"Women and Girls of Color: History, Heritage, Heterogeneity"

The 19th Annual Women's Studies Conference

FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010







"Women and Girls of Color: History, Heritage, Heterogeneity"

The Nineteenth Annual Women's Studies Conference

The Southern Connecticut State University Women's Studies Program is proud to host its nineteenth annual women's studies conference, "Women and Girls of Color: History, Heritage, Heterogeneity" on April 16 and 17 2010.


Both inside and outside of academe, women of color have actively participated in theoretical, artistic, and cultural production, influencing the ways we perceive and think about issues pertinent to women and girls. Situated by both gender and race, yet often at the margins, women of color have been instrumental in challenging scholars to critically re-conceptualize the discourses on race, gender, class, sexuality, and nationality. The scholarly work by women of color and on women of color is simultaneously multicultural, heterogeneous, interdisciplinary, and, in most instances, global and transnational. This body of literature, which has spawned a whole new area of study at universities and colleges, is among the most exciting and vibrant in feminist scholarship and publications. As a site of innovative knowledge production, women of color writing does not simply travel throughout academic disciplines in the U.S., but it also travels globally, generating significant connections with women's writing especially globally.


In the 19th annual SCSU Women's Studies conference, we will take a close look at women and girls of color, looking back at their achievements throughout history but also pushing our thinking forward into the 21st century. Who are women and girls of color and what issues are important to them? How have women of color contributed artistically, culturally, and politically, inside universities as well as out in our communities? What challenges do woman and girls of color across races, classes, religions, and cultures face in an increasingly globalized world? How can the discourse surrounding women and girls of color challenge our ideas about race, gender, class, nationality, and sexuality?



Keynote Speaker-Dr. Andrea Smith


Dr. Andrea Smith is a co-founder of Incite! Women of Color Against Violence and the Boarding School Healing Project.  She is the author of Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide (South End Press) and Native Americans and the Christian Right: The Gendered Politics of Unlikely Alliances (Duke University Press).  Through Incite!, she is the co-editor of The Color of Violence and editor of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Nonprofit Industrial Complex (both by South  End Press).  She teaches at University of California, Riverside, in Media and Cultural Studies.


Announcing Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall as part of the 2010 multi-racial and multi-generational plenary

We are pleased to announce that at this conference we will be featuring a multi-racial and multi-generational keynote plenary, led by Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Author and editor of many volumes, including Still Brave: The Evolution of Black Women's Studies, Dr. Guy-Sheftall is President of the National Women's Studies Association, Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies, and Founding Director of the Women's Resource and Research Center at Spelman College.

In addition to Dr. Guy-Sheftall, the keynote plenary session includes keynote speaker Dr. Andrea Smith, Dr. Laila Farah (DePaul University), Scherezade Garcia (Artist), Gabriela De Jesus (Yale '14), and Dr. Vivien Ng (SUNY Albany).

Acknowledgment of art on the cover: created by Scherezade Garcia




FRIDAY, APRIL 16, 2010

2:00 p.m.

Women & Girls' Fair Opens

2:00-3:30 p.m.

Welcome and Conference Opening Plenary


  • The SCSU Steppin' Up Drill Team
  • Welcome from Cheryl Norton, SCSU President; Kim Healey, NewAlliance Foundation; Helene Robbins, Fund for Women and Girls of the Greater New Haven Community Foundation
  • Plenary: "After Precious: The Film, the Novel, and Women of Color"

Facilitated by Jennifer Guarino & Brandon Hutchinson, Southern Connecticut State University

3:30-4:00 p.m.

Beverage Breaks @ Women & Girls' Fair

4:00-7:00 p.m.

Film Screenings


  • The Grace Lee Project (68 min)
  • Se±orita Extraviada: Missing Young Woman (74 min)
  • Mohawk Girls (53 min)

4:00-5:15 p.m.

Concurrent Session A

A1- "All about Intimacy: Sexualities and Bodies"


Moderator: Ingrid Semaan, University of Connecticut, Stamford


  • Julie Anderson, AIDS Project New Haven - "Conversations on Intimacy"
  • Jillian Hernandez, Rutgers University - "On 'Chonga' Girls and Sexual-Aesthetic Excess"

A2- "From 'Girl' to 'Woman': Growing into Womanhood through Higher Education"


Moderator: Katja Koehnlein, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Elizabeth Garcia, Connecticut College
  • N'seeka MacPherson, Connecticut College
  • Shani Collins, Connecticut College

A3- "Negotiating Two-ness: The Case of Boricua Diaspora"


Moderator: Resha Cardone, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Sophia Buxton, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - "Culture & Caste: The Story of a Black Nuyorican"
  • Sobeira Latorre, Southern Connecticut State University - "The Politics of Language in Boricua Women's Writing"
  • Elizabeth Rodriquez-Keyes, Southern Connecticut State University & Natasha Vega, Southern Connecticut State University - "Puerto Rican? American? How Can I Be Both?"


A4- "Shattering the Racial and Gender Barriers in Law and Medicine in the mid 20th Century: Constance Baker Motley and Mae Edward Chinn"


Moderator: Shirley Jackson, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Linda M. Perkins, Claremont Graduate University
  • Shuana Tucker, University of Connecticut

A5- "Women and Girls of Color in the Sciences: How Different is the 21st Century?"


Moderator: Rosalyn Amenta, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Dorothy Adao, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Olivia Ramsay, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Mosi Moses, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Trinh Nguyen, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Barbara Benardo, Southern Connecticut State University





5:15-5:45 p.m.

Beverage Break @ Women and Girls' Fair

5:45-7:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session B

B1- "The Education of Women & Girls of Color"


Moderator: Heather Turcotte, University of Connecticut, Storrs


  • Rachel Corbman, New School General Studies - "Voices from the South: Black Women at HBCU's"
  • Jennifer Hayashida, Hunter College, CUNY,

& Ianna Owen, University of California, Berkeley - "As Is: On Radical Pedagogy and Mixed Memoirs: A Reading and Dialogue on Creative and Critical Classroom Practices"

  • Kristin N. P. Evans, University of Connecticut - "Extra Books in Our Backpack: Unpacking the Multiple Pressures of Black Female Graduate Students"

B2-"'She Works Hard for the Money': Women, Work & Economy"


Moderator: Brandon Hutchinson, Southern Connecticut State University


  • RichΘ J. Daniel Barnes, Smith College - "Still Uplifting the Race: Black Professional Wives"
  • Gokhan Savas, Syracuse University - "Social Injustice and Living at the Intersections in the U.S. Neoliberal Economy"

B3- "The Social Memory of Skin Privilege: Removing the Outsider's Costume to Find Home"


Moderator: Michele T. Berger, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill


  • Sarah Bratchell, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Rebekah Ohlsen, Southern Connecticut State University

B4- "Transnational Feminism & Politics of Location"


Moderator: Karen Remedios, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Suchismita Banerjee, University of Wisconsin - "Violent Self Fashioning and Redefining the Immigrant Identity in Bharati Mukherjee's Jasmine" 
  • Dalia Gomaa, University of Wisconsin - "Politics of Location: A Comparative Reading of Women's Sexuality in Mohja Kahf's The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf and Cherrie Moraga's Loving in the War Years"


B5- "Troubling Representations"


Moderator: Adriana Foiles SiFuentes, University of Massachusetts, Amherst


  • Marina Espinoza, University of California, Riverside - "From Virgin to Mother: The Absence of Mexican Women's Identity"
  • Anya Wallace, Girl Scouts of the USA - "Sugar and Spice: Exploring Elements of Black Girlhood; 'Who You Callin' a Girl Scout?'"
  • Tiara Willie, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill - "The Blind Spot in AIDS Discourse: The Lived Experiences of African American HIV-Positive Mothers"




Women & Girls' Fair Closes


7:00-9:00 p.m.

Dinner with Laila Farah's Performance



8:45-9:30 a.m.

Registration Opens

Women's & Girls' Fair Opens

Breakfast Reception


9:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Film Screenings


╪ Girls Like Us (57 min)

╪ The Way Home (92 min)

9:30-10:45 a.m.

Concurrent Session C


C1- "Between Gender & Race: Negotiating Black Womanhood"


  • Anita August, Southern Connecticut State University - "The Flesh in Word: Gender and Race as the Lens to 'Negotiating Womanhood'"
  • Tamara Beauboeuf-LaFontant, DePauw University - "The Strong Black Woman: A Half Told Tale of Voice, Race & the Body"
  • Leola Dublin, Washington State University - "'Gettin' in Grown Folks' Business': Black Women & Black Adolescent Girls at the 'Welcome Table'"

C2- "Feminists of Color Engaging Popular Culture"


Moderator: Stephanie Troutman, Pennsylvania State University


  • Denise Harrison, Kent State University - "Oprah Super-Sized: The Problem of Transference from Narrative to the Screen"
  • Beverly Yuen Thompson, Texas Woman's University - "Women of Color, Ethnic Tattoos, and Family Reactions"

C3- "Migration Narratives: Women of Color Weaving Stories of Movements"


Moderator: Mary E. Lang, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Sharon Amos, University at Buffalo - "Women and Girls of Color: Whose Dust Is Rising?"
  • Jennifer Burkett, University of Southern Mississippi - "What Went Wrong with the Civil Rights Movement? Women in the Movement and Walker's Meridian and Sister Soujah's The Coldest Winter Ever"

C4- "Standing Up: A Collaborative Exploration into the Experiences of Women of Color in a Teacher Education Program"


Moderator: Laura Bower, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Laura Bower, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Monica Chang, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Jessenia Figueroa, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Sejal Mehta, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Rachel Watanabe, Southern Connecticut State University
  • Marisa White, Southern Connecticut State University

C5- "Women's Rights & Reproductive Justice"


Moderator: Caroline Tushabe, University of California, Riverside


  • Barbara Gurr, University of Connecticut - "Native Women at the Center: Reproductive Healthcare in the Indian Health Services"
  • Valeria Flores, University of California, Riverside - "Transnational Mothering: Challenges to Women's Rights and Transnational Feminism"

C6- Poster Session: "Education and Mentoring of Girls about the Young Women's Career & Mentor Kit (CAMKit)Program"


  • Barbara Passero, Young Women's Career and Mentor Kit Programs

C7- Workshop: "Media Gone Wild: Pop Culture's Impact on Teenage Girls (of Color)"


  • Tina Fletcher, Harvard University

C8- Workshop: "Preparing our Future Leaders: Encouraging Girls (of Color) to Put Education First"


  • Trina Fletcher, University of Arkansas



10:45-11:00 a.m.

Beverage Break @ Women & Girls' Fair

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Concurrent Session D


D1- "Beautiful Beasts, Desidykes, and Trick-ass Triflin' Hos: Women of Color Sexuality and the Politics of (In)Visibility"


Moderator: Caroline Tushabe, University of California, Riverside


  • DaNesha McNeely, Kansas State University
  • Melisa Posey, Kansas State University
  • Shireen Roshanravan, Kansas State University

D2- "Color and Culture"


Moderator: Shoba Rajgopal, Westfield State College


  • Tiffany Bowden, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - "Pretty Cute for a Dark Skinned Girl: A Montage on Colorism"
  • Sophia Buxton, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign - "Miss Hampton University: More than Just a Crown"
  • Mathangi Subramanian, Columbia University - "Brown Enough: Technology, Media, and Ethnic Identity Empowerment"

D3- "Empowerment and Healing through Spirituality"


Moderator: Estela Lopez, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Cherie Hill, University of Colorado, Boulder, "Empowering Rastawomen through Nyabingi and Spiritual Posession"
  • Layli Magers, Perdue University - "Reclaiming the Sacred Sisterhood in Feminine Movement: The Dance of Birth"

D4- "Resistance & Empowerment through Grassroots & Community Organizing"


  • Ramatu Bangura, Sauti Yetu Center for African Women & Nicole JeanBaptiste, Sauti Yetu Center for African Women - "Sauti Yetu: A Model for Girls' Empowerment and Leadership Initiative"


D5- "Seeking a Safe Haven: Women Homing at War & Peace"


Moderator: Rosalyn Amenta, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Fayza Aziz, University of Karachi - "Violence Against Women in Pakistan"
  • Lama Hassoun, Harvard University - "Refugee Women: A Neglected Majority"

D6- Workshop with AquaMoon: "Synergy ... butta to fly and sistagyrl lotuses ..."


  • veronica precious bohanan
  • camil.williams


12:30-1:45 p.m.

Luncheon with Performances


  • AquaMoon
  • Sauti Yetu Center for African Girls
  • Layli Magers

1:45-3:00 p.m.

Round Table Plenary: "The Status of Women and Girls of Color in Connecticut and the Region"

Co-Facilitators: Rosalyn Amenta & Marcia Smith-Glasper, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Ruth Garby Torres, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation
  • Reverend Bonita Grubbs, Christian Community Action
  • Toni Harp, Connecticut State Senator
  • Estela Lopez, Senior Program Advisor, Excelencia in Education
  • Teresa Younger, Connecticut Permanent Commission on the Status of Women


3:15-5:00 p.m.

Film Screenings


  • Codes of Gender (72 min)
  • Hollywood Harems (24 min)


3:15-4:30 p.m.

Concurrent Session E


E1- "Between the Creative & the Critical: Women of Color Re-Making/Transforming Genres"


Moderator: Anita August, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Viviana Bernal, Sankofa Institute for Leadership Development - "Playwriting as a Process of Transforming Consciousness"
  • Lora Jo Foo, Worksafe - "Earth Passages: Journeys Through Childhood"
  • Eleanor McClellan, University of North Alabama - "Saving Our Own Lives: African American Women Composers"

E2- "Historical Fiction: Site of Women of Color Anti-Colonialist Intervention"


Moderator: Sobeira Latorre, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Margaret Frohlich, Dickinson College - "Latina Narrative: On Purity and Plurality"
  • Jennifer Lee, University of Rhode Island - "Postwar Change: Toni Morrison's Depiction of 20th Century Ideological Shifts in Love"
  • Elena Machado Sßez, Florida Atlantic University - "Teaching Las Americas in the Historical Novels of Julia Alvarez and Michelle Cliff"

E3- "Rethinking Colonize This!: Voices from the Third Wave"


Moderator: Jane McGinn, Southern Connecticut State University


Brittnee Meitzenheimer, University of California, Riverside - "The Politics of Language, Race, and Gender"

  • Krystal Huff, University of California, Riverside - "Oppression from Within: A Young African-American Female's View on Black Masculinity and Oppression of African-American Women"
  • Heather Cyr & Laura Worobey, Eastern Connecticut State University - "The Power of Education"

E4- "Theorizing African Womanhood and Girlhood"


Moderator: Bertrade Ngo-Ngijol Banoum, Lehman College, CUNY


  • Ousseina Alidou, Rutgers University
  • Abosede George, Barnard College, Columbia University - "Modernizing Girlhood in Colonial Lagos"
  • Anne Rice, Lehman College, CUNY - "Filmic Representations of Coming of Age in Africa"

E5- "Violence Against Women and Girls of Color: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives"


Moderator: Jennifer Guarino, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Mary E. Lang, Southern Connecticut State University, & Teresa Twomey, Central Connecticut State University - "Hanged by the Neck Until Dead: The Executions of Hannah Ocuish and Katherine Garrett"
  • Ebony McClease, Southern Connecticut State University - "Femicide: The Untold Stories"
  • Cecelia Couto, Southern Connecticut State University - "Mexico-US Border Cities: The Abuse of Women"

E6- "Women & Girls of Color Building Community & Movement"


Moderator: Cindy Simoneau, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Emily Bent, National University of Ireland, Galway - "Negotiating Girls' Political Subjectivity: A Critical Analysis of Globalized Girlhood Discourses"
  • Andrea Holyfield Scott, Georgia Gwinnett College - "Community Building: An Intervention for Women and Girls of Color in the 21st Century"
  • Noralis Rodriguez, University of Washington - "Challenges of the Third Wave: Young Women & Feminist Movements of Puerto Rico"

E7- Workshop- "Girls of Color & Leadership: You Got the Power"


  • Stephanie Magness, Young Women of Distinction


5:00 p.m.

Women and Girl's Fair Closes


5:00-6:00 p.m.

Dinner with Ingrid Washinawatok El-Issa Service Award Ceremony



Keynote with Andrea Smith



Performance by Robyn Hand


7:15-8:30 p.m.

Keynote Plenary

Co-Facilitators: Michele T. Berger, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill,

& Yi-Chun Tricia Lin, Southern Connecticut State University


  • Gabriela De Jesus, Independent Artist/Career High School '09/Yale '14
  • Laila Farah, DePaul University
  • Scherezade Garcia, Independent Artist
  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Spelman College
  • Vivien Ng, SUNY at Albany
  • Andrea Smith, University of California, Riverside