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“Women In….” Series Explores Women’s Lives and Accomplishments

The "Women In..." lecture series examines women's experiences in various cultural contexts, showcasing faculty research interests and local professionals who work with women in our community. Each session is an informal presentation followed by discussion. For more information, contact Dr. Lisa Johnson, director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, at (864) 503-5724 or mjohnson@uscupstate.edu.  

Spring 2009  

Women In 020509Thursday, February 5
Finding Voice: Women in Music Therapy
Dr. Elizabeth York
12:15-1:15, CLC 309    

Music--like time--has the power to heal. Using music therapy and other expressive arts approaches, Dr. Elizabeth York has assisted women survivors of domestic abuse in finding their voices. Her research in Utah culminated in a performance piece called "Finding Voice." The work is described in a chapter of Feminist Perspectives in Music Therapy (2006). Now, she brings "Finding Voice" to Converse College and to the upstate of South Carolina. Breaking silence has been a theme of the women's movement from its beginnings. Through music therapy, silence is transformed into storytelling, poetry, and song.


Dark Lady of DNA Spring 08Wednesday, March 18
The Dark Lady of DNA: Women in Science
Dr. Jeannie Chapman
12:00-1:00 p.m., CLC 309

Women have made groundbreaking advances in the world of science, but they have had to fight at every step to get the recognition they deserve.  The story of Rosalind Franklin—the dark lady of DNA—is a tale of scientific ethics, gender bias, and tragically skewed history. The three men who shared the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the three-dimensional structure of DNA in 1953 had Rosalind Franklin, their competitor and renowned female x-ray crystallographer, to thank for the data that led to their breakthrough, yet she went largely unacknowledged for her contributions.  With more than 50 years of retrospection, biographer Brenda Maddox corrects this oversight.  As part of the Upstate celebration of Women’s History month, Dr. Jeannie Chapman brings us this riveting story and considers the broader question of women’s roles in the history of science.


Buddhism in the Bible BeltTuesday, March 31
Women in Buddhism in the Bible Belt
Nyema Kelsang
12:15-1:30, Smith 202

Sponsored by the Center for Women's and Gender Studies and the Center for International Studies, and featuring Buddhist Nun Nyema Kelsang of the Ganden Center for Meditation in Columbia, SC.  



Fall 2008  

Tuesday, September 2
Girl with Keyboard: Making Waves in the Feminist Blogosphere!
Deborah Siegel
2:00-3:00, CLC 309

Are you a women's studies researcher, scholar, or student who wants to harness the tools and popular audience available with just a keyboard and a URL?  In an ever-expanding blogosphere, understanding which feminist blogs are out there and what topics they cover can feel overwhelming to the novice blogger.  Sometimes it may seem that everything's covered. But it isn't. In Making Waves in the Feminist Blogosphere, blogger and author Deborah Siegel will help you navigate the feminist blogosphere, create a blog, find your niche.  


Women In 0910Wednesday, September 10
Liberating Economics: Putting Women in the Business Picture
Dr. Drucilla Baker
11:00-12:00, CLC Ballroom

Despite decades of feminist activism, women today earn only 76 cents for every dollar that men earn. Many any women do “men’s” work, but much of the invisible, devalued and poorly paid work remains “women’s” work. The unprecedented growth in career opportunities for educated, privileged women is accompanied by rapidly increasing numbers of poor women employed as domestics, caring for the children of other working mothers and fathers.  Dr. Drucilla Barker asks, “Equality for Whom?” in her presentation on the economics of women’s work in the context of contemporary global capitalism.


Women In 111108Tuesday, November 11
Women in the Blogosphere: Women Rewriting Motherhood on the Web
12:15-1:15, CLC 309

Is a “mommyblogger” a mother, a woman, a writer?  She is all of these, and more.  Where their literary foremothers depicted motherhood with images of loss—lost freedom, lost individuality, lost creativity, even lost life—these women writers are reclaiming the experience of mothering as vital and transformative.  The web provides an ideal space for building new communities of women reclaiming the experience of mothering as a powerful means of redefining identity.


Spring 2008    

WomenInGirlfightGirlfight: Women in Competition with Each Other 
Wednesday, January 30  12:00-1:00, CLC 309 
orange speaker  Listen to the podcast  

Dr. Lisa Johnson and Dr. Kim Purdy examine the dark sides to the lives of female athletes.  Departing from the widespread fascination with the cultural phenomenon of "mean girls"—usually a shallow stereotype of female aggression—this lecture and discussion will focus on the social and cultural roots of the conflicts between women on the field and the court.  


Women in CodependentYou Are My Everything: Women in Codependent Relationships 
Thursday, February 14  12:15-1:15 
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Even in an era that some people call "postfeminist," women continue to be socialized to put other's needs before their own, make romance a top priority, and try to please the people in their lives sometimes to the point of losing sight of pleasing themselves.  Ms. Mary Underwood, M.S.W. discusses destructive patterns in relationships, and suggests more healthy relationship styles. 

When Lillian Gish Came to China
Wednesday, March 5  12:00-1:00, CLC 309  

Dr. Quilang He examines how the migration of an "ideal" image of new women from the U.S. to China in the 1920's prompted Chinese scholars, intellectuals, and social reformers to reconsider a reform of women’s roles and gender relationship in the family.  


Ruth Hatchette McBrayer's Peach Farming Odyssey 
Thursday, March 18  12:15-1:15    

Dr. Melissa Walker gives a lecture on Ruth Hatchette McBrayer, who became a peach farmer in 1947 when her husband died unexpectedly, leaving her with an orchard and a mountain of debt. This lecture, based on oral history interviews with McBrayer, explores her life in farming and particularly the ways she constructs her own identity as "farmer," the way she describes her success, and the way she tells the story of rural transformation.   


Fall 2007 

Women in the BottleWomen in the Bottle: Women and Alcohol Abuse 
Wednesday, September 12  12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
orange speaker  Listen to the podcast 

Dr. Lisa Johnson and Erin Morgan discuss the reasons why women abuse alcohol. Women drink to numb social anxiety as they cope with the many pressures and contradictions of contemporary femininity. Women drink to give themselves permission to express their opinions unapologetically. Women drink to excuse themselves from responsibility for sexual dalliances. Women drink because of loneliness, depression, shame, and self-loathing. And this is just the beginning of the conversation.



Women in animeWomen in Anime
, October 17 
 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
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Denise Levereaux, feminist blogger and domestic abuse victim advocate, discusses Japanes anime from a feminist perspective.  Does it reflect the sexual inequality of Japanese culture? Why is it so popular with Americans -- young and old, male and female?  


Women in TuneWomen in Tune with Themselves
Thursday, November 15  12:15 to 1:15 p.m.
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Dr. Gayle Casterline and Betsy Adams discuss the personal and professional values that contribute to a healthy life, addressing the whole person - mind, body, and spirit. 



Spring 2007    

Dr Carmin HarrisBlack Women in the Academy
Wednesday, Feb. 21  12:15-1:15 p.m. 
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As part of the Center for Women's Studies and Programs’ celebration of African-American history month, Dr. Carmen Harris addresses the special pressures faced by black women in the academy. 




Voices of Courage Book CoverWall of Silence: East European German Women in WWII
Thursday, March 1
orange speaker Listen to the Podcast    

As part of the Center for Women's Studies and Programs' celebration of Women's History month, Dr. Brigitte Neary and Dr. Holle Schneider-Ricks address the experiences of East European German Women in World War II. 





agingWomen and Aging 
Thursday, March 8 

As part of the Center for Women's Studies and Programs' celebration of Women's History month, Dr. Deb Louis will give a talk with two other co-panelists on issues women face as they age. 



midwifeMartha Ballard: Midwife on the Maine Frontier
Wednesday, March 21
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As part of the Center for Women’s Studies and Programs’ celebration of Women’s History month, Dr. Paul Grady will discuss the work of historian Laurel Ulrich Thatcher on the life of Martha Ballard, based on an eight-year project of reading her diaries and placing this unknown eighteenth-century woman in a larger political and historical context. 



merchants midwives and laboring women coverItalian Women Immigrants in Urban America
Friday, March 30 • 12:15-1:15 • CLC 309 

As part of the Center for Women’s Studies and Programs’ celebration of Women’s History month, Dr. Diane Vecchio will give a talk based on research for her book, Merchants, Midwives, and Laborers: Italian Migrants in Urban America. 




dogFeminist Ethics and Animal Treatment 
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
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 "The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for whites or women for men." --Alice Walker 

As part of the Center for Women’s Studies and Programs’ celebration of the ASPCA’s National Prevention-of-Animal-Cruelty Month, Dr. Cliff Flynn will present current feminist ethical theory on the connection between the treatment of animals and the treatment of women in contemporary U.S. culture. 


Fall 2006

women in loveWomen in Love: Feminism and the “Problem” of Romance
Tuesday, September 5 • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. 
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Dr. Lisa Johnson, director of the Center for Women’s Studies and Programs at USC Upstate, will discuss the place of love in the life of a feminist. After the many critiques by the U.S. women’s movement of marriage, romance, and the fantasy of “happily ever after,” how do contemporary feminists approach this overwhelming emotion?



community serviceWomen in Community Service 
Thursday, September 28 • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
orange speaker
 Listen to the podcast

Mary Thomas, vice president of programs at the Spartanburg County Foundation, will be the speaker. The world of nonprofit organizations is heavily populated by women activists, leaders, and volunteers.  Thomas will discuss this gender imbalance in the field, as well as the opportunities it provides for the aspiring female activist.




horrorWomen in Horror Films: Scream, Run, or Slash Back 
Thursday, October 26 • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. • Readiness Center Greatroom
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From Texas Chainsaw Massacre to Scream 1, 2, and 3, the horror film positions female characters both as victims and as survivors.  The last person left alive in horror films is typically female, what Carol Clover has called the “final girl.” Dr. Peter Caster, will discuss the gender imagery of the horror film as part of the Center for Women’s Studies and Programs’ celebration of Halloween.




orchestraWomen in Orchestra Leadership: A Maestra among Maestros 
Friday, October 27 • 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. • Black Box Theatre
orange speaker Listen to the podcast

Maestra Sarah Ioannides, music director of the El Paso Symphony Orchestra and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra, will discuss her work as conductor of several nationally and internationally known orchestras, addressing the challenge of being a woman in this traditionally male-dominated field. . The New York Times sees in her performances “unquestionable strength and authority.” Another newspaper notes her “beauty and competence.” 




women in china 
 Women in Chinese History: The Infamous Lady Yang 
Thursday, November 30 • 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. • CLC 317

Lady Yang was chief concubine to Emperor Ming Huang of the Han Dynasty, China.  She is still heralded as the most beautiful woman ever to have lived.  And she was executed as a traitor. Kitty Rickert, adjunct instructor of history at USC Upstate, will discuss gender, power, and a compelling moment in the history of China. 


Our Director

Lisa Johnson, Ph.D.
Office: CASB 124
Phone: 864-503-5724
Email: mjohnson@uscupstate.edu 

Contact Us

USC Upstate
Center for Women's and Gender Studies
CASB 120
800 University Way
Spartanburg, SC 29303
Phone: 864-503-5926
Fax: 864-503-5351