University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Red River Women’s Studies Conference set for Oct. 4

“R/Evolution:  Creating Women and Gender Studies” is the theme of the 13th Annual Red River Women’s Studies Conference on Friday, Oct. 4, on the second floor of the Memorial Union.  The UND campus and surrounding community are welcome to attend.

The University of North Dakota Women and Gender Studies Program is hosting the conference, as it does every third year, in rotation with NDSU and MSUM.  This year, WGS is celebrating its transformation from Women Studies to Women and Gender Studies.

“We are excited to celebrate with the community our name change,” Kathleen Dixon, Women and Gender Studies Director said.  “With the change in name comes something of a change in emphasis in the program.  Our course offerings now include WGS 200, Introduction to Gender Studies.  And all of our courses now consciously foreground transnational feminism.  These new emphases appear also in our conference program."

The conference organizers expect to have over 200 participants from the UND campus and campuses across our region, as well as from the larger Upper Midwestern community.

To address women’s studies expansion into gender and transnational feminism, Cristina Alcalde will deliver the noon keynote address in the Memorial Union Ballroom, “Negotiating Gendered and Racialized Identities Across Borders.”  Dr. Alcalde is Associate Professor of Gender and Women Studies at the University of Kentucky.

Adeyinka Bruce Omotunde, an independent scholar specializing in  Women and Gender Studies, Comparative Politics, African Politics and International Relations, will give her lecture, “Gender and Power Politics” at 9:15 a.m., also in the Memorial Union Ballroom.

Another featured speaker will be Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, author of  Nowhere, A Story of Exile.  The book recounts Ms. Turcotte’s early years in Azerbaijan during an ethnic cleansing campaign against Armenians.  Ms. Turcotte escaped Azerbaijan with her family, and spent some of her formative years in North Dakota.  She will read from her book and sign copies for her readers.

Drs. Alcalde and Bruce will also attend two of the Roundtables that will bring together scholars, experts, and activists across the UND campus and the larger community.  Among the seven Roundtables are “Gender and Politics,” “LGBT Brainstorming Session,” and the “History of UND Women’s Studies.”

In addition to the lectures and roundtables, there will be over 40 scholarly and creative paper presentations.  They include “Abortion, Sex Education, and Domestic Violence,” “Gender in Media and Popular Culture,” and “Women in 20th Century America.”

There is also a Community Expo, where Red River Valley visual artists and organizations engaged in issues related to the study of women, gender, and/or quality of life issues (including traditional crafts, mental health care, physical well-being, etc.) will share their literature and opportunities.  The Community Expo is free and open to the public, as are the other events, with the exception of the keynote luncheon.

Regular advance registration for the conference is $35 ($10 for student presenters), and is required of all panelists.  Registration includes free parking east of the parking garage at Columbia and University Avenue, a light breakfast, hot lunch, and break-time snacks. Pre-registration ends on September 27, 2013.  After that date, the registration fee is $60 for faculty and $35 for students.  To register, go to  or call 777-4115 if you have questions.

For more information, contact Kathleen Dixon at 777.4115 or