#feminism: Research as social justice

Marjorie Jolles

Research can be a tool for justice. How? One of my students, Kristin Herbert, put it best:

“Research exposes injustice. We cannot fight for justice when we are not informed, and by informing others we create action.”

Informed action is what Kristin and other Women’s and Gender Studies Program (WGS) students are hoping to inspire at the annual Symposium for Undergraduate Student Work this Friday. Our theme this year is #feminism, highlighting gender, feminism and media. The audience—that’s you—is a crucial part of this event, as we hope that people of many backgrounds and perspectives join these important discussions.

Kristen Herbert Quote

At the symposium, students will present original work in the form of scholarly analysis, creative expression and activist organizing. They’ll explore topics including:

  • Feminist film criticism
  • Cyberfeminism in education
  • Internet reactions to celebrity feminists
  • Family “selfie” photography
  • Politics of the body
  • Dependency and power
  • Reproductive justice
  • The intersection of gender, work and social class

For WGS students, participating in the symposium is a direct way to enact Roosevelt’s social justice mission. Presenter Maira Herrera said that exposure to new ideas can “challenge how we view the world,” and presenter Rebecca Mendez added that “the essence of the symposium is the freedom to express yourself and to choose what you want to discuss without being censored. These are, I believe, vital elements of Roosevelt’s social justice mission.”

The day’s events last from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on March 27 in Room 244 of the Auditorium Building; a complete schedule with presentation details is online. Please join us online at 2:30 p.m. for a feminism-themed Twitter chat with the hashtag #rujusticechat. Follow @rooseveltu and @RooseveltWGS to join the conversation.

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