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Women's Center

Women's Center
University of Idaho
Memorial Gym, Rm 109
Fax: 208.885.6285

Mailing Address:
Women's Center
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1064
Moscow, ID 83844-1064

Women & Gender Brown Bag Series

Highlighting Scholarship and Creative Work in Our Community 

Spring 2015

Marriage Equality Watch: 2014 in Review and What's Ahead in 2015
January 30 - Memorial Gym 109

Program Description
This talk will examine LGBTQ developments in year 2014, which ushered in a slew of legislative, judicial and cultural victories for marriage equality throughout the nation. At the end of 2013, same-sex couples were allowed to marry in only 17 U.S. jurisdictions. By the start of 2015, same-sex couples could marry in an additional 20 jurisdictions. The speediness of this movement has been profound - during a two month period in 2014 the number of marriage equality grew from 19 to 35 (including Idaho). The overall surge has primarily resulted from lower federal court decisions that struck down state constitutional same-sex marriage bans. Yet the U.S. Supreme Court's declination to hear appeals from the Fourth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits was perhaps the most controversial (non)decision of the year. Looking ahead to 2015, this program will conclude by examining whether (and When) the Supreme Court will weigh in on the marriage equality debate.

About the Presenter: Shaakirrah R. Sanders is an Associate Professor in the University of Idaho College of Law, where she teaches subjects related to government structure and individual rights and liberties under the United States Constitution, including Constitutional Law I & II, Criminal Procedure, Advanced Criminal Procedure, and Freedom of Speech and Press. Prior to joining the College of Law, Professor Sanders was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Lawyering Skills at Seattle University School of Law. She also practiced law as a staff attorney with the Public Defender Association in Seattle, Washington and as an associate attorney in the Seattle office of K & L Gates and the New Orleans office of Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell. A native of Detroit, Michigan, she attended Trinity College and Loyola University New Orleans of Law. After law school, Professor Sanders served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ivan L.R. Lemelle in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and the Honorable Lavenski R. Smith in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Stormy Weather: Women in Jazz
February 24 - Memorial Gym 109

Program Description: Lysa Salsbury will discuss some of the challenges and triumphs of the women who helped in shaping the evolution of Jazz. The talk will also include an overview of the University Library's International Jazz Collection, and its value to musicians, music historians, musicologists, and others in conducting research. Garth Reese, Head of Special Collections and Archives for the library, will discuss the types of materials in the collections and how the library came to acquire them.

About the Presenter: Lysa Salsbury is the Director of the University of Idaho Women's Center. she helps lead campus outreach and education efforts around women's and gender issues, and is part of numerous institutional and local community committees and groups that focus on promoting inclusion and diversity at the University of Idaho and on the Palouse. Her research interests include feminist leadership, respectful communication, and inclusive sexuality education. She is an enthusiastic consumer of jazz and a passionate advocate for women's full participation and representation in the arts. 

The World's Sexiest Dwarf: Disability, Masculinity, and Entertainment Media's Crush on Peter Dinklage
March 24 - Panorama Room, Commons

Program Description: Peter Dinklage, who stars on HBO's Game of Thrones, is quickly becoming the first little person celebrity whose fame is not based primarily upon his being a dwarf (the term he prefers). Other little people performers (Warrick Davis, Danny Woodburn, Verne Troyer, and others) have achieved some fame but have never transcended their height, making a living mostly as leprechauns, aliens, or mythical dwarves. Kinklage, on the other hand, continues to land quality roles that weren't written for little people. He has even become a sex symbol, with entertainment journalists swooning over his rugged good looks and baritone voice. This presentation explores how and why the culture has made room for a dwarf celebrity, paying particular attention to the sexualization of Dinklage's non-normative masculinity in entertainment journalism. Performers with non-normative bodies have historically been represented as either asexual or as sexual deviants, so the discussion of Dinklage's sexiness challenges long-held stereotypes. And yet discussion of Dinklage's hotness also impose a traditional, heterosexual masculinity on the star's public persona while also authorizing a voyeuristic gaze at the non-normative body. Examining the intersections of disability, masculinity, and celebrity, this presentation analyzes the line between equality and exploitation for the world's sexiest dwarf.

About the Presenter: Russell Meeuf is an Assistant Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Media at the University of Idaho. His research focuses on popular media, celebrity, and gender studies, often exploring how celebrity culture mediates social and cultural anxieties. He is the author of John Wayne's World: Transnational Masculinity in the Fifties, which uses the global popularity of John Wayne in the two decades after WWII to examine the globalization of the Hollywood film industry and the cultural transformations in masculinity that accompanied the transition to global capitalism. He is currently writing a book that analyzes contemporary celebrities with non-normative bodies: Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, Gabourey Sidibe, Danny Trejo, Betty White, and Laverne Cox. These celebrities are often held up as exemplars of a new, more inclusive entertainment industry in the U.S., but Meeuf's book explores how these case studies mediate the boundaries of cultural citizenship in a neoliberal world.

Investigating Performance - Performing the Self
April 28 - Panorama Room, Commons

Program Description: This presentation explores how identity is performed through the perspective of a mixed-media performance artist whose work investigates how our interactions with others inform how we act out our own identity. Life experiences as a gay man, including dealings with discrimination and hate-speech, are discussed as pivotal to understanding the artwork, which endeavors to take the power away from that discrimination by using it as an influence. This talk will include visual examples of the artwork, giving audience members an access point to enter the artist's own space and understandings.

About the Presenter: Marc La Pointe is an artist, mover, shaker, and self-proclaimed treasure collector. At the age of 24, he has already been published, studied in London, shown at the Prichard Art Gallery, and gained valuable teaching experience. After earning his BFA in Studio Art and Design from the University of Idaho in 2014, he has continued his artistic practices. As an interdisciplinary artist, La Pointe always looks for a diverse range of materials and approaches to explore concepts of comfort, stability, and identity.  His studio practice is empowered by the goal of prompting questions rather than providing answers

The Women and Gender Brown Bag Series is co-sponsored by:
The Women’s Center
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program