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

Leah Freed Memorial Prize - Fall 2007 Recipients

Leah Freed Memorial Prize - Fall 2007 Recipients

The Fall 2007 recipients are as follows:

  1. Amy Caes
    Major: Comparative American Studies

    Project Title: Images of Identity: Presenting Visual Representations of Trans Artists

    Project Description: This project will consider the ways in which trans individuals use self-portraiture as a means of negotiating discontinuities between body and identity. I will consider how trans-masculine identified individuals use self-portraiture to negotiate relationships between presentation and identity. In addition, I would like to place these images in a social and artistic memory, probing what individual artists draw upon, or decline to draw upon, in their art. By focusing on self-representations, this project will focus on gender identity formations and the ways in which discourses of gender shape artists' patterns of representation. Because I am doing this project in response to the absence of published works on trans art, and the inaccessibility of the art itself, I am creating a catalogue of works, and an exhibit of works that will be displayed in Mudd Academic Commons in April.
  1.  Assiatou Diallo
    Major: Gender & Women's Studies; African American Studies; Pre-Med

    Project Title: Female Genital Cutting and Agency, A Project on Guinean Women

    Project Description: In an age of trans-continental movement, how does the meaning of pleasure change for Guineans in New York City? How does the campaign to end female genital cutting affect the agency of women that are cut? To start to answer these questions, I will research how female genital cutting affects (FGC) adult Guinean women and men's relationships with each other and community dynamics by interviewing them in NY City. I will also be analyzing representations of these issues in the literatures produced by non-governmental organizations that are concerned with FGC. In some cases, I may have an opportunity to interview Guinean activists in NYC involved in organizations concerned with FGC. Although I will be using a variety of sources, my analysis will be focused on the interviews. This will also help illuminate what is omitted from the official documentation' of women's stories regarding FGC. I will particularly be interested in the link, if any, between sexual pleasure and decisions to engage or not engage in such practices. I hope my research process and findings will empower women who have been cut, start a cross gender dialogue on genital cutting, and better inform activists involved in such issues.

  2. Group project:
    Assiatou Diallo; Hannah Lindner-Finlay; Juliana Scherer
    Major(s): (Assiatou): Gender & Women's Studies; African American Studies; Pre-Med;
    (Hannah): Comparative American Studies;
    (Juliana): Gender & Women's Studies; Biology

    Project Title: Empowering Voices Project

    Project Description: The Empowering Voices Project is a collaborative initiative that invites self-identified survivors of sexual violence in Northeast Ohio to share their stories. Participants will join in the production of a publishable booklet that narrates their experiences and includes educational materials participants deem of use. The booklet will be distributed throughout Northeast Ohio hopes of increased awareness and dialogue about issues of sexualized violence. The finished product will be a unique educational resource that provides information about a sensitive subject relevant specifically to the Northeast Ohio community and narrated by personal experiences of community members.

    The goals of the project are threefold; (1) to empower survivors to speak and be heard about their experiences, (2) to increase awareness and education about issues of sexual violence, (3) to share inspirational stories of courage with the community and reach out to others who may have experienced sexual abuse. This project is designed to benefit both the community of survivors of sexual abuse and the greater community of Northeast Ohio. While the project is specific to Northeast Ohio it has global implications as the demonstration of a viable, community-based initiative that speaks up about a human rights issue in the United States, as well as internationally.