November 2008 Archives

The Department of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and the Feminist
Studies graduate program invite you to join us for the final talk of our
fall 2008 colloquium series.

Ryan Lee Cartwright: American Studies PhD Candidate
"Danger Amid Security": Sex, Class, Race, and Rural Hate Crimes of the 1990s
Monday, December 1, 2008
Ford Hall 400


Despite the peace and prosperity of the late 1990s, something was amiss in
the wind-swept prairies and piney woods of the U.S. countryside. The 1990s
witnessed three highly-publicized hate crimes in rural Nebraska, Texas, and
Wyoming: the horrific beatings and deaths of Brandon Teena (and his friends
Phillip DeVine and Lisa Lambert), James Byrd, Jr., and Matthew Shepard.
With voyeuristic gazes locked on the homophobia of slow-minded hicks and
the racism of small southern towns, national media discourse and cultural
production about hate crimes from the 1990s announced that but for a few
exceptional instances of intolerance in the hinterland, the U.S. was a
nation accepting of difference. Yet difference - particularly classed and
racialized sexual difference - was central to how such stories were spun.

As this paper examines rural hate crimes discourse, it asks how narratives
about sexuality and family structure were deployed to negotiate social
belonging and normativity. It considers who was imagined as dangerous and
who imagined themselves as secure in "rural America" specifically and the
nation more generally, proposing that rural hate crimes discourse
increasingly separated respectable LGBT identity from "irresponsible" forms
of sexual nonnormativity marked by class and racial difference. In doing
so, the paper addresses the ways such discourses were constructed and
contested by local and regional news coverage, national media and cultural
productions, and LGBT and African American community responses.

For more information, call Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at

New Course for Spring 2009


The Red Queen - A play by Lorena Duarte

November 20th at 7pm

The Red Queen by Lorena Duarte, Directed by Brian Columbus
An episodic play made up of a collection of stories centered on the experiences of women, expressing the tenderness, the ardor, the life-and-death dance that women - and particularly immigrant women - must do.
Performed by Katrina Hawley, Marie Williams and Katherine Kupiecki

WHERE: The Lowry Lab, 350 St Peter St, St Paul, 55102

TICKETS: ONLY $6 EACH!!! Reservations are the only way to guarantee availability and can be made at: 651-225-8106 or

INFO:, 651-224-8806 or

Editor: Trystan T. Cotten
Deadline for abstracts: January 15, 2009
Deadline for complete essays: April 1, 2009

Concepts of “migration? and “travel? abound in the field of Transgender Studies. Many transgender cultural productions explore questions of identity and transition trajectories using metaphors of home, displacement, relocation, etc. To our knowledge there are no full length text(s) or monographs that treat the many possibilities of critical, scholarly investigation of this subject in TG history, identity, and art/cultural production. We are proposing a volume of criticism to fill the void and invite contributions for an interdisciplinary collection on the topic. Broadly conceived Trans/Gender Migrations will explore, trace, and map the myriad meanings and functions of “migration? and “travel? in transgender cultural production, politics, and identity/subjectivity, including related concepts of movement and location like space (and spatiality), place, border(s), bridge(s), home, expatriation, displacement, relocation, etc.

We welcome essays from all academic disciplines and scholarly fields and provide some suggestions. Essays might examine these concepts and metaphors in transgender identities (and subjectivities), politics, and cultural productions like literature, film, dance and other performance arts, photography, music, body-art, etc. Or, how TG Studies is itself an interdisciplinary field of methodologies, theories, concepts, and knowledges that are imported from other disciplinary and artistic sites. When and where do western definitions of transgender (and transsexuality) fail to translate across cultural and geographical borders? Other possible topics include exploring the multiple crossings of gender/sex transitions: how the crossing of borders of sex/gender entails other shifts in identity and subjectivity like social class, race and ethnicity, national and religious identity, etc. What additional borders are crossed in sex/gender transitions? Essays might also examine the surgical re-mapping and re-routing of bodily tissues, nerves, organs, and chemicals on TG/TS bodies. Other topics for exploration might include how sex/gender transitions effect migrations to new sexual and political communities; how the politics of race, class, gender, (trans)sexuality intersect with or manifest in immigration policies of the state; and what politics of sex, gender, (trans)sexuality are operative in the forced displacement and relocation of peoples.

Please send a 500 word abstract, working title, and brief biographical statement (MS Word or PDF) to Trystan Cotten by January 15, 2009 at: Please send a brief biographical statement along with your abstract. Completed essays (formatted in Chicago guidelines) are due by April 1, 2009.

Hello Equilibrium Supporters,
thank you all for making EQ's Fall season so spectacular!

Please come and help us celebrate our first ever CD release, ¿Nation of Immigrants? - a compilation of spoken word and performance poetry by Minnesotan Indigenous, immigrant, adoptee, refugee, and people of color - that seeks to explore, challenge, and explode the blanket-term "nation of immigrants". We gave preference to Minnesota artists that do not have their own CD out yet. It is really a spectacular collection, educational, thought-provoking, and inspiring, and it's just in time for the gift-giving season!

And did we mention there will be free food? The CD will be on sale for $10 and there will be some short performances by some of the featured artists.

Help us celebrate Minnesota poets and political art! And spread the word...

Feminist Pedagogy Group

Anyone interested in starting an informal feminist pedagogy group? I am currently teaching Feminist Pedagogies (Feminist Pedagogies syllabus) and am really enjoying talking and learning more about feminist teaching theories and strategies. I would love to continue the conversation with GWSS grad students and/or other faculty members. We could share strategies, get advice, exchange syllabi, critically reflect on pedagogical theories (and anything else related to teaching).

Let me know if you are interested. You can post a comment to the blog, email me at, or stop by my office (Ford 429).

Spread the word...

-Sara Puotinen

My seminar on Troublemaking

I wanted to let you all know about the graduate seminar I will be teaching in the spring. I am really looking forward to it!

Here is the information:

GWSS 8190: Feminist and Queer Explorations in Troublemaking, Wednesdays 2-4:30
What are the political and ethical possibilities for making trouble? How have selves or communities made trouble in effective ways? What would it mean to think about troublemaking as a virtue? What are the limits of troublemaking? What are the links between troublemaking and feminist theoretical activism? Radical democracy? Queer theory and practice? Humor? Critical thinking and philosophy?

In this graduate seminar, we will explore all of these questions (and more) as we closely examine the nature and practice of troublemaking. We will begin by examining the specific ways that troublemaking as a practice and a troublemaker as a label have been used to dismiss and deem improper or deviant the theories, experiences, and activities of individuals and communities who challenge the status quo and/or work for social justice. We will closely examine how troublemaking and the troublemaker are represented and performed within specific social contexts and how race, class, gender, sexuality and ethnicity shape our understandings (and evaluations) of them. Then, we will critically explore the ethical and political potential of troublemaking, both as a practice and as an attitude/quality of character. In particular, we will look at how making trouble functions in a wide range of feminist and queer theoretical, political and ethical projects of transgression and transformation. While this course will draw upon a wide range of disciplines and methodologies, we will give particular attention to troublemaking in philosophical and ethical contexts. Some of the authors we will be reading include: Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Kate Bornstein, bell hooks, Cornel West, Chantal Mouffe, Luce Irigaray, Dorothy Allison, María Lugones, Chelá Sandoval, Audre Lorde, Cynthia Willett and Lisa Tessman.


  • GWSS Course Blogs: 2009-2010

  • Helen Hawthorne Hartung Award Competition Idalia Robles De Leon

  • Helen Hawthorne Hartung Award Competition Jerod Greenisen

  • Links

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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