Finalized Conference Schedule

Breaking Ground, Building Bridges:Communication, Gender, and Social Change 
Ohio University
WGS Graduate Student Association Conference 2014
Program Details

 Conference Overview
Friday, February 14
12 pm – 7:30 pm
Conference Registration
1 pm – 2:15 pm
Workshop Session 1
2:30 pm – 3:45 pm
Workshop Session 2
4:00 pm – 5:15 pm
Workshop Session 3
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Welcome Reception & Networking Hour

Saturday, February 15
8:00 am – 1:30 pm
Conference Registration
8:30 am – 9:30 am
Continental Breakfast (provided for conference participants)
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Paper Sessions -  Group 1
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
Paper Session - Group 2
12:15 pm – 1:15 pm
Lunch (provided for conference participants)
1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Richa Nagar, Professor, University of Minnesota
2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Paper Sessions – Group 3
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Paper Sessions – Group 4

Program Details
Friday, February 14


12:00PM-7:30pm: Conference Registration (Baker Center, 2nd Floor Atrium)

1:00PM-2:15pm: Workshop Session 1 (Concurrent Sessions)

WS 1A: Jan Griesinger, Old Lesbians Organizing for Change, Learning to Challenge Ageism: The Value System that Says Young is Always Better than Old (Women's Center, Baker 403)
WS 1B: Nancy Gomez and Kazi Priyanka Silmi, Ohio University & Hollaback Appalachian Ohio, Geography of Street Harassment on the Female Body (Alden Library 319 Friends Room)

2:30PM-3:45pm: Workshop Session 2(Concurrent Sessions)

WS 2A: Dr. Risa Whitson, Associate Professor, Geography and Women & Gender Studies, Ohio University, Academic Publishing for Graduate Students: Getting Started, Getting Published (Women's Center, Baker 403)
WS 2B: Sherri Saines and Hilary Bussel, Subject Librarians, Alden Library, Ohio University, Radical Pedagogy and the World of Too Much Information (Alden Library 319 Friends Room)

4:00PM-5:15pm: Workshop Session 3(Concurrent Sessions)

WS 3A: Ohio University WGS Graduate Student Association, Open discussion on the Women’s and Gender Studies Graduate Student Association at OU: Where do We Go from Here? (Women's Center, Baker 403)
WS 3B: Dr. Catherine Cutcher, Director, Global Studies Program, Ohio University, Feminist Popular Education for Social Change (Alden Library 319 Friends Room)
5:30PM-7:30pm: Welcome Reception & Networking Hour(1804 Lounge-Baker 5th floor)
Meet and greet with the keynote speaker and conference participants

Program Details

Saturday, February 15

9:00am-10:30am: Paper Session - Group 1 (Concurrent Panels)

Session 1A: Communication of Sexuality and Violence in the Media(Baker 230)

Moderator: Kazi Priyanka Silmi
·         Jordan Lovejoy, West Virginia University, “Gender and Challenges to Sexual Content in the Young Adult Novels Angus, Thongs, and Full- Frontal Snogging and Speak”
·         Melissa Eaton, Mercy Housing-San Francisco, “Women, Trauma, and Substance Use: The Importance of Harm Reduction Policies within Social Service Providers”
·         Leah Davidson, Eastern Michigan University, “Communicating Safety and Sexual Assault: Deconstructing Narratives of Language, Body and Culture in Campus Literature”
·         Kelly Choyke, Ohio University, “Is Your Vampire Boyfriend Abusing You?: The Twilight Saga and Perceptions of Intimate Partner Abuse”

 Session 1B: Gender and Representation(Baker 233)

Moderator: Dr. Nicole Reynolds
·         Dongjing Kang & Meiying Li, Ohio University, “Gender (Mis)representation: Vernacular Discourse of Mosuo Nationality ‘Walking Marriage’ on Chinese Micro-blog Weibo”
·         Begüm Saçak and Sylvia Nyegenye, Ohio University, “Gender stereotypes in Written American Advertisements: African and American Perspectives”
·         Liliana Acevedo Callejas, Ohio University, “Camping like a ‘Queen’: How Spanish gay youth use humor as political rhetoric and YouTube as a counter-public space"
·         Benedine Azanu, Ohio University, “Framing of African Female Presidents in US Newspapers"

Session 1C: Communication Against Sexual Oppression and Gender-Based Violence(Baker 235)

Moderator: Nancy Gomez
·         Hassan Akibu Olalekan, Ogun State Universal Basic Education Board, "Brick Walls: LGBTQ in Nigerian Communities"
·         Kaustavi Sarkar, Ohio State University, "Mahari Then and Now, Queering Performativity in Odissi"
·         Nihal Said, Ohio University, "Street and Sexual Harassment in Egypt; the Use of Communication Tools for Fighting Violence against Women"
·         Kareem Damanhoury, Ohio University, "The Use of Entertainment-Education to Combat Female Genital Mutilation in Egypt"

Session 1D: Gender, Empowerment and Leadership(Baker 237)

Moderator: Aarti Arora
·         Dr. Neva Helena Alexander, City University of New York, "Saudi Female Students’ Perception of Effective Female Leaders"
·         Sana Mahmud, Ohio University, "Shedding Stereotypes about Pakistani Women: A Look at Women in Sports in Pakistan"
·         Jillian Prusa, Ohio University, "Sports Development Initiatives and Gender"
·         Alaina Morman, Ohio University, “Rekindling the Warrior Spirit: Indigenous Women Embracing Environmental Justice Issues through Policy and Activism”

Session 1E: Women’s Representation in Media and Pop Culture(Baker 239)

Moderator: Dr. Kim Little
·         Benjamin Braddock, Ohio University, "The Invisible (Wo)Man and Miley Cyrus: Toward a Definition of Ratchet"
·         Shannon McMahon, Ohio University, "Meeting Virginia: Train’s Hit Song as Third Wave Feminist Text"
·         Nii Kotei Nikoi, Ohio University, "Women in Popular Ghanaian Music Video"
·         Alane Presswood, Ohio University, "Using the Lesbian Gothic to Combat the Male Gaze in Film and Literature"

10:45am-12:15am: Paper Sessions- Group 2(Concurrent Panels)

Session 2A: Gender and Economic Development(Baker 230)

Moderator: Katty Alhayek
·         Alicia Aikens and Michelle Acevedo, Ohio University, "Los Ceibos: Group of Artisans in Bella Maria Ecuador"
·         Kelsey Hoffman, University of Cincinnati, 'The Second City Industrially': Early Twentieth-Century Chicago, African American Working Women and the Political Manipulation of Women’s Trade Union League”
·         Margaret Holleman, University of Oklahoma, “In the Middle: Mediators of Transborder, Faith-based Development in Oaxaca, Mexico”

Session 2B: Feminist inquiry in research (Baker 233)

Moderator: Dr. Jenny Nelson
·         Laura Hyde, Ohio University, “The Ethics of Research and Representation of the Marginalized ‘Other’: A Five-Person Perspective”
·         Jing Guan, Sichuan University, “Writing Project in the Translation of The Color Purple”
·         Hannah Abrahamson, Ohio University, “Negotiating Colonization: Women in Colonial Brazil and Mexico”
·         Tijana Knezevic, Ohio University, "Using Visual Communication for Women`s Empowerment in Novi Knezevac, Serbia"

Session 2C: Gender, Development and Health (Baker 235)
Moderator: Robin Burnette
·         Sharon Colvin, Ohio University, “Maternal Precariousness Influences Infant Protection from HIV Infection”
·         Chikondi Khangamwa, Ohio University, “Maternal Health in Malawi Delegitimizing Local Resources”
·         Meiying Li, Ohio University, “Care for the Caregivers”
·         Kazi Priyanka Silmi, Ohio University, “Impact of Climate Change on Public Health in Bangladesh: A Gendered Perspective”

Session 2D: Gender, discourse and development (Baker 237)

Moderator: Dr. Anne Oberhauser
·         Michael Frechen, Ohio University, “The Value of Diversity:  Attitudes Toward the Environment and the Morality of Species Extinction”
·         Toluwani Adekunle, Ohio University, “Through the Lenses of Feminist Political Economics: Observing Women’s Economic Contributions through their Role as Social Reproducers”
·         Mohammad Hashim Pashtun, Ohio University, "Association of South Asian Women for Environmental Sustainability"
·         Erin Kuester, Ohio University, The Politics of Gendered Discourse Markers

Session 2E: Gender and Education (Baker 239)

Moderator: Dr Neva Alexander
·         Dr. Dorothy Sack, Ohio University, “Grandmother’s Ice Axe”
·         Rasha Sansur, Ohio University, “Why Can't Children Access Culture and Arts Education? A Critical Look at USAID Children in Adversity Action Plan, The Case of Al-Sununu Choir Project”
·         Yunqi Zhu, Ohio University, “Education Problems Faced by Migrant Workers’ Children in Beijing, China”

12:15pm-1:15pm: Lunch – Baker University Center 240/242 (provided for conference participants)

1:30pm-2:30pm: Keynote Speech: Dr. Richa Nagar, University of Minnesota, Muddying the Waters: Co-Authoring Feminisms Across Scholarship and Activism (Baker Theatre-2nd floor)

2:45pm-4:15pm: Paper Sessions- Group 3(Concurrent Panels)

Session 3A: Gender and Communication Discourse (Baker 230)

Moderator: Dr. Kim Little
·         Zhou Li, Ohio University, The Embodiment of "Leftover Ladies (Sheng nv 剩女)"In the Age of Chinese-styled Capitalist Patriarchy--A case study on a poplar reality TV dating show
·         Sera Mathew, West Virginia University, “Women's Literacies and Empowerment:  Investigating the Gender Paradox in Kerala, India”
·         Nurchayati Muksam, University of Sydney Australia,  “Indonesian Nationalist Discourse on Migrant Workers vs. the Real Dangers that Migrant Housemaids Face in Their Journeys Back Home”
·         Erin McKelle Fischer, Ohio University, “’Am I Pretty Or Ugly?’: Why Online Harassment is the New Sexism”

 Session 3B: Women and Educational Leadership (Baker 233)
Modertor: Dr. Dwan Robinson
·         Rashmi Sharma, Ohio University, “Grassroots Strategies and Global Mandates: Educational Empowerment of Rural Women in India”
·         Lauren Volpe, Ohio University, “Women and Educational Leadership: The Case of the United States”
·         Grace Annor, Ohio University, “Women and Educational Leadership: The Case of Ghana”
·         Dr. Dwan Robinson, Ohio University, “Global Conceptions of Women’s Roles in Leadership and Decision-Making

Session 3C: Gender, Violence and Migration (Baker 235)

Moderator: Tracy Tinga
·         Vilashini Somiah & Azliana Azi, Ohio University, “Filming the Repercussions of Ambiguous Boundaries: Insurgency in Sabah”
·         Emily Burns, Ohio University, “Selling Sex to Survive: Prostitution, Trafficking, and Agency within the Indian Sex Industry”
·         Sergina, Ohio University, “Violence against Indonesian Female Migrant Workers and the Applicability of CEDAW by Indonesian Government”
·         Ibrahim Sesay , Ohio University, “Communication and Female Genital Mutilation: The role of men as ‘Positive Deviant’”

Session 3D: Gender in the Domestic and Public Sphere (Baker 237)

Modertor: Jocelyn Probasco
·         Dr. Ann Oberhauser, West Virginia University, “Rural Space for Gender and Development: Perspectives from sub-Saharan Africa”
·         Carol Kelly, Eastern Michigan University ,“The Mummies on the Bus Learn Astrophysics: How Following Your Husband’s Job around the Globe Can Leave Every Woman, Even an Astrophysicist, Vulnerable”
·         Annie Wu, University of Sydney, “Changing Fortunes, Changing Identities: Social
Identities and Vietnamese Wives and Mothers in Taiwan”
·         Jessica Barnes, Ohio State University, “Women Crafting Lives and Livelihoods: A Case Study of Entrepreneurial Crafters in Columbus, Ohio”

Session 3E: Disability, Communication and Development (Baker 239)

Dr. Jenny Nelson, School of Media Arts & Studies, Ohio University,  "The Rhizomatics of Disability/Accessibility: a Performance Case Study"
This multi-media performance enacts the trajectory of a group of twenty-five first-year masters’ students in the Communication & Development program as they navigated their way through a variety of institutional structures on a 15-week odyssey that *ended* with a conference celebrating the city of Athens’ inaugural International Day of Persons with Disabilities event.  What started as a cipher – an item line on a meeting agenda – was transformed into a collaborative ethnographic research project that exemplifies the interplay of institutional structures and grassroots social change.  Rather than a linear presentation with “results” presented by individual panelists, a performance format more accurately reflects the logic of our topic, that of mobilizing rhizomatic, grass-roots social change. The performances will include disability simulations, audience participation, and short videos that were produced throughout the semester.

Session 3F: Gender, Conflict, and Displacement (Baker 236)

Moderator: Dr. Julie White
·         Elizarni, Ohio University, “Mélange of Voice: Pre-Post Conflict and Political Educational Experiences of Women in Aceh, Indonesia”
·         Majd Mariam, Ohio University, “Communication Strategies from Gender Perspectives to Address the Issues of the Syrian Children with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder”
·         Michael Wolven, Ohio University, “Gendered Environmental Hazards for Resettled Refugees”
·         Basileus Zeno, Ohio University, “The Gendered Discourses in the Syrian Conflict: A Case Study of Two Semi-Official Facebook Pages”

4:30pm-6:00pm: Paper Sessions- Group 4(Concurrent Panels)

Session 4A: Gender, Activism and Social Movements (Baker 230)

Moderator: Dr. Julie White
·         Katty Alhayek, Ohio University, “Double Marginalization: Mainstream Online Activism and the Invisibility of Syrian Refugee Women’s Voices”
·         Cory Chan-Frederick, Ohio University, “Transgender Awareness and Virtual Communities: Using Social Media to Advance the Movement”
·         Rebecca Lee, Ohio University, “Eve Ensler’s the Vagina Monologues as Feminist Activist Ecology”
·         Jennifer Seifert, Ohio University, “Bridging the Paradox: SlutWalk, Culture, and the Quest for Identity”

Session 4B: Gender, Beauty and Body Image (Baker 233)

Moderator: Dr. Nicole Reynolds
·         Saran Indigo Goodson, Ohio University, “The Mane Story: Colonialism, Standards of Beauty, and Black Women’s Hair Texture”
·         Kirsten Lawrence, Ohio University, “Between War and Vanity: Gendered Language in Children’s Advertisements”
·         Imran Mazid, Ohio University, “Body Image Dissatisfaction and Makeover Culture”
·         Henry Boachi, Ohio University, “Shame & Body Curves: Visual ‘Conversations’ about An Alleged Corrupt Female Government”

Session 4C: Gender, Health, Representation (Baker 235)

Moderator: Michelle Acevedo Callejas
·         Franklyn Charles, Ohio University, “Mixed Messages through Thick and Thin Sexy or Unhealthy: Obesity in Caribbean Women”
·         Hannah Farchione, Ohio University, “Nothing Tastes as Good as Skinny Feels: An Exploration into the World of the Media and Eating Disorder”
·         Jill Klimpel, Ohio State University, “Taking Advantage of Modernity: Exploring the High Rates of C-Sections in Sao Paulo, Brazil”
·         Dr. Catherine Cutcher, Ohio University, “The Medicine is Education: Sexual and Reproductive Health Education among Women’s Groups in Kenya”

Session 4D: Gender, Development and Communication for Social Change in Jamaica (Baker 237)

Moderator: Liliana Acevedo Callejas
·         Kay-Anne Darlington, Ohio University, “Gender and Sexual Representation in Jamaican HIV Prevention Television Advertisements”
·         Sherica Hawthorne, Ohio University, “All about Women? Gender Representation in Jamaican Development Plans”
·         Sabena Thomas, Ohio University, “Women in Development: Empowerment through Equity”
·         Alicia Aikens, Ohio University, “Barriers to Care and Prevention among the MSM Population in Jamaica: Suggestions for Change”

Session 4E: Gender, leadership and communication (Baker 239)

Moderator: Zhou Li
·         Mary Fairio, Ohio University, "Why is it difficult for women to be elected? Looking at the electoral system in Papua New Guinea"
·         Elizabeth Story, Ohio University, "Kurdish Women as Leaders in Bahman Ghobadi's Niwemang"
·         Robin Burnette, Capital University, "Latina Immigrant Women Leaders in the US Immigrant Movement Today"
·         Thu Hoan Do, Ohio University, "Vietnamese womanhood and discourse of nationalism"

Primary Sponsors:

College of Arts & Sciences
Women and Gender Studies Program
Central Regional Humanities Center

Sponsorship was also provided by:

International Student Union
Patton College of Education
School of Communication Studies
School of Media Arts and Studies
Dept. of African American Studies
Communication and Development Studies Program
Dept. of Geography
Dept. of Political Science
Ohio University Women’s Center
Latin American Studies Program

Special Thanks to Abhijit Mali for support with illustration and design

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Risa Whitson

Conference Organizing Committee:
Jocelyn Probasco
Kazi Priyanka Silmi
Katty Alhayek
Zhou Li
Nancy Gomez
Liliana Acevedo Callejas
Aarti Arora
Michelle Acevedo Callejas
Tracy Tinga

For more details, contact:



  1. Please help people on campus learn about this great event by adding it to the OHIO central calendar of University events (CUE) at Anyone with an active OHIO ID can do it by logging in at and filling out the resulting form. E-mail if you have any questions. Thanks, -Tasha Attaway, Communications Specialist III, Campus Events.

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