The Institute for Women’s Studies Presents Fall Friday Speaker Series

By Samantha Ward

Is your schedule too crowded to squeeze in those women’s studies classes you are interested in? Fear not: There’s another way to get your weekly dose of feminism! Now through November 4, the Institute for Women’s Studies (IWS) is hosting their weekly Friday speaker series at 12:20 p.m. in room 214 at the Miller Learning Center.

Terri Hatfield, program coordinator for IWS, said, “The main purpose of the series is to showcase the research about women and gender, and other Women’s Studies topics, that is currently occurring on UGA’s campus.  Faculty get the opportunity to showcase their work and learn what other feminist work is being done on campus, and students get the opportunity to hear about the various ways in which feminist research can be applied.”

Subjects already presented this semester include trailblazing women in the archeology field and how academics in queer theory can reevaluate religion in the educational experience. These talks first came out of “brown bag” lectures for the Institute of Women’s Studies in 1988, started by Marjanne Gooze in UGA’s Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies and affiliate faculty member in Women’s Studies.

As FYOS-approved events, these talks are especially appealing to new freshmen interested in the intersections of feminism at UGA.

Meagan McPherson, a first year anthropology major from Alpharetta, GA, said, “I think that these talks will help me understand different groups of people better and help unite the student body and break down barriers that might otherwise be separating us. I think it’s very important to learn about these issues.”

Already, the first two talks of the series had nearly-packed rooms full of students of all disciplines, and the lineup of future speakers hints that this may be the case for the rest of the series. The schedule is:

September 23 – Erin L. Richman on the Pathway to Motherhood for Seven Lesbian Couples
September 30 – Maryann Gallagher on the Roles of Female Prosecutors in International Courts
October 7 – Katie Garby Hein on Health Promotion and Behavior
October 14 – Marian Higgins on Unconscious Bias and Professionalism
October 21 – Joselyn K. Leimbach on Queering Cristina Yang
November 4 – Elizabeth Saylor on Preservice Elementary Teachers Perspectives’ of Feminism, Sexism, and Gender Identity Development

Jamie Palmer, a women’s studies graduate teaching assistant, said, “Many of the speakers’ research are grounded in our everyday issues and shed light on new strategies for revealing and addressing the issues women face in all our diversity. [This series] highlights our dedication to mentoring and developing women students and scholars in particular to be leaders in their respective fields. It’s a space of empowerment.”

For more information about the series or anything else related to the Institute for Women’s Studies, call (706)-542-0049 or email

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