Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program



8th Annual Capital District
Feminist Studies Consortium Conference

807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308

February 7, 2020
8:15am - 5:00pm



Begins @ 8:15 Registration
8:15-8:45 Continental Breakfast
8:45-9:00 Opening Remarks—Union College Dean of Academic Departments & Programs, Jennifer Fredricks
9:00-10:00 Mothers & Children

9:00-9:15—Deidre Hill Butler, “Building Africana Motherwork”

9:15-9:30—Lori Marso, “Find Our Mothers: Mary Shelley’s Monstrous Writing”

9:30-9:45—Jeeten Krishna Giri, “Second Generation Impact of Succession Rights on Child Health Outcomes in India”




10:15-11:30 Identity—Lost & Found

10:15-10:30—Kenneth G. DeBono, “Psychology of Gender and Religion”

10:30-10:45—Melissa L. Breger, “Stemming the Tide: Social Norms and Child Sex Trafficking”

10:45-11:00—Catherine Walker, “Preliminary Impact of the Body Project, a Peer-Led Cognitive-Dissonance Based Eating Disorder Prevention Program, at Union College”

11:00-11:15—Megeen Mulholland, “Feminist Poetry Reading”




12:25-12:30 Opening Remarks
12:30-1:30 Autonomy & the Body

12:30-12:45—Tarana Jafarova, “Egg Freezing Technology: Is It a Reproductive Freedom or a New Control over Women’s Reproductive Capacity?”

12:45-1:00—Lauren Bunch, “Viewing Contemporary Vaccination Debates through the Lens of Relational Autonomy”

1:00-1:15—BK Tuon, “Readings from The Doctor Will Fix It


1:30-2:45 Women’s Work

1:30-1:45—Jennifer Mezzapelle, “‘It’s Different for Them… Or Is It?’: The Effect of Identity on Perceptions of Workplace Sexual Harassment”

1:45-2:00—Shannon Lee, “Abortion Doulas”

2:00-2:15—Smirti Bhargava, “Household Appliances and Labor Force Participation (LFP)”

2:15-2:30—Ausra Park and Zoe Schlesinger, “Women Presidents in Eastern Europe”




3:00-4:00 Sex & Queerness

3:00-3:15—Chia-Heng Chang, “Are We Still in the Closet? Transnational Sexuality in The Wedding Banquet”

3:15-3:30—Shannon Draucker, “‘Dead White Men in Wigs’ to ‘Half-Naked Wom(e)n in Sadistic High Heels’: Transgressive Embodiments on the Classical Music Stage”

3:30-3:45—Ashley Casale, “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Compulsory Patriotism as State Control”



Student Art Exhibit “The Weight of This: Femininity and Sexual Assault on Campus” located in the Nott Memorial, Wikoff Gallery. Students will be available to discuss their artwork before, during, and after the Poster Presentation Session.
In celebration of the 50th Year of Women at Union College, the Wikoff Student Gallery will be producing exhibitions this year that focus on female-empowering themes. A topic that is of concern to young women on Union’s campus is that of sexual assault. This fall, student artists Lilith Haig (Class of 2021) and Tina Tully (Class of 2021) seek to explore perceptions of femininity and sexual assault in their exhibition.

4:00-5:00 Poster Session and Reception
  1. Rachel Clark, Student, Siena College, “MissRepresentation: A Recent History of the Bechdel Test’s Feminist Guide through Romantic Comedies”
  2. Abigail Stack, Student, Union College, “Take it Off: How Femen Reproduces Sexist Norms in Western Culture”
  3. Elizabeth Allegretti, Student, Siena College, “The Effects of Gender Socialization on STEM Fields”
  4. “Albany Birth Justice Storytelling Project,” SUNY at Albany
  5. Alexandra Roach, MS2, Second Year Medical Student, Albany Medical College, “The Ethics of Utilizing Different Delivery Options in Relation to Psychiatric Hospitalization of a Pregnant Patient”
  6. Samuel Fogarty, Student, Union College, “Differences in Male Sexuality Predict Pressure to Conform to Sociocultural Ideals”
  7. Georgia Gardner, Student, Union College; Suzie Benack, Psychology Professor, Union College; Thomas Swan, Student, Siena College; and Emily Carrabba, Student, Union College; “The Evolution of Gendered Scripts for Initiating Sexual Interactions: Evidence from Top Box-Office Films”
  8. Eve Gertzman, Student, Skidmore College, “Your Catcall is Not My Catcall: A Study of Street Harassment Among Adolescent Girls and Trans Women”
  9. Crystal Flax, Student, Union College, “What are Obstacles to Peace?”
  10. Angelique Parks, Graduate Student in the Master's of Counseling and Community Psychology Program at Sage Graduate School, Principal Investigator: Alicia Harlow, PhD, “Interactions between Trauma, Intimate Relationships, and Female Experience”
  11. Anna Arcodia, Student, The Sage Colleges, “The Dark Triad Personality and Subtly Abusive Tendencies”
  12. Megan Jones, Student, Siena College, “Representation and Subjugation: A Critical Analysis of the Presence and Place of Women and Minorities in Jean Toomer’s Cane
  13. Liza Pennington, Student, Skidmore College, “Survival of the Straightest: Reimagining Young Adult Literary Heroines”
  14. Khizra Awan, Student, Siena College, “The Politics of ‘Cool,’ Assimilation and Appropriation: An Analysis of Black and South Asian Race Relations in Contemporary USA”
  15. Aryan Kantoor, Undergraduate/ PharmD Student, Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, “Disparities Surrounding Women’s Reproductive Health and the Effectiveness of Doula Services Provided by the BirthNet Initiative”
  16. Samir El-Sawaf, MS2, and Adam Recht, MS2, Albany Medical College; “OUTList: A Student-Driven Initiative to Enhance LGBTQ Visibility, Community, and Inclusivity at an Academic Medical Center.”

Many thanks to the Union College Office of the Dean of Academic Departments & Programs, the Interdisciplinary Studies Program, and the Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies Program for their generous support in making this Conference possible.

And a very special thanks to Kathleen Basirico, Administrative Assistant for Interdisciplinary Studies for her tremendous help and expert guidance.