2022: Erin Murphy, PhD, "Amazons and Zombies: Margaret Cavendish’s Soldiers, Gender, and the Paradoxes of War"

2019: Uma Narayan, PhD, "Sisterhood and Doing Good"

2018: Duchess Harris, "Hidden Human Computers: The Black Women of NASA"

2017: Valerie Steele, "Chanel and Her Rivals"

2016: Lauren Berlant, “On Being in Life Without Wanting the World: Rankine, Isherwood, and Dissociative Life”

2015: Katina Sawyer, "What’s Gender Got to Do with it? The Impact of Gender on your Life at Villanova"

2014: CJ Pascoe, "Bullied: Youth Gender, and Homophobia."

2013: Stephanie McCurry, "The Tale of the Solder's Wife: War, Gender, and Emancipation"

2012: Cynthia Enloe, "The Risks of Not Learning from Iraqi Women's War Experiences"

2011: Noel Sturgeon, "Avatar and Activism: Ecological Indians, Climate Justice and Disabling Militaris."

2010: Lori Ginzberg, "A Very Radical Proposition: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and the Meanings of the vote"

2009: Linda Greenhouse, "What Judges Know (or Don't Know) About Sex Discrimination (or Anything Else)"

2008: Susan Aberth, "Frida Kahlo: Mexican Hydra"

2007: Afsaneh Najmabadi, "Feminism, Secularism, and the Challenges of Women's Rights Activism in a Islamic Republic"

2006: Bonnie Dow, "Screening the second Wave: Images and Activism in 1970s Feminism"

2005: Elizabeth L. Hillman, "Guarding Women: Abu Ghraib and Military Sexual Culture"

2004: Yopie Prins, "Ladies' Greek"

2003: Maria DiBattista, "Fast-talking Dames"

2002: Alan Sinfield, "Using Two Noble Kinsmen to read Midsummer Night's Dream against the Grain"

2000: Marion Roydhouse, "A New Zealander Abroad: Unexpected Journeys and Women's History in Unexpected Places"

1999: Janice Madden, "Gender Discrimination in Labor Market: Constructing Evidence in the Classroom and in the Court Room"

1998: Mary Crawford, "Feminist Research: Generations of Change"

1997: Madelyn Gutwirth, "My Life in Women's Studies, and Why We Still Need Them"

1996: Adele Lindenmeyr, PhD, and Ryan McDonough

1995: Rachel Hare-Mustin, PhD, and Kelly Biessel                 

1994: Marie McAllister and Sherry Masters, "The Value of Women's Studies Education"

1993: Barbara E. Wall, OP, "Women and Mass Communication"

1991: Farrah Griffith, "Black Feminist Contributions to Women's Studies"

9:00 Villanova Room


Dr. Kelly-Anne Diamond, co-chair, GWS

Dr. Adele Lindenmeyr, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Terri Boyer, Director, McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership

Dr. Lauren Shohet, conference chair

9:30 - Devon Room -Relationships, Families, Communities

Dr. Melissa Hodges, chair

Dickinson’s Death of Female Identity in Heterosexual Marriage

Catherine Messier, Villanova University

Female Servitude and Sexuality in Carmen Maria Machado's "The Husband Stitch"

Lauren Kourey, Villanova University

A (Partial) Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman: Considering Milly and Dilly in Ulysses

Cait Salomon, Villanova University

“This is How I Fight”: The Evolution of Masculinity within Contemporary Depictions of Asian American Men

J. Matthew Villanueva, Villanova

9:30- Rosemont Room -Femininity, Queerness, Community

Dr. Travis Foster, chair

Examining “Post-Conflict” Northern Ireland Through a Gendered Lens

Isabella Balian, Villanova University

The Vitality of Penelope in the Odyssey

Camille Ferace, Villanova University

Innocent Flower and the Serpent Under’t: Queering Gender Performance in Shakespeare

Sydney Curran, Villanova University

On Being Genderqueer/Nonbinary

Kayla Redfern, West Chester University

9:30 - Haverford Room -Feminist and Queer Theory

Dr. Adrienne Perry, chair

The Real Horror of It: Beverly Marsh’s Lack of Gendered Agency

Julia Micklo, Villanova University

Paradise Lost: Eve’s Objectification and Exploitation

Hannah de Melo, Villanova University

To Be Backstage: The Erasure of Women in King Lear and We That Are Young

Sarina Sandwell, Villanova University

The Ties That Bind: Personal Feelings in Giovanni’s Room

Eva Wynn, Villanova University

“Not Man. Woman”: Freeing Leopold Bloom from Her Closet

Theo Campbell, Villanova University

10:45- Devon Room -Spirituality and Religion

Dr. Bess Rowen, chair

Moving with the Ghosts: Feminized Haunting and Healing in Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls

Sophia Honigfeld, Haverford College

The Sinful Body Divine: Hildegard’s Ordo Virtutum in Performance as a Site of Binary Terror (and Ecstasy)

Alison Pascale, Villanova University

Pope Francis and Women within the Church

Theresa Gardner, Villanova University

10:45 - St David’s Room -Representation Matters: Black Female Writers in Philadelphia Classrooms & Beyond

Dr. Jean Lutes, chair

Cynthia Choo Jenine Hazlewood

Adrianna Ogando J. Matthew Villaneuva

10:45 - Haverford Room - Representation

Dr. Yumi Lee, chair

“Nothing Marigold Can Stay”: The Intersectionality of Race, Feminism, and Fascism in The Bluest Eye

Matt Tallman, Villanova University

Forget Escapism, I Read for the Badass Heroines

Cammie Norman, Villanova University

Socialized Inhibitions and Critiques of Female Bodies on Stage

Kylie Horan, Villanova University

Editing Sexism in Golden Age Musical Revivals

Abi Johnson, Villanova University

Growing Pains & Growing Tensions: Bittersweet Relationships Between Girlhood and Memory Throughout the Troubles with Colette Bryce, Lisa McGee, and Olivia Gatwood

Bailey Quinn, Villanova University

10:45- Rosemont Room -Intersectionality and Representation

Dr. Megan Quigley, chair

Unsettling Feminism: Settler Colonialism, Gender, and Violence

Molly Carriero, Villanova University

Exploring Black Women’s Representation and Participation in Négritude and Negrismo

Rose Poku, University of Pennsylvania

A Look into the Language: Trans Erasure in China

Lily Alicea, Villanova University

Luke’s Story, or, the Repercussions of a Chance Meeting

Jamie Kozol Wojtal, Villanova University

12:00 pm - Villanova Room -Luncheon

Presiding Dr. Travis Foster, co-chair,


Invocation The Rev. Dr. Crystal Lucky

Alumnx speaker Caterina Deuser, VU ‘22

Keynote address

Literature Against Cisness

Dr. Emma Heaney Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor, XE Program in Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, New York University

1:45 - Haverford Room -Knowledge

Dr. James Wetzel, chair

If a Tree Falls in Paradise, Does It Have Anything to Do with Eve’s Beauty?

Katie Reed, Villanova University

House of Desires and the Value of the Educated Woman

Alexandra Marino, Villanova University

Wanton Looks and Desires

Meaghan Falconer, Villanova University

Eileen Fernand: Mother, Wife, and -- Most Importantly -- Businesswoman

Lexi Toriello, Villanova University

1:45- Rosemont Room -Health and Relationships

Dr. Max Osborn, chair

The Economic Implications of Restrictive Abortion Policy in the Post-Roe World

Samantha Neuman, Villanova University

Gender Difference in the Increase in Suicide Rate in Japan During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mai Miura, Swarthmore College

Human Incubators: How Commercial Surrogacy Corrupts Reproduction

Katie Carlson, Villanova University

Contraceptives on Catholic Campuses: The Ethical Debate

Maggie Winston, Villanova University

1:45  Rosemont Room -Knowledge and Theory

Dr. Timothy McCall, chair

All My Heroes Shed Their Skin

Olivia Loudon, Bryn Mawr College

Queer Vase: How Might Michel Foucault Interpret Female Homosexuality in Ancient Greek Vase Paintings?

Zhongyin (Maggie) Zhang, Haverford College

The Psychophysiology of Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD): a Gender-Inclusive Exploration

Lauren Cuevas, Widener University

Disremembered Daughters: An Investigation into the Neglected History of Marginalized Suffragists

Morgan Haller, Villanova University

3:00 Connolly Cinema - Performance Showcase 

Dr. Heidi Rose, chair

The Ghost in the Corner

Katie Jandrasits

We Are Family

Sheldon Shaw

My Nightmares

Carly Isselman

“Da Paz" by Marcelino Freire

João Marcelo Costa Bulsing

Takeout and Television

Rachel Rhee

4:00 Villanova Room

Reception with tea and cookies. 



Emma Heaney
Emma Heaney

Emma Heaney is a scholar of comparative literature, feminist studies, and trans studies. She is Associate Director and Clinical Assistant Professor in the XE Program in Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement at NYU. Her first book is The New Woman: Literary Modernism, Queer Theory, and the Trans Feminine Allegory (Northwestern UP 2017). Her forthcoming edited collection, Feminism Against Cisness [Duke UP 2024], gathers essays by trans studies scholars that demonstrate the potential of feminist critique freed of the ideology that assigned sex determines sexed experience. 



Every semester, the Gender and Women's Studies program hosts about 8 – 10 events. These events include lectures, live performances, and films from a variety of fields and disciplines.

Several of these events are recorded and may available on the University's YouTube channel, making them available to the larger community.

Travis Foster, PhD
Director of Academics

Melissa Hodges, PhD
Director of Programming

Em Friedman
Graduate Assistant