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Department of Gender Studies Speakers' Series

Speakers' Series

The Advisory Committee on Speakers, Department of Gender Studies, organizes public talks by local and visiting speakers on topics of interest to the university and St. John's communities.

The series runs in the Fall and Winter semesters of each academic year.

Fall SEMESTER 2014

All lectures are open to the public and unless otherwise noted are held in the Sally Davis Seminar Room, SN 4087.

The following speakers are confirmed for the Fall 2014 Department of Gender Studies Speakers' Series.

Tuesday, 16 September, 1:00 p.m. - Megan Morrison, PhD Candidate, Division of Community Health and Humanities, Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University

Care-full Pieces of Creativity

With the help of photographs, painting, poetry, film, music, comic strip, felted-wool, transparencies, embroidery, short-story, and play-dough, care-full pieces of creativity compose multiple scores for care-giving roles. Allow yourself to experience this exhibit recreated for you through photographs. Ten creative art pieces and ten unique care-givers express the complexities of caring for a loved one living with dementia. The exhibit demonstrates the depth of understanding, which can be invoked by arts-informed research. The doctoral project illustrates the components of conducting research with care.

Friday, 17 October, 1:00 p.m.  -- Zaren Healey White, Master of Gender Studies Candidate

Surgical Shape-Shifting: Transgender Embodiment in Nina Arsenault's The Silicone Diaries

My work examines transgender experience and embodiment through an analysis of Canadian transgender performance artist Nina Arsenault and her autobiographical one-woman stage play The Silicone Diaries (2012). I will use Arsenault’s multivalent performances – through life writing, stage plays, and self-portraiture – to explore theories of transgender embodiment and experience as imagined by those who have experienced it. Arsenault’s extensive cosmetic surgery has transmogrified her body into a living art canvas and forms the basis for her artistic work. Considering Arsenault among other self-styled, hyperfeminine art subject-objects, I will explore how her practice involves the pursuit of an exaggerated, hypersexual, feminine ideal of beauty while simultaneously subverting essentialist or naturalized notions of what it means to be a woman

14-18 October

Annual St. John's International Women's Film Festival

Over 80 films with workshops and panels on the film and broadcasting industries, with appearances by guest filmmakers and producers.

For more information on Festival passes and tickets, call 754-3141 or email

See also

Tuesday, 4 November, 1:00 p.m. -- Gina Snooks, Master of Gender Studies Candidate

Scripted Skins:  Women's Tattoos as Embodied Life Narratives

What motivates women to have their skin permanently inked? By using an auto/biographical approach to storytelling as a feminist practice, I study tattoo stories as embodied life narratives through which women perform subjectivity. Thus, framed within feminist scholarship that thinks of the body as a powerful symbolic form and as a site marked with cultural, social, and political meaning, I examine tattoos as social billboards. More specifically, I theorize ways in which tattoos function as scripts that communicate the gendered performances of everyday life that are entangled with broader sociocultural and political discourses about women and spirituality. In other words, I am interested in the ways that tattoos tell stories about women’s lives.

Tuesday, 2 December, 1:00 p.m. - Gabriela Sanchez Diaz, Master of Gender Studies Candidate

Re-Mapping the Body: Feminine Experience in Music Performance

This research seeks to intertwine classical music performance and Body Mapping with feminist thought. Its purpose is to study how the characteristics that define normative gender affect the lived body and its movement; the body as the site where a patriarchal society constructs gender roles, more specifically femininity; and consequently the effects that these may produce in music performance. Body Mapping is a method to help to reduce pain and avoid injuries related to the practice of a musical instrument. Drawing on interviews of women classical musicians and autoethnography work, I seek to answer how the practice of Body Mapping impacts the bodily performances of women classical musicians and what the potential of Body Mapping is to disrupt traditional gender roles in classical music performance.

6 December

Vigil to Mark the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

Location and time to be announced.