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Through Feminist Eyes

Through Feminist Eyes, in collaboration with the Women's and Gender Studies Program in the Department of Sociology, is intended to provide additional opportunities for undergraduate WGS students to engage feminist scholarship, specifically the breadth of feminist scholarship taking place at Virginia Tech. This program is offered in the Fall of each year.

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The 2019 Through Feminist Eyes line-up:


September 17th:  Jennifer Bondy (Women’s and Gender Studies, Virginia Tech)
Hybrid Citizenship: Latina Youth and the Politics of Belonging
Jennifer M. Bondy is an Associate Professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Program in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech. Her research focuses on three inter-related lines of inquiry: (i) Latina youth citizenship formations; (ii) school socialization for the children of immigrants; and (ii) White women pre-service teachers' understanding of immigration and documentation status. Dr. Bondy is the Associate Co-Director of the Laboratory for Youth Inequality and Justice. She also serves on the Editorial Board for Race, Ethnicity and Education, Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, and Taboo: The Journal of Culture and Education.

October 15th:  Jennifer Turner (Sociology, Hollins University)
We Have to Prep Our Kids': Low-Income Black Single Mothers' Racial Socialization Practices

Black mothers in the U.S. spend a lot of time educating their children about the realities of being Black in America, a practice known as racial socialization. This process also often involves socializing children around class. Drawing on in-depth interviews with low-income Black single mothers in Virginia, I explore their racial-class socialization practices and the larger implications of those practices.

November 19th:  Gena Chandler-Smith (English, Virginia Tech)
Title: Lucille Clifton, National Trauma, and the Poetics of Healing

For over 40 years, the poet Lucille Clifton crafted poems covering a diverse array of subjects–from shape-shifting, to the supernatural, to the soul-affirming, and even the superhuman . Marvel characters such as Superman, The Phantom, and Clifton’s own superheroine, “wild woman,” (a play on Zora Neale Hurston’s “two-headed woman”) animate her poems with myth, magic, majesty, and power. Perhaps the most recognized and anthologized form of Lucille Clifton's poetry for many readers is her poetry about the female and predominantly black female body. Critical scholarship on Lucille Clifton often explores the ways Clifton “unabashedly uses her black female body as a means of negotiating an African American identity…” ( Emin 196). Of particular interest in her work is the intersection of the black female body with the American nation. This talk examines Clifton’s 2004 collection, Mercy, which I argue provides a unique lens for examining Clifton’s larger discussion of the black body and the nation in response to trauma--here the trauma of 9/11. While African Americans have been frequent casualties in American history, and their bodies have experienced unspeakable trauma, Clifton’s Mercy serves as a primer for the ways, historically, black writers have been able to extend mercy, promote understanding, foster healing, and embrace national concerns when membership in the nation has often been denied.