Elon professors encourage intersectional discussions on gender at panel discussion

 

Many students, faculty and staff gathered in the Lakeside meeting rooms on Wednesday for a panel discussion, “Seeing Gender,” featuring five professors representing many different academic disciplines.

Dr. Ann Cahill, professor of philosophy, moderated the discussion, which was co-sponsored by EFFECT and the Council on Civic Engagement.

The panelists included: Dr. Naeemah Clark, associate professor of communications; Dr. Aunchalee Palmquist, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology; Dr. Toddie Peters, professor of religious studies; Dr. Laura Roselle, professor of political science and policy studies; and Leigh-Anne Royster, director of inclusive community well-being.

“This panel is an exploration of what forms of knowledge and insight we can gain by using gender as a lens,” Cahill said. “All of the panelists here agree that an intersectional approach is crucial.”

The panelists stood by that statement. Each woman on the panel spoke to their own expertise, discussing topics ranging from sexual assault on campus to the media representation of slavery and its effect on black women.

Each panelist was given seven minutes to explain and discuss their topic. At the end, Cahill moderated a question and answer session.

The event was filled with students, faculty and staff fro across campus, including several members of Elon’s senior staff.

Following the event, many students stayed for a Coffee Klatch, sponsored by Elon’s Intellectual Climate Working Group. Coffee Klatch serves as a time and place for students, faculty and staff to discuss relevant themes after a cultural event.

Senior Ben Bridges was impressed by the turnout and encourages students to engage in conversations like this one even more.

“College students have the unique opportunity to be on spaces with hundreds to thousands of other people who are there to learn,” Bridges said, “and hundreds and sometimes, depending on the campus, thousands faculty there to teach. You have this unique opportunity with a bunch of scholars all collected in one location, I think it’s foolish to just bypass that and just think past that and to not take advantage of that opportunity to come together and share these different ideas.”

These events are not only for students, though.

Dana Carnes, interim director of the center for leadership, spoke about the importance of attending events like these.

“For me, it’s important to continue to engage in dialogue,” Carnes said, “especially as a staff member, I don’t get the wonderful opportunity to have all of these folks in the classroom like you all do, so any opportunity that I can hear from some of our amazing faculty and their scholar and their work is always a privilege and a wonderful opportunity.”
For more information on cultural events at Elon, visit http://www.elon.edu/e-web/news/cultural_events/spring17/default.xhtml.

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