News & Events

Spring 2015 Gender and Women's Studies Events


"The Defiant Life of Vera Figner: A Biography
of a Russian Noblewoman and Her Revolutionary Generation."

Lynne Hartnett, Dept. of History, Villanova University

12:00 pm, Wednesday, January 28
DeLeon Room, SAC 300

Lynne Hartnett is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Director of Russian Area Studies.  Her book, The Defiant Life of Vera Figner: Surviving the Russian Revolution was published with Indiana University Press in June 2014.  Her current work examines Russian political émigrés and exiles living in London and Paris in the early twentieth century.


“Is this okay?”: A Conversation About Mutual Respect and Consent

6:00 pm, Tuesday, February 17
Bartley Hall, 3010

Co-sponsored by NovaSVA, Peace and Justice Education, and the Office of Health Promotion

This event will begin with a screening of a PACT5 documentary—a student-made documentary that examines and asks questions about sexual assault on college campuses. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with students from across the University community.


“The Vagina Monologues”
with Villanova faculty, graduate and undergraduate students

8:00 pm, Tuesday, February 24
Driscoll Auditorium

To benefit Women in Transition: A Domestic Violence & Substance Abuse Agency

V-Day Villanova University Presents a Benefit Production of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues directed by GWS Graduate Assistant and Graduate Theatre student Jessica Otterbine.

Hailed by The New York Times as "funny" and "poignant" and by the Daily News as "intelligent" and "courageous," The Vagina Monologues, which was first performed off-Broadway by Ms. Ensler, dives into the mystery, humor, pain, power, wisdom, outrage and excitement buried in women’s experiences. 



Gender and Women’s Studies: Across the Disciplines and Across Professions

A panel discussion with

Amy Fleisher, College of Engineering
Shauna McDonald
, Communication Department
Quinetta Roberson
, College of Business
Katina Sawyer
, Dept of Psychology

6:00 pm, Wednesday, March 18
Falvey Room 204

This panel will present information about the ways gender issues can impact a wide range of academic and professional fields. Faculty from across the university will discuss the ways an understanding of gender can enhance the fields of Psychology, Communication, Business and Engineering.

Dr. Amy Fleischer is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Villanova University where she is also Associate Chair of Mechanical Engineering and Director of Graduate Studies. She heads the NovaTherm Research Laboratory where her research interests include the broad topics of sustainable energy system design and thermal management of electronic systems. Dr. Fleischer was the first woman promoted to full professor in the Villanova College of Engineering. She is a 2013 graduate of the ELATE program which focuses on executive leadership skills for women in academic engineering and received the 2011 Villanova University Outstanding Faculty Mentor Teaching Award.

Dr. Shauna M. MacDonald is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication, where she specializes in Performance Studies. Her research focuses on the intersections between place, space, and memory; posthuman understandings of human-technology relations; performance/art as methodology and epistemology; and the performances of gender that permeate each of these areas of cultural life. She teaches courses in Performance Studies and Qualitative Research Methods.

Quinetta M. Roberson is a Professor of Management in the Villanova School of Business at Villanova University. Professor Roberson earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Maryland. She holds a B.S. from the University of Delaware in Finance and Accounting and an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in Finance and Strategic Planning. Professor Roberson’s research interests center on contextual investigations of organizational justice issues – particularly fairness in work teams and specific human resource contexts.

Katina Sawyer is an expert in industrial organization, talent management solutions, gender and race issues in the workplace, as well as leadership and teambuilding. During and after her graduate work, she worked as an independent consultant and for SHL, a global consulting firm, on the Optimization Services team. Her areas of expertise include leadership, diversity, and strategic HR management. Katina has published numerous articles and book chapters about leadership, diversity, training effectiveness, performance appraisal systems, and work-family conflict. She holds a dual-Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and Women’s Studies from the Pennsylvania State University.



“Arts of Survival: On Dissociation and the Attachment to Life”
The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Student Research Conference

Keynote Address
Lauren Berlant
, George M. Pullman Distinguished Service Professor
Department of English, University of Chicago

4:30 pm, Thursday, March 26
Cinema, Connelly Center

Co-sponsored by English, Philosophy and History

This talk will explore the formally inconsistent, yet intelligible zone defined by "being in life without wanting the world." Reading with Claudia Rankine (Don’t Let Me Be Lonely), the novel and film of A Single Man (Christopher Isherwood, 1964; Tom Ford, 2009), and Harryette Mullen (Sleeping with the Dictionary), it describes an aesthetics and a subjectivity shaped on one side by suicide and on the other by a life drive that is also, paradoxically, negative, in that it turns toward life by turning away from the world of injury, negation, and contingency that endure as an defining presence for biopolitically-defined subjects. It suggests attending to and developing a dissociative poetics.


“Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine”
Maureen Murphy
, Hofstra University

4:00 pm, Wednesday, March 30
DeLeon Room, SAC 300     

Sponsored by Irish Studies

Maureen O’Rourke Murphy is the Joseph L. Dionne Professor of Teaching, Literacy, and Leadership at Hofstra University. She is coeditor of An Irish Literature Reader: Poetry, Prose, Drama, the editor of Ireland’s Welcome to the Stranger and Annals of the Famine in Ireland in 1847, 1848, and 1849, and author of Compassionate Stranger: Asenath Nicholson and the Great Irish Famine.

Patrica Smith

“Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah”

Patricia Smith
, Poetry Reading

7:00 pm, Thursday, March 31
Radnor-St. David’s Room

Sponsored by English Literary Festival and Africana Studies

Patricia Smith is the author of six critically-acknowledged volumes of poetry, including Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, which was awarded the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry from the Library of Congress, was the winner of the 2013 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize from the Academy American Poets, and was a finalist for the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; Teahouse of the Almighty, a National Poetry Series winner (all from Coffee House Press); Close to Death and Big Towns, Big Talk (both from Zoland Books), and Life According to Motown, just released in a special 20th anniversary edition (Tia Chucha Press). She also edited the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir. Her contribution to the that anthology, the story “When They Are Done With Us,” won an award from Mystery Writers of America and was published in Best American Mystery Stories.

The Mask

“The Mask You Live In”
GWS Documentary Film Screening

6:00 pm, Wednesday, April 8
Driscoll Auditorium

Co-sponsored by Health Services, NovaSVA, Peace and Justice Education

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. The Mask You Live In asks: As a society, how are we failing our boys?

Not in this house

"Not in Our House?: Violence Against the LGBQ Community"

A panel discussion with

Tobias Wolff, University of Pennsylvania Law School
Ted Martin
, Executive Director, Equality Pennsylvania
Stefanie Knauss
, Dept. of Theology, Villanova University

4:00 pm, Thursday, April 23
East Lounge, Dougherty Hall

Co-sponsored by GSC

This panel will promote a conversation about violence against gay and lesbian men and women in our communities. Panelists will include Villanova students and alumni as well as Tobias Wolff, Ted Martin, and Stefanie Knauss.

Tobias Wolff writes and teaches in the fields of civil procedure and complex litigation, the conflict of laws, federal jurisdiction, and constitutional law. He is co-author (with Linda Silberman and Allan Stein) of Civil Procedure: Theory and Practice (Aspen, 3d ed 2009) and his recently published articles include Civil Rights Reform and the Body (Harvard Law & Policy Review), Redeeming the Missed Opportunities of Shady Grove (with Stephen Burbank) (University of Pennsylvania Law Review), and Federal Jurisdiction and Due Process in the Era of the Nationwide Class Action (University of Pennsylvania Law Review). Wolff has served as counsel or counsel for amici curiae in many civil rights cases seeking equal treatment under law for LGBT people. He won the A. Leo Levin Award for Excellence in an Introductory Course in 2009.

Ted Martin is the Executive Director of Equality Pennsylvania, the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) political advocacy organization. He is also a busy volunteer, and serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations. In 2011, Martin was named a Person of the Year by the Philadelphia Gay News.  He and his husband, Dwayne, reside in Camp Hill outside of Harrisburg and were married on June 19, 2008 in La Jolla, California. 

Stefanie Knauss studied Catholic Theology and English Language and Literature in Germany and the UK, and has her ThD from Graz University in Austria. She's assistant professor of theology and culture at Villanova University. Her research focuses on gender/queer studies and theology, body and religion, and theology and culture. Her monograph "More than a Provocation: Sexuality, Media and Theology" was published in 2014.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference

Each spring the Villanova Women’s Studies Program hosts the Elizabeth Cady Stanton Conference. It is an exciting opportunity to showcase your work, discuss your interests with other students and faculty, and see the broad range of intellectual disciplines Women’s Studies more.