WGS Faculty Member Corinne Field, History Graduate Student Gillet Rosenblith, and WGS Majors Katie Miller and Evelyn Wang to Speak at the 2015 National Women Studies Association Meetings

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Instructors and students from both the Women, Gender & Sexuality Program of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania will be collaborating at the 2015 National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) Conference to discuss “Staying True To Feminist Pedagogy in The Lecture-Sized Classroom.”  Among them will be UVA’s WGS faculty member Corinne Field, graduate student Gillet Rosenblith, and WGS majors Katie Miller and Evelyn Wang.
The university, the classroom, and, even more so, the lecture-sized classroom represent privilege in terms of class, race, gender, and sexuality. Feminist and radical pedagogies have aimed to reinvent how we think about the seminar, but what about the lecture? The large classroom seems to demand the very hierarchy and dominant perspective that feminist and radical pedagogies want to upset: the instructor assumes all knowledge and authority while the students passively receive knowledge. Are large courses inherently unfeminist?
From the perspective of faculty who struggle to maintain feminist ideals in the patriarchal space of the lecture and of students who have participated in these courses, the roundtable aims to share individual teaching and learning experiences and strategies while also practically discussing alternative possibilities of turning the lecture into an interactive, feminist space. Focusing on the organization of topics and readings, the physical structure of the classroom itself, the way it is run, and the nature of written assignments and assessment, we argue for a pedagogy that prioritizes a multiplicity of truths and perspectives, breaks down hierarchies of instructor versus students, pushes back against dominant narratives of power, and uses personal stories of gender nonconformity as starting points for discussing questions of gender, sexuality, race, class, and privilege.
Participating will be Melanie Adley, University of Pennsylvania (organizer); Roderick Cook, University of Pennsylvania; Corinne Field, University of Virginia (organizer, WGS Faculty); Katie Miller, University of Virginia (undergraduate WGS major); Meghana Nallerjerla, University of Pennsylvania; Gillet Rosenblith, University of Virginia (PhD Candidate, History); Evelyn Wang, University of Virginia (undergraduate WGS major) and Mary Zaborskis, University of Pennsylvania.