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Upcoming GenCen Events

In celebration of International Women's Day (March 8) and Women's History Month, please join us for these upcoming events! 

Marjorie Spruill: Divided We Stand

divided we stand flyer.jpgDivided We Stand: An Evening with Marjorie Spruill

Thursday, March 29
6:30pm, MSU RCAH Theater (Basement of Snyder-Phillips Hall, 362 Bogue Street, East Lansing)

Forty years ago, two women’s movements drew a line in the sand between liberals and conservatives. The legacy of that rift is still evident today in American politics and social policies. Divided We Stand reveals how the battle between feminists and their conservative challengers divided the nation as Democrats continued to support women’s rights and Republicans cast themselves as the party of family values. Please join us as celebrated author, Marjorie Spruill, shares her insight into the historical impact women activists on both sides played in American politics, especially after the historic 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston, Texas.

The program will begin at 6:30pm, followed by a book signing at 7:30pm.
Tickets and books must be purchased in advance by calling 517-763-2397 or online at

Additional information can be found here.

Dr. Kris De Welde: The Heavy Lift of Institutional Change: Cultivating Strategies for Equity

The Heavy Lift of Institutional Change: Cultivating Strategies for Equity
Dr. Kris De Welde, College of Charleston

Wednesday, April 11
3:30-5:00pm, Kresge Art Center, Room 108

Kris De Welde’s remarks will focus on key patterns of systemic inequities in higher education as well as strategies for overcoming the exclusionary practices, inequitable policies, and micro-level biases that leverage unequal outcomes in faculty careers.  De Welde’s approach attends to intersecting identities and social categories of gender, race/ ethnicity, social class, sexual orientation, and other statuses as a means to move towards authentically inclusive and justice-oriented academic workplaces. Drawing on her research, she will provide insight on the varying levels of academic life – structural, cultural, climate – that must be addressed for lasting organizational change to occur. 

A flyer with additional information will be available shortly, please check back soon!


April Colloquia Presentation: Avatars for Empowerment: The real potential of virtual selves

GenCen Colloquia Presentation: Avatars for Empowerment: The real potential of virtual selves


Friday, April 13 - 1:30-3:00PM - 201 International Center


Did you know that avatars offer a secret weapon that can be used to help reduce real-world social inequities?  This talk addresses this questions, examining recent theory and research on the psychological experience and effects of avatar use. Building on a broad definition of avatars as mediated self-representations, I will explain how avatar attributes influence users (e.g., the Proteus effect). I will discuss my experimental research on the psychological factors that moderate such avatar effects, as well as my research that applies these principles to meaningful outcomes, emphasizing the potential for avatars to counteract the harmful effects of stereotypes and empower all users in education contexts, especially STEM fields.  Finally, I will describe my most recent theoretical directions with this work, building from Social Cognitive Theory to offer a framework for future research on how to maximize the empowering effects of avatars. 

Rabindra (Robby) Ratan is Assistant Professor and AT&T Scholar at MSU's Department of Media & Information and is also affiliated with MSU's Department of Psychology as well as MSU’s College of Education's program in Educational Psychology and Educational Technology.  His research focuses on psychological experiences of media use, with an emphasis on interactive environments (e.g., virtual worlds, video games, the road) that include mediated self-representations (e.g., avatars, cars).  





Dr. Jane Parpart: Rethinking Silence, Gender & Power in Insecure Sites

Parpart Flyer.jpgRethinking Silence, Gender & Power in Insecure Sites: Implications for Feminist Security Studies and Feminist Global Political Economy in a Postcolonial World
Dr. Jane Parpart, University of Massachusetts, Boston

Friday, April 20
1:30-3:00pm, B310 Wells Hall

Silence is no longer simply a symptom of powerlessness. It has emerged as a tool for empowerment, an alternative source of protection and power. Silence has become a form of action, often intertwined with voice, but powerful on its own. Dr. Parpart will discuss this more complex understanding of silence and voice in order to evaluate gender in insecure sites.  A PDF of the flyer is available here.

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