30th Annual Conference on the Advancement of Women

image galleryWomen's Studies on the Edge

Texas Tech University-- April 17th - 19th, 2014
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About the Conference

This three-day conference kicked off with a pre-conference event on Thursday, April 17 and continued on Friday, April 18 with simultaneous panel sessions conducted throughout the day and including the keynote speaker, Dr. Beverly Guy-Sheftall. Saturday, April 19 will continue the discussion with three Regional Directors of Women's Studies Programs panel and a TTU Women's Studies Affiliated Faculty panel, concluded by a final group workshop.

Morning Speaker

Robin Milstead"Driving Your Career from the Backseat: A Journey from the Classroom to the Boardroom" by Robin Milstead

Robin Milstead is the Managing Director of Accounting and Financial Services for Wayne Russell Search Consultants based in Houston Texas. Robin is also the founder of boardroombombshell.com, a site and community designed to increase the business networks and careers of women internationally.

In 2001 Robin began college at Washington and Jefferson College in Washington, PA. Within a year, Robin transferred to Texas Tech and is a 2005 graduate with degree in English Literature and a minor in Women's Studies. While at Tech, Robin was highly involved in student groups and national activist events. During her tenure at Tech, Robin was a member of the Alpha Phi sorority, Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, Young Democrats, Producer of the Vagina Monologues, Take Back the Night coordinator, and a spirited columnist for the Daily Toreador.

In her junior year at Tech, Robin was featured in GLAMOUR magazine for her work with sexual education programs and testified in front of the state board of education. She was also awarded with an activist award by NARAL Texas and in her senior year an activist award by the TTU Women's Studies Department.

Since graduation, Robin has been proudly building her career in corporate America. Based in Houston, Texas, Robin has acted as a business advisor to CFO's, CEO's and heads of Human Resource departments on attracting, retaining, and growing top talent to increase revenue within their companies. Her projects have taken her on international business assignments and she is renowned in the field of Accounting, Finance and Tax executive search.

While business is her focus, at 23 Robin was the youngest board member elected to the League of Women Voters in Texas. She has also been featured in Houston magazines and highlighted in her industry news wires as a voice of expertise to her clients on human capital and diversity issues. Robin continues to stay active in her community and nationally to inspire and collaborate with other top women leaders in business.
Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker

Beverly Guy-SheftallBeverly Guy-Sheftall, Ph.D., is the founding director of the Women's Research and Resource Center and the Anna Julia Cooper Professor of Women's Studies at Spelman College. She is also adjunct professor at Emory University's Institute for Women's Studies where she teaches graduate courses.

At the age of 16, she entered Spelman College where she majored in English and minored in secondary education. After graduation with honors, she attended Wellesley College for a fifth year of study in English. In 1968, she entered Atlanta University to pursue a master's degree in English; her thesis was titled, "Faulkner's Treatment of Women in His Major Novels." A year later she began her first teaching job in the department of English at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Ala. In 1971, she returned to her alma mater Spelman College and joined the English department.

She has published a number of texts within African-American and women's studies, which have been noted as seminal works by other scholars, including the first anthology on Black women's literature, Sturdy Black Bridges: Visions of Black Women in Literature (Doubleday, 1980), which she co-edited with Roseann P. Bell and Bettye Parker Smith; her dissertation, Daughters of Sorrow: Attitudes Toward Black Women, 1880-1920 (Carlson, 1991); Words of Fire: An Anthology of African American Feminist Thought (New Press, 1995); and an anthology she co-edited with Rudolph Byrd titled Traps: African American Men on Gender and Sexuality (Indiana University Press, 2001).

Her most recent publication is a book coauthored with Johnnetta Betsch Cole, "Gender Talk: The Struggle for Women's Equality in African American Communities" (Random House, 2003). In 1983, she became founding co-editor of Sage: A Scholarly Journal of Black Women that was devoted exclusively to the experiences of women of African descent.
Special Guest

Performance / Art / Performance

Three Eleanores PerformanceThree Eleanores Dr. Dorothy Chansky, Associate Professor, Theatre, Texas Tech University

+ I Became an Image by Yasaman Moussavi, MFA Candidate, Texas Tech University
+ De Cadence by Hannah Dean, MFA Candidate, Texas Tech University
+ Slip of Memory by Leah Brown, BFA Candidate, Texas Tech University
+ Declaration of Sentiments by Carol Flueckiger, Associate Professor Art, Texas Tech University
TTU Women's Studies Affiliated Faculty Panel

Regional Women's and Gender Studies Director Panel

  • Jill IrvineJill Irvine, PhD. Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program and the Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma

Irvine was named a President's Associates Presidential Professor in Spring 2010. Her research has been supported by the Five Colleges Women's Studies Research Center, American Council of Learned Societies, The U.S. Fulbright Program, the National Council for Eurasian and East European Research, the International Research and Exchanges Board, the Fulbright-Hays Program, the University of Oklahoma, and Harvard University among others.

She was educated at University of Michigan (BA), Faculty of Law in Belgrade and Zagreb Yugoslavia (Fulbright Scholar), and Harvard University (Ph.D.).

Teaching: Gender and Global Politics; Gender, War and Peace; Women and the Military; Women, Religion, and Secularism; Feminist Theory and Methods (Graduate and Undergraduate Courses); Religion and Violence (Graduate and Undergraduate Courses); Religion and Global Politics; Religion, Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict; Comparative Political Analysis (Graduate Course); Political Ideologies; Crisis in the Balkans (Graduate and Undergraduate Courses)

  • Claire SahlinDr. Claire Sahlin, Department Chair and Professor of Women's Studies, Texas Woman's University

Dr. Sahlin's research examines controversies about women prophesying in the later Middle Ages through an analysis of treatises and sermons about Birgitta of Sweden, a visionary writer who claimed the authority of divine inspiration. Her work interprets theological writings about Birgitta within the context of late-medieval preoccupation with spiritual discernment, i.e. the art of distinguishing authentic revelation from diabolical delusion.

Teaching: Graduate: Foundations for Scholarly Inquiry in Women's Studies; Feminist Theories; Feminism and Religion; Feminist Ethics; Ecofeminist Theorizing, Spirituality, and Activism; Feminist Pedagogies; New Directions in Feminist/Womanist Theories; Transdisciplinary Studies Colloquium; Holistic Pedagogies Colloquium

Research Interests: Religion in women's studies classrooms; feminist perspectives on religion and spirituality; ecofeminism; feminist ethics; women's spirituality in later medieval europe; single-sex education; the institutional development of women's studies

  • Sandra SpencerDr. Sandra Spencer, Program Director, University of North Texas (UNT)

Upon graduating with her Ph.D. in British Literature in 1996, Sandra Spencer joined the English Faculty at the University of North Texas. In August 2002, she was appointed Director of the Women's Studies Program at UNT. She frequently leads students on Study Abroad programs for both English and Women's Studies. One Women's Studies group was based in London and Glasgow; another was based in Tunis, Tunisia. She has spent time in Amman, Jordan, attending an International Faculty Development Seminar on Arab women, and she is an affiliated faculty member in UNT's Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Institute. These affiliations have shaped the global focus of the Women's Studies Program at UNT.