News & Events

WGSS Anti-Racism Speaker Series

Events are added to the series on an on-going basis. For university-wide anti-racism events, please visit USF's initiative on anti-racism

Disability Accommodations: If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate in a Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies event, please contact Jennifer Ellerman-Queen at 813-974-5520 at least five (5) working days prior to the event.

Virtual events will be held in Microsoft Teams, which is available for use in your web browser or can be downloaded as an app here.

Past Events in the WGS Anti-Racism Speaker Series:

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Film Screening & Discussion: Suppressed 2020: The Fight To Vote
October 14, 2020 from 5:30pm - 7:00pm

Join WGS for a screening and discussion of the film Suppressed 2020: The Fight To Vote.

About the film: "By Robert Greenwald (Director of Outfoxed, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price, and Making A Killing: Guns Greed and the NRA), it is a short, powerful documentary about the growing threat of voter suppression to our 2020 election. Deeply personal accounts from voters of color across the state of Georgia reveal deliberate, widespread voter suppression in the 2018 midterm election where Stacey Abrams fought to become the first Black female governor in the U.S. Polling place closures, voter purges, missing absentee ballots, extreme wait times and voter ID issues were in full effect again during the 2020 primaries and are on-going across the country right now, all disproportionately affecting Black Americans and minorities from casting their ballots. Now, amidst a global health crisis, the cruel weaponization of vote-by-mail restrictions has turned the constitutional right to vote into a choice between life and death. Suppressed 2020 is a call to action against the calculated, unconstitutional and racist attacks intended to suppress the right to vote in America." 

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Difficult Dialogues about Race: A Workshop Featuring Keith Woods
October 23, 2020 from 2:00-3:30pm

This virtual event will kick off our WGS Anti-Racism Speaker Series and will be a discussion on race in higher education with Keith Woods, the Chief Diversity Officer at NPR.

The event is open to WGS affiliate faculty, graduate students, and other faculty and administrators who want to reflect, learn, and grow in their anti-racism work and practice. We aim to provide a communal space to address challenging questions and hard truths. We look forward to seeing you at our event! 

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The Borders of Race: Patrolling "Multiracial" Identities: Book Talk with Dr. Melinda Mills (WGS Faculty)
November 18, 2020 from 5:30pm - 6:45pm

The event is open to WGS affiliate faculty, graduate students, and other faculty and administrators.

Multiracial and More: Understanding the “Two or More Races” Population: In 2000, almost 6 million people reported two or more races on the US Census survey. Prior to that, people with known racial mixture did not have much space to claim their racial multiplicity. By 2010, those numbers grew, with almost 9 million people claiming two or more races. What will the results of the 2020 Census reveal? How do members of what the US Census Bureau calls the “two or more races” population assert their preferred racial identity these days? 

Drawing on qualitative research conducted with 60 individuals of various racial combinations, I discuss some of the emergent patterns in data I collected on multiracial people. What are the ways that people with racially mixed parentage choose to identify? Are those preferred racial identities supported and encouraged, or met with caution and contestation?  

In this talk, I pull examples from my first book, The Borders of Race, to illustrate how individuals with racially mixed parentage and heritage manage their multiracial identities publicly and privately. This management sometimes involves benevolent social interactions with strangers and familiar others, but at other times, proves to be more tenuous, particularly when met with dubious regard and skepticism. I explore how these choices (and constraints) are shaped by changing constructions and geographies of race. 

Biography: Melinda A. Mills is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Anthropology, and Coordinator of Women’s and Gender Studies at Castleton University in Castleton, Vermont, and Visiting Instructor in the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at USF. Her research interests include multiracial identity formation, interracial relationships, diasporic blackness in music and popular culture, and street harassment. Her first book, The Borders of Race, examines the lived experiences of multiracial people of various racial combinations. Dr. Mills has two forthcoming books: Racial Mixture and Musical Mash-Ups in the Life and Art of Bruno Mars (Lexington Press) and Invisible Mixture (with NYU Press). 


Intersex Rage, Biopolitical Protest, and the Movement For Black Lives: A Conversation with Dr. David A Rubin (WGS Faculty)
January 27, 2021 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm

In this presentation, David A. Rubin argues that the Movement for Black Lives can help us to rethink and re-evaluate the interconnections between scientific and medical racism and state-sanctioned medical violence against intersex, trans, and gender nonconforming people. Using Audre Lorde (1984) as a guide for theorizing the transformative potential of rage as a form of biopolitical protest, Rubin offers a meditation on the ethico-political lessons that emerge when we foreground the linkages between Black freedom dreams (Kelley 2003) and struggles for intersex, trans, and gender nonconforming sovereignty and justice.


Anti-Black Racism in Communities of Color and Other Marginalized Groups
March 16, 2021 from 3:30-4:45pm

The purpose of the panel is to introduce USF undergraduates and other attendees to key themes present in anti-black racism discourse (i.e. highlighting and contextualizing past, current, and ongoing social justice work combatting anti-black racism in communities of color and other marginalized groups). The panel will be made up of USF graduate students who have research interests related to the theme.

From the Olympics to Personal Fitness: A Conversation on Decolonizing Sports with Dr. Katrina Karkazis and Roc 
February 8, 2022 at 6:00pm EST

"From the Olympics to Personal Fitness: A Conversation on Decolonizing Sports" invites you to attend a discussion on topics in sport that are not always critically engaged (e.g. the erasure of trans athletes from sport institutions and the unequal scrutiny professional athletes of color face). Insofar as the humanities speak to universal human concerns, this conversation seeks to embrace inclusion as we decenter traditional representations in sport. There will be an opportunity for audience questions.

Dr. Katrina Karkazis is a cultural anthropologist and bioethicist who examines medicoscientific beliefs about gender, sexuality, and the body. Her first book, Fixing Sex: Intersex, Medical Authority, and Lived Experience explored controversies over medical interventions for people with intersex traits. This was followed by research and advocacy on “sex testing” of elite women athletes. Her latest co-authored book, Testosterone: An Unauthorized Biography was published by Harvard University Press. A Guggenheim Fellow and member of the Institute for Advanced Study, her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and has been published in Science, BMJ, and The American Journal of Bioethics, among others. She was an expert witness in Dutee Chand’s successful appeal of World Athletics’ testosterone eligibility regulations at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne Switzerland, consulted with Caster Semenya’s team prior to her hearing at CAS, and has worked with the UN, Human Rights Watch, and other NGOs on this issue. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Wired, the New York Review of Books, among other outlets.

Roc is a cultural worker and founder of Rooted Resistance, a grassroots practiced-based community committed to reimagining movement and physical activity for transgender, gender non-binary, intersex, and queer people in the U.S. South. Movement outdoors is our form of refusal to commercialized notions of the body and an imperative intergenerational space that curators a growing and emancipatory relationship with our bodies, each other, and the land. Roc is currently a doctoral candidate in the Department on Sport Management at Florida State University (traditional and ancestral territory of the Apalachee Nation, the Muscogee Creek Nation, the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida) with a focus on physical cultural studies and Black Trans* bodywork as a site of sport pedagogy. Roc’s studies are concerned with unsettling “sport” through understanding how histories of land, power, sugjugation, and colonialism interact with bodies (human and non-human) in sport and physical cultural spaces. Most importantly, Roc’s interest is in the ways that Black queer and trans* folk construct and produce placemaking spaces that tends to collective Black life through human movement. You can read Roc’s first published co-authored piece in the Journal of Communication & Sport titled, "“That’ is Terrible News!”: Media Framing of Mamba Mentality Within Contemporary U.S. Racial and Gender Politics."

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.

Meditations on Blackness and Gender Nonnormativity: A Lecture and Conversation with Professor Marquis Bey
February 24, 2022 at 6:00pm EST

Professor Marquis Bey will deliver a public lecture on the convergence of blackness, transness, and black feminism via the Black Radical Tradition. Bey will offer a meditation on blackness and gender nonnormativity in ways that recalibrate traditional understandings of each, ultimately, calling for attendees to recognize and increase their capacity for allyship across racial and gender divides.

Dr. Marquis Bey is Assistant Professor of African American Studies and English, and faculty affiliate in Critical Theory and Gender & Sexuality Studies, at Northwestern University. Their work focuses on black feminist theory, transgender studies, continental philosophy, and abolition. The author of multiple books, Marquis's most recent publications include Black Trans Feminism, to be released in February 2022, and Cistem Failure: Essays on Blackness and Cisgender, to be released in September 2022, both with Duke University Press.

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.

Solidarity is a Verb: SWANA Liberation, Gender Rights, and Refugee Experiences
March 17, 2022 at 6:00pm EST

Join us for this moderated panel of gender rights poets, scholars, and Southwest Asia and North Africa refugees who will share insights on the crises in Afghanistan and Palestine, placing each within its historical context of U.S. involvement. As Florida is set to receive thousands of refugees from Afghanistan in the next year, the panel will help attendees begin to understand local implications and experiences of US imperialist complicity as it relates to the West’s hesitance to confront human-rights issues in Southwest Asia and North Africa, more generally.

Panelists include Zahra Wakilzada and Dina Awshah; moderator will be Dr. Rahi Dayerizadeh.

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.