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The Gender Matters Podcast is back!
Recording via Zoom, we are taking public health guidelines seriously while bringing you new content. 

Feel free to listen to the episodes below and look to our Gender Matters Blog for more great content.

We would like to thank the staff at Silverman Library Media Services for all their assistance.

Gender, Sexuality, and Speech: A Conversation with Dr. Kathryn Campbell-Kibler

Episode 4 of Gender Jargon, the miniseries on language and gender
June 15, 2021
Produced by Sydney Jameson-Blowers
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, guest Dr. Kathryn Campbell-Kibler of Ohio State University and host Sydney Jameson-Blowers discuss how gender and sexuality impact both speech perception and sociolinguistic perception, as well as how gay speech is stereotyped across the globe, and new advancements that are being made in psycholinguistics with regard to gender and sexuality. 

Guest Biographies

Kathryn Campbell-Kibler is an associate professor in the Department of Linguistics at The Ohio State University. She received her BA and MA in linguistics from the University of Chicago, and her PhD in linguistics from Stanford University. She works on sociolinguistic cognition, most recently focusing on how Ohioans think about language difference within Ohio and how OSU students change their speech when they come to college. With a group of PhD students, she has developed OhioSpeaks, an integrated research and teaching project using real sociolinguistic data to improve courses university-wide.

Feminist Voices Across the Globe: An Introduction to the Global Feminisms Project with Dr. Abigail Stewart and Marisol Fila

Episode 3 of Gender Jargon, the miniseries on language and gender
May 25, 2021
Produced by Sydney Jameson-Blowers
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, guests Dr. Abigail Steward and Marisol Fila of the University of Michigan and host Sydney Jameson-Blowers discuss the Global Feminisms project, a comprehensive archive of feminist voices from across the globe, and how it is being used in the classroom and in everyday life to diversify the conversation on feminism as we know it.

Guest Biographies

Abigail Stewart is Sandra Schwartz Tangri Distinguished University Professor of Psychology and Women's and Gender Studies at the University of Michigan. She has degrees from Wesleyan University, London School of Economics and Harvard University.  Her research interests include political activism, personality development and change in the context of experience and social history, and institutional change in higher education. 

Marisol Fila is a PhD Candidate in Romance Languages and Literatures Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Michigan. Her research explores twenty-first century articulations between diasporic and Black national identities in digital and print presses from São Paulo, Brazil, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lisbon, Portugal.  Marisol is also interested in Critical Pedagogy, Digital and Public Humanities and in the ways in which technology and digital media can serve as a tool to share her research and work to a wider audience, but also to develop digital projects in partnership with Afro-descendant organizations across Portuguese and Spanish speaking countries. 

The Ongoing Experiment of Human Language: Gender, Grammar, Semantics, and Typology with Dr. Juergen Bohnemeyer

Episode 2 of Gender Jargon, the miniseries on language and gender
April 14, 2021
Produced by Sydney Jameson-Blowers
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, guest Dr. Juergen Bohnemeyer of the UB Department of Linguistics and host Sydney Jameson-Blowers discuss gender as it relates to semantics and grammar. Bohnemeyer shares his current research on cross-linguistic inflectional categories, including gender, and how a language's grammatical gender categories tend to change over time. 

Guest Biography

Bohnemeyer earned a Masters in Linguistics from Bielefeld University in Germany in 1992 and a PhD from Tilburg University in the Netherlands in 1998. He then joined the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, first as a postdoc and from 1999 as a senior research fellow. He came to UB as an Assistant Professor in 2003, received tenure in 2008, and was promoted to Full Professor in 2018.

The Chicken and the Egg: Stereotypes, Sexuality, and Speech Perception with Jamison Wezelis

Episode 1 of Gender Jargon, the miniseries on language and gender
March 19, 2021
Produced by Sydney Jameson-Blowers
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, host Sydney Jameson-Blowers and guest Jamison Wezelis discuss the markers, stereotypes, and perceptions surrounding gay speech. Jamison shares his insights on the effects of various stereotypes on the LGBTQ+ community, as well as how a persons' way of speaking can shape their identity. He also considers the impact of bilingualism on speech production and perception, as well as the intersections of culture, media, sexuality, and language.

Guest Biography

Born, raised, and currently living in Rochester, NY, Jamison is a former middle school Spanish teacher who is now a full time PhD student in Hispanic Linguistics at the University of Buffalo. His research interests center around LGBTQ+ linguistics especially as they relate to sociophonetics and bilingualism. In his free time, Jamison enjoys traveling, Netflix, music, and watching/rewatching RuPaul´s Drag Race.

The Power and Art of Language: A Conversation with Sydney Jameson-Blowers

Episode 8
February 24, 2021
Produced by Hilary Vandenbark
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, host Hilary Vandenbark discusses the intersections of language and gender as well as its evolution. Guest Sydney Jameson-Blowers offers her insights based on her Gender Institute research project comparing Professor Emerita Madeleine Mathiot's 1990 linguistics research with contemporary language use. This represents the launch of Jameson-Blowers' new project on language and gender.

Guest Biography

Sydney Jameson-Blowers is a Master’s student of Linguistics at the University of Buffalo. She earned her Undergraduate degree in Spanish and Intercultural Studies from Houghton College, where she had a concentration in Linguistics and a minor in Communication. Sydney has been interested in languages for almost her whole life. She has studied Spanish since Kindergarten and added Latin, Italian, and Japanese in high school. In the future she hopes to do research in dialectology, language variation, and language revitalization. She has a special interest in the dialects of Argentine Spanish and in creoles. 

The December Letters Project: A Conversation with Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennett, Founders of Madwomen in the Attic.

Episode 7
December 9, 2020
Produced by Hilary Vandenbark
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, host Hilary Vandenbark speaks with Madwomen in the Attic (MITA) founders Jessica Lowell Mason and Melissa Bennett about MITA's annual December Letters Project. The project seeks to comfort those involuntarily confined to psychiatric institutions during the winter season with letters of encouragement, art, and poetry. 

We discuss the history of MITA, current projects and activities, and how listeners can get involved. We also talk about the patriarchal roots of psychiatry and the gendering of madness.  

Image of a woman with short brown hair wearing a black turtleneck and gray blazer. An earring of a skeleton can be seen on her left shoulder (viewer's right).

Jessical Lowell Mason

Guest Biographsies

Jessica Lowell Mason is a Ph.D. student and teaching assistant in the Global Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at the University at Buffalo. Jessica is a 2020-2021 graduate fellow with the College Consortium and the Coalition for Community Writing's Herstory Training Institute and Fellowship Program, Teaching Memoir for Justice and Peace. It is a year-long program in partnership with the Humanities Institute at Stony Brook University (HISB). Jessica has taught writing courses at Buffalo State College, Carl Sandburg College, Spoon River College, and Western Illinois University. She currently teaches courses related to gender, pop culture, and media literacy at the University at Buffalo. A writer, educator, and performer, Jessica has worked for Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Ujima Theatre Co., Just Buffalo Literary Center, the Jewish Repertory Theatre, and Prometheus Books. In 2014, Jessica was awarded the Gloria Anzaldúa Rhetorician Award by the Conference on College Composition and Communication. Some of her poems, articles, and reviews have been published by Sinister Wisdom, Lambda Literary, Gender Focus, The Comstock Review, Diverse Voices Quarterly, Lavender Review, Wilde Magazine, IthacaLit, The Feminist Wire, and Praeger. Her first chapbook,  Woman in Disguise, was published by Saltfire Press in 2013. Her first full-length book of poetry, Straight Jacket, was published in 2019 by Finishing Line Press. She is the co-founder of Madwomen in the Attic, a feminist mental health literacy organization in Buffalo, NY.

Image of a smiling blonde woman with her hair in pig tails. She is wearing a red and white chevron striped shirt and a red and white headband.

Melissa Bennett, M.Ed., is a mother, an athlete, a coach, and a teacher in the western New York area. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo in 2007 with a degree in childhood education and earned her master’s degree in education, with a specialization in literacy, in 2010. Melissa played college softball for four years while at SUNY Geneseo. She enjoys yoga, reading, sports, and time with her daughters and family. Melissa was driven to create MITA as a result of seeing her sister/best friend suffer the effects of the mental health system in Erie County and observing the maltreatment of mental health patients by staff members, nurses, and doctors at Erie County Medical Center. She hopes that MITA will offer support to those who have suffered trauma as a result of being in the system, raise awareness about patient rights, and lessen the stigma associated with mental health issues.

Creating Queer and Feminist Community in the Palah Light Lab: A Conversation with Cody Mejeur and Blair Johnson

Episode 6
November 18, 2020
Produced by Hilary Vandenbark
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, host Hilary Vandenbark learns more about the Palah 파랗 Light Lab from two of the founding cohort members, Visiting Assistant Professor Cody Mejeur and doctoral candidate Blair Johnson (English).

The lab is a creative and critical space that fosters poetry, participation, and pedagogy through technology and equity. As a knowledge-design, new media, and poetry lab, the Palah Light Lab investigates critical questions in cultural criticism along with the networked arts and humanities. Based out of the University of Buffalo Department of Media Study, Palah Light Lab is funded by SUNY Diversity Faculty Fellowship and led by Dr. Margaret Rhee. The lab promotes feminist creativity, mentorship, and collaboration through a creative space.

Throughout the course of our conversation, we discuss how COVID-19 has impacted gaming communities, particularly those often marginalized within them, as well as the importance of maintaining queer and feminist digital communities in times of increased isolation.


Blonde person smiling outdoors on a gray day.

Cody Mejeur
Department of Media Study

Guest Biographies

Cody Mejeur is a game scholar, developer, player, and activist whose work focuses on trans, queer, and feminist studies and social justice in video games and new media. They received their PhD in English from Michigan State University with specializations in game studies, digital humanities, and college teaching. Their work uses games to theorize narrative as an embodied and playful process that constructs how we understand ourselves, our realities, and our differences. They have published on games pedagogy, gender and queerness in games, and the narrative construction of reality in journals including Feminist Media Studies and Digital Humanities Quarterly and edited collections such as Beyond the Sea: Navigating Bioshock and The Pokémon Go Phenomenon.

Their current projects include their first monograph, Queer Narrative, Queer Play: Player Experiences and Ludic Realities in Video Games, which focuses focuses on how narrative operates in games to structure inward experiences and outward realities, and further argues that storytelling can build more inclusive and socially just realities through play. They are also the project lead on Trans Folks Walking, a 3D walking simulator game that is an anthology of trans experiences developed in collaboration with local media and LGBTQ resource centers.

They work with the LGBTQ Video Game Archive on preserving and visualizing LGBTQ representation in video games. They are also editor at One Shot: A Journal of Critical Games & Play and serve as Diversity Officer for the Digital Games Research Association.

White woman with brown hair leans forward with her chin resting on her hand.

Blair Johnson
Department of English

Blair Johnson is a poet and PhD candidate in English at the University at Buffalo, with a focus on media & visual studies, materiality, and technology. Her poems have appeared in Boston ReviewDIAGRAM, and Best American Experimental Writing. With her partner, she makes handmade books & code poems. She currently works in the lab on a number of projects, including writing for the lab blog and organizing local events.

Domestic Violence Awareness Month: A Conversation with Judith Olin and Linda Dynel

Episode 5
October 21, 2020
Produced by Hilary Vandenbark
Special Production Assistance from Omar Brown, Office of Media Services, UB Libraries
Theme music: Liturgy of the Street by Shane Ivers -

On this episode, host Hilary Vandenbark speaks with Judith Olin, supervisor of the UB School of Law's Family Violence Women's Rights Clinic and domestic violence survivor Linda Dynal about the importance of domestic violence awareness during the month of October. 

We discuss ways to support survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence, the effects of COVID-19 on instances of domestic violence, and the work left to do. 

Please note that while the host and guests sometimes use she/her pronouns for survivors and he/him pronouns for perpetrators, we recognize that people of all genders can experience intimate partner violence as well as inflict it on others. 

If you or someone you love is facing domestic violence, here are some local and national resources.

Erie County 

Family Justic Center
716.558.SAFE (7233)

Crisis Services
716.862.HELP (4357)

Haven House

New York State

Domestic Violence Hotline
Call: 800.942.6906
Text: 844.997.2121


National Domestic Violence Hotline
1.800.799.SAFE (7233)


Image of Linda Dynel.

Linda Dynel

Guest Biographies

Linda Dynel is the author of the memoir Leaving Dorian. Since its publication in 2014, Leaving Dorian has been widely read by DV help center coordinators and directors as well as by victim and survivor groups. It’s also used as a textbook in graduate and undergraduate Criminology, Social Work, Sociology and Psychology courses as well as with the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy.

Linda spends much of her time presenting and taking part in workshops and lectures on domestic violence to agencies and groups in the community, such as UB School of Law, the UB Family Violence Women’s Rights Clinic and the NYS Unified Court System. She’s also a regular guest speaker for the Erie County Domestic Violence High Risk Team.

Linda is also the honored recipient of The Zonta Club of Niagara Falls, NY, 2016 Woman of Distinction Award and The YWCA of Niagara 2016 Entrepreneur Award.

Image of Judith Olin.

Judith Olin

Judith Olin has been a licensed attorney since 1986.  She has served as the Director of  the Family Violence Women’s Rights Clinic at the University at Buffalo School of Law since 2016.  In that Clinic, she supervised second and third year law students who, under at special Student Practice Order, represent survivors of domestic violence in family law cases. Previously, Professor Olin worked as a domestic violence and sexual assault crimes prosecutor at the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, and as a Staff Attorney at Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. where she represented survivors of domestic violence in family law cases. As Director of the Lee Gross Anthone Child Advocacy Center, Professor Olin led a multidisciplinary team that coordinated child abuse investigations for Erie County. Professor Olin chairs the Domestic Violence Committee of the Women’s Bar Association of Western New York and serves on The Erie County Coalition Against Family Violence and the local Rape Crisis Advisory Board.