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Gender Studies Symposium

35th Annual Gender Studies Symposium: David Leonard

Date: 7:00pm PST March 9, 2016 Location: Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber

Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber

Do All Lives Matter on Saturday Night?: Race, Gender, and College Parties


David J. Leonard, professor and chair in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies, Washington State University, Pullman

Presentation Abstract:  Racial slurs; homophobic graffiti; microaggressions; taunts, jokes, and jeers; sexist Halloween costumes; and race-themed parties.  Such realities are not descriptions of colleges and universities from the past, but the world lived by students of color, LGBTQ students, and women at colleges across the nation.  Despite claims that “all lives matter” and commonplace rhetoric about diversity, “minoritized” students face an increasingly hostile learning environment.  This talk looks at the costs and consequences of this dehumanizing culture and what they reveal about racism, sexism, and homophobia on today’s college campuses.  Dr. Leonard will examine how parties and everyday culture are not just innocuous fun but are obstacles to an empowering and transformative college experience, and he will reflect on what we can do to transform our campus cultures one moment at a time.