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.

 Friday, 15 September, 12:00 p.m.

Jillian Ashick-Stinson, Master of Gender Studies Candidate, Memorial University

GirlSpace: Program Development with YWCA, St. John's

YWCA GirlSpace is a YWCA Canada Turning Point Program that aims to reach out to girls with quality programming that reflects the key social issues facing young women today (YWCA Canada website). I will discuss my internship with YWCA St. John’s, where I revamped and rejuvenated of their core Turning Point program, GirlSpace. Reflecting on my time there, I will consider the challenges of both working in a small not-for-profit and updating a nationally created program for a local context.

Friday, 29 September, 12:00 p.m.

Jennifer Selby, Department of Religious Studies, Memorial University

Required Romance: Disciplining Muslim French Bodies at the Time of Marriage

Civil marriage regulation reflects shifting social values and anxieties about sexuality, the family and, for those with transnational marriages, immigration. This presentation examines new legislation in France that aims to limit mariages blancs, gris et forcés [“fake, fraudulent and forced marriages”], that, according to the Minister of Justice, are a “major migration issue” given that, in 2005, 1/3 of marriages in the Republic were with a non-EU national. This talk considers (1) the rationales used to pass legislation that encourages marriage officiants to monitor the putative romance present in civil marriage ceremonies (for possible annulment) alongside (2) ethnographic research with marrying transnational couples of Algerian origin who live in a suburb of Paris. Despite examples of informants who sophisticatedly push against these imperatives, I argue that the legislation that creates suspicion around transnational marriages and urges for proof of sexual intimacy and romance, further disciplines Muslim French bodies outside the confines of citizenship, while subtly promoting desirable areligious citizens.


18-22 October, Annual St. John's International Women's Film Festival

For more information on Festival passes and tickets, call 754-3141 or email info@womensfilmfestival.com

Monday, 30 October, 12:00 p.m.

Chandra Kavanagh, Feminist-in-Residence, St. John's Status of Women Council (SJSWC, PhD Candidate, McMaster University

Feminist Activism: A Toolkit

Have you ever observed or experienced injustice in the world and wished there was something you could do about it, but not known where to begin? Feminist approaches to activism encompass a wide range of strategies from radical direct action to minor interventions in daily life. Despite the power of feminist theoretical scholarship to inform and inspire practical activism, a deep chasm remains between feminist theory and activist practice. “Feminist Activism: A Toolkit” integrates theory and practice by providing practical skills, governed by feminist values, that can be employed to make significant political change and engender social justice. In this presentation we will explore 5 activist tactics that make possible the redistribution of power including research, support, campaigning, organizing and protest.

Monday, 20 November, 12:00 p.m.

Lesley Butler, Master of Gender Studies Candidate, Memorial University

"People make films about themselves": Race, identity, and (re)writing history in Julie Dash's "Illusions" (1982) and "Daughters of the Dust" (1991)

You may be familiar with Beyoncé and her visual album Lemonade, but perhaps you are less familiar with the name Julie Dash. As the first African American female filmmaker to have a feature film released theatrically in the US (for Daughters of the Dust in 1991), Dash’s revolutionary contribution to Black independent cinema continues to inspire artists to this day (Beyoncé included). This presentation will explore representations of race, identity, and history in two of Julie Dash’s pivotal films: Illusions (1982) and Daughters of the Dust (1991). Drawing from discourse across film studies, women’s life writing, and Black feminist geographies, this research addresses the issues of racism and sexism in Hollywood while working to situate Dash as a significant figure in US history.

Monday, 4 December, 12:00 p.m.

Emily Murphy, Master of Gender Studies Candidate, Memorial University

More than Just a TV Show: Fans, Representation and #LGBTFansDeserve Better

In March of 2016, the sudden and violent death of a lesbian character, Lexa, on the television show The 100 devastated and infuriated the show’s LGBTQ viewers. Fans banded together on social media under the hashtag #LGBTFansDeserveBetter. My research focuses on fandom as a site of sociopolitical action. Using The 100 and its fandom as a case study, I will focus on the role of affect in the motivation behind this fandom’s call for better representation, as well as the power dynamics of the fan/producer relationship, and the neoliberal context in which this relationship was cultivated. Using the movement’s own website, as well as the fans’ self-initiated archive, and the contents of the hashtag #LGBTFansDeserveBetter, I examine how affect operates with respect to queer representation and The 100, and the role social media played in mediating the intense affective response to Lexa’s death.


6 December - Vigil to Mark the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre

Location and Time to be announced


Gender Studies

230 Elizabeth Ave

St. John's, NL A1B 3X9 CANADA

Tel: (709) 864-2530

Fax: (709) 864-2552