History Department
History Department

About the Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality

UT gender symposium logo

The Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality has been a fixture in The University of Texas (UT) Department of History since 2002, offering a forum for graduate students and faculty to present papers and works-in-progress for discussion in a relaxed and collegial atmosphere.


Our goals are to build a community of scholars interested in exploring the benefits and challenges of incorporating issues of gender and sexuality into their work, and to maintain a historically informed discussion about the field of gender and sexuality studies across academic disciplines. Because our primary focus is to include presenters engaging in different methods and styles of research, gender and sexuality are not topics that we see as narrowly defined. Instead, our goal is to explore the creative and scholarly potential of gender and sexuality as fields of inquiry.

Prof. Jacqueline Jones, one of panelist at Gender Symposium discussion on Gender at Work, Sept. 23, 2010

Dr. Jacqueline Jones, panelist at Gender Symposium discussion on "Gender at Work,"
Sept. 23, 2010

When and where we meet

The symposium meets every other week to discuss student papers or pre-circulated chapters, hold panel discussions, or listen to a talk by a faculty member or visiting scholar. Typically, meetings last about two hours and are held on Fridays at 12noon-2:00 p.m. in the Garrison Hall Conference Room 1.102. Our meetings are open to all.

Each year, the symposium invites prominent outside scholars in gender or sexuality studies to campus for a formal talk, as well as activities that offer the visiting scholar the opportunity to meet and discuss research with UT graduate students from a variety of disciplines.

Graduate student-oriented and graduate-run organization

As a graduate student-oriented and graduate student-run organization the symposium maintains a commitment to offering grad students opportunities to have their work reviewed by peers, create ties with students across disciplines, and build relationships with faculty members and visiting scholars. We are funded primarily by the History Department and the Office of the Dean of Liberal Arts, but receive additional funding for special programs from other programs or departments at UT. The faculty advisor is Professor Laurie Green.

Want to participate?

To participate in the symposium as a presenter, panelist, speaker, performer, etc., please see our Call for Presenters page or directly contact the symposium’s organizers, Ogechukwu Ezekwem and Elizabeth A. O'Brien at gendersymposium@gmail.com.

To receive emails about upcoming gender symposium events and updates, please subscribe to our listserv at this link.

Or to join our Facebook Group, please visit this page.

Featured speakers and past presenters

May 5, 2017
Beth Prosnitz, PhD Student, Department of Sociology, UT Austin
"Gendered Political Spheres: Property Rights Litigation and Democracy Activism in Post-1990 Nepal"

April 28, 2017
Sara Liao, PhD Candidate, Department of Radio, TV, and Film, UT Austin
"Fashioning China: Precarious creativity of women designers in Shanzhai culture"

April 14, 2017
Beth Colon Pizzini, PhD Student, Department of African and African Diaspora Studies, UT Austin
"La Resistencia: Cultural and Socio-Political Resistance of Black Women in Puerto Rico"

March 31, 2017
Rodolfo John Alaniz, PhD University of California, Berkeley
"Darwinian Sensualities: Havelock Ellis, Sexual Inversion, and Late Nineteenth-Century Evolutionary Theory"
(Joint event with the History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium)

March 3, 2017
Iris Ma, PhD, Institute of Historical Studies Affiliate, UT Austin
"Woman Fighters, Sentiment, and Female Subjectivity in Chinese Martial Arts Narrative, 1895-1945."
(Joint event with the Institute of Historical Studies)

February 17, 2017
Laura Jorgensen, Graduate Student, Department of Ethnomusicology, UT Austin
"Voices from the Shadows: Narratives of Homosexuality in Yugoslav Popular Music"

February 3, 2017
Adrian Masters, PhD Candidate, Department of History, UT Austin
"The Young within Thy Walls: Petitioners, Spanish-Indian Offspring, and the Origins of the Terms 'Mestiza' and 'Mestizo' in the 16th Century Spanish Empire"
January 20, 2017
Scottie Hale Buehler CPM, PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of California at Los Angeles
“A Simulacrum of Birth: The Pedagogical Instruments and Obstetrical Course of Madame du Coudray"
(Joint event with the History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium)
December 2, 2016
Stella Smith, Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, UT Austin
“Quiet Storms: African American Women Senior-level Administrators at Predominantly White Institutions as Tempered Radicals for Social Justice”

November 11, 2016
Elizabeth Velásquez, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, Department of History, UT Austin
“Gendered Construction of Peacemaking in Postwar El Salvador”

October 28, 2016
Kazushi Minami, PhD Candidate, Department of History, UT Austin
“Women, Diplomacy, and Propaganda in U.S.-Chinese Détente, 1964-1979”

October 14, 2016
Elizabeth O’Brien, PhD Candidate, Department of History, UT Austin
“Rebellion in the General Hospital: Medical Experimentation, Forced Sterilization, and Revolutionary Doctors in Mexico City, 1932"
(Joint event with the History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium)

September 30, 2016
Dotun Ayobade, Lecturer, Performance as Public Practice Program, Department of Theater and Dance, UT Austin
“Spirit Queens: Gender, Play and Possession in Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat”

September 16, 2016
Anima Adjepong, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, UT Austin
“Invading ethnography: A queer of color approach”
September 2, 2016
Christine L Gwillim, PhD Student, Department of Theater and Dance, UT Austin
“Gender and Performance: Body Autonomy, Resilience and Naked Female Bodies”

May 6, 2016
Rupali Warke, Phd Candidate History Department​, UT Austin
“Retrieving the Indigenous Capital of Nineteenth-Century South Asia”

April 22, 2016
Dr. Nancy Stalker, Associate Professor Departments of Asian Studies and History, UT Austin
“Privilege and Prejudice:  American Military Wives and Ikebana in Occupation Era and Cold War Japan”  

April 8, 2016
Liz Elizondo, PhD Candidate History Department, UT Austin
“The Love Children of Spanish San Antonio” March 25, 2016

Kody Jackson, PhD Student, History Department, UT Austin
“Handmaidens of the Lord”: Gender Roles in the U.S. Catholic Charismatic Renewal”

February 26, 2016
Jing Zhai, PhD Student, History Department, UT Austin                
“Childhood in Collectivization: Rural Kindergarten in the Great Leap Forward in Communist China”

February 12, 2016
Angela Sonquo Tapia, PhD Student, Department of Latin American Studies, UT Austin
“Conceptions about Sexuality through the Guaman Poma’s Drawings: Indigenous Women and Resistance during the conquest and colonization of the Andes”

January 22, 2016
Dr. Jacqueline Jones, Professor, History Department, UT Austin
“The ‘High Priestess of American Anarchy’:  Lucy Parsons and Her Times”

December 4, 2015
Kevin Guyan, PhD Candidate, University College London                              
“Finding Working-Class Men in Histories of the English Home, 1941-61”

November 20, 2015
Dr. Anjali Arondekar, Associate Professor, Feminist Studies Department, UC Santa Cruz
“Telling Tales: Sexuality, Exemplarity, Historiography”

October 30, 2015
Samantha Rubino, PhD Student, History Department, UT Austin      
“Marriage, Bigamy and the Inquisition: Power and Gender Relations in Seventeenth-Century New Spain”

October 16, 2015
Shahrzad Ahmadi, PhD Candidate, History Department, UT Austin                 
“Killing Childhood: Islamism and the Iran-Iraq Wars”

October 2, 2015
Rachel Wallace, PhD Candidate, Queen’s University Belfast
“Tourism, Emigration, and the Troubles: Belfast and Transnational Gay Networks”

September 18, 2015
Hadi Hosainy, PhD Candidate, History Department, UT Austin
“Gendered Piety: Founding Charitable Endowments in Seventeenth-Century Istanbul”

September 4, 2015
Roundtable: “Doing” Gender History: Theoretical & Methodological Challenges”
Featuring: Professors Laurie Green, Indrani Chatterjee, & Dr. Julia Gossard

May 1, 2015
Dr. Judy Coffin, Associate Professor, Dept. of History, UT Austin
 “Writing Simone de Beauvoir (1965: What is feminism?)”

April 24, 2015
Luritta Dubois, PhD Student, Department of History, UT Austin
"Abortion Rights Were Not Enough: Women of Color and the Reproductive Healthcare Movement After Roe v. Wade"

April 17, 2015
Sandy Chang, PhD Student, Department of History, UT Austin
“Rethinking the Mui-Tsai Practice: 'Ginger and Vinegar' Money and the Transfer of Female Children in British Malaya”

March 26, 2015
Dr. Monica Bolufer Peruga, Associate Professor, Universitat de Valencia
“Translation and Cultural Transfer in the Eighteenth Century: A Transatlantic Triangle”​
(In collaboration with: IHS, Gender Symposium, the Center for European Studies, and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese)

March 13, 2015
Christopher Babits, Graduate Student, History Dept., UT Austin
“The King of the Wild Frontier:  Davy Crockett Almanacs, Bourgeois Emasculation, and Frontier Masculinity in Antebellum America”

February 27, 2015
Ogechukwu Ezekwem, Graduate Student, History Dept., UT Austin
“Traditional Midwifery and Childbirth as Cultural Performance: A Study of the Igbo of Nigeria during the Colonial Era”

February 13, 2015
Dr. Mary K. Gayne, Associate Professor of History, James Madison University; 2014-2015 IHS Fellow
“Tangled Interests: Dancing with the Wig (1760-1786)”

December 5, 2014
Dr. Jacqueline-Bethel Mougoué, Assistant Professor, Baylor University
“‘Masquerade Girlfriends’: Cosmetic Products, Morality and Gendered Nationalism in West Cameroon, 1961-1972”

October 24, 2014
Dr. Lior Sternfeld, Department of Middle Eastern Studies; PhD. UT Austin
“Accenting Iranian Femininity: The Story of Polish Exiles in Iran”

October 10 2014
Valerie Martinez, UT History PhD Candidate, UT Austin
“Las Wacs: The Recruitment of WWII Latina Servicewomen in the Era of Good Neighborism”

September 26, 2014
Crisis of Family and Immigration Panel

September 19, 2014
James Hudson, UT History Graduate Student
“Iron Lotus: The Story of Sophia Zhu Tierong”

April 25, 2014
William Kramer, UT History Graduate Student
“A Witch in Youghal, 1661: Gaelic Faerie Faith, English Witchcraft Belief and the Socio-Political Crisis of the Restoration in County Cork”

April 4, 2014
Isobelle Barrett Meyering, PhD Candidate in the School of Humanities and Languages from The University of New South Wales in Australia.
‘Down with Childhood’: Shulamith Firestone and the Feminist Project of Women’s and Children’s Liberation – A View from Australia

March 28,
Roundtable on Childhood

February 27, 2014
Ava Purkiss, PhD Candidate, History,
“’The Stoutest Creatures West of the Mississippi: Black Women’s Physical Culture and Fat Shame, 1900-1930”

January 31, 2014
Shaherzad Ahmadi, PhD Student, History,
“Rewriting Women into the Iran-Iraq War Narrative”  

December 6, 2013
Alexis Harasemovitch Truax, PhD Candidate, History Department
“The Alien Question: Subjecthood and Reproduction in Gibraltar and Menorca, 1708-1850”

November 22, 2013
Juandrea Bates, Ogechukwu Ezekwem, and Valerie Martinez, UT History Graduate Students
Roundtable: The "Other" Other: Gender Histories in a Comparative Context

November 8, 2013
Julia M Gossard, PhD Candidate in the History Department
“Rebel Children:  Education and Rehabilitation in Parisian Maisons de Correction.”

October 25, 2013
Shari Silzell, PhD Candidate in the History Department presents
““Hafsa and al-Mushaf: Women and the Written Qur’an in the Early Centuries of Islam”

September 27, 2013
Indrani Chatterjee, Professor, UT History Department
“'Engels' Misses: notes towards another history of gender and capital from eighteenth-Century India”

September 13, 2013
Lurrita Dubois and Jessica Luther (History Graduate Students) & Dr. Lisa Moore
A Roundtable Discussion: Historicizing Women’s Bodies as Political Platforms & Agendas

May 10, 2013
Gender Symposium 10th year anniversary Presentation!
Frank Guridy, Associate Professor of History and Director of John L. Warfield Center for African and African-American Studies.
“Float like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee”: Muhammad Ali's Choreography of Black Masculinity”

April 26, 2013
Libby Nutting, PhD Candidate History Deparment, Ut Austin
“In Search of Early Modern Women: Recovering Morisca Women's Work in Male-Produced Texts from Spain and Morocco”

April 12, 2013
Julia Ogden, PhD Candidate, History Department UT Austin
“For the Sake of La Moral Publica: Sodomy and the Ideology of Silence in Buenos Aires, 1853-1903”

Feb. 22, 2013
Dr. Mary Neuburger, Associate Professor UT Department of History,
“Bathing Bulgarians, Saving the World: American Bible Women and Hygiene in the Late Nineteenth Century Balkans, 1864-1918”

November 16, 2012
Dr. Gail Minault,  Professor of History and Asian Studies at the University of Texas.
“I'm a Ruby Wrapped in a Rag"--The Poetry of a Secluded Woman in early 20th-Century India”

November 2, 2012
Joseph M. Pierce, PhD Candidate in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The University of Texas at Austin.
“Writing Sisterhood in the Argentine fin de siglo”

May 4th, 2012
Discussion on Reproduction and Gender and Sexuality in Academia Presentation:
"Reading, Writing, and Reproducing: The Challenges Women Face in the Ivory Tower"

April 20, 2012
Claudia Rueda, Ph.D student UT History Department
“"Worthy Men Confronting the Hydra of Somocismo: 
The Reformist Masculinity of the Student Movement in 1940s Nicaragua"

April 13, 2012
Dr. Ruramisai Charumbira, UT Austin History Professor
"This is our Fatherland, This is Our Motherland: 
The Gendered Dissonance of Memory in Postcolonial Southern Africa"

March 30, 2012
Dr. Nhi Lieu, UT Austin American Studies Professor
“Nurses “Fashioning Fictions: Transnational Gazes and the Production of Romance in Asian/American Bridal Photography”

March 23, 2012
Ava Purkiss, Ph.D student UT Austin
“‘A Healthy Careful Negro Wench for a Wet Nurse’: The Reproductive, Labor, and Sexual Politics of Enslaved Wet Nurses”

February 24, 2012
Premier of Ann Lewis’s Film “Ann Braden: A Southern Patriot”

February 17, 2012
Joan Scott Panel Discussion:
“New Theoretical Developments in Gender and History: A Re/examination of Joan W. Scott”

January 27, 2012
Dr. Karl Hagstrom Miller, UT Austin History Professor
“On Intimacy, Death, and Sound: Listening to Pop Songs about Abortion"

December 8, 2011
Peter Hamilton, Ph.D student
“Wayne Wang’s Snowflower and the Secret Fan”

November 11, 2011
Dr. Jennifer Morgan, New York University
Luncheon in collaboration with the Slavery and Sexuality Conference 2011

November 10, 2011
Dr. Sowandee Mustakeem, Washington University in St. Louis Assistant Professor
“A Tide of Bodies: Recasting the Specter of Trauma, Disease, and Suffering in the Gendered Landscape of Atlantic World Slavery"

October 28, 2011
Panel Discussion on Melanie Reynard documentary "Tagut"

October 21, 2011
Janine Jones, Ph.D student History Department
“Modern Muslim Masculinities in an age of Transnational Media"

September 23, 2011
Dr. Janet Y. Davis, UT Austin History and American Studies Professor  
“"Docked Tails, Fighting Cocks, and Raging Bulls: Making Gendered Sense of the American Animal Welfare Movement, 1830-1940."

September 9, 2011
Gender Symposium Potluck Panel on the film "The Help"

March 3, 2011
Dr. Ann Little, Associate Professor of History, Colorado State University
“Cowgirl Up: The Politics and Perils of Academic Feminist Blogging”

March 2, 2011
Dr. Bianca Premo, Associate Professor of History, Florida International University
“Taking Tryants to Courts: How Women and Other Litigants Made a Spanish Imperial Enlightenment”
Co-sponsored by the Latin American Distinguished Speaker Series

February 18, 2011
Sheil Malovany-Chevallier and Constance Borde
“Retranslating the Second Sex for the 21st Century: Sex, Gender, and Philosophy”
Co-sponsored by the Harry Ransom Center, the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, the Humanities Institute, the Institute for Historical Studies, the Department of French and Italian, the Center for European Studies, and the Department of History

February 3, 2011
Dr. Julie Hardwick, Professor of History, Director of the Institute for Historical Studies, UT
“Sex in the 17th Century City”

November 12, 2010
Dr. Robert Jensen, Professor of Journalism, UT
“Still Riding the Second Wave: The Importance of Radical Feminism in Reactionary Times"

November 5, 2010
Kelli Mosteller, Ph.D. student, Department of History at UT
"Without Distinction of Sex: Promoting Land Right of Citizen Potawatomi Women"

October 22, 2010
Peter Weiss, Ph.D. student, Department of History at UT
“Rebecca Couch's Pan-Mississippi Journey"

October 8, 2010
Takkara Brunson, Ph.D. student, Department of History at UT
“Eusebia Cosme and the Transnational Dimensions of Afro-Cuban Womanhood, 1930-1958"

September 23, 2010
Drs. Jacqueline Jones, Philippa Levine, Ann Twinam, Professors of History at UT; Dr. Zipporah Wiseman, Professor of Law, UT Law School
“Gender at Work: A Roundtable Discussion on the Evolution of Gender in Academic Work"

March 26, 2010
Dr. Hina Azam, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies, UT
“The Notion of the Erotic in Popular Islamic Advice Literature”

October 30, 2009
Gail Collins, New York Times columnist and author discusses her new book, When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present

October 23, 2009
Dr. Robert Abzug, Oliver H. Radkey Regents Professor of History and Director of the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies, UT
“The Men in Rollo May's Life: The Rich and Complicated Male World of a 20th Century Psychologist”

October 9, 2009
Dr. Judy Coffin, Associate Professor of History, UT
“Beauvoir, Kinsey and Mid-Century Sex”

September 12, 2009
A panel discussion featuring UT Austin Professors: Dr. Kim Alidio, Assistant Professor, History; Dr. Tiffany Gill, Assistant Professor, History; Dr. Neville Hoad, Associate Professor, Dept. of English; Dr. Robert Jensen, Associate Professor, Dept. of Journalism; Dr. Shannon Speed, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Anthropology; Sarah Weddington, Esq., Adjunct Professor, Center for Women's and Gender Studies
"Activism in the Academy and Beyond: Gender Studies and Social Change "

April 10, 2009
Dr. Joanne Meyerowitz, Professor of History and American Studies, Yale University
“Liberalism and the Contested Politics of Postwar Sexuality”

November 11, 2008
Veronica Martinez-Matsuda, Ph.D. student, Department of History, UT
The workshop will be based on a chapter from Martinez-Matsuda’s dissertation on federal labor camps in South Texas entitled:
"(De)Constructing Migrant Communities: Race, Labor, Architecture and the Federal Camp Space."

April 25, 2008
Dr. Laurie Green, Associate Professor of History, UT
"Memphis and the Racialization of Hunger: Neighborhood Activism, Medical Research, and the War on Poverty"

April 11, 2008
Dr. George Chauncey, Professor of History, Yale University
"The Strange Career of the Closet: The Culture and Politics of Homosexuality from the Second World War to the Gay Liberation Era"

Past presenters also include: Dr. Leah DeVun on “Surgery and Intersexuality in the Late Middle Ages;” Richard Gachot, Kathryn Hixson, Mariana Ivanova, and Laura Lindenberger Wellen, on gender and the aesthetics of Weimar Germany; Angela Smith on “Early Modern Midwifery;” Dr. Lilya Kagonovsky on visual studies and gender; and Dr. James Brooks on “Conflict and Creativity in the Southwestern Borderlands,” and many more.

To be in the company of our many excellent presenters, please visit our Call for Presenters page, and get in touch with Ogechukwu Ezekwem and Elizabeth A. O'Brien.

Symposium on Gender, History, and Sexuality | Fall 2015 Schedule
Download here.