Women's Research Network

Spring 2017

Women’s Research Network events are held in The Women’s Center, 107 Hanna Hall.  
Children are welcome at all Women's Center events.

Women's Research Network flyer



Zika Virus, Prenancy, and the Policing of Disability
Date:  To Be Announced
Presenter:  Kaitlyn Wauthier, American Culture Studies

This presentation focuses on how media and medical discourse about the Zika virus has policed pregnant women since the link between Zika and microcephaly emerged.  The media emphasizes the birth of microcephalic babies to women infected by Zika, centering infants and the unborn as potential victims of the virus because of the impairments associated with microcephaly.  Zika discourse urges women of child-bearing age, always-already coded as mothers-to-be, to avoid pregnancy (while abortion and birth-control options remain elusive), avoid travel to countries with widespread Zika infections, and protect the unborn from the adverse effects of the virus. Ms. Wauthier argues that the panic evolving from Zika media coverage and government warnings reveals the ways in which women’s morals and mobility remain bounded in the 21st century. She employs a content analysis of the virus’s coverage in The Washington Post and National Public Radio , in addition to information published through the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.


Decolonizing Digital Cultural Memory:  Digital Humanities as Digital Activism
2017 Women's History Month/Fembot Collective Conference Keynote Speaker
Date:  Friday, March 31, 2017, 2-3:30 pm
Presenter:  Dr. Roopika Risam, Salem State University
Location:  308 Bowen-Thompson Student Union

A battle for ownership of the cultural memory of humanity online is taking place between media producers and stakeholders with a range of motivations. Among these are internet users who are increasingly becoming producers as they participate in social life online; digital humanities practitioners who are using the internet as a site of knowledge production; and corporations that are monetizing both archival collections and digital spaces as they produce databases and license them to libraries for their use. In this media environment, whose stories, histories, and knowledges will be produced, disseminated, and amplified?  How are an emergent community of digital humanities practitioners re-envisioning digital humanities as a form of digital activism that intervenes in the decolonization of digital cultural memory? Situated in scholarship on cultural critique in digital humanities, this talk examines the recent development of intersectional digital humanities projects that are pushing back against the status quo of knowledge production online and creating space for untold stories and unheard voices in the cultural memory of humanity online.  In doing so, Dr. Risam will identify a set of practices derived from this work that articulate a theory of activist digital humanities. 


The M-Word:  Shattering the Silence about Women's Experiences with Miscarriage
Friday, April 21, 2017**, 1-2:30 pm
Presenter:  Dr. Lisa Hanasono, School of Media and Communication

Although miscarriage is relatively common, talking about it remains a taboo and stigmatizing topic in the U.S. Women face unique communicative challenges when they disclose their miscarriage experiences with others. Using a dialectical approach, this study voices women’s diverse experiences with miscarriage and highlights discursive tensions in the coping process. Interviews with women who had experienced at least one pregnancy loss in their lifetime revealed how they discursively navigated cultural and relational stigmas associated with miscarriage. Thematic analyses revealed three paradoxes that illuminated key challenges of communicating and coping with miscarriages: the attributional paradox, the paradox of seeking support, and the disclosure paradox. Dr. Hanasono will share the study’s findings, implications, recommendations, and directions for future research.

*This event has been re-scheduled for April 21st.