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Women's and Gender Studies Events

The Department of Women's and Gender Studies holds events throughout the year, including a special series of events to celebrate Saint Louis University's Bicentennial this year. 

Women at SLU: The Quest for Knowledge, Power, and Legacy

Taking place March 22-23, 2018, this symposium is co-sponsored by the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Department of English, the Women’s Commission, and SLU’s Bicentennial Committee.

This event brings three units together to discuss both the challenges and opportunities women confront as female students, staff and faculty at SLU. Our external speakers will talk primarily from historical perspectives, while our four panels will look more at current issues. Two panels bring a diverse range of students staff and faculty together to speak, first, about everyday life as women at SLU, and, second, about women and leadership. A third roundtable explores how feminism has changed/is changing academic disciplines here, from the questions we ask to the methods we use in research. The final roundtable of graduate students and recent Ph.D. students explores the legacy of a recently deceased and cherished faculty member, Georgia Johnston, Ph.D., who was affiliated with both the Department of English and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies.  To process the content and to allow the discussion to proceed, we will also provide several opportunities for the speakers and the audience to interact more informally, at meals and especially at the Friday evening Celebration, which includes a silent auction and will be a fundraiser for the endowments of the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies and the Women’s Commission.

Symposium Timeline and Panels:


All events are located in the Center for Global Citizenship-124A unless stated otherwise.

Thursday, March 22

2:45 p.m.: Welcome

3 p.m.: Opening remarks by Michelle Lewis, Director of SLU's Office of Equity and Diversity

3:30-5 p.m.: Panel #1 - Women and Leadership at SLU: Student, Faculty and Staff Perspectives

Friday, March 23

8:30-9 a.m.: Welcome bagel breakfast and coffee

9-10:30 a.m.: Panel #2 - The Impact of Feminism on the Disciplines

10:45-12:15 p.m.: Panel #3 - The Everyday Experiences of Women at SLU: Student, Faculty and Staff Perspectives

12:30-1:30 p.m.: Catered lunch

2:00-3:30 p.m.: Panel #4 - Georgia Johnston, Ph.D. as Teacher and Mentor (Georgia Johnston Memorial)

4:00-5:45 p.m.: V.Woolf Keynote and Reception (Georgia Johnston Memorial)
“The Haunting of Mary Hutchinson”
Keynote lecture, Jane Garrity, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder

6-8 p.m.: Women at SLU: A Celebration and Silent Auction at the SLU Museum of Art
Join the Women’s Commission and the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies at our celebration and silent auction to honor the accomplishments of the women at SLU. Funds raised will benefit the Sister Shirley Kolmer Memorial Grant, the Women’s Commission grant that financially supports individual leadership development opportunities and community impact projects that advance women, and the Women's and Gender Studies Giving Circle Endowment, which provides support to student research. All members of the SLU community are invited.


Panel #1 - Women and Leadership at SLU: Student, Faculty and Staff Perspectives

Featuring: Annesley Clark, Ellen Harshman, Mona Hicks, Donna LaVoie, Wynne Moskop,  Sara Van den Berg, and Emily Witko.

How has being female (and a feminist) impacted your individual leadership style, as that has developed over time? How has it affected the way various others respond to you as a leader? What gender-based obstacles to getting things done have you encountered? Has your being female/feminist also opened doors and provided opportunities? How has feminism impacted your sense of yourself as a leader? Has feminism impacted the environment in which you work? Have you had female models of leadership? Has feminism or being female impacted your very understanding of leadership? What changes can you envision at SLU that will help it become a place more open to developing women leaders and allowing them to flourish?

Panel #2 - The Impact of Feminism on the Disciplines

Featuring: Ellen Crowell, Jami Curley, Noelle Fearn,  and Julie Rubio. 

Women’s and Gender Studies as an academic enterprise has its roots in second wave feminism and originated as a challenge to male-defined and male-centered knowledge. What impact has feminism had on your discipline? How has it affected the questions you ask, the sources you look to, the methods you employ, the ways you write, and/or the places you take your research? How different is the discipline now from its state when you were a student? What resistances to feminism still exist in your discipline today, including here at SLU? How hopeful are you about the transformative potential of feminism in your discipline? What changes can you envision at SLU that will make it more responsive to that potential?

Panel #3 - The Everyday Experiences of Women at SLU: Student, Faculty and Staff Perspectives

Featuring: Elisabeth King, Katlyn Martin, Jennifer Semsar, Tandra Taylor, and Constance Wagner.

While SLU is often characterized as a homogenous environment, in fact it is quite diverse. In this panel, we bring together faculty, staff, and students to reflect on the everyday experiences of women of color, queer women, trans women, women from around the globe, women with disabilities, women who work or study while parenting, etc. How welcoming or difficult is the environment at SLU? Where are the opportunities for flourishing, and where are the obstacles? What changes will help us move toward an ever-more inclusive SLU?

Panel #4 - Georgia Johnston as Teacher and Mentor (Georgia Johnston Memorial)

A roundtable tribute of six of Johnston’s former doctoral students reflect on her continuing legacy, featuring Margaret Sullivan, Ina Seethaler, Elisabeth Hedrick-Moser, Candis Bond, Annie Rues-Neidel, and Melissa Burgess.

V.Woolf Keynote and Reception (Georgia Johnston Memorial)
“The Haunting of Mary Hutchinson”
Keynote lecture, Jane Garrity, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder

This talk seeks to counter the view that Mary Hutchinson’s writing is peripheral to more substantive accounts of modernity by demonstrating how her complex articulation of early twentieth-century femininity has been unjustly trivialized because of its association with fashion. Garrity desires to revive interest in this brilliant but marginalized writer’s only book, Fugitive Pieces (1927), paying homage to Georgia’s commitment to recuperating non-canonical women modernists.

Additionally, there will be a memorial brunch on Saturday, March 24 hosted by the Department of English. 

Register now for the celebration and silent auction. No registration for the symposium or memorial is needed. Everyone is welcome to attend all the events. If you have questions, please contact

Other Events

Saint Louis University’s Department of Women's and Gender Studies also sponsors events throughout the academic year to support scholarship and leadership.  Our event calendar is available on our homepage

Brown-Bag Lunch Series

Each semester, SLU’s Department of Women’s and Gender Studies sponsors a brown-bag lunch series where speakers present their research and engage the audience in discussion about the topic. The topics vary, as do the disciplines of the speakers and the points of view they represent.

These informal settings provide unique and wonderful opportunities to learn about the range of women's and gender studies scholarship and to meet students and faculty with similar interests. Since this event takes place around the noon hour, you are encouraged to bring your lunch.

Takeover Thursdays

"Takeover Thursdays" was an idea born of the women's and gender studies department's fight to claim more space on campus. These events are held at different off-campus locations and offer a safe space to discuss feminist thought and activities. Students, both within and outside the department, have the opportunity to meet other women's and gender studies students, faculty and staff in an informal setting.

Advisory Board Meetings

SLU’s Women's and Gender Studies Advisory Board meetings are the equivalent of department meetings in traditional disciplines. However, in addition to having women's and gender studies faculty represented, the group includes affiliated faculty, and graduate and undergraduate students.

Topics range from which courses to offer and events to sponsor to discussions of how to continue growing the department. Board members serve for two-year terms. Student board members serve for one year. The monthly meetings are open to everyone and attendees do not have to be board members to participate.

Women's and Gender Studies Writing Day

Behind on your papers? Need a day to write and work on them? Join the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies for a day of writing at the end of the semester. Drop in anytime with your laptops, paper and pens, notepads and books to enjoy an environment of idea sharing and writing. The department provides coffee, tea and snacks all day. All faculty and students are welcome.

Feminist Reading Group

Open to anyone interested, the feminist reading group focuses on topics within current feminist scholarship. Regular attendance is not required. If you have a topic you would like to read about, suggest it by sending an email to