• Add Women and Stir: Female Presidents in Pop Culture, 2012-2016

      Laflen, Angela; Smith, Michelle; Bayer, Kristin; Ramirez, Riana; Recce, Jessica; Scott, Molly; Marist College (2017-12-06)
      In this article, we argue that there was a representational shift in popular culture representations of female presidents following Hillary Clinton’s 2008 primary run, from earlier representations that were entirely preoccupied with gender to more recent depictions that tried to set aside “the gender question.” We explore three representations of female presidents produced since 2012 that can illuminate popular understandings of gender and the presidency between the 2008 and 2016 elections: Veep, State of Affairs, and Scandal. While all three texts attempt to normalize images of female presidents and break from earlier representations by treating a female presidency as an ordinary course of events, only Scandal normalizes female political power without also minimizing either the significance of gender as a cultural force or the value of the presidency as a feminist goal. These representations continue to offer a limited vision of female presidents and the social changes needed to create the conditions that would clear a path to the American presidency, which remains, in Clinton’s words, “that highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
    • 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 (2017-12-06)
    • #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. (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • Changing an Institutional Environment through Appreciative Inquiry: Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Liberal Arts

      Schlombs, Corinna; Howard, Ann; DeLong, Caroline; Lieberman, Jessica; Rochester Institute of Technology (2015-10-27)
      This article introduces readers to Appreciative Inquiry as a form of feminist engagement in higher education. Appreciative Inquiry is a strength-based approach to organizational change that builds on positive psychology as well as social construction of language. At Rochester Institute’s College of Liberal Arts, a group of women faculty currently pursues an Appreciative Inquiry process to change their institutional environment to make it more beneficial to the success of women (and colleagues of all genders) rather than changing themselves to better fit into the existing environment. At the 2014 Seneca Falls Dialogues, members of this group engaged conference participants in an experience and discussion of Appreciative Inquiry. This article provides an overview on Appreciative Inquiry, analyzes the results of the Seneca Falls Dialogues session, and discusses the Appreciative Inquiry process at Rochester Institute of Technology.
    • 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 (2015-10-27)
      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.
    • 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 (2017-12-06)
      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.
    • 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 (2017-12-06)
      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.
    • 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 (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • 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 (2015-10-27)
    • 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 (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • Editorial Introduction: Women Have Achieved This, I Follow: WHAT IF?

      Uman, Deborah; LeSavoy, Barbara; St. John Fisher College; The College at Brockport, State University of New York (2017-12-06)
      In turning to questions of gender, economics and entrepreneurship, the 2016 Seneca Falls Dialogues asked participants to explore how various forms of labor and compensation affect individual lives, societal movements, and institutions. One of the sub-themes for the conference was “Arts and Activism,” which led to our choice of keynote speaker Brenda Ann Kenneally and inspired Eastman professor of music education, Philip Silvey, to propose a performance of the University of Rochester’s women’s chorus at the Dialogues. With the full support of the Department of Music at University of Rochester, chaired by Professor Honey Meconi, and the full enthusiasm of the organizing committee, this proposal became a reality and the performance was a highlight of the Dialogues, dramatizing the importance of place and the contributions of women throughout time and cultures.
    • 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 (2017-12-06)
      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.
    • “Gender (As Constant) Labor”: A Consciousness Raising Dialogue on Transfeminist Scholarship and Organizing

      White, Melissa Autumn; Hobart and William Smith Colleges (2017-12-06)
      This co-authored essay draws on student research conducted for an upper-level course called Trans*Studies that was originally presented at the Seneca Falls Dialogues Conference in October 2016. Drawing on Jane Ward's generative concept of "gender labor", our Dialogue highlights the material effects of representational politics, and articulates the need to centre a transfeminist critique of normative regimes of power, including the representation of "women's" history in the United States.
    • Intersectionality and Feminist Pedagogy: Lessons from Teaching about Racism and Economic Inequity

      Cunningham, Lisa J.; Vue, Pao Lee; Maier, Virginia B.; St. John Fisher College (2017-12-06)
      This paper utilizes Rochester, NY, as a case study to argue that approaching race intersectionally and across disciplines creates a stronger model of feminist pedagogy. It is based on our work in the classroom and on the Fisher Race Initiatives—a series of three interactive workshops we created on our campus to create change in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO, and in the subsequent rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Our goals were to promote dialogue on race, to expose participants to factual information on race, and to emphasize the intersectional causes of poverty in the Rochester region. We use the framework of Gunnar Myrdal’s vicious circle theory about the perpetual cycle of black poverty and white racism to present how racism engenders and promulgates economic inequity, and we describe that framework here in the context of the Rochester region. We look at historical and current examples in the housing and education markets as specific examples of institutionalized racism and how it perpetuates the cycle of poverty. We conclude our paper by reflecting on how this intersectional interdisciplinary approach provides valuable lessons for faculty and students on diminishing unaware/unintentional racism and white privilege and promoting a more equitable campus committed to social justice.
    • Let's Change the Subject: Grounding Social Change in Indigenous HIstory and Philosophy

      Ruehl, Robert Michael; St. John Fisher College (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • Mapping Injustice Towards Feminist Activism

      Knight, Wanda B.; Keifer-Boyd, Karen T.; The Pennsylvania State University (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • Media and Social Media Best Practices for Feminist Activist Groups and Organizations

      Rozelle, Arien; St. John Fisher College (2019-11-20)
      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.
    • Nature, Technology, and Ruined Women: Ecofeminism and Princess Mononoke

      Sierra, Wendi; Berwald, Alysah; Guck, Melissa; Maeder, Erica; St. John Fisher College (2015-10-27)
      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.
    • Remembering Kate Gleason: Introducing a Twentieth-Century Businesswoman to Twenty-First Century Students

      Brown, Michael J.; Edwards, Rebecca; Lent, Tina O.; Rochester Institute of Technology (2017-12-06)
      In the fall of 2015, the faculty of the Museum Studies Program at RIT mounted an exhibition titled "Kate Gleason, Visionary: A Tribute on Her 150th Birthday." While Kate Gleason’s name is familiar on the RIT campus because the College of Engineering is named for her, this association obscures recognition of her many and varied accomplishments. The challenge we undertook was to contextualize her work in engineering within her other entrepreneurial endeavors in manufacturing, banking, and building, focusing on the innovation and vision that united them. In addition, we wanted Gleason’s career and accomplishments to be compelling and relevant to our students. To this end we created an exhibition in two different formats: first, a mobile pop-up exhibition that traveled to several venues on campus to encounter students in the course of their daily campus routine and second, a formal gallery exhibition in the campus library. These articles reflect on the process of creating the exhibition’s underlying thesis, bringing the concept to life in two different types of exhibitions, engaging students in the creative process, and reflecting on the exhibition’s impact on its audience.
    • 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 (2015-10-27)