Professor Latorre Presents Her Research on Graffiti and Muralism at The University of Chile

guiselaThe University of Chile, the flagship institution of higher education in the country, invited Professor Guisela Latorre to present her research on Chilean graffiti and muralism taking place on March 23, 2015. Titled “Museos a Cielo Abierto en Santiago: Murales, Graffiti y Democratización Urbana,” this distinguished lecture addressed the ways current street art in Chile is making city streets into more egalitarian spaces for historically marginalized communities. In attendance were students and faculty of the University of Chile as well as local mural and graffiti artists.

The lecture can be viewed in its entirety here.

Jon Branfman Wins Graduate Associate Teaching Award

jon&class Jonathan Branfman, WGSS PhD student won the Graduate Associate Teaching Award, the university’s highest recognition of the exceptional teaching provided by graduate students at Ohio State. Award winners receive $1,500 and are recognized at the annual Graduate School awards reception.

This award is in its 43rd year and is Ohio State’s highest recognition of the exceptional teaching provided by graduate students.

Each year, approximately 3,000 students teach as graduate teaching associates at Ohio State.

This year, 162 graduate students were nominated, and 66 of the eligible nominees submitted an application portfolio.

The award recipients were selected by the Graduate School Awards Committee consisting of graduate faculty representing the range of disciplines, former GATA winners, and graduate students.

“I aspire for students to see the world through critical eyes long after they forget specific details of my class. I seek to spark this inquiry through a dynamic personal style, rich class discussions, captivating readings, and experiential projects, while constantly sharpening my approach with student feedback.” – Jon Branfman

Congratualtions, Jon!!



WGSS Chair Jill Bystydzienski Awarded Fulbright US Scholar Grant

bystydzienski.1Jill Bystydzienski, professor and chair in the Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, has been awarded a prestigious Fulbright Scholar Grant. Bystydzienski will be affiliated with the Robert B. Zajonc Institute for Social Studies and Center of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies at the University of Warsaw in Poland, where she will research “Organized response to status of women in STEM in Poland” during autumn 2015.

Bystydzienski’s research will focus on the role of women’s organizations and movements in raising awareness and shaping policy regarding gender equality in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She will examine how gender inequality is addressed by these organizations and activists in specific countries. Her findings in Poland will contribute to an understudied issue in the country and allow for comparison among women’s representation in STEM fields in other countries.

“The University of Warsaw is the ideal place for me to undertake this project. Being based in Warsaw, I will have direct access to most of the organizations and people I will need to include in my research,” said Bystydzienski. “My Fulbright in Poland will also contribute to strengthening the ties between The Ohio State University and the University of Warsaw.”

Congratulations, Jill!


Marissa McGrath Ted Talk: The F Word: How Feminism Saved My Life

WGSS Senior Marissa McGrath was featured on the 4th annual TEDxOhioStateUniversity event, held on Feb. 14, 2015, titled “The Human Narrative.” The event talks covered stories, ideas and topics that make up our collective story as human beings.

In this talk, Marisa McGrath talks about her perspective on feminism as an undergraduate student. Initially rejecting feminism due to the negative stereotypes with which it is associated, Marisa found solace in feminism after combating a series of unfortunate events. With feminism, Marisa was able to grow and flourish.

Marisa McGrath is a senior at The Ohio State University double majoring in International Relations and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. A native of Youngstown, Ohio, on campus, McGrath is a member of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, The Girl’s Circle Project and various other activities. She graduates this May.

Congratulations Marissa and thank you for sharing your powerful story!

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!