Dec. 2015 newsletter from Women's and Gender Studies @ ISU
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Message from the Director - Dr. Ann Oberhauser

December already!!! As classes wind down and we gear up for the holidays, it is always rewarding to reflect on what we have accomplished and things we are grateful for.  I appreciate all of the support so many people have provided during my first semester at Iowa State.  I am getting to know many of you through the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, around campus, and in Ames.  Thank you for making me feel so welcome this year!  This message is also an opportunity to highlight many of the great things going on in Women’s and Gender Studies.   

Several colleagues and I attended the National Women’s Studies Association conference in Milwaukee, WI in November.  This was the largest-ever gathering of women’s and gender studies faculty, students, and activists in the continental US.  People from around the country and the world created an exciting atmosphere at the conference.  Two of our own presented their work at the conference.  Maggie LaWare, Associate Professor of English, presented her research on rhetorical challenges to Barbara Bush’s commencement speech at Wellesley College and Alissa Stoehr, WGS lecturer, gave a paper on feminist pedagogy and social justice in higher education and participated in a panel on women’s studies in community colleges.  Alissa was also thrilled to have Gloria Steinem autograph her latest book, My Life on the Road, for her. 

Finally, we have several events planned this month and in the upcoming year.  We celebrated the end of the fall semester with a “Building Community” reception and accepted donations for the women’s shelter in Ames, ACCESS.  In addition, the WGS brown bag lunch series will continue in the spring with several faculty and students presentations.  Our big spring event is an undergraduate student conference in April that the program is organizing with participants from universities and colleges across Iowa.  Watch for more information about these events. Have a wonderful winter break and we will see you in January 2016!  
Faculty Highlight
Dr. Michèle A. Schaal, Assistant Professor of French and Women's and Gender Studies. 

Dr. Schaal’s research areas include 21st century francophone women writers, contemporary French and American feminisms, intermediality, and hypermodernity. Along with presenting at international conferences, she has published numerous articles focused on contemporary French feminisms and francophone women writers Isabelle Flükiger, Marie Hélène Poitras, Claire Legendre, Marie Darrieussecq, and Virginie Despentes. After completing a book manuscript over the summer focusing on the third literary feminist wave in 1990s France, Dr. Schaal stated that she is now "examining the more political writings by French third-wave feminists . . . [in order] to determine how contemporary French feminists want to achieve a truly egalitarian and global democratic society for all.” 

Along with these professional achievements, Dr. Schaal teaches classes in the World Languages and Cultures Department and Women’s and Gender Studies Program, including an honor’s section of WS 201. She has included explorations of ISU art exhibits or invited Ms. Nancy Gebhart, program coordinator for University Museums, to present collections for almost all of her classes since arriving at ISU.

After Dr. Schaal invited Ms. Gebhart to present on a selection of art by women artists for her English class on women’s Literature in Fall 2013, they discussed how women and minority artists remain underfunded and underrepresented in museums globally. This led to their collaboration for the exhibition, (Re)discovering S(h)elves, which is currently on display in 1017 Morrill Hall. Although she explains the problematic nature of setting women and other marginalized populations apart, Dr. Schaal also describes how this exhibit participates in efforts toward inclusivity and prevents the further invisibilization of diverse women artists.  

(Re)discovering S(h)elves has brought in large numbers of students, making it a success for the university. Dr. Schaal also describes the success this exhibit has had in her WS 201 section, stating that her students have shared numerous effective interpretations of various artistic pieces. Specifically, the exhibit “has sparked thought-provoking discussions about the labels ‘woman’ and ‘minority’ artists . . . . in particular, the ‘Nude Man Series’ questioned, for my students, the unequal standards and gendering at stake in the representation of bodies.” 
For more information about this exhibit, feel free to explore the following links: 
Faculty Highlight
An essay by Christiana Langenberg, lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies at ISU, has been chosen for the Louisville Literary Arts & Blue Mesa Review prose contest this year.
Selections were made by editor-in-chief and fiction editor of Blue Mesa Review. According to their post, “The quality of the applications this year was extraordinary, and we understand it was extremely difficult to choose just one winner.”

Christiana will receive $500 for her essay titled "This is How it Could Have Gone Instead of How it Went." The prize for her award is $500.
Christiana teaches in the English Department and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at ISU and writes the blog for .
Publication of her essay will be in the Blue Mesa Review, Spring 2016.
MUCH Conference Student Achievements 

Two Women's and Gender Studies students, Sarah Hohnstrater and Beth Trafton, attended the Fifth MUCH (Midwest Undergraduate Conference in the Humanities) in early November at Wartburg College. Presentations at this conference included papers, readings, displays, and lecture-recitals utilizing interdisciplinary approaches and engaging with questions of diversity.  Faculty members or sponsors provided guidance and encouragement throughout the project and conference experience. Sarah and Beth’s faculty sponsor, Christiana Langenberg, proudly informed members of the WGS newsletter that “they both were fabulous.” 

In describing the conference, Sarah Hohnstrater stated, "I think . . . being surrounded by creative minds was memorable in itself. While I have presented this piece before, this conference specifically involved the humanities. All of the presentations exemplified creativity encouraged at other Iowa schools, and it was nice to see the craft of other students' experiences." Her own work, "One Less Queen," challenges perceptions of gender as well as specific notions of womanhood through the narrator, who is a drag queen transitioning from male to female.  By focusing on this character, the audience experiences a different standpoint than their own. Sarah admitted that sharing this story with others was "nerve-wracking [but] very exhilarating."  But her advice to others who may want to attend conferences is "go into it wanting to meet new people and have a fun time."    On behalf of the WGS program, congratulations to Sarah and Beth!
Featured Alumna
Ashley Schmuecker was an Iowa State University student double majoring in Religious Studies and Women's and Gender Studies. She also acquired a minor in Anthropology. Ashley indicated that WGS courses and professors challenged her intellectually and personally, but most importantly she stated that all professors were "incredibly supportive of my research and projects, as well as my graduate school goals after Iowa State". One of her most memorable courses was with Dr. Christiana Langenberg, ENGL 304: Write Like a Woman.  

Ashley is a successful alumnae working in the Riverview Center in Cedar Rapids as a Sexual Assault Victim Advocate. Her work includes advocating for survivors legally and medically, particularly for people who need support when reporting to the police or going through the trial process. Her inspiring work has been with incarcerated survivors of sexual violence and with the LGBTQIAA community. Ashley recommends other students to not be afraid to ask for academic, professional, or personal support to professors in the WGS program since they contributed greatly to her personal and professional goals. 
Contact Information:!about/c1enr  
Campus Partners
Named after Carrie Chapman Catt, an ISU alumna and leader in the U.S. suffragette movement, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics was founded in 1992 at Iowa State University to interest, educate and engage citizens in the political process. According to their mission statement, the Center emphasizes the importance of leadership and educational opportunities, mentoring research on these issues, bringing relevant speakers to campus, and encouraging the pursuit of public service.  The Catt Center promotes students’ leadership skills through a variety of resources and services. Along with paid internships, the Catt Center sponsors the Leadership Studies Program certificate and minor that is open to ISU undergraduates and the Legacy of Heroines Scholarship Program in order to encourage students to pursue leadership positions.  

In addition to these educational pursuits, the Catt Center also supports students’ access to various research resources and opportunities. For example, the Women in Iowa Politics Database provides information about women’s roles in Iowa politics and the Gender Balance Project examines the membership of appointed county and municipal boards and commissions in Iowa in partnership with the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. Furthermore, The Carrie Chapman Catt Prize for Research on Women and Politics has been established to encourage student’s interest in women and politics research. This year’s competition deadline passed on Nov. 25th, but since the first prize was awarded in 1994, 85 projects have been supported. 

The Catt Center sponsors lectures and various events during the school year as well, which work to educate and encourage involvement in politics, such as the Ready to Run® Iowa  program and the Campaign College workshop. The non-partisan Ready to Run® Iowa program is designed to recruit and train women in Iowa to run for elective office, prepare for appointive office, or become involved in public life as leaders in their communities. The Campaign College workshop is held every other year and teaches students how to get elected or appointed to ISU’s Student Government and to other campus leadership positions. For more information about these and other resources, please explore their webpage at 
Upcoming Events

Lecture: Photographing Identity
Artist: Stephanie Brunia

Thursday, December 10, 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Christian Petersen Art Museum, 1017 Morrill Hall
Stephanie Brunia is an Iowan, University of Iowa and University of New Mexico alumna, a daughter, a sister, a woman, a teacher, a photographer, an artist. She will speak about her photography and what influences her art in conjunction with the exhibition (Re)discovering S(h)elves.

Four photographs from Brunia's Untitled series have been acquired for the permanent Art on Campus Collection and will be located in the Women's and Gender Studies Department following the closing of the exhibition.

Lecture: The U.S. Fight against Child Abuse, Trafficking and Sexual Assault
Luis CdeBaca

Tuesday, January 19, 8:00 PM
Sun Room, Memorial Union

Ambassador Luis CdeBaca, a graduate of Iowa State, leads the Department of Justice Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). World Affairs Series.

Luis CdeBaca has worked under three presidential administrations to combat human trafficking and modern-day forms of slavery. He recently stepped down as Ambassador to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the State Department, a position he held for five years. He served formerly as Counsel to the House Committee on the Judiciary, where his portfolio included national security, intelligence, immigration, and civil rights. Ambassador CdeBaca received his law degree from the Michigan Law School.
Undergraduate and Graduate Resources
Fun Events for all:
Barks @ Parks
Parks Library
1 - 4PM, December 7-11
Take a short break from studying and make a new furry friend! Trained, student-friendly, comfort dogs! A joyful mix of breeds of all sizes will be available for petting.

Finals Week Study Break: Adult Coloring Books 
$1, The Workspace at the Iowa State Memorial Union 2-10 pm on December 14-17 

Finals Week Study Break: Adult Coloring Books 
$1, The Workspace at the Iowa State Memorial Union 2-10 pm on December 14-17 
These clubs may be of interest to WGS students in any major 
The Society for the Advancement of Gender Equity (SAGE) is a group that advocates for feminist goals and gender equity issues, including: Awareness of gender based violence, sexual assault issues, equal pay in the workplace, perceptions of femininity and masculinity, gender expression and sexual preference, body image issues, and other sociocultural issues analyzed through a feminist lens 

Tri Iota, also open to graduate students, strives to maintain the feminist values of egalitarianism, inclusivity, and the celebration of the diversity of women's experiences. The organization also works to enhance the experience of students in Women's Studies as well as recognizing their academic achievement. 

Resources, templates, organizational tips, and checklists are available through the Iowa State University Graduate College, including information about upcoming seminars as they become available. For more information: 
Remember to check out all the resources available through the Parks Library. You may want to contact your subject librarian to increase the effectiveness of your searches and/or reserve a study room to avoid distractions. For more information: 
Seminar: CELT Spring Semester Teaching Assistant (TA) Seminar - Jan. 8, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm (2030 Morrill Hall) 
All TAs who are new to the classroom or need additional support with their assignments are strongly encouraged to attend this seminar. Discussion will focus on classroom management, effective grading, and preparing for the first day of class. Ideas for specific types of teaching, time management, and working with students will also be shared. (Registration is required through Accessplus by January 7, 2016.) 

Thanks to Elisa Cardenas and Sarah Chase for their editorial assistance in compiling and editing this newsletter!
Copyright © 2015 Iowa State Women's and Gender Studies, All rights reserved.

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