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Game on! 35th Annual Gender Studies Symposium Explores Gender in Play

February 24, 2016

Gender is a lot of things: complex, fluid, and sometimes confusing. But fun? Lewis & Clark College’s 35th Annual Gender Studies Symposium, titled “Game On! Gender and Sexuality in Play,” will explore how the concept of fun and games relates to individual experiences of identity.

The symposium, which runs from March 9 to 11, 2016, is free and open to the public. The goal of the event is to harness student interest and involvement in gender studies while also providing diverse views of gender as it relates to children’s play, humor, and the true nature of comedy and entertainment.

Student innovation is key, according to Kimberly Brodkin, faculty organizer of the symposium. “Some of the panels emerged out of classes, and some were created from the ground up by students on the committee who wanted to ensure we touched on a particular topic. As always, students have been central to the entire process.”

Student-led, and supported by Lewis & Clark’s interdisciplinary Gender Studies program, the symposium’s guest speakers and panelists will discuss such diverse subjects as sex education, robotics, and gaming culture. Keynote presentations include:

  • Lisa Nakamura, Professor of American Cultures at the University of Michigan and co-facilitator of the website FemTechNet.

  • David J. Leonard, author and chair of the Department of Critical Culture, Gender and Race Studies at Washington State University.

  • “Finding the Funny in Being Queer” from D’Lo, a queer, transgender Tamil-Sri Lankan-American artist whose impressive body of work includes spoken word, stand-up comedy, and music production.

“This year’s symposium theme is more accessible to a larger audience,” said Anya Hall ’16, a symposium student co-chair. “It’s a great way for students who aren’t able to take gender studies classes to be exposed to the type of work other students are doing, along with work on gender and sexuality by scholars beyond Lewis & Clark.”

For a full schedule of events, visit the Gender Studies Symposium website.

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