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.


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 2016 Department of Gender Studies Speakers' Series.

 Tuesday, 17 January, 12:30 p.m.

Amanda Bittner, Department of Political Science, and Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant, Political Studies, Queen's University

Digging Deeper into the Gender Gap: Gender Salience as a Moderating Facotr in Political Attitudes

We know how sex (rather than gender) structures political preferences, but researchers rarely take into account the salience of gender identity at the individual level. The only similar variable for which salience is commonly taken seriously is partisanship, for which direction and importance or strength are both considered imperative for measurement and analysis. While some scholars have begun to look at factors that may influence intra-group differences, such as feminism (Conover, 1988), most existing research implicitly assumes gender salience is homogenous in the population. We argue that both the content of gender identity (i.e., what specifically is gender identity, as opposed to sex) as well its salience should be incorporated into analyses of how gender structures political behaviour. For some, gender simply does not motivate behaviour, and the fact that salience moderates the impact of gender on behaviour requires researchers to model accordingly. Using original data from six provincial election studies, we examine a measure of gender identity salience and find that it clarifies our understanding of gender’s impact on political attitudes.

Tuesday, 14 February, 12:30 p.m.

Lorna Quiroga, Master of Gender Studies Candidate, Memorial University

Weaving the Yrmo: Gendering the Yshiro Territorial Claim

This presentation is based on a research done in the Chaco region of Paraguay where the Yshiro Nation is claiming part of their ancestral territory (the Yrmo). Yshiro communities are marked by the heterogeneity of livelihoods and experiences. Thus, the reasons people participate and support the territorial claim is different for each one of them. The territorial claim strategy is led by UCINY (Yshiro federation) and includes political and legal actions and ways to ‘keep everybody engaged’ in the process. As an intern with the UCINY, my main task was determining, along with artisan women, how to better support them (therefore keeping them engaged); and, in addition, stress women’s knowledge of the Yrmo that could bolster the territorial claim’s argument. I learned from artisans that their reasons for remaining engaged with the territorial claim varies from one community to the next and depends on the specific relationship that different women have with the forest, the river, the local and national government, some NGO’s and more than human persons, among others. In this presentation, I will share my experience as an intern with UCINY, focusing on two types of handicraft process to talk about a) women’s own way of organizing towards UCINY; b) women’s knowledge and other practices of territory; c) stories from the field.

Tuesday, 14 March, 12:30 p.m.

Andrea Proctor, Adjunct Professor, Department of Gender Studies

Inspirational Inuit Women: A Nunatsiavut-based Narrative

Over the past year, Inuit of Nunatsiavut have been telling their own stories about the inspirational Inuit women in their lives and building a shared narrative about women’s leadership in Nunatsiavut. The Daughters of Mikak project focuses on providing opportunities for Nunatsiavummiut to express their appreciation for the leadership roles of Inuit women, and in doing so, both demonstrates and strengthens the social relationships on which Nunatsiavut communities are built. Andrea Procter describes this community-driven initiative and illustrates how Nunatsiavummiut are co-creating a celebratory and powerful new discourse about Indigenous women.

Tuesday, 4 April, 12:30 p.m.

Samantha Bokma, Master of Gender Studies Candidate, Memorial University

I Used To Be an Adventurer Like You and Then I Took an Arrow in the Knee: Power, Privilege, and “The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim”

This study seeks to explore how toxic gaming culture is reinforced and potentially challenged by the content within individual games through engagement with them, by the commitments formed around them, and by the way one must interact with or through them. I argue that toxic gaming culture is typically reinforced through game content and assert that issues of equity and diversity need to be addressed in the workspaces that create games. I propose to answer this question through a multi-method approach. This includes three pillars: a case study of the game Skyrim that analyses the game content, an authoethongraphic analysis of my personal experience playing Skyrim and other games, and semi-structured interviews with diverse players from various social locations to interrogate the relationship between player and game content. My theoretical framework will draw on post-colonial and new media theories focusing on white heteropatriarchal colonialism, settler colonialism, race as place, database structure, phenomenal affect, the structure of play, and power versus control. This project will explore the thematic connections between post-colonial literature and new media theories by specifically applying them to videogame content and culture.