banner with the words “Reconcile, Rebuild, and Recover” The 24.5 annual Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Student Research Symposium April 12-16.

Under the theme of “Reconcile, Rebuild, and Recover” the annual Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WGSS) Student Research Symposium will run from April 12-16. 

Presented by the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Illinois State University, the celebration will be virtual this year. The symposium will highlight student scholarship, performances, and ideas that are underrepresented in the traditional university curriculum. A combination of live and recorded performances, panel discussions, readings, and presentations will be available. Register here.

This year, in addition to student presentations, the symposium committee has invited three keynote speakers/performers to explore contemporary topics related to the conference theme. Collectively they invite the community to engage these ideas in ways that foster the need to reconcile, rebuild, and recover our collective being. All presentations will be delivered via Zoom. 

The symposium is sponsored by The Sage Trust, The Fell Trust, The Latin American and Latino/a Studies Program (LALS), Milner Library, and The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program (WGSS).

Dr. Tristen Johnston headshot
Dr. Tristen Johnson

This year’s presenters include: 

Dr. Tristen Johnson 
(Re)Writing Black Women Back into the Narrative: Tools for Well-Meaning ‘Allies’ to Reconcile, Rebuild, and Recover” 
7 p.m. 
Tuesday, April 13 

Johnson, a diversity education specialist, will take participants on a historical journey showing how even in 2021, Black women are still fighting to debunk the racist and sexist ideals about them. Her lecture will include tangible tips that “allies” can use to support, include, acknowledge, and center the contributions of Black women in personal, professional, and social spaces.  

Dr. Harsha Walia headshot
Dr. Harsha Walia

Dr. Harsha Walia 
“Abolish Borders, Abolish ICE” 
7 p.m. 
Wednesday, April 14 

Walia, a South Asian social activist and writer, will deliver an unflinching examination of migration as a pillar of both global governance and gendered racial class formation. Her lecture will explore a number of seemingly disparate global geographies and how borders around the world consolidate imperial, capitalist, ruling class, and racist nationalist rule. 
Milner Library provides access to Dr. Harsha Walia’s e-books ahead of her keynote lecture.

dancing person leaping in the air
Laina Reese Carney

Laina Reese Carney 
“#SayHerName Dance Performance and Discussion”
Choreographed by Laina Carney
Performers: Mariana Cantu, Alyssa Fuentes, Resha Holmes, Cait McGee, Channing Sparks, and Katie Thomas.
6:30 p.m. 
Thursday, April 15 

Carneya choreographer, educator, and performer of dance, will provide a thought-provoking performance to inspire and spark dialogue in response to the Say Her Name social movement that seeks to raise awareness about Black women and girls who are victims of police brutality and anti-Black violence in the United States. 

Contact Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with questions.