Gender Research Conference to be held March 6

The theme of Western Carolina University’s 12th annual Gender Research Conference to be held Wednesday, March 6, is “Women and Ethnicity.”

The event, which will take place in A.K. Hinds University Center, is open to the public and free of charge except for the luncheon, which costs $10.

Opening the conference in the Grandroom at 9:05 a.m. will be speaker Crystal Leigh Endsley, a visiting assistant professor in Africana Studies at Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., and director of the Institute for Global Africana Studies.

Endsley will explore the idea that people are not only who they imagine themselves to be, but also who others perceive them to be, in her spoken word poetry performance and research presentation titled “Subject 2 Change.”

The presentation also includes an interactive photograph exhibit designed to respond to the question “What are you?” when asked by people trying to categorize, organize or manage a racially ambiguous woman.

During a lunchtime address, Karen Arias, a bilingual victim advocate and outreach coordinator for the 30th Judicial District Domestic Violence-Sexual Assault Alliance, will present “Latina? Hispana? Neither.” Arias will discuss the range of gender issues Latinas face and the barrier they endure as immigrants in America.

Other conference presentation topics include the use of Rohypnol and club drugs by female undergraduate students; factors surrounding the rise of 26 Jamaican women from living in poverty to becoming graduate school students; gender, leadership styles and social and political ramifications; gender issues in Native American literature; and development of an in-service related to understanding people who identify themselves as transgender and the issues they face.

In addition, a poster session will highlight a range of gender-related research.

The conference is presented by WCU and WCU’s Women’s Studies Minor, the College of Education and Allied Professions Diversity Committee and Phi Kappa Phi honor society.

For more information or to RSVP to the conference’s luncheon, contact Chamberlin at or 828-227-3839.