Call for Papers! – The 2nd DKU Gender Studies Initiative Annual Student Conference

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the DKU Gender Studies Initiative invites student papers that address various questions in gender and sexuality studies. The conference seeks to explore a wide range of topics that examines gender, sexuality, feminism, or queer theories as a primary focus of discussions. Interested students, regardless of their major and division, are welcome to submit their abstracts. GSI faculty affiliates will discuss student papers to offer constructive feedback.

Deadlines are as follows:

  • 2-300-word abstract: January 12, 2024
  • Finalist notification: February 2, 2024
  • 8-15 double-spaced page paper submission: March 1, 2024

Abstracts up to 300 words should be sent by Friday, January 12th, 2024 to Professor Hyun Jeong Ha (

Your final paper should be no more than 4,000 words, including the references and footnotes.

Please direct questions to faculty co-leads: Professors Megan Rogers (, Jesse Olsavsky (, or Hyun Jeong Ha (

Gender Studies Initiative Calls for Applications for Faculty-Student Research Grants

The Gender Studies Initiative invites applications for spring 2024 funding (up to $500 USD) for new faculty-student research projects on topics related to gender, sexuality, queer theory, and/or feminism.  The applications may be submitted either by the faculty member or the student(s) but must involve some sort of faculty-student collaboration.  This could entail a collaborative faculty-student project but also includes faculty working with student research assistants and students working on their Signature Work projects with their mentors. Continue reading “Gender Studies Initiative Calls for Applications for Faculty-Student Research Grants”

Unveiling the Patriarchy: Exploring Homosociality, Homophobia, and Misogyny

Join us for a lecture on “Homosocial, Homophobia, Misogyny: understanding patriarchal society” with sociologist, intellectual feminist activist, and best-selling author Chizuko Ueno from Tokyo University.

Date: Fri, Nov 10th

Time: 10:00 – 11:30 AM BJT

Venue: IB Lecture Hall


日期: 11 月 10 日,星期五

时间:上午 10:00 –  11:30

地点:IB  Lecture Hall


Gender+ | Revolutionary Women’s Practice to Bury Colonialism

Please join us for an engaging lecture presented by Professor Elizabeth Armstrong on November 7, 2023, from 8:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the IB 1047. If you have questions about this event, please email Prof. Megan Rogers, Ph.D.( or Prof. Jesse Olsavsky( or Prof. Hyun Jeong Ha, Ph.D.(

Light refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to your participation in this enlightening event.

GSI Presents a Talk: White Man Walking

On Wednesday November 8th from 18:00-19:30,  join us at the IB 1046 for a talk by Wibke Schniedermann from Ghent University, “White Man Walking: Unhoused Lives and the Gendered Mobility of the Road”. In collaboration with the Gender Studies Initiative, Schnierdermann will discuss narrative and visual forms to show how “the road” consolidates the gendered meanings of feminized domesticity and masculinized mobility at the same time as it affirms the urban-rural divide in the American spatial imaginary. 


Please join us for an engaging discussion with Professors Yu Wang and Titas Chakraborty on October 25, 2023, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at the Water Pavilion. Don’t forget to stay connected and receive future updates by joining the GSI group chat!

Light refreshments will be provided.

We look forward to your participation in this enlightening event.

Student Report on a Book Talk by Huaiyu Chen: In the Land of Tigers and Snakes: Living with Animals in Medieval Chinese Religions.

By Zu (Zuo Rui) Gan

On the 12th of October, the CARE lab, the Humanities Research Centre, and the “Meanings, Identities, and Communities” cluster from the Centre for the Study of Contemporary China invited Dr Huaiyu Chen to present on his book about the relationship between animals and humans during the time of medieval Chinese religions. Dr Chen is a renowned scholar on Chinese Buddhism and is an Associate Professor in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies at Arizona State University. A total of 22 students and 6 faculty attended the talk.

Dr Chen first brought up the history and context of Animal Studies. He pointed out that previous scholars had termed Christianity as an anthropogenic religion, and posed the question if Chinese religions were the same. Although Buddhist texts claimed to not harm any living beings, there were other contesting instances. He also highlighted the importance of understanding that although religious texts might portray one thing, the lived experience of the people might be different, emphasizing the gap between the canonical principle and the local understanding and approach. Hence, he stressed the importance of understanding the various social and political contexts and histories in place of these religions and cautioned against depicting Chinese religions as solely being against animal cruelty or emphasizing harmony between humans and animals.

Dr Chen further illustrated his point by providing sources where tigers were captured and pacified by various ruling groups such as the Buddhists, Daoists and the State. In fact, taming animals were often used as a way to showcase the legitimacy and power of a body. With claims of being able to tame tigers, the emerging Buddhists could upset the power balance of the local rulers and claim more followers and legitimacy. Another example Dr Chen provided of the complexities of human-animal relations in medieval Chinese religions was by providing visual evidence from the Dahuang caves, where depictions of humans riding and ruling over animals were commonplace. These depictions were not only uncovered in the past, and Dr Chen showed us modern-day statues of humans and arhats taming animals as well.

Dr Chen also brought up the interesting question of if animals can obtain enlightenment. In his research, he found certain texts claiming that the parrot would be able to achieve enlightenment because of it’s ability to talk. Since it could talk, it could theoretically chant and recite the Buddha’s name and thus eventually achieving nirvana, especially if viewed through the lens of Pure Land Buddhism.

During the Q&A section, some students expressed interest in understanding the relationship between animals and humans in Chinese tales such as the Journey from the West. Dr Chen ended his talk by highlighting that although there was no possible way to determine the agency and thoughts of animals, we can still glimpse the complex relations humans had with the animals that were present around them.

Student Report on Picture a Scientist Screening and Discussion

Reported by Lia Smith, Class of 2026

The screening and discussion of Picture a Scientist was the first Gender Studies Initiative event of the Fall 2023 semester. Picture a Scientist is a powerful documentary that illustrates challenges faced by women scientists in the U.S. Women scientists in various fields such as biology, chemistry, and geology discuss their daily encounters of harassment, both big and small. These encounters can range from degradation and bullying from mentors, failing to get the same-sized office compared to their male collogues, and seemingly minor but constant harassment at work. This documentary also reveals the intersectionalities that are at play with gender to further marginalize women of color and women of older age in the field. Continue reading “Student Report on Picture a Scientist Screening and Discussion”

Student Report on Gender + Mind Talk

Reported by Lia Smith, Class of 2026

The HRC Gender Studies Initiative‘s Gender+ series continued on Wednesday, September 13, 2023with a discussion of Gender+Mind in DKU’s Water Pavilion. This event brought philosophy professors Hwa Yeong Wang and Emily McWilliams together for a conversation on the development of philosophical thought in relation to gender. Continue reading “Student Report on Gender + Mind Talk”

Gender + Mind Talk

Gender Studies Initiative hosts the first of a series of Gender+ discussions on topics related to gender, sexuality, and feminism. Our first topic is “mind,” guided by the expertise of Professors Hwa Yeong Wang and Emily McWilliams. Please join us in the discussion.

Date: Wednesday, September 13th

Time: 6-7:30 PM

Place: Water Pavillion

Light refreshments will be served.