Welcome to the official blog for Villanova's Gender and Women's Studies program! Please come back often for information on events, programming, academic opportunities, alumni news, student accomplishments, and more! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

GWS Profile: Shasha He

Shasha He MA in English 15’

Coming from China with a background in English and international economics, I have a lifelong passion for studying literature, especially the force of literature in revealing women’s long-repressed desires and imaginatively constructing scenarios of gender equality. Studying Anglophone literary traditions at a Chinese university allowed me to compare, contrast, and begin changing ways women came to be disempowered. After a year of non-degree study in English at Princeton University, I began MA studies at Villanova in 2013. In the first semester, I took Dr. Shohet’s theory class and discovered a passion for gender and queer studies. I wrote a course essay about using chaos theory to explore sexualities in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and presented my paper at the 25th Annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Research Conference at Villanova in 2014.

Almost every single course project that I did during my MA studies was about gender and sexuality. For instance, I did a feminist disability reading of the procreative body in Light in August in Dr. Lutes’s Faulkner class; I also employed Donna Haraway’s notion of cyborg to examine female characters in Red Mars in Dr. Hicks’s Science Fiction class. My MA thesis, to be completed in April 2015, focuses on law and sexuality in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure, exploring in particular how the dialectic of stable and unstable elements in both law and sexuality produces the play’s problems, foregrounding the titular question of “measuring” in terms of the law’s capacity to calibrate sexuality.

As I worked on gender difference and sexuality in early modern literature, I found the conceptual frameworks of Christianity defining not only gendered norms but also permeating legal systems and social justice in the West. Given the centrality of Western feminism to global justice, and of Western models of law and social justice in the modern world, I decided to continue my studies in Harvard’s two-year Master of Theological Studies program in women’s, gender, and sexuality. In Harvard, I would like to braid my research at the intersection of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and queer theology. I once did a course project on the intersection of Christianity, Confucianism, and queerness in relation to Asian-American lesbian identities in Dr. Lutes’ feminism theory class. I wish to expand upon this project by interviewing Harvard’s and the Boston Theological Institute’s LGBT Asian American group. My future plan is to have my first start-up company. I hope to engage with the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute to provide first-generation Asian immigrants in Boston opportunities for inter-religious exchange, psychological consulting, ESL teaching, and vocational networking.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

GWS Co-Sponsored Event: "The Mask You Live In"

The next GWS co-sponsored event is coming up next week! There will be a film showing of The Mask You Live In on Wednesday, April 8 at 6 P.M.   

From the director of Miss Representation - an exploration of American masculinity.  Compared to girls, research shows that boys in the U.S. are more likely to be diagnosed with a behavior disorder, prescribed stimulant medications, fail out of school, binge drink, commit a violent crime, and/or take their own lives. Jennifer Siebel Newsom's new documentary film, The Mask You Live In, asks: As a society, how are we failing our boys? 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference THIS WEEK!

The Gender and Women's Studies Program is holding their 26th Annual Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference this Thursday, March 26. Villanova students will present their gender-based research and creative pieces that they have worked on over the past year. The conference will kick-off with a Welcome at 1 PM and continue with ten amazing panels and a session of performances until the keynote address given by Lauren Berlant at 4:30 PM in the Cinema. 

Please join us for this exciting GWS event to support Villanova students and their hard work and encourage your students and classmates to attend. The flyer for the keynote address and the entire conference are below.