News & Events


Past Women's, Gender, and SExuality Studies Events


Thinking Sex Conference
March 1, 2024 from 9:30am - 6:00pm in TECO Hall (USF Tampa campus)

The USF Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies will host the Thinking Sex Conference on the USF Tampa campus on March 1, 2024, commemorating the 40th anniversary of Gayle Rubin’s foundational Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality. The keynote, Thinking Sex Across Time & Space, will be presented by author and professor JE Sumerau. This conference is funded through USF's ResearchOne.

First published in 1984, Rubin's piece contributed to the nascent and growing fields of LGBTQ+ studies, sexualities studies, and queer theory by arguing that sexuality is not only a worthy but a necessary subject of conversation because sexuality is a key mechanism of political, social, and interpersonal control. In the forty years since, study of sexuality in its myriad forms and manifestations has burgeoned exponentially. This conference aims to explore, share, and debate current work in these fields taking place in the USF community.  To view the schedule of presenters for the Thinking Sex Conference, visit the conference page.

Living Feminisms Conference
October 28, 2022 from 11:00am to 6:00pm in TECO Hall

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.

Southeastern Women's Studies Association (SEWSA) 2020 Conference
March 26 - March 28, 2020 (Cancelled due to COVID-19)
St. Petersburg, Florida

WGS was the host of the 2020 SEWSA Conference, which was to be held at the USF campus in St. Petersburg, Florida. The conference was cancelled due to COVID-19. Keynote speakers were to have been Loretta Ross and Dr. Aisha Durham. View the conference program to learn more.

Brown Bag Series Faculty Research Presentations

WGSS Brown Bag Series: “We grow older. We also have lots of sex. I just want a doctor who will at least ask about it.”: Transgender, non-binary, and intersex older adults in sexual and reproductive healthcare with Dr. Nik M. Lampe
March 27, 2024 from 12:30pm-2:00pm in CMC 202.

Utilizing data from 50 semi-structured individual interviews with transgender and intersex older adults in the United States (65 years and over), Dr. Nik M. Lampe (USF Department of Mental Health Law & Policy), in collaboration with co-author Dr. Carla Pfeffer (Michigan State University School of Social Work), will assess how trans and intersex older adults experience and mitigate inequality in sexual and reproductive healthcare. Their findings underscore the importance of maintaining LGBTQIA+ competency and age-friendliness within sexual and reproductive health services, support, and resources while addressing trans and intersex older adults’ resourceful strategies for minimizing inequality in healthcare systems.

Dr. Nik M. Lampe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mental Health Law & Policy and a Faculty Affiliate in the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of South Florida. Their research program focuses on the behavioral health and healthcare disparities of LGBTQIA+ aging populations and the health of diverse older adults living with dementia and their family care partners. Dr. Lampe earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina. Their dissertation research examined the healthcare, advance care planning, and health management experiences of transgender and intersex adults 65+ during the COVID-19 pandemic.

WGSS Brown Bag Series: Black Women-Loving Women's Socio-Sexual Narratives with Dr. Jessany Maldonado
January 17, 2024 from 1:00pm-2:30pm in CMC 202

Dr. Jessany Maldonado will present her research on Black Women-Loving Women's Socio-Sexual Narratives: Following in the tradition of Afrocentricity, this project prioritizes and uplifts the voices of African Diasporic people by foregrounding Black women’s experiential knowledge. Using qualitative research methodologies situated in ethnography, such as participant observation, interviewing, and narrative storytelling, this project investigates how Black women-loving women (Black WLW) wield transformative power over their intimate lives. Specifically, this project examines how Black WLW “kweer” or transform identity, space, and sex in ways that are uniquely Black. This study unveils how Black WLW across the Diasporas share unique commonalities as it pertains to the following: identifying as women-loving/kweer long after having heterosexual relationships and kweer childhood experiences; transforming generic place into age-mediated Black kweer space in Atlanta, Georgia; and heteronormalizing same-gender sexual behavior in their autoerotic and dyadic intimacies. How Black WLW “kweer” or transform identity formation, space, and sex helps us reimagine and reconfigure how we understand ethnicized notions of gender, placemaking, and sexuality. Forming identities, communities, and sexualities are not linear, generalizable processes that are universal to every community. Instead, my findings reveal distinct cross-cultural patterns in Black WLW’s socio-sexual behavior that are understudied.

Black women’s transformative power and mutability allow them to share more similarities than differences with one another across Diasporic communities. Although the qualitative findings from this study stem primarily from Black American women living within the United States, participants with non-American nationalities and transnational upbringings offer perspectives that largely support the findings from Black American women located in the States. Since all participants in this study share common African ancestry, their widespread commonalities illuminate their identity formation, community establishment, and socio-sexual performativity. Overall, this study produces new knowledge about Black kweer socio-sexual culture that revolutionizes discourses around ethnicity, gender, and sexuality.

Dr. Jessany Maldonado is an assistant professor in the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of South Florida - Tampa. Having a scholarly background in psychological sciences, gender and sexuality studies, and Afrocentric feminist methodologies, her research interests center Black women’s “kweer” socio-sexual culture and sexual behavior.

WGS Brown Bag Series: Masculinity as a ‘hard small cage’? A consideration of Chimamanda’s perspective in the light of the experiences of some male COVID-19 survivors in Ghana with Dr. Grace Diabah
October 7, 2021 from 12:30pm-2:00pm

The presentation examines some masculinity issues raised by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in her TEDx talk (‘we should all be feminists') and some interviews following the talk. She sees masculinity as a ‘hard small cage’ for boys/men. For instance, she argues that although masculinity has benefits for boys/men, it is also problematic since it discourages boys/men from freely expressing their emotions like fear and admitting their weaknesses and vulnerabilities. With supporting data from Ghanaian male COVID-19 survivors, I will be examining how Chimamanda’s concern can play out in a situation where expressing such emotions and acknowledging one’s weaknesses or vulnerabilities are key to accessing the needed support. Expanding on the ‘cage’ metaphor used (as well as the adjectives to qualify it), I shall be arguing that while I disagree with Chimamanda’s description of masculinity as though there is no room for contestation, there is evidence to suggest that these masculine norms indeed create barriers which may have dire consequences for men’s health and ego.

Grace Diabah is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics, University of Ghana, Legon. Her teaching and research focus on language and gender, and language use in specific domains. Her scholarly works cover a range of language and gender issues in African contexts – in domains such as politics, education, media and business. Grace was previously a Visiting Scholar (on the Fulbright African Research Scholar Program) at the USF Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.

WGS Brown Bag: A Party for All: Analyzing the New Mediated Quinceañera, Gendered Nostalgia, and the (In)Visibility of Latinidad with Dr. Diana Leon-Boys
April 8, 2021 from 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Dr. Diana Leon-Boys joined the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida in the fall of 2020. She is a critical media and cultural studies scholar. Within that framework, she focuses on the representation of race, age, gender, and sexuality within popular culture. Most recently her research has focused on the production, representation, and consumption of Latina girls in a post-network digital era against the backdrop of contemporary post-feminist and neoliberal frameworks. Dr. Leon-Boys is a leader and developer of the subfield of Latina girls’ media studies. She teaches and researches digital audiences, Latina/o/x media, Latina/o/x studies, race and gender in popular media, and intercultural communication, among other topics.

WGS Brown Bag: Things I Must Still Do with Dr. Keith Berry
April 1, 2021 from 12:30pm - 2:00pm
This event was held virtually in Microsoft Teams

The United States of America legalized marriage equality in June 2015, a decision that transformed the lives of queer people and our allies for the better. The right that we should have been able to benefit from all along was suddenly a reality. Yet, while the change was groundbreaking, LGBTQ+ continue to face hardship and struggle, in general, and the violence of discrimination and bigotry, in particular. “Post-marriage” life is not necessarily a honeymoon. In this talk, I convey and explore the “things I must still do” as a gay man. In homage to Susan Sontag’s “Notes on Camp,” the presentation is comprised of a list of descriptive notes that reveal and unpack these necessary ways of performing. A dialogue session will follow the talk.

A version of these notes first appeared in my recently co-authored (with Catherine M. Gillotti and Tony Adams) book Living Sexuality: Stories of LGBTQ Relationships, Identities, and Desires (2020; Brill/Sense).

WGS Brown Bag: A Discussion on Black Feminist Pedagogies
February 16, 2021 from 12:30pm - 2:00pm

Join us for a lively discussion on Black feminist pedagogy and how it can be implemented in the classroom. We will be discussing the articles below, which cover introducing healing circles for students’ well being and how to help students come to voice.

Serls, T. (forthcoming 2020). "Black girl magic: Beauty, brilliance, and coming to voice in the classroom." In S. Arki, B. Delano-Oriaran, & E. Moore, Jr. (Eds.), Teaching Brilliant and Beautiful Black Girls. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Richardson, J. L. (2018). "Healing circles as black feminist pedagogical interventions." In O. N. Perlow, D. I. Wheeler, S. L. Bethea, & B. M. Scott (Eds.), Black Women’s Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation, and Healing within and beyond the Academy (pp. 245-264). Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave/Macmillan. 

WGS Brown Bag Series: Dr. Helis Sikk: Queer Surfers: The Beach, Bodies, and Possibilities for Resistance
November 21, 2019 from 12:30-1:45pm
CMC 202T

The homophobic world of surfing was recently brought to mainstem attention by the documentary Out in the Line-up (2014), which followed the tribulations of two gay surfers. Yet, unsurprisingly, queer surfers have been around for a long time. The USF Tampa Special Collections houses a collection of images depicting queer surfing culture in the US. First appearing in the mid-1930s in beefcake magazines and later as part of gay lifestyle publications, these images provide a unique perspective on queer culture and sexual liberation since the 1960s.

The art of he’e nalu (“wave sliding”) is a Hawaiian cultural tradition and has served as a form of resistance to US colonialism on the islands. However, it was not until the 1959 movie Gidget and later the popularity of The Beach Boys that surfing was appropriated by white, mainstream US culture. This brown bag discussion looks at the beach as a site of resistance – a space where LGBTQ+ masculinities and femininities were explored—and considers how these images of queer surfers fit into LGBTQ+ activism in the 1960s and today.

Trigger warning: this presentation includes nudity and sexually explicit imagery.

WGS Brown Bag Series: Dr. David Ponton: On the Study of Black Men: Post-intersectionality Polemics, Afro-pessimism, and (Dis)Locating Race
November 6, 2019 from 12:30-1:45pm
CMC 202T

In his 2017 monograph, The Man-Not, philosopher Tommy J. Curry calls for a new genre study of black men, the lives of whom he believes are currently inaccessible in existing gender theories, including those, like intersectionality, produced by black feminists. Concurrently, across humanities and social science disciplines, aversion to liberalism and increasing buy-in of Critical Race Theory's tenet of the "permanence of racism," Afro-pessimists argue for the need to theorize blackness, not as a racial category, but as a paradigm of dissociation born of structural violence. Blackness, they propose, is not a product of race, but rather race is a product of blackness. How, then, can we develop a study of black men as subjects who necessarily violate gender theory and popular conceptions of race? By attending to archival records chronicling the conflicts between Texas South University's black male students, white mobs, and white police officers precipitating a 1967 state siege on the college campus in Houston, we may find opportunities to think about the political construction of black manhood, not as a desire for masculine recognition, nor as a state of perpetual dying, but as something(s) more--a "more" that ultimately re-articulates Western, liberal ethics as decidedly immoral and antithetical to anti-racism and anti-sexism.

WGS Brown Bag Series: Dr. Kim Golombisky: A Conversation about the Mechanics of the Gaze in the Age of Selfies
September 11, 2019 from 12:30-1:45pm
CMC 202T 

Join us for an interactive discussion as we doodle on the schematics of looking relations. Don’t forget your lunch.

A former advertising and public relations professional, Kim “Dr. G.” Golombisky began teaching mass communications at USF 1993. She is currently the interim director of the USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications. From 2011 to 2018, she served as graduate director in the USF Department of Women’s & Gender Studies, where she makes her tenure home teaching and writing about feminist issues in the media. She has consulted on media writing for Walt Disney World Resorts, Progressive Insurance, ASNE High School Journalism Program, and Publix Supermarkets. In addition to coauthoring White Space Is Not Your Enemy: A Beginner’s Guide to Communicating Visually through Graphic, Web & Multimedia Design, she has edited two anthologies on advertising and feminism. She also has been visiting faculty for diversity at The Poynter Institute for Media Studies. 

Invited Lectures

My Journey Through Art Quilting: Public Lecture by Lauren Austin
February 22, 2024 at 6:00PM in CMC 130 (12010 USF Cherry Dr, Tampa, FL 33620)

Lecture by Lauren Austin. Open to the public. Lauren will show the development of her art over the 30+ years of her career through works in-progress and pieces from early in her practice, talk about what keeps her making art and imporant themes in her work, including womanism, and discuss how you can find the time to tell your own story through art.

The Pagoda: A Lesbian Community by the Sea with author Rose Norman & publisher Julie R. Enszer
February 5, 2024 from 2:00-3:30pm
USF Tampa Campus Marshall Center - MSC 3711 (Egret room)

In The Pagoda: A Lesbian Community by the Sea, Rose Norman expertly synthesizes interviews and extensive archival research to tell the story of the women who made that community a place for lesbian culture to bloom and grow. During this talk, Rose will discuss The Pagoda and will answer audience questions. 

USF Tampa Library Special Collections will also be exhibiting local lesbian history objects from the LGBTQ+ Collection before and after the talk.

About The Pagoda
In 1977, two lesbian couples living in St. Augustine, Florida, found a row of small beach houses for sale next to a house they wanted to turn into a feminist theatre. They bought the cottages, leased and later bought the theatre building, and over the next two decades expanded and developed the property as a cultural center, women's retreat center, and residential community. The Pagoda, as it came to be called, offered nude swimming in a private pool, fire circles on the beach, variety shows with bellydancing, poetry readings, comedy sketches, and regular concerts by feminist musicians in a private theatre. Pagoda women produced feminist plays about Cinderella's after-story and sketch comedy by Positively Revolting Hags. They hosted celebrations of the Goddess, Tarot readings, and psychic workshops.

At its height, The Pagoda was a Goddess church running a cultural center and guesthouse surrounded by twelve tiny, custom-built, knotty pine cottages and a duplex, all owned by lesbians. The cultural center and guesthouse lasted twenty-two years as an active operation run by the incorporated, tax-exempt Pagoda-temple of Love in the closing decades of the twentieth century, and another sixteen years after that shepherded by Fairy Godmothers, Inc., four women with a different vision for the space. This is the story of how all that happened.

About Rose Norman
Rose Norman is a retired professor who taught English at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for twenty-seven years. She directed the Business and Technical Writing Program, co-founded and was first Director of Women's Studies, and for her last four years chaired the English Department. She taught graduate and undergraduate classes in women writers, women’s autobiography, and technical writing, and for four years was regional coordinator of a national high school poetry competition, Poetry Out Loud. Her work as general editor of the Southern Lesbian Feminist Activist Herstory Project led her to over ten years’ research on the Pagoda residential community and cultural center. During that time, she has interviewed over a hundred lesbian feminist activists and co-edited six special issues of Sinister Wisdom.

This event is co-sponsored by USF Tampa Library Special Collections and Sinister Wisdom.

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.

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: 

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.

Intersex Care with Dr. David Rubin
March 10, 2022 at 6:00pm EST
This event was held virtually through Microsoft Teams
Part of the WGS Visibility & Remembrance Art Exhibit Speaker Series

What resources does Hil Malatino’s short, often sweet, always incisive, and absolutely indispensable pocketbook Trans Care (2020) offer for theorizing not only new trans carewebs, but also intersex care? For Malatino, trans care encompasses a range of mutual aid and counter-hegemonic care practices that collectively challenge the cisheteronormative family form and the structures of violence on which it rests, including racial capitalism, ableism, gender binarism, and settler colonialism. Trans care materializes unique queer temporalities and geographies of being and belonging. It comes in the wake of an event or events—after a significant transformation. Trans care facilitates healing in the wake of transformation and “supports emergence into a radically recalibrated experience of both bodymind and the world it encounters” (3). In this presentation, I seek to distill a kindred theory of intersex care from Malatino’s work. I argue that Malatino’s theorization of trans care emerges through a critical intersex ethos, an ethos grounded in the lived experience of people whose bodyminds do not fit standard definitions of male and female. I use the term ethos rather than ethic to denote practices “of living otherwise” rather than a set of moral principles (5). A critical intersex ethos is a practice of living otherwise that draws its strength, resilience, and “resistance regimes of the normal” (Warner 1993, xxvi) directly from the lived, embodied experiences of intersex people.

Meditations on Blackness and Gender Nonnormativity: A Lecture and Conversation with Professor Marquis Bey
February 24, 2022 at 6:00pm EST
Part of the WGS Visibility & Remembrance Art Exhibit Speaker Series and WGS Anti-Racism Series

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.

The Power of Art in Social Change: Conversation with Kalki Subramaniam
Part of the Visibility & Remembrance Art Exhibit Speaker Series
January 18, 2022 at 6:00pm EST

"The Power of Art in Social Change" is a lecture with a poetic performance and presentation by Kalki Subramaniam, a celebrated transgender artist and activist from India. Kalki will speak about how, as an artivist, she has broken stereotypes and continues to establishing social acceptance in India by encouraging transgender persons to get involved in activism through art and performances.

Kalki Subramaniam is a transgender artist, activist, actor, and writer from India. She founded the Sahodari Foundation for the empowerment of transgender population of India. Sahodari Foundation which has trained more than 200 transgender artists. Through the Red Wall project and the Transhearts project, she supports and livelihood of the transgender community and also trains them as activists. Her recent book, We Are Not the Others, is available through Amazon.

Kalki creates artworks that are vibrant, colorful and creates pop art and surrealist artworks which are mainly portraits of humans. Kalki primarily uses vibrant fluorescent acrylic paints to create large artworks. She mostly paints portraits, faces that inspire and influence her. She also uses different mediums of paints to create vibrant portraits that express the versatility, beauty and emotions of queer and trans figures. She has received numerous awards for her artistic contributions and for her community art projects. She has exhibited her artworks in art shows in India, Canada, USA and the Netherlands. She has participated in solo and group shows.

She founded the following projects:
Sahodari Foundation
Red Wall Project
Wall of Kindness

She founded the following Art and Film Festivals:
India International Spiritual Art Festival
India International Short Film Festival

Kalki Subramaniam's artwork is included in the WGS art exhibit, Visibility & Remembrance: Standing with the Trans* Community, which runs from November 17, 2021 - April 1, 2022. 

Intersex Rage, Biopolitical Protest, and the Movement For Black Lives: A Conversation with Dr. David A Rubin
January 27, 2021 from 1:00pm - 2:30pm
This event was held virtually in Microsoft Teams

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.

The Borders of Race: Patrolling "Multiracial" Identities: Book Talk with Dr. Melinda Mills
November 18, 2020 from 5:30pm - 6:45pm
This event was held virtually in Microsoft Teams

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). 

Difficult Dialogues about Race: Workshop Featuring Keith Woods
October 23, 2020 from 2:00pm - 3:30pm
This event was held virtually in Microsoft Teams

WGS Anti-Racism Speaker Series invites you to a discussion on race in higher education with Keith Woods, the Chief Diversity Officer at NPR. More on the work of Keith Woods can be found here.

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.

Panel Discussions

Safeguarding Voices: A Symposium on Academic Freedom and Diversity
February 15 from 11am - 12:15pm
TECO Hall, located in the David C. Anchin Center (Education Building) 4110 USF Apple Dr, Tampa, FL 33620

This WGSS graduate student-organized event is a panel discussion on protecting diversity, equity, academic freedom, and inclusion in light of recent Florida legislation. Co-sponsored by Triota Women’s and Gender Studies Honors’ Society.

Panel Discusson on Gender-Affirming Care
November 3, 2023 at 12:00pm

Curious about what gender-affirming care is all about? This educational panel discussion will explore issues related to gender-affirming care from the perspectives of law and policy, mental health, medicine, and the trans community.

Legal/Policy Perspective - Nathan Bruemmer, Esq.
Mental Health Perspective - Dr. Dani Rosenkrantz
Trans Community Perspective - Andy Citino, community member and co-founder of My Trans Network
Medical Provider/Physician - Dr. Chris
Moderator: Dr. Milton Wendland, Professor of Instruction in the USF Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Muslim Alums, Living Our Feminist Lives:
A Roundtable Lunchtime Conversation Honoring the WGS 50th Anniversary
September 7, 2022 at 12:00pm

Solidarity is a Verb: SWANA Liberation, Gender Rights, and Refugee Experiences
March 17, 2022 at 6:00pm
This event was held virtually through Microsoft Teams

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.

From the Olympics to Personal Fitness: A Conversation on Decolonizing Sports with Dr. Katrina Karkazis and Roc 
February 8, 2022 at 6:00pm EST
Part of the WGS Visibility & Remembrance Art Exhibit Speaker Series and WGS Anti-Racism Series

"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.

WGS Symposium: Personal and Professional Perspectives on Disability
April 8, 2021 from 5:00 - 6:30pm
This event will be held virtually in Microsoft Teams.

Our panelists will include a USF graduate student and a USF Student Affairs professional—both of whom identify as having a disability. Other panelists include the Director for the CARD center (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities), a USF professor who specializes in ADA law and accommodations, and the Co-Director for the Grow Group, a non-profit organization that specializes in helping people with disabilities find meaningful careers. We expect to cover a range of topics related to disabilities including how disabilities affect one’s everyday life, legal concerns for those living with disabilities, as well as disabilities and their impact on education and the workplace. Panelists will include: Dr. Beth Boone (USF), Deborah McCarthy (USF), Sashy O'Connor (Grow Group), Bonnie Greenball Silvestri (USF), and Stella Escalante (USF).

Anti-Black Racism in Communities of Color and Other Marginalized Groups
March 16, 2021 from 3:30-4:45pm
This event was held virtually through Microsoft Teams

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, expertise, or experience related to the theme.

I Am Evidence Film Screening & Panel
April 9, 2019
Marshall Center Oval Theater

WGS will host a film screening on April 9th of the award-winning documentary, I Am Evidence, followed by a panel discussion moderated by WGS Associate Professor Michelle Hughes Miller.

I Am Evidence tells the story of the untested rape-kit backlog in the U.S., including how the backlog was dis- covered and how activists and mem- bers of law enforcement are fighting to end it.

Panelists include:
Dr. Ráchael Powers, Associate Professor in the USF Department of Criminology
Jessica Pinto, Advocate Manager at the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay
Melissa Suddeth, Crime Laboratory Analyst Supervisor with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement

Alumni Careers Panels

WGSS Alumni Panel: Careers in Politics, Law, and Advocacy
November 1, 2023 from 12:45-1:45pm

Majoring/minoring in Women's and Gender Studies and not sure what career opportunities are out there for you after graduation? Interested in learning more about how you can make a WGS degree work for you? Come learn how alumni have used their WGS degrees in successful and meaningful careers!

This panel will include a Q&A with Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies alumni who have pursued careers in law and politics. The panel will be moderated by Jesus Gogo, WGSS Alum.


Rachel Kershaw: Account Executive at Stones' Phones
Rachel Kershaw is based in Washington, D.C. and has been working at Stones’ Phones since June 2019 after graduating with a Master of Public Administration at American University. Before Stones’ Phones, Rachel was a Program Coordinator at AU’s Women & Politics Institute where she helped to run the Institutes’ campaign training program for young women, WeLead. She previously served as the USF Campus Organizing Director at For Our Future during the 2016 election. Rachel hails from Florida and got her bachelor’s degree from the University of South Florida where she studied Political Science with a minor in Women and Gender Studies.

Saron Musa: Lawyer at Bilzin Sumberg
Saron Musa is an Associate in Bilzin Sumberg’s Litigation Practice Group. Saron graduated from Emory University School of Law in 2022, where she was actively involved in several organizations including Emory Moot Court Society, Black Law Students Association, National Lawyers Guild, and Legal Association of Women Students. While studying at Emory, she also spent time as a legal intern gaining experience with a Fortune 100 company, as well as a non-profit focusing on providing legal services to people with disabilities. She received her Bachelors of Arts in International Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies, with a minor in Economics, from USF in 2019. At Bilzin Sumberg, Saron is a member of the firm’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee. Saron also works on pro bono matters at the firm and volunteers with local organizations such as Street Law. As an Associate in the Litigation department, Saron handles complex commercial matters focused on financial servicing, employment law, and antitrust & competition.

Emily Slatkow: Communications/PR Consultant for progressives
Emily Slatkow is currently freelance consulting for progressive organizations like Run for Something PAC. Prior to independent consulting, she spent the past five years leading a team of 17+ communications consultants servicing Democratic organizations and progressive PACs. She got her start in politics as a grassroots organizer in Florida for national campaigns, down-ballot races, and ballot initiatives. Emily received her Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida.

WGS Alumni Panel Discussion: Navigating a Real-World Career with a WGS Worldview
March 26, 2021 from 12:30pm - 1:30pm
This event will be held virtually in Microsoft Teams.

Join us to get the scoop from WGS alumni how they leveraged their diplomas into jobs they love. Sponsored by the USF Women's & Gender Studies Alumni Group (UWAG) and the spring 2021 students of WST 3006 Careers & Professionalism.

Brandi Lai
(BA WGS, 2018)
Founder & President
Best Laid Pens, Orlando, FL

Yordanos Molla
(BA WGS & International Studies, 2018;
MA Ethics, Peace, & Human Rights, American University, 2020)
Deputy Field Director
Equality Florida, St. Petersburg, FL

Desiree Mora
(BA WGS & BS Computer Science, 2020)
Software Engineer
J.P. Morgan & Chase, Plano, TX

Katie Shrum
(BA WGS, 2017; M.Ed. Educational Technology, 2019)
Instructional Designer, Diversity & Inclusion Initiative Lead
Bloomin’ Brands International, Tampa, FL

Kim Golombisky, Ph.D.
USF Department of Women’s & Gender Studies

WGS Careers & Alumni Panel
October 1, 2019 from 4:30-6:30pm
Teco Hall (DAC 103) - Education Building II (Anchin Center)

Join WGS alumni for a discussion of what you can do with a degree in WGS, and how to land the job you want. A reception with light refreshments will follow the event, and a representative from Career Services will be present to answer questions.

Panelists will include:

Vanessa Charles: Real Estate Agent
Katie Turner: Director of Operations at Family Healthcare Foundation
Kiah Bowers: Research Specialist-Proteomics Core at Moffitt Cancer Center
Pierce Dignam: PhD Student (Sociology) at FSU
Coral Nardandrea: Video Game Writer at Pixelberry Studios
Samantha Heuwagen: Sex Therapist
Aubrey Hall: Green Dot Coordinator at Sunrise of Pasco County


Pride Belongs to the People Photo Exhibition
February 8, 2023 through end of April, 2023
CMC 202

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

Reproduction 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.

Visibility & Remembrance: Standing with the Trans Community Art Exhibit
November 17, 2021 to April 1, 2022
CMC 202

Visibility & Remembrance: Standing with the Trans Community is an international art exhibit that centers trans people as it invites artists to create and submit work that stands in solidarity with the trans* community.

The exhibit celebrates and makes trans people’s experiences more visible as we seek to combat their exclusion and erasure from various aspects of society, while we also remember the courage and resilience members of the trans community have shown in the face of various institutions and systems of oppression. 

Visibility & Remembrance asks artists to reflect on the experiences, representations, identities, and/or politics of being trans. The thirty-three artists selected for the exhibit reflect a diversity of perspectives and experiences from nine countries – Canada, France, Germany, India, Nigeria, Poland, Switzerland, the United States, and the United Kingdom. Their work includes two-dimensional and three-dimensional art, film, and poetry. 

The Founding Mothers: Women in Herstory 
March 6, 2020 - September 15, 2020

WGS is pleased to present an exhibit of artwork on loan from the Museum of Motherhood.

About the exhibit: This exhibit brings together feminists throughout herstory who have challenged conventional attitudes about gendered performance and motherhood through their writing, activism, and art. This multi-media interactive exhibit encourages us to think critically about evolving family narratives and womyn's place in society. Join us in discovering the dynamic impact mother studies can have on your life, perspective, and the future.

Curator of The Founding Mothers: Martha Joy Rose is a scholar, artist, and activist. She founded the MaMaPaLooZa music festival while touring with her band Housewives On Prozac and began work on the Museum of Motherhood (MOM) in 2003. She has been organizing the international Academic MOM Conference since (2005), editing the Journal of Mother Studies, and in 2009 she was received the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW-NYC. She holds an advanced degree in Mother Studies from CUNY, teaches Sociology of Family at the university level, curates exhibits including the "Ima Iyla'a: Art of Motherhood" as part of the 2015 Jerusalem Biennale, the AEHK Artist Tour 2017-2019 in St. Petersburg, Florida, and  M.A.M.A. Mothers Are Making Art in collaboration with Procreate Project and The Mom Egg, online. The Museum of Motherhood is currently located in the MOM Art Annex in St. Petersburg, Florida. Rose's publications include contributions to New Maternalisms (Demeter Press 2016), co-editing of the Music of Motherhood (Demeter Press, 2018), and contributing to The Routledge Companion to Motherhood Studies (2019). 

Art Exhibit: Reproductive Justice is for Everyone!
November 5, 2019 - March 5, 2020
Opening Reception: November 5, 2019 from 12:30-3:00pm

For more information, visit the exhibit online.

USF Oracle coverage of the Reproductive Justice is for Everyone!

This exhibit includes works by artists responding to the question: What does reproductive justice mean to you?

Artists featured in the exhibit include:
Gerald A. Brown
Habiba El-Sayed
Jillian Marie Browning
nicole gugliotti
Mac Star McCusker
Mariana Baquero
M.C. Baumstark
Dani Sigler

Spring, 2019
CMC 202

WGS we will be hosting an art exhibit featuring “MYAFRIKA-ART,” a series of paintings by Dr. Gary Lemons. Dr. Lemons is a Professor in the USF Department of English, and an affiliate faculty member of WGS. 


Make Story Artbooks Workshop with Lauren Austin
February 21, 2024, 2:00-4:30PM

Hands-on workshop led by Lauren Austin. Workshop participants will use Lauren’s method of making an origami book collage with fabric scraps, paper, and drawing. All supplies, including dyed fabrics and African fabrics from Lauren's collection, will be provided. This workshop is for all skill levels.

Thinking Sex Conference Pre-Submission Workshops
December 5, 2023 at noon (virtual)
January 17, 2024 at noon in CMC 202 (Tampa Campus)

Interested in submitting a proposal for the Thinking Sex Conference but unsure how to do so? Need help designing your poster or preparing your paper for conference presentation? Come to our upcoming workshops where you will receive help and answers to your conference-related questions. Open to all USF students. 

A Crunk Feminist Writing Workshop with Kitchen Table Literary Arts
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.

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

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.”

Workshop: Teaching Inclusive Sex Ed to Marginalized Adolescents
November 19, 2021 from 2:30-5:00pm EST
This event was open to WGS undergraduate and graduate students and was held virtually in Microsoft Teams

Join Dr. McCracken in a WGS workshop that presents attendees with basic knowledge and skills to understand comprehensive and inclusive sexual health education for marginalized and vulnerable communities. In this workshop, we will cover the following:

  • What it means to develop and teach a curriculum for youth in marginalized communities
  • What it means to develop and teach an inclusive sexual health curriculum
  • How comprehensive sex health education can be trauma informed at its foundation
  • How to integrate adolescent's values and goals into their sex health education
  • How to discuss gender-based violence, intimate partner violence, and trafficking in the sex industry as it relates to sexual health education to marginalized adolescents and young adults.