Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Department Chair:
Greggor Mattson

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring '02

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring '02

The Spring 2002 recipients are as follows:

  1. Robin Fee-Thomson

    Project Title: "The Olive Leaf and Factory Girl’s Repository: Preserving the Story of the Cabotville, Massachusetts Mill Girls"

    Project Description: The Olive Leaf and Factory Girl’s Repository: Preserving the Story of the Cabotville, Massachusetts Mill Girls is a primary-document historical research project, written for Winter Term 2002. I traveled to town libraries, local history rooms, archives and historical societies in Western Massachusetts in search of personal writings of nineteenth-century cotton mill girls -- girls being a term by which they referred to themselves. Unfortunately the letters and diaries of these mill girls have not survived in any public collections, but I uncovered another historically significant document. High upon a dusty shelf in a tiny local history room, I discovered a bound edition of fourteen original issues of The Olive Leaf, on which I based my project. This appears to be one of the only public records of the Cabotville mill girls' experience and voice that has endured these 160 years. It chronicles the everyday lives of ordinary young women who, for a time, ventured out of the 1800s domestic sphere into the public sphere by way of their labor and their writing contributions to this literary magazine, making them extraordinary women in history. Behaviorally prescriptive articles and censorship of material, most notably the exclusion of information on an 1843 strike by female operatives, suggests The Olive Leaf was also used as a tool for social control. The surviving issues of The Olive Leaf provide a rare glimpse into the lives and writings of a group of ordinary girls in an ordinary town that no longer exists.
  2. Alison Marshall

    Project Title: "Disordered Body"

    Video Project; 00:04:35; (VHS)

    Project Description: As a teenage girl in a California beach town I, like most of my peers, struggled with body image. From our first encounter with media and often our own mothers issues with weight girls within the United States battle with their own bodies. While I think awareness of this issue has increased, the fact remains that most of my female friends are unable to get past the negative self-image that has been ingrained within their own conceptions of self. Clearly more must be said about an issue that plagues so many women today. Hearing the stories of just a handful of these women in conjunction with critical images addressing the ways in which we construct negative images of our own bodies, is one of the ways in which I have found to address negative female body image. Disordered Body takes intimate images of the female form and examines the ways in which negative body image is inscribed upon the female form. While this project can in no way surmount the many facets of this issue, it is still an opportunity to create solidarity between women who have struggled with these same feelings of self-hate.