Women’s History Month Home

   Laurie Finke
   Patrice Gaines
   Planning Committee


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Women’s and Gender Studies Department

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI, USA 48197

University Information:
(734) 487-1849

Breaking Boundaries: Women at the Forefront of Change

Female activists have been fighting for equality in the workplace, at home, and in every other aspect of their lives for decades. Unfortunately, they are often forgotten in terms of passing on their remarkable history. Women have been the founders of groundbreaking organizations, the heart behind grassroots movements, and the intelligence behind profound discoveries. These women will have the opportunity to tell their stories.

All events are approved for Learning Beyond the Classroom credit.

March 2013 Events

Women in STEM

Monday, March 11, 2:00-4:00pm
Student Center 320

Women's contributions and accomplishments have long been ignored or under-emphasized in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This event will bring together women from various STEM disciplines to discuss the difficulties faced by women, the barriers that are still being broken, and challenges being faced by women entering the workforce today.

I Heart Female Orgasm

Monday, March 11, 7:30pm-10:00pm
Student Center Ballroom

The Female Orgasm combines sex education and women's empowerment with a hearty dose of laughter. We bring a playful, honest approach to this topic. With warmth and humor, we illuminate the subject of female orgasm whether you want to have your first one, you're hoping to help your girlfriend, or you're debating the existence of the G-spot or "to fake or not to fake?"
--Sponsored by the Women's Resource Center

Teaching to Touch the Earth: Black Feminist Pedagogy in a Transnational Context

Tuesday March 12, 2:00-3:00pm
Student Center 330

Anke Wolbert and Vanessa Marr, Eastern Michigan University

This workshop seeks to broaden people’s perspective of teaching and learning by exploring how black women’s relationship to land (and its emphasis on place, community, spirituality, and praxis) provides a forgotten avenue to effect meaningful and long lasting change.

Women of Culture

Tuesday March 12, 7:00-9:00pm
Student Center Ballroom

This event showcases a panel of women of different cultures/races/ethnicity who hold CEO/director, faculty positions at local universities, businesses, and companies.

--Sponsored by the Women's Resource Center

How Isabelle Myers and Katherine Briggs (Myers Briggs Type Indicator MBTI) Positively Impacted the Assessment World and Empower Women

Wednesday March 13, 10:00am-12:00pm
Halle Library 300

Lorraine McKnight, Eastern Michigan University

With knowledge of the history of the MBTI and one's personality the MBTI can empower women to make wise career choices, conduct successful job searches and negotiate equitable salaries. To preregister and take the assessment call (734) 487 4395.

The Power of the Purse - A Fundraiser for United Way of Washtenaw County Women's Initiative

Wednesday March 13, 5:30-7:30pm
Student Center Ballroom

This ticketed event funds grants to Washtenaw County women that allow them to achieve their full potential. Purses are auctioned and a raffle raises additional funds. EMU Regent Beth Fitzsimmons will be honored as the 2013 Women of the Year. Purchase tickets at:

Anarcha and the Medical Plantation: Black Culture/Disability Culture

Thursday March 14, 1:30-3:00pm
Student Center 330

Petra Kuppers, University of Michigan

The many activists, artists, academic and healers who came together through the Anarcha Project speak about the echoes of historical injury, the effects of slavery medicine on contemporary health care inequalities, and on women's powers to engage in cross-cultural investigation, art practice, and ritual.

Making Sense: Identifying Black Feminist Theories of Knowledge

Thursday March 14, 5:30-7:00pm
Pray Harrold 216

Kristie Dotson, Michigan State University

This talk examines how three metaphors from US Black women's social theory—jeopardy, interstices, and intersectionality—illuminate three different ways of approaching our social world. By understanding the different orientations embedded in each metaphor, one can become familiar with the differing limits and scopes of each pattern making enterprise. Dotson proposes an approach to these black feminist contributions that sees them as complementary as opposed to competing metaphors for making sense of our social world.
--Sponsored by the History and Philosophy Department

"To Live as poet, woman, American, and Jew": A Centenary Celebration of the Life and Work of Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980)

Thursday-Saturday March 14-16

Registration information at:

A symposium of presentations, performances, and conversations celebrates the life and work of Muriel Rukeyser. Three evening events, including a poetry reading, musical performance, and keynote speaker are open to the public.

A Poetry Reading and Performance of “Book of the Dead”

Thursday March 14, 2013, 7:00pm
Dreamland Theater, 26 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti

EMU Creative Writing faculty member Carla Harryman is orchestrating a performance of Muriel Rukeyser's documentary poem Book of the Dead. This event is part of the Rukeyser Centenary.
--Sponsored by BathHouse Reading Series and Journal of Narrative Theory

Film and Panel: "The Race for the Double Helix"

Friday March 15, 3:00-5:00pm
Halle Library 300

This film portrays the process by which the work of James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin led to the discovery of the double helical structure of DNA. After viewing the film we will have a short Q & A session with the audience.

An Evening of Poetry and Song Dedicated to Women Poets and Composers

Friday, March 15, 7:00-9:00pm
Alexander Auditorium

EMU School of Music and Dance voice instructors MeAee Nam and  Monica Swartout-Bebow will perform songs by women composers based on women's poetry. This event is part of the Rukeyser Centenary.

Daring to Live for the Impossible: Rukeyser and the Idea of Freedom

Saturday March 16, 7:00-9:00pm
Student Center 310A

Alicia Ostriker

Alicia Ostriker is a major American poet and critic. Twice nominated for a National Book Award, she is author of twelve volumes of poetry, most recently The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems, 1979-2011 (2012) . Ostriker's The Book of Seventy (2009) won the Jewish Book Award for Poetry. This event is part of the Rukeyser Centenary.
--Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and Jewish Studies

Women Angle Raising: Hammering Vessels in the Metalsmithing Studio at Briggs

Tuesday March 19, 2:00-5:00pm
Briggs 108

Gretchen Otto, Eastern Michigan University

The traditional technique of angle raising copper, bronze or sterling silver vessels over steel stakes was limited to few women even into the 1970's. Professor Otto, along with several of her students will demonstrate the traditional metalsmithing process of angle raising.


Laurie Finke


The Pedagogical Work of Disneyland

Laurie Finke, Kenyon College
2012-2013 McAndless Scholar in Residence

Tuesday March 19, 7:30pm
Student Center 350

Disneyland is work disguised as play; school disguised as vacation. Drawing on Sarah Ahmed’s phenomenological reading of orientation in Queer phenomenology, this lecture investigates the ways in which Disney’s didacticism is made material through practices and procedures designed to orient the park’s visitors, to ensure that those visitors always know where they are and who they are, as a means of educating ‘good’ citizens.


“My Mic Sounds Nice”: A Hip-Hop Feminism Showcase

Wednesday, March 20, 2:00pm-7:00pm
Student Center 350

Hip hop feminism issues a call to engage in praxis--the immersion of theory and practice. This workshop will demonstrate how hip hop can be empowering and provide a space for women and men to celebrate diversity and the experiences of women. This event will showcase the artwork, poetry, and performances of student artists around campus.

--Sponsored by the Center for Multicultural Affairs

The Looking Glass Self Art Exhibition

Monday, March 25, 9:00am-4:00pm
Student Center 330

Felicity Baker, Eastern Michigan University

An exhibit of self-portraits that were created by women in the community to evaluate their self-identity as well as their perspective of others. Through visual imagery women artists and viewers can connect on an emotional level instead of focusing on physical differences of age, race, ethnicity, gender or socioeconomic status.

Patrice Gaines


Patrice Gaines

Tuesday March 26, 7pm
Student Center Auditorium

An award winning journalist and former Washington Post reporter, Patrice Gaines works to empower girls and young women at risk, drawing from the heart of her experiences on the streets and in prison. She is the co-founder of Brown Angel Center, seeking to provide formerly incarcerated women and their families with the tools to renew their lives. Gaines is author of "Laughing in the Dark" and "Moments of Grace: Meeting the Challenge to Change.

--Sponsored by the Graduate School, Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, and Women's and Gender Studies


Success for Women in Graduate School

Wednesday March 27, 5:30-7:30pm
Halle Library 300

Christen Mitchell and Lorinda Rausch, Eastern Michigan University

This event hopes to demystify and support the possibility of graduate school for current EMU undergraduate students and women in the surrounding community. It will also try to help answer the confusing question current female graduate students might ask themselves: “What's next?”