Gender Studies Lecture Series

The Gender Studies minor program hosts at least one lecture each school year to provide an opportunity for students to learn about gender issues through faculty research. The topics are often those not covered in the classroom, but are presentations that enhance textbook material, and in turn, emphasize the significance of gender in society. The lectures are an example of the high-quality research that faculty are contributing to the academic world. Moreover, the lectures aim to inspire students to do research.

Dr. Taine Duncan, director of the Gender Studies minor program, wants students to know that no matter what their majors are they can integrate this minor into their career goals:

“One day they will apply their knowledge in the real world and gender issues are all around us. The interdisciplinary nature of the program is beneficial in numerous ways: It touches on different issues, theories, and ideas across various subject areas, giving students well-rounded perspectives. Students learn to think critically and are inspired to effect positive changes regarding justice and equality.”


Lecture Series 2014

Heather Olsen-Beal

October 27, 2014

Heather Olson Beal

Mormon Feminist Activism-Are you for real?

Dr. Heather Olson Beal will provide a brief history and an overview of an exciting new activist organization in the U.S. religious landscape—Ordain Women—a group which was founded in March 2013 by a small group of Mormon women whose primary objective is to petition Mormon church leaders to ordain women to the lay priesthood in Mormonism. Heather served on the Planning Committee and then on the Executive Board of Ordain Women before recently stepping down. She will discuss some of the unique challenges the women (and male allies) of Ordain Women have faced in their first 18 months as they have begun agitating publicly—both in sacred Mormon spaces and in virtual spaces—for gender equality in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more familiarly, the LDS or Mormon Church), a highly patriarchal, conservative religious tradition. Ordain Women is committed to using thoughtful, faith-affirming, in- person strategic actions to raise attention to their cause.


Lecture Series 2013

Panel Discussion

November 19, 2013  

 Panel on GENDER 2013 flyer

“Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gender (And More!)”

On November 19, 2013, the Registered Student Organization Feminist Union is hosting a panel discussion on Gender. Experts on gender identity and expression will present personal accounts and theory about breaking the gender binary. Speakers include representatives of both the Just Communities of Arkansas and The Center for Artistic Revolution. The event will take place in 205 Burdick Hall from 5 pm-7 pm!


Lecture Series 2011

Dr. Gordon Shepherd 

April 14, 2011

Gender Norms in New Religions: Nineteenth Century Mormonism and the Twenty-first Century Family International

Historically, traditional religions often have performed a regressive cultural function by justifying and stereotyping oppressive gender norms for women. What happens to traditional gender norms when new religions emerge and attract adherents? There are two counter possibilities: New religions may dramatically reinforce traditional norms for women, or they may reformulate and enact less oppressive norms. Professor Shepherd has studies two different “new religions” at length: Nineteenth century Mormonism and the current Family International, both of which provide instructive case study examples of changing gender norms in religious movements.


Lecture Series 2011

Gender and Delinquency

September 2011

gender panel








Lecture Series 2010

Dr. Raymond-Jean Frontain

November 16, 2010



Peter McGehee and the Erotics of Gay Self-Representation

In the 1980s, novelist Peter McGehee engaged in a battle over how the gay body will be represented in popular culture. While writing the semi-autobiographical Zero MacNoo trilogy about a thirty-something Arkansas-born gay novelist who escapes the stultifying confines of his hypocritically devout family in Little Rock for the more supportive alternative culture of Toronto, McGehee experimented socially with drag and privately produced dozens of photographic self portraits that serve as commentary on the gay right of self representation at the height of the AIDS pandemic that is at issue in the novels. (Both McGehee and his fictional avatar Zero died of AIDS related taxoplasmosis in 1992.) This lecture will include readings from the novels as well as a power-point display of a number of McGehee’s images on loan from his executor in Toronto.


For questions contact Dr. Taine Duncan at or (501) 852-2641.