News & Events

WGS 50th Anniversary


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The Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at USF spent 2022-2023 celebrating our 50th Anniversary. Back in 1972, Juanita Williams founded the Women’s Studies Program at USF and in 1987, USF became the first university in Florida to offer the bachelor's degree in Women’s Studies. 

To learn more about the 50th anniversary celebrations this year, check out the Spring 2023 WGSS Newsletter.

Pride Belongs to the People Photo Exhibit

Open February 8, 2023 through end of April, 2023

Soweto Pride

‘We call for a Pride that is a microcosm of the society we wish to live in, and not a mirror of the divided one that we currently live in. We wish Pride to be a space that all can access, where all can be free, and where every voice is important.’
-Manifesto of the Johannesburg People’s Pride collective.

Pride Belongs to the People documents the struggles, circumstances and demands of LGBTQ+ activists in Johannesburg, South Africa, Taiwan, India, Cuba, and New York. 

Drawing from photographs and interviews that are part of a Leverhulme Trust-funded project on the Global Politics of Pride, the activists and Pride events highlighted sit outside of the ‘mainstream’ of LGBT advocacy and Pride events. Such mainstream events are characterized by generous corporate funding, official state support and highlight what have been termed ‘homonormative’ (Duggan, 2004) issues such as same-sex marriage and the benefits of corporate diversity and inclusion policies for professional employees. 

In this exhibition, we see the black queer activists of Soweto and Ekurhuleni Prides in Johannesburg, the students of the Queer Collective at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, queer activists in Cuba, ‘Hand Job’ queer sex and disability activists at Taiwan Pride and the Reclaim Pride  Queer Liberation March, Dyke March and Drag March in New York. 

-Daniel Conway, University of Westminster, London, UK

A Crunk Feminist Writing Workshop with Kitchen Table Literary Arts

Date and Time: April 22, 2023 from 12:00pm-2:00pm 
Location: Bavarian Village Clubhouse (14476 Reuter Strasse Circle, Tampa)

The USF Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and Kitchen Table Literary Arts Present: Crunk Feminism Writing Workshop: Feminist AF/What Does Your Feminism Look Like?

Join us for a workshop designed for people ages 13 and up, featuring excerpts from the book, Feminist AF: A Guide to Crushing Girlhood. Being a feminist is about standing in your power and knowing your worth, in this workshop we'll explore how feminism shows up in our daily lives and how our celebration of feminism can be as diverse and bold as we are. Poet Slam Anderson will lead the workshop.

Slam Anderson is the Outreach Director for The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center, a nonprofit organization that builds awareness, appreciation, and support for Women of Color and Black women writers. She is a Youth/Adult workshop facilitator, spoken word artist, and writer. Slam uses her words to inspire positive change, self-love, and resilience. She has competed in both National and Regional Poetry Slam competitions including the 2012 National Poetry Slam in Charlotte, NC and the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. She is known for her advocacy as an alumnus of the foster care system, and dedicated to improving the system for current and future youth in care. She is a founding member of, Unbelievably Resilient (formally known as "Foster Strong"). She is a graduate of the University of South Florida with a B.A in Creative Writing. She is a native of Alachua/Gainesville, FL.

FHC logo

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Crunk Feminism with Dr. Susana Morris

April 14, 2023 at 6:30pm
University Area Community Development Center (14013 North 22nd Street, Tampa)

Dr. Morris will discuss her book, Feminist AF, and how feminism is a movement that can help center young Black folks' experiences. Join us for this free event, which will have prizes for students in grades 7-12, and pizza! The event is open to all ages 13 and older. 

Dr. Susana Morris is an associate professor of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. She is co-founder and contributing writer for the popular feminist blog, The Crunk Feminist Collective. Her first book, Close Kin and Distant Relatives: The Paradox of Respectability in Black Women’s Literature, was published from the University of Virginia Press in 2014. Her most recent books are the anthology The Crunk Feminist Collection, which was co-edited with Brittney Cooper and Robin Boylorn (The Feminist Press 2017) and Sycorax’s Daughters (Cedar Grove 2017), a short story collection of horror written by Black women co-edited with Kinitra D. Brooks and Linda Addison. Morris is also series editor, along with Kinitra D. Brooks, of the book series New Suns: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Speculative, published at The Ohio State University Press. She is currently at work on her latest academic book project, which explores depictions of Black women vampires, Afrofuturism, and feminism.

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

WGS 50th Anniversary Celebration

March 3, 2023 from 5:30pm-8:30pm

The evening will begin with a sunset soirée on the rooftop with cocktails, bites, and new connections, followed by a celebration of Women’s and Gender Studies ‘then and now’ - honoring the past, embracing the present, and celebrating the future. 

More details are available on the event page.

WGS Brown Bag: "The Caste of our Commons: Political Entrepreneurialism and Social Structure" with Dr. Vrinda Marwah

February 28, 2023 via Microsoft Teams

Women's care work is usually thought of as impeding their citizenship. In this talk, Dr. Marwah presents findings from an ethnographic study of India's women community health workers to show how their care work expands the social and political rights of citizenship.

Dr. Vrinda Marwah is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of South Florida. Her research interests are in gender, political sociology, health, and work. She uses ethnographic methods to study how gender is reproduced in state programs and policies, especially health-related. Her current work is on women community health workers in Punjab, India. In the past, she has worked on assisted reproductive technologies, including surrogacy. Vrinda has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin (2021), a Masters from the London School of Economics (2009), and a Bachelors from the University of Delhi (2008). From 2009-2015, Vrinda worked with feminist health and human rights groups in India, including Sama and CREA.

World Day of Social Justice Art Exhibition

February 13-23, 2023 in Centre Gallery / Marshall Center

An exhibition of artwork by Tampa Bay area artists that reflects perspectives on social justice. Hosted in collaboration with USF's Centre Gallery.

Pride belongs to the people: a conversation with Dr. Daniel Conway

February 8, 2023 at 5:30pm 
C.W. Bill Young Hall, Room 206 (USF Genschaft Drive, Tampa Campus)

Join us for an enlightening conversation regarding Pride from an international perspective. Dr. Daniel Conway, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster, will present his research on Pride in South Africa, reflecting on how a fraught and complex history of LGBTQ+ organizing within the city of Johannesburg has given rise to three separate Pride events in the city. These three Prides mirror broader tensions within South African society, but also reflect divergent beliefs about the meanings of Pride – its purpose, who it should represent, and what issues it should engage with. Dr. Conway will also discuss Pride in the context of other places, including Cuba, Taiwan, India, and the US.

Q&A will follow the talk and will be facilitated by Nathan Bruemmer, former LGBTQ Consumer Advocate for Florida and former interim executive director of St. Pete Pride. 

Dr. Daniel Conway is Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Westminster. The photographs and quotations of the Pride Belongs to the People exhibition are from a Leverhulme Trust Fellowship researching the Global Politics of LGBTQ+ Pride between 2018 and 2019. Conway is currently writing The Global Politics of LGBTQ+ Pride: Queer Activism and Complicity in Africa, Asia and North America for Bloomsbury Press and is the author of ‘Whose Lifestyle Matters at Johannesburg Pride? The Lifestylisation of LGBTQ+ Identities and the Gentrification of Activism’, Sociology, (2022), vol. 56, no. 1: pp. 148-165 and ‘The politics of truth at LGBTQ+ Pride: contesting corporate Pride and revealing marginalized lives at Hong Kong Migrants Pride’ International Feminist Journal of Politics (2022). Contact: 

FHC logo

Funding for this program was provided through a grant from Florida Humanities with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of Florida Humanities or the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Book Launch for The Power and Freedom of Black Feminist and Womanist Pedagogy: Still Woke by Dr. Gary Lemons and Dr. Cheryl Rodriguez 

November 16, 2022 from 4pm-6pm 
CMC 202 (Department of Women's & Gender Studies)

The Department of Women's and Genders Studies will host the launch of Dr. Gary Lemons and Dr. Cheryl Rodriguez new book, The Power and Freedom of Black Feminist and Womanist Pedagogy: Still Woke. The event is co-sponsored by USF Department of English, Institute on Black Life, School for Interdisciplinary Studies and Humanities Institute.

Living Feminisms Conference

October 28, 2022 from 11:00am to 6:00pm
TECO Hall (Education Building)

This conference will gather together USF undergraduate and graduate students along with USF faculty, and will feature research that engages the histories, politics, and possibilities of living feminist lives. The conference is part of the 50th Anniversary celebrations for the Department of Women's & Gender Studies.

11:00am-6:00pm / Posters & Artwork: On Display Throughout Conference Day

  • Catherine Clark / Art: Our Little Slice Of Heaven
  • Alyssa Duurloo / Art: Male Gaze v. Women’s Liberation
  • Delaney Neville / Art: Woman Protect Woman
  • Joel Alvarez / Philosophy: Leibniz, Concepts, and Gender Identity
  • Meera Nagpal / Medicine: Narrative Medicine as a Tool to Improve Comfort with Female Sexual and Reproductive Health and An Analysis of Transgender Crowdfunding in the Context of State-Led Anti-Trans Legislation
  • Zachary Rashas / Psychology: Unfriendly, Unqualified, and Undifferentiated: Examining Attitudes and Stereotype Content Towards People with Intersectional Identities
  • Jasmine Spires / WGS: Able-Bodied Privilege on University of South Florida's Tampa Campus

11:00am-12:15pm / Representation, World-Traveling, Healing
Panel Chair: Beth Gaines

  • Dr. Jonina Anderson-Lopez / English: "They All Look the Same": Diversity and Television
  • Dr. Gary Lemons / English: The Bridge to Pro-Feminist Alliance-Building: A Call to CHAT (Community Healing through Activist Transformation)
  • Sabeehah Ravat / WGS: Playing with Gender: Intelligibility, Epistemology, and World-Travelling
  • Juyeon Shin / WGS: Analyzing “intersectionality” in the Reproductive Justice Movement: An Exploration of the Intersectional Approaches of Nonprofit Organizations in the United States
  • Joseph Wood / Philosophy: "Nor the hope of the poor be taken away": Pauli Murray & the Limits of Liberation Theology

12:30pm-1:45pm / The Violences of Pathologization
Panel Chair: Tasnim Mahbuba Rahman

  • Beth Gaines / WGS: Going Flat: Challenging Gender, Stigma, and Cure through Lesbian Breast Cancer Experience
  • Stephanie Ladue & Macie Mullins / WGS: Experiences of the Medical System's Approach to Eating Disorder Care
  • Lindsay Rodriguez / WGS: Colonial Gender Systems on the Medicalization of Trans and Intersex Individuals
  • Alissa Roy / History: The Survivors Memorial and Sexual Violence Work
  • Dr. David Rubin / WGS: The Biopolitics of Transnational Intersex Humor

2:00pm-3:15pm / Developing Transnational Feminisms
Panel Chair: Beth Gaines

  • Shumaila Fatima / Sociology: Thwarting Feminism by Obstructing Women's Education 
  • Deborah Omontese / WGS: Gender Inequality and Patriarchy in the Nigerian Society: The Way Forward
  • Shaye Soifoine / Anthropology: Central African Refugee Women’s Experiences of Life in Tampa, Florida: Locating Race, Gender, and Labor within the US Refugee Resettlement System 
  • Bobbie Straughter / Sociology: You’re a feminist? But how if you sell sex? : or the views of western feminism and the negative impacts it has on sex workers in Africa and India
  • Chizobam Ugboaja / Biomedical Sciences: Incorporating Inclusivity in Conversations Surrounding Domestic Violence for West African Women

3:30pm-4:45pm / Alumni Conversation: Real Talk About Doing Feminist & Queer Work in the World
WGS alumni panel discussion with:

  • Aurelie Colon Larrauri, Florida State Policy Advocate at National Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice
  • Yordanos Molla, Deputy Field Director at Equality Florida
  • Prin Ocea, LGBTQ+ Programs Coordinator at Metro Inclusive Health

5:00pm-6:00pm / Living Feminisms Reception
Join us in TECO Hall for light refreshments and conversation following the conference.

Reproductive Justice is for Everyone! Art Exhibition

October 24, 2022 - January 27, 2023
CMC 202 (Department of Women's & Gender Studies)

WGS will be hosting an in-person exhibit of selected pieces from the online JAM Humanities art exhibition, Reproductive Justice is for Everyone!

Artists include: Liza Brenner, Rose Briccetti, Danqi Cai, Jennifer Caputo Seidler, Sam Carwyn, Miranda Darling, Taylor Jackson, Rudi Jie-A-Fa, Baileigh Johnson, Yewande Kotun Davis, Angela Masker, Melissa Meade, Luca Molnar, Ashley Rivera, Jude Wolff Ackroyd, Anna Yang.

Past, Present, and Future Survival: An Anti-Racist Writing Workshop

October 19, 2022 from 3:30 to 5:00pm
TECO Hall in the Education Building (Tampa)

Join the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies’ Justice Guild as we partner with Kitchen Table Literary Arts for an anti-racist writing workshop. The workshop features poetry by Audre Lorde and Morgan Parker; each selection exploring the intersections of past and present in way that challenge our individual and communal definitions of survival. Close reading and interactive writing exercises encourage all participants to explore their own unique voice while creating opportunities to build bridges across communities. We are living through perilous times, and now more than ever, cultivating our writer’s voice seems of paramount concern. Regardless of where you are on your writing journey, we invite you to join us in community as we practice the craft of writing.

Sheree L. Greer is a writer, artist, teacher, and publisher living in Tampa, Florida. In 2014, she founded The Kitchen Table Literary Arts Center to showcase and support the work of Black women and women of color writers and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers, and a student writing guide, Stop Writing Wack Essays. Her work has been published in First Bloom Anthology, LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, Bleed Literary Journal, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree has received a Union League of Chicago Civic Arts Foundation award, earned her MFA at Columbia College Chicago, and is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice grantee, Yaddo fellow, and Ragdale Artist House Rubin Fellow. Her essay, "Bars" published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019, and her latest essay, "None of this is Bullshit" was published at The Rumpus and featured in "Memoir Mondays.”

Muslim Alums, Living Our Feminist Lives
A Roundtable Lunchtime Conversation Honoring the WGS 50th Anniversary

Sponsored by WGS Alumni Group UWAG
September 7, 2022 at 12:00pm-1:45 EST
Event was hosted virtually in Microsoft Teams

Join us for a conversation with some of our favorite grads out in the world living their Muslim feminist lives with aplomb as they navigate challenges and celebrate achievements in a world where intersections of sexism, racism, homophobia, nationalist populism, and Islamophobia persist.

Aslı Aygüneş (she/her, WGS MA 2017) is currently in the last stage of her doctoral dissertation in Gender Studies at Sabanci University in Istanbul. Her academic work focuses on emotional/affective experiences of feminist activists who actively engage in women’s movement in Turkey. As a young feminist activist-scholar living in Turkey, a conservative, patriarchal, and authoritarian country, Aslı’s work foregrounds the ways feelings can help us understand and navigate our daily experiences as feminists/activists.

Tasnim M. Rahman (she/her, WGS MA anticipated 2023) is the panel’s hosting facilitator. She is completing her WGS MA with an internship at an international development organization. She already has a master’s in Development Studies and comes to USF on hiatus from her career in the South Asian development and nonprofit sector. She studies development and non-profit communication designed to assist Indigenous communities, improve representation, and advance transnational networks.

Sabeehah Ravat (they/them, WGS MA 2022) focuses their research on embodied sociality, or how people engage with structures of race, gender, religion, and migration within their own bodies and how this impacts their social experiences and mobility. A denizen of Tampa, Sabeehah is particularly interested the future of gender in sport. They also research queer Muslim identity and politics, particularly in relation to South Asian feminist perspectives, as well as the ways kinship is constructed and navigated in different queer communities.

Rakshinda Shah (she/her, WGS MA 2015) graduated with a WGS MA in 2015. She just finished a postgraduate certificate in Human Resources Management in Toronto, where she lives with her partner and 7-year-old. Before shifting her career goals to human resources diversity, equity, and inclusion, her academic and professional work focused on girls and women in education, including working with so-called at-risk girls in the U.S. and advocating on behalf of girl-child education in South Asia.