Professor Lynn Itagaki Quoted in TIME Article, “How Elizabeth Warren Turns Boilerplate Viral”

On March 5th, Senator Elizabeth Warren posted a video on Facebook of a recent speech in which she discussed the decline of the middle class and criticized Republicans in Congress.

In this TIME article, “How Elizabeth Warren Turns Boilerplate Viral”, WGSS Professor Lynn Itagaki who recently published, “The Autobiographical IOU: Elizabeth Warren’s Debtor-Citizen and the Reliably Liable Life Narrative” in the journal Biography is quoted on what makes Warren such a great communicator and how it affects the American public.

Read the article and watch Warren’s moving speech here!

What Black Feminist Historians Think You Should Read

must read

Historians Jessica Marie Johnson (Michigan State University) and WGSS’s Treva Blaine Lindsey (The Ohio State University) discuss their Black History “Must Reads.” Johnson and Lindsey are the co-authors of the recent essay “Searching for Climax: Black Erotic Lives in Slavery and Freedom” in Meridians.

Watch the video here!

Books That Made Her Feminist is a blog that features academics and their thoughts on their favorite books. In this particular post, OSU Professor Linda Mizejewski reflects on which books that made her feminist and shares how the process of becoming can problematize your relationships and how you view the world around you.


Also, Professor Mizejewski’s Pretty/Funny: Women Comedians and Body Politics is now out on paperback from University of Texas Press. Please see funny celebratory Liz Lemons meme!

New WGSS Diversity Video









In this video the students, faculty and staff of WGSS speak about how diversity is crucial to their studies, research, teaching and in other aspects of their lives and work. This production was part of a larger department-wide effort to increase diversity in our course offerings, attract more students of color to our classrooms and improve climate around issues of race. We are grateful to those who brought these concerns to our attention and to the students, faculty and staff who took time from their busy schedules to speak on camera.

Watch the Video here!

Special thanks to Professor Guisela Latorre for making this video happen!

Mike Brown and Racial Equality in Mind in WGSS at OSU

brownThe current political climate in America surrounding the multiple acts of racial violence and the governmental/police force responses to them have brought the white supremacy of our country to the forefront of our minds and made this dynamic more visible. From John Crawford here in Ohio being shot at a Wal-Mart to the murder of Mike Brown in Ferguson, MO, these events are tragic and unacceptable, while realistically reflective of the white supremacist world in which we live. Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies hopes to provide a learning community where ideas about race and class privilege are challenged on multiple levels and to cultivate social justice language and action in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of history and to move into a more progressive and egalitarian social climate. We are proud of our graduate students, undergraduate students, faculty members and staff members who are taking action by showing up to rallies and adding to the momentum of the conversation in person and on social media.

Graduate student Tay Glover initiated a gofundme fundraiser to help Columbus residents travel to Ferguson, MO in solidarity with Ferguson citizens.  Glover raised over $3,000 and among donors was black feminist scholar Kimberle Crenshaw. Glover and faculty member Treva Lindsey among many other Columbus residents and WGSS members traveled to Ferguson this past weekend in solidarity. 

Finally, on Thursday, August 28th WGSS faculty and graduate students Shannon Winnubst, Treva Lindsey, Lynn Itagaki, Mary Thomas, Debanuj Dasgupta, and Haley Swenson presented in a Mike Brown Teach-In at the Hale Black Cultural Center on campus. In addition, The Ohio Student Association also presented on how they are currently agitating for the state government to take the death of John  Crawford seriously as well as many other political actions which impact black lives in Ohio. This presentation formally addressed the issue and stressed the importance of this moment and how it is indicative of America’s racist climate, the ubiquitous presence of militarization in our lives, and the unacceptable violence that black bodies continue to experience as a result. The MLK lounge was packed full and precipitated engaged and emotional Q&A’s and feedback. The event used the twitter hashtag #MikeBrownTeachIn so those who could not attend could read what those tweeting the event had to say and to add momentum to conversations around Mike Brown throughout social media. Thanks very much to all who attended and contributed to this event!

Below is the PowerPoint presentation from the event.


Maya Angelou…. Doing Her Thing

mayaA few months back a letter came to the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies department from a woman named Rusty Belote who lives in Florida. Rusty had worked for OSU’s Consultation Services services in the 1970’s specifically working with women and minorities who needed resources and counseling. Back then, Rusty explained, the Women’s Studies “program” was closely linked with counseling services, the women involved in both often came together to bring special events to campus: rape prevention and self-defense workshops, coming out workshops, mental health resources, as well as speakers and events. In Rusty’s letter she told me she had some materials she had saved over the years and wondered if the department would like them. I wrote Rusty back and told her of course we would love to see what she had and then forgot all about it until today. This morning, the day the inspiring and prolific Maya Angleou died, Rusty gave the department this framed and autographed event poster from Maya Angelou’s visit to OSU campus in the 1970s, sponsored by the then Women’s Services with Black Student Programs, titled “Black Poets, Black Poetry, Black Joy”. Thank you, Rusty!

Visiting Professor Erika Alm: Critical Perspectives on Cisnormativity


WGSS is very excited to welcome Erika Alm, visiting professor from Gothenburg University, Sweden, to campus this fall. She will be instructing a course engaging with work stemming from trans* and intersex experiences.

Erika describes her academic background with a paraphrase of cultural theorist and feminist scholar Sara Ahmed: “I believe that education is part of a larger scheme, that of killing joy as a world-making project. It is my firm belief that critical thinking is the basis of sustainable knowledge, and that we all need to be sensitive to material and ideological constrains on knowledge claims and knowledge production.” To me Ahmed’s feminist kill joy is the quintessence of critical thinking: a figure that challenges taken for granted notions and norms and opens up for debates and changes. I hope to get the chance to explore norms on sex, gender and identity within and outside of academia with you this fall!”

Alm’s course (WGSST 5620: Critical perspectives on cisnormativity) engages with norms on sex, gender and identity in relation to the pathologization of trans* and intersex people and the scholarly, activist and community work that has grown out of reactions to such pathologizations. As a class, we will explore temporally and geographically situated examples of cisnormativity, as articulated in medical and juridical contexts, but the main focus will be an engagement with the prolific academic and activist work related to trans* and intersex experiences.

TuTh 3:55PM – 5:15PM
Mendenhall Lab 0175

There is still space available in this class! Don’t miss out on this unique course!

Memory is Resistance: Reclaiming Trans* & Queer History

Rachel Weber, a senior WGSS Graduate created these incredible and inspirational posters in order to celebrate and reclaim our rich queer and transgendered past. Thanks to Rachel for taking this step in editing history NOT to only be safe-for-straight-consumption!!






5 Reasons You Should Major in WGSS

In case there were any doubts about why Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is the best field of study, this article from (although not perfect) describes 5 reasons why majoring in Women’s Studies [WGSS] is a smart choice.

“When you choose this major, you become an agent — not a bystander — in the process of bringing humanity one step closer to equality. You do it not just for yourself, but for your partner, your family, and the future.”

Selfie Revolution by Riana Brewer

Selfie Revolution

WGSS Undergraduate Senior Riana Brewer created her own media-rich Ted Talk for an independent assignment in Professor Suchland’s senior seminar class. Brewer’s presentation discusses self-representation and how the rise in self-promotion on the internet (via selfies) challenges mainstream messages which overwhelm our society with images of white, cisnormative/heteronormative, and able bodied representations of beauty. Brewer runs a popular tumblr site called lezbhonest which seeks to proliferate images of non-normative expressions of love and identity. Brewer is in the process of creating a second video of interviews with people about their experiences as LGBTQ.

“The act of self-representation helps to break these narrowly defined roles and boundaries. When minority groups and individuals, such as queer people of color, take selfies, they are actively demonstrating against the narrow boundaries set forth by institutions. They are building a base of individuals that celebrate diversity and individualism. In the past, disciplinary control have forbid workers from wearing braided hairstyles common in Black culture. Selfies are reaffirming that wearing braided hair, performing gender, and being queer and happy is a positive act worth celebrating. Selfies from minority communities often receive hundreds to thousands of comments and “notes” that produces a psychological benefit to the uploader (feels better about self in a world that denies identity), affirmation for others in the community, and a certain “cool” factor or newfound appreciation from mainstream society”

Watch her video here:  Selfie Revolution Ted Talk