visual construction of what is considered civilized womanhood. We also examine and question what it means to be American and American ideologies on the right way of being a sexual being.
  • The Seneca Falls Dialogues Journal, v. 3, 2019 (complete issue)

    Uman, Deborah; LeSavoy, Barbara; St. John Fisher College; The College at Brockport, State University of New York (11/20/2019)
  • Appearance Discrimination: Lookism and the Cost to the American Woman

    Adomaitis, Alyssa Dana Dana; Raskin, Rachel; Saiki, Diana; Ball State University; New York City College of Technology (12/6/2017)
  • Disrupting the Lean: Performing a 2016 Declaration of Sentiments

    Schroeder, Tambria; LeSavoy, Barbara; Brown, Melissa; Love, Brooke E.; Rosen, Maggie; Ophardt, Brooke A.; Lai, Audrey; The College at Brockport (12/6/2017)
    Inspired by the spirit of disruption, this article narrates the making of a “2016 Declaration of Sentiments,” invented in a roundtable, “Disrupting the Lean: Performing a 2016 Declaration of Sentiments,” at the fifth Biennial Seneca Falls Dialogues (SFD). We open the essay with a brief theoretical overview that informs manifestos written in a feminist theory or senior seminar course that take up questions of gender equity, labor, and acts of resistance. We follow with excerpts from these manifestos as read in the roundtable, closing the essay with a “2016 Declaration of Sentiments,” collaboratively authored and recited by roundtable participants. Looking back but thinking forward, we give you our words and our voice as we seek to bring activism and agency back to Seneca Falls.

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