International Studies & Programs


Undergraduate Research Showcase

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GenCen has hosted a spring Undergraduate Research Showcase biennially since 2011, featuring student research on topics of gender, women and sexuality.

The Undergraduate Research Showcase encourages cutting-edge undergraduate research on these topics, and brings together undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty who are engaged in this type of research and scholarship. Undergraduate students do not often have the same opportunities to highlight their research in professional settings as graduate students, so this Showcase rewards undergraduate research efforts and brings significance to their projects in a non-classroom setting, while also connecting them to others who are doing work in these fields.

5th Annual GenCen URS

The Center for Gender in Global Context (GenCen) invites MSU undergrad students to present research exploring issues of gender, women, and sexuality locally, nationally, and globally for its fifth biennial undergraduate research conference on Friday, March 29, 2019. The showcase, entitled "New Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality: an Undergraduate Showcase," is designed to inspire undergraduate research on women, gender, and sexuality and contribute to the advancement of a focused learning community for students and faculty. This event will provide an opportunity for undergraduates to present their work on these topics in a professional setting and receive feedback, as well as allow them to connect, network with, and learn from graduate students, faculty, and other undergraduates in similar fields.

Keynote Presentation by Dr. Jacqueline Rhodes

Dr. Jacqueline Rhodes is Professor of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures at MSU. Her scholarly work focuses on intersections of rhetoric, materiality, and technology, and has been published in a variety of venues, including College Composition and Communication,JAC: A Journal of Composition TheoryComputers and CompositionEnculturation, andRhetoric Review. Her book On Multimodality (co-authored with Jonathan Alexander; NCTE, 2014) won the 2015 CCCC Outstanding Book Award and the 2014 Computers & Composition Distinguished Book Award. Techne, a book-length e-project co-authored with Jonathan Alexander, won the 2016 CCCC Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship. Grounded in her past professional life as a graphic designer and typesetter, she also focuses her energies on creative work, including multimedia installations, videos, and websites.

Keynote: "Once a Fury: Remembering Revolution"

This presentation offers outtakes of interviews with the Furies, a lesbian separatist collective from the early 1970s who published an underground newspaper with a national run. The group formed quickly and ended dramatically, with multiple purges, suspicion of FBI involvement, and myriad interpersonal conflicts—most of which they wrote about in their newspaper. Now, 50 years later, they're talking. Present and past interviews put forward this group's arguments and insights, offering a multi-layered discussion of overlapping histories. In this presentation, I offer some insights about the politics of voicing, focusing in particular on the process of attempting to ethically and respectfully listen to and represent other's stories, drawing from feminist work on story, voice, and silence.

Previous Showcase Programs

March 31, 2017

Media Representations of Black Women
Moderator: Kristin Rowe (African American and African Studies)
Bhargavi Dixit: Television vs. Modern Women of Color
Breanna Escamilla: The Politics of Black Womanhood and Reality Television
Sarah Fleming: The curious case of the Awkward Black Girl
Keiarra Menefee: Hidden Figures: Unlocking Representations of Black Women in Video Games

Social Scientific Perspectives on Gender, Sexuality, and Family
Moderator: Praveena Lakshmanan (Sociology)
Sara Burnosky and Monica Williamson: Parental Navigation of Adolescent Sexuality
Weslie Murphy: Current HIV Prevention Practices Among Domestic Violence Advocates
Elizabeth Bloom and Briann Wilson: Effects of Economic Abuse

Gender and Feminism in Religion, Politics, Philosophy, and History
Moderator: Kelly O'Brien (Sociology)
Marisa Meyerson: Nidah: When Tradition is Not Enough
Rachel Rossow: For Liberty and Justice for Christian Men
Lauren Tamboer: Masculinity, Meat and the Martyr

Women, Gender, and Health
Moderator: Robyn Bluhm (Philosophy and Lyman Briggs College)
Madelyn Averill: Gender Discrimination and the Missing Girl in India: A Case Study of the PNDT Act
Ayda Sadat Alavi: The Dire Conditions of Women and Young Girls in the Za'atari Refugee Camp and the Implications on Their Health
Valerie Russell, Joel Soler, and Lily Yan: Gender Disparities in Photic Modulation of Learning/Memory and Hippocampal Plasticity in the Diurnal Grass Rat (Arvicanthis niloticus)

Keynote by Dr. April Zeoli, MSU School of Criminal Justice: Do Legal Firearms Restrictions for Perpetrators of Domestic Violence have an Impact on Intimate Partner Homicide levels?
Whether legal firearms restrictions are effective in reducing gun violence and homicide is an important and timely question. In this research, we investigate this question by analyzing the impact of laws that are expressly designed to reduce a specific subset of homicide: firearms prohibitions for those subject to domestic violence restraining orders and for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. There is great variation among states on whether and how these restrictions are legislated; these variations may be critically important to the implementation and effectiveness of the laws. The goals of this project are to determine whether the potential impact of these policies on intimate partner homicide are affected by 1) broader coverage of firearm restrictions to many groups of domestic violence offenders; 2) the provision of specific power to the justice system to compel firearm surrender or removal from prohibited persons; and/or 3) the presence of additional state laws designed to prevent diversion of guns to prohibited persons. To that end, we conducted a quantitative policy evaluation using annual state-level data from 1980 through 2013 for 46 states. Results will be presented and implications of the research discussed.

Black Relationships in the Media
Moderator: Tara Mock (African American and African Studies)
Legacy Cannon: In Honor of Artina: An Analysis of Black Relationships Portrayed in Mass Media
Asha Dawsey: Colorism in the Animated Series the Proud Family and its Impact on African American Millennials
Tierra Nelson: Comical Misogyny
Destiny Morris: Exploitation or Reality Check? A look at Representations of Black Bodies Crime Shows

Moderator: Tim Retzloff (Center for Gender in Global Context)
Elizabeth Schondelmayer: You're Here, You're Queer, and We've (Suddenly) Gotten Used to It: An Analysis of the Rapid Changes in American Acceptance Towards the LGBTQ Community
Alyse Maksimoski and Katrina Groeller: The Bi/Pan Experience: Exposing Bi/Pan Marginalization on Michigan State University's Campus

Gender and Music Performance
Moderator: Cwen Homa (Musicology)
Bronwen McVeigh: Playing Pretty: Performing Gender at the Piano in Film
Emma Gregory: What Mama Never Told Me: Sex, Shame, and Growing Up

Thanks to the Program Planning Committee:
Stephanie Nawyn, GenCen Co-Director, Conference Co-Chair
Marisa Meyerson, GenCen Intern, Conference Co-Chair
Adrienne Adams, Psychology, College of Social Science
Dianna Baldwin, Writing Center, WRAC, College of Arts and Letters
Kirsten Fermaglich, History, College of Social Science
Claudia Holzman, Epidemiology and Biostatistics, College of Natural Science
Elizabeth Drexler, Anthropology, Peace and Justice Studies, College of Social Science

Funding support provided by the Undergraduate Research Office -

April 3, 2015

LGBT Activism & Human Rights
Moderator: Laura Fair, Department of History
Erin Paskus: Transforming Perceptions of Black Transgender Women

Science & Medicine
Moderator: Vashti Sawtelle, Department of Physics and Astronomy
Jamila Edwards: A Breast Cancer Screening: A Review of the Changing Screening Recommendations and Controversy
Madison Fitzgerald: Breaking into the Boys' Club: A Sociological Study Examining Gendered Experiences in Science

Gender-Based Violence in a Global Perspective
Moderator: Stephanie Nawyn, Department of Sociology
Mara Abramson: The Tourism Problem: The Dark Shadow the Red Light Casts on Amsterdam
Lauren Leslie: Gender and Disenfranchisement: Understanding Gender-Based Violence in India
Lauren McEachran: The Criminalization of Abortion in El Salvador: The Causes and Effects of Legitimized Violence Against Women

Women & the Academy
Moderator: Nancy Dejoy, Department of Writing, Rhetoric and American Cultures
Tyler Berg and Lauren Gann: Conspiracy of Silence: Why Some Athletes Rape
Sariah Metcalfe: The Validity of History: Exploring Bias and Miseducation

Gender in Art and Technology
Moderator: Carolyn Loeb, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Anna Goodson: Laurie Anderson's "Slim Beauty"
Alissa Lyon: Gamergate: A Study of Online Harassment
Alexa McCarthy: To Reflect More Than What's in the Mirror: A Study in Women Artists' Self-Portraiture

Roundtable Discussion: Sexual Assault on College Campuses: Current Initiatives and Future Challenges

Moderator: Apryl Pooley, PhD Candidate, MSU Neuroscience Program
Kyra Stephenson, Beth Ann Hamilton, Mariah Hall, Juliana Paterra, Kailie Kipfmiller

Keynote Presentation: The Intersection Between Popular Culture and Female Identity, Violence Victimization and Related Health Risks
Amy Bonomi, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Scholars argue that problematic depictions of violence against women in popular culture—such as in film, novels, music, pornography—creates a broader social narrative that normalizes these problem risks and behaviors in women’s lives. Internet-based pornography, popular fiction such as the Fifty Shades and Twilight series, and popular music such as Rihanna and Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie,” include problematic physical, sexual and psychological abuse against women under the guise of “romance” and “eroticism.” Despite the theoretical recognition that the larger social context influences behaviors and experiences, few studies have empirically characterized the relationship between interactions between popular fiction and music, in particular, and violence against women. This keynote presents learnings from recent empirical studies on the relationship between pop culture, the feminine ideals upheld in pop culture, and women’s risk for violence victimization and related health problems, such as eating and substance abuse-disorders. It addresses a critically important (modifiable and preventable) aspect of violence against women: the contribution of problematic messages perpetuated in the larger societal context. The keynote also addresses the goal of advancing the health care system’s response to domestic violence by targeting critical factors that influence health risks (e.g., violence victimization, disordered eating) for which women routinely interact with health care providers.

Thanks to the Program Planning Committee:
Lisa Fine, GenCen Co-Director, Conference Co-Chair
Marie Rose, GenCen Undergraduate Intern, Conference Co-Chair
Jennifer Goett, James Madison College, Assistant Professor
Carolyn Loeb, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Associate Dean
Georgina Montgomery, Lyman Briggs College/Department of History, Assistant Professor
Trixie Smith, College of Arts and Letters, Writing Center Director
Naoko Wake, Lyman Briggs College/Department of History, Assistant Professor

Funding support provided by the Undergraduate Research Office -

April 5, 2013

African American Women: Yesterday and Today
Moderator: LaShawn Harris, Department of History
Silver Moore: The Policing of Black Women's Bodies in Hip-Hop Culture
Laurie Hollinger: Sister(s) Outsider: The Impact of the Combahee River Collective Statement
Jessica Pedersen: Building a Bridge: How Johnnetta B. Cole Helped Connect "Black" to "Woman"

Violence and Resilience
Moderator: Hannah Brenner, College of Law
Amanda Freis: Recent Victimization, Mental Health, and Social Work Needs of Women in Jail
Elinor Fisher: A Feminist Critique of Mainstream Pornography
Rachel Berzack: Comprehensive Analysis of Massage Therapy Treatments for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence
Mark Doebler III: Individual Differences and Reactions to News Stories Covering Violence towards LGBT Individuals

Gender, State, and Politics
Moderator: Jennifer Goett, James Madison College
Anna Reh-Gingerich: Gender Role Shifts in Rural Communities in South Africa: A Review on Reasons and Consequences
Harrison Russell Jones: The World Post-Death of "Nirbhaya:" An Analysis of Media in the Revitalization of Transnational Anti Gender-Violence Movements Following the Rape of an Indian Woman
Varsha Koduvayur: The Body, the Soul, and the State: Women's Bodies as Sites of Inscription for Islamic States' Identities

Challenging Conventions
Moderator: Sharon Degraw, Lyman Briggs College
Allie Browe: Sylvia Plath: Her Struggle with Inescapable Gender Roles
Lorena De Frias: Feminism and Jane Austen
Sarah LoPresto: Unsung Heroes of Women in Science

Keynote Presentation: Health Disparities Among Same-Sex Couples
Cathy Liu, Department of Sociology
A legacy of research finds that marriage is associated with good health. Yet, same-sex cohabiters cannot marry in most states in the U.S., and therefore may not receive the health benefits associated with marriage. This study utilizes pooled data from the 1997-2009 National Health Interview Surveys to compare the self-rated health of same-sex cohabiting men (n = 1,659) and same-sex cohabiting women (n = 1,634) with that of their different-sex married, different-sex cohabiting, and unpartnered divorced, widowed, and never married counterparts. Results from logistic regression models show that same-sex cohabiters report poorer health than their different-sex married counterparts at the same levels of socioeconomic status. Additionally, same-sex cohabiters report better health than their different-sex cohabiting and single counterparts, but these differences are fully explained by socioeconomic status. Without their socioeconomic advantages, same-sex cohabiters would report similar health to those non-married groups. Analyses further reveal important racial-ethnic and gender variations.

Diagnosing and Medicalizing the Mind and Body
Moderator: Naoko Wake, Lyman Briggs College
Kathryn Stoecker: Whose Period is it Anyway? Portrayals and Representations of Menstruation in American Society
Rachel Paran: Advertisements and Pocket Books: What Homeopathic Doctors did for Female Agency in the Victorian Era
Leanna Fabian: Infant Care Practices in Rural Uttarakhand, India
Cole Davis: Prevalence of Psychological Disorders and Behaviors in Men Between the Ages of 18-21 who Identify as Liberal or Conservative

Women, Gender, and Music
Moderator: Joanna Bosse, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities
Alexander Acton: The Proliferation of Women into the American Music Scene
Sarah Tomlinson: Aaron Copland: An American in Paris or the Lone Ranger?
Molly McBride: On Being a "Banjo Pickin' Girl:" Female Country Musicians and the Gendered Experiences of Musicianship
Linnea Jimison: Women, Music, and The Academy: The Experiences of Female Faculty in the MSU College of Music

Contested Terrain of Gender in 20th Century US History
Moderator: Lisa Fine, Department of History
Tiffany Dancer: Changing Definitions of Gendered Norms: How Adolescents, Homosexuals, and Prisoners Redefined Manhood and Womanhood in Early Twentieth Century America
Olivia Queenan: Tensions between Gender Expectations and Economic Conditions in Women's Work during World War II
Michael Gendernalik: Birth Control: A Catalyst in the Liberation of Sex During the Great Depression Era

Pedagogy, Practice, and Praxis
Moderator: Kristen Renn, Educational Administration
Emily Snoek: Risky Business: LGBT Youth and Michigan's Sex Education Curriculum
Abigail Heath, Grace Pappalardo, and Taylor Davis: Building Friendships and Leaders: Encouraging Agency and Self-Empowerment in Pre-Adolescent Girls
Kelly Collins, Madilyn Sherbrooke, Samantha Wright, Cortney Vandegrift, and Megan Almendinger: Implementing Feminist Methodology to Promote Positive Experiences Among Research Assistants

Thanks to the Program Planning Committee:
Lisa Fine, GenCen Co-Director, Conference Co-Chair
Ann Chrapkiewicz, GenCen Student Advisor, Conference Co-Chair
Michael Gendernalik, GenCen Undergraduate Intern, Conference Co-Chair
Jennifer Goett, James Madison College, Assistant Professor
Trixie Smith, College of Arts and Letters, Writing Center Director
Stephanie Nawyn, College of Social Science, Assistant Professor
Naoko Wake, Lyman Briggs College, Assistant Professor
Carolyn Loeb, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, Associate Dean

Funding support provided by the Undergraduate Research Office -

April 1, 2011

Sexual and Relationship Violence
Moderator: Lisa Schwartzman, Department of Philosophy
Annie Norris and Chelsea Yondo: Masculinity and Sexual Violence against Women
Stephanie Eisenberg: Battered Men: An Exploration into the Hidden Side of Domestic Violence
Robert VanKirk: Clericalism, Hierarchy, and Abuse: The Trifecta of Violence Afflicting the Roman Catholic Church

Women's Movements, Feminisms, and the State
Moderator: Jennifer Goett, James Madison College
Jessica Hix: About That: Pornography, Prostitution and Organized Feminism in Transitional Russia
Kate Leong: Media, Youth, and Gender in International Contexts: Comparisons in Gendered Media between Germany, Brazil and the United States
Courtney Swisher: One in a Million: How the Million Signatures Campaign Exemplifies the Changing Roles of Moroccan Women
Valerie McIntosh: Muslim Egyptian Women: Agency, Activism, and Change

Gendering State and Wartime Violence
Moderator: Yael Aronoff, James Madison College
Sarah Lanczy: At the Frontline: The Women of Bosnia
Samantha Ramos: Women Taking Back Their Bodies and Their Power: Response to Gender Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Queer Politics, Identities, and Movements
Moderator: Naoko Wake, Lyman Briggs College
Michael Carman: "Not Everything Happens in San Francisco": Creating Sociopolitical Space in Identity-Politics Era Lansing
Ian Morrison: I am Abomination: Masculine Construction of the Heteronormative Imaginary and the Traumatic Exclusion of the Queer Other
Layna Anderson: Being Middlesexed in the Dominican Republic: Cultural Responses to 5-alpha-reductase Deficiency
Ryan Bowes: A Matter of Perspective: Biology versus Sociology in Gaining Acceptance of Sexual Minorities

Keynote Presentation: "Sexual Orientation and the Law"
Dean Joan Howarth, MSU College of Law

Challenging Paradigms of Gender and Labor
Moderator: Michelle Kaminski, Labor & Industrial Relations
Brandon Vigliarolo: The Role of Masculinities and "Machismo" in Developing World Sex Work
Cha'Ris Lee and Lena Pantely: The Marginalization of Women in the U.S. Army
Monika Johnson, Samantha Meyer, Gabriela Alcazar, Kellie Clock: "Tenemos Tripas y Tenemos Chispa" [We Have Guts and We Have Spirit]: Feminist Applications to Chicana Labor Organizing in the United States
Katelyn Charbeneau: Young Women & the Work of Waitressing: The Balancing Act of Serving within a Gendered Service Industry

Sexuality & Parenting in Diverse Cultural Contexts
Moderator: Allison Berg, James Madison College
Theresa Koenigsknecht: Dating Dynamics: Courtship in the 1940's and 1950's
Rachel Kollin: Analysis of Birth Control Methods and the Relationship to Women's Social Status
Mingxue Du: Surrogate Mothering: Women's Experiences in Chinese SOS Villages

Global Economics and Its Impact on Women
Moderator: Lisa Cook, Economics and James Madison College
Elizabeth Petoskey: Political Participation of Women Borrowers in Microfinance Institutions in Africa: Implications and Needs
Carolyne Amiani: From Informal to Formal: An Analysis of Labor Transition among Kenyan Women
Emily Jaffe: Transnational Corporations: Women's Experiences in Factories

Representations, Theories, & Intersectionalities in the Lives of Minority Women
Moderator: Sheila Contreras, Chicano/Latino Studies and English
Marielena Mendoza King: Neither Virgin or Whore: The Effects of the Madonna/Whore Complex on Women within Latin American Societies in When Women Love Men by Rosario Ferré
Patrice Johnson: Set it Off: The Black Woman's Arrival to Social Contract Theory
Misra Ahmed: Secular Feminism & Islamic Feminism Must Coexist
Rebecca Farnum: Feminists in Fundamentalism: Orthodox Jewish Women and Empowerment

Just Because I Am
Film Premiere
with Filmmaking Team
Gabrielle Pescador, Filmmaker
Kiki Meloche, Youth Programmer, Windsor Pride
Siobhan Casey, Educator, Windsor Pride
Chris Rabideau, Drama Educator and Activist

Thanks to the Program Planning Committee:
Julia Grant, GenCen Co-Director, Conference Co-Chair
Rebecca Farnum, GenCen Undergraduate Intern, Conference Co-Chair
Andrea Freidus, Anthropology, Instructor
Jennifer Goett, James Madison College, Assistant Professor
Kaavya Ramesh, International Relations, Undergraduate
Pacita Rudder, Comparative Cultures & Politics, Undergraduate
Lisa Schwartzman, Philosophy, Associate Professor
Cameron Whitley, Sociology, Doctoral Student

Funding support provided by the Undergraduate Research Office -

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