Feminist Research Alliance

Founded in 2010, the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop advances and energizes interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among feminist scholars locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. At our convivial meetings, faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars present and discuss research-in-progress.  A fertile space for idea-incubation, the workshop also is community-building, enabling students and faculty to network with potential committee members, mentors, and colleagues beyond the boundaries of their home departments. All events are free and open to the public.

Spring 2020



Kathleen A. Parks

Senior Research Scientist, Department of Psychology

Risks, Cues, and Video Vignettes: The Development of a Tool to Increase Sexual Assault Awareness

Wednesday, March 25, 2020
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

In this talk, Dr. Parks will discuss the iterative process that was used to develop and validate a series of three videos for use in measuring women’s awareness of risk cues for sexual assault. She will then discuss the utility of these videos for increasing risk awareness as well as ongoing challenges in making the videos culturally sensitive.

Ji Won Son.

Ji-Won Son

Associate Professor of Math Education
Learning & Instruction, Graduate School of Education

Promoting Equitable Mathematical Experience for Underrepresented Girls

Professor Son, recipient of a Gender Institute Faculty Research Award  

Wednesday, April 8, 2020
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Sharonah Fredrick.

Clinical Assistant Professor,
Romance Languages & Literatures

Sharonah Fredrick

Sex and Swords in Petticoats: Female Piracy in the Early Modern New World

Wednesday, February 12, 2020
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Dr. Sharonah Fredrick's talk will explore the centrality of women in general, and female pirate commanders in particular, in the violent world of the Caribbean and the Pacific during the centuries of conquest and colony; it will look at the connections between the empowered female pirate and the disempowered female witch in New World chronicles, and focus on the reasons that women were "erased" from the pirate narrative in Spanish and English in recent times.

It will also ponder the supposedly piratical origins of fishnet stockings.

Erik Seeman.

Erik R. Seeman

Professor and Chair, Department of History

Women and the Protestant Cult of the Dead in Antebellum America

Wednesday, February 26, 2020
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

In this talk, Seeman discusses his new book, Speaking with the Dead in Early America, which traces the history of Protestant communication with the dead from the English Reformation to the rise of Spiritualism. Before they dominated Spiritualism, women were central to what Seeman calls the antebellum cult of the dead. Women did the physical labor of caring for the dying and dead, and the emotional labor of grief work. They authored and read the popular sentimental literature that transmitted the cult. And in their diaries they prayed to the dead and expressed the belief that the dead returned as guardian angels. Women thus generated theological change, contrary to how previous scholars privilege male theologians and revivalists.

FALL 2019


Rebecca Borowski

Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Educational Policy and Leadership

Thursday, October 10, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Women Leaders in STEM Disciplines: A Comparative Case Study on Leadership and Disciplinary Culture

In this talk I present dissertation findings on leadership styles for women in the disciplines of biology and engineering. Findings show that while women in both disciplines experienced a masculinist culture, women in disciplines with more women, such as biology, were able to use their gendered experiences to create an empathetic and empowering leadership style, while women in disciplines with less women, such as engineering, adopted gender neutral narratives to utilize a leadership style which was “not personal” and data driven.

Sarah Robert.

Sarah Robert

Associate Professor
Department of Learning and Instruction

Professor Robert, recipient of a Gender Institute Faculty Research Award  

Thursday, October 24, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

How Gender and Policy “Work” in Education: A View from the Americas

Dr. Sarah A. Robert narrates a personal and professional journey to understand how intersectional gender as identities, patterns of relations, and resilient system of oppression shapes and is shaped by education policies and politics. She emphasizes the word “work” in her title to reflect her concern for historicizing and conceptualizing the gendered nature of policy processes related to school work and workers; school-based knowledge; and the labor that transformation and reflection of both require. The journey starts in North America, continues in Central America, on to South America, the Caribbean, and back to North America. Along the way, she reflects from the feminist roles of educator, mama, researcher, and activist.


Meredith Conti

Assistant Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance

Professor Conti, recipient of a Gender Institute Faculty Research Award  

Thursday, November 21, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

American Girls, American Guns: Whiteness and Transgressive Womanhood in the Sharpshooting Performances of Annie Oakley and Lillian Smith

In the wild west show of the late 1800s, an entertainment genre dominated by feats of muscular athleticism and simulated violence, the acts of female sharpshooters operated as deviations from the show’s staple depictions of frontier masculinity, as well as appealing, if not problematic, amplifications of the mythic narrative of the U.S. American West. In this talk, nineteenth-century theatre historian Meredith Conti considers the shooting acts of celebrated markswomen Annie Oakley and Lillian Smith, both of whom made their careers wielding that most hyper-masculinized of objects, the U.S. American firearm. As Conti will assert, Oakley and Smith performed divergent versions of “frontier femininity” through their expert spectacles of gunplay and by positioning their stage identities as “Western girls” in relationship to two adjacent variants of womanhood: an elite white womanhood revered by Victorian Britons, and an indigenous womanhood only partially inspired by the native inhabitants of the land occupied by the United States.