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Gender, Race and Space Conference Generates Enthusiasm

Oct 28, 2010

Undergraduate students embraced the opportunity to present their own research at Pacific's "Gender, Race and Space Conference" on September 25, 2010. About 100 people attended the conference, which took place in the De Rosa Center. In all, 30 students participated as presenters: 26 from Pacific and 4 from Stanford University.

For many of the students, it was their first time presenting in a conference format. "It was my first time presenting a paper and to be able to do it in a more familiar place and on a subject I am interested in made it more meaningful," said one participant.

"It was empowering to see students my age presenting work with thought-provoking findings," stated another.

The conference was organized by the Gender Studies Program directed by Professor Gesine Gerhard and the Ethnic Studies Program directed by Professor Xiaojing Zhou.

Gender, Race and Space Concept

The purpose of the conference was to examine the connections of gender, race, and space in modern society. 

Gender Studies organized a similar event in 2008:  the Gender and Science Conference. Based on the positive response to that and the 2010 conference, Drs. Gerhard and Zhou hope to hold such conferences on a regular basis. One of the student participants commented at the end of the day "I wish we had something like this at Stanford."

Panels and Posters

The student presentations were grouped into panels chaired by faculty members who led a discussion following the talks. Panel topics included:

  • Recalibrating Norms in Math and Science
  • En-Gendering Childhood and Adolescence
  • Sexuality and Embodiment
  • Real and Imagined Spaces
  • Morality and Transgression in Film and Literature

The conference also included poster presentations, in which students display a summary of data and their findings on a poster and speak on the research they conducted.  The poster presentations covered a range of issues, such as transnational capitalism, education of bilingual children, the LGBTQ rights movement in South Korea, and race in U.S. higher education.

Gender, Race and Space ConferenceAttendees appreciated the discussions that followed each panel. "I liked how the moderators steered the discussion by finding similarities between the different talks," said one attendee.

A faculty panel on "Constructions of Identity in Cinema, Visual Culture, and Literature" was chaired by Dr. Merrill Schleier (Visual Arts/Art History). Presenters included Dr. Diane Borden (English/Film Studies), Dr. Schleier, and Dr. Xiaojing Zhou (English/Ethnic Studies). Dr. Teresa Bergman (Communication/Film Studies) was the discussant of the panel.

Keynote Address by author of "The Chinatown Trunk Mystery"

Dr. Mary Ting Yi Lui, Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University, delivered an engaging keynote address titled "Reading Race and Gender in Everyday Landscapes." Dr. Lui is the author of The Chinatown Trunk Mystery: Murder, Miscegenation, and Other Dangerous Encounters in Turn-of-the-Century New York City (Princeton University Press, 2005), which won the "Best Book in History" awarded by the Association of Asian American Studies.

Dr. Mary Ting Yi Lui

Best Paper Awards

Awards for "best paper" were given to three students:

Charles Syms (Stanford University): "Identities Claimed, Identities Assigned:  Transgender Subjectivities in Raymond's The Transsexual Empire and Stone's The Empire Strikes Back"

Stephanie Mohr (Pacific): "Defining National Morality:  The Role of Feminine Gender and Space within Indian Cinema" examines how notions of femininity are mapped onto notions of "Mother India" and Indian nationalism in film.

Nicole Chorney (Stanford University): "Literary Portrayals of Immigrant Widows Challenging the Tradition of Subjectivity in Asian American Literature"

Stephanie Mohr, Dr. Carrie Schroeder, Nicole Chorney
From left: Stephanie Mohr, Dr. Carrie Schroeder (Religious & Classical Studies Professor/Pacific), Nicole Chorney


The 2010 Gender, Race and Space Conference was co-sponsored by Ethnics Studies, Gender Studies, GHES Center, Humanities Center, Phi Beta Kappa, CAPD, College Pacific Fund, College Dean's Office, and the University of the Pacific Library. Support from students, staff and faculty from these organizations helped make the conference a success!


See a list of the presentations given during the 2010 Conference.

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