Isom Student Gender Conference

The Isom Student Gender Conference (ISGC) hosted the first undergraduate research conference at the University of Mississippi in 2001.  The conference provides undergraduates from the University of Mississippi and other institutions of higher learning an invaluable opportunity for professional development. At the conference, students share their research with others and are able to connect to academic and artistic communities and build support networks.

The Isom Student Gender Conference is interdisciplinary and open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Students explore research projects in Sociology, Anthropology, English, Education,  History, Southern Studies,  Creative Writing and Poetry, and other disciplines. We encourage all interested students to come and share their research passions.


The annual Isom Student Gender Conference is held in March.  The conference includes presentations by graduate and undergraduate students as well as a featured keynote speaker.

17th annual Isom Student Gender Conference ~ “In/Visibility
March 29-31, 2017 ~ Oxford-University Depot

Draft Conference schedule

Wednesday, March 29th

6 PM ~ Keynote Address by Ashly Burch: “Entering a Place of Risk”

1000 Thad Cochran Research Center

Thursday, March 30th

9 – 10:15 ~ Embodied Categories

  • Karly Struble (Graphic Design & Digital Media, Champlain College), “Invisible Nipples: Instagram’s prohibition of the female form”
  • Olivia Lyons (Broadcast Media Production, Champlain College) “Battling Boobs in
    the Workplace”
  • Emily Keuppers (Creative Media, Champlain College) “Breaking the Binary:
    Gender Perception”

10:30 – 11:45 ~ Transnational Feminism

  • Ayivor Sandra (Curriculum and Instruction/Research and Advanced Studies, University of West Florida) “Women and National Development: Revisiting  Affirmative Action in Ghana” 
  • Joan Nkansah (Administration and Leadership Studies/ Research and Advanced Studies, University of West Florida), “Community Center Appropriation and Female Agency: An Ecuadorian Cultural Centered Approach”
  • Abidemi Fasanmi (Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, Emory University), “InVisibility of Survival Sex within Public Health Sexual Violence Interventions”

11:45 – Noon ~ Break

Noon – 1 ~ Sororities and Feminism Panel

  • Sheffield Spence  (English/Gender Studies, University of Mississippi), “But I’m in  a Sorority: Feminists in the Greek System”
  • Sam Cox (Marketing/Cinema, University of Mississippi), “But I’m in  a Sorority: Feminists in the Greek System”
  • Ashna Sethi (Marketing/ChemistryUniversity of Mississippi), “But I’m in  a Sorority: Feminists in the Greek System”
  • Breana Cook (Master of Social WorkUniversity of Mississippi), “But I’m in  a Sorority: Feminists in the Greek System”
  • Barker Fowler (HistoryUniversity of Mississippi), “But I’m in  a Sorority: Feminists in the Greek System”

1:00-1:15 ~ Break

1:15-2:15 ~ Disciplining Gender

  • Cam Fleming (Liberal Arts, University of Mississippi). “Binarism of Gender on a Conservative College Campus”
  • Devin Jewell (Psychology, University of Mississippi), “Who Swipes Right? Gender and Individual Differences in Evaluation of the Male Feminist”

2:15-2:30  ~  Break

2:30-3:15 ~ Gender and the Blues

  • Alicia Marie Venchuk (Department of English, University of Mississippi), “The  Visibility and Invisibility of Women Blues Guitarists: Why Not Memphis  Minnie?”
  • Jacqueline  Sahagian (Southern Studies, University of Mississippi) “R.L. Burnside’s Blues & Selling Southern Black Masculinity at Fat Possum Records”

3:15-3:30 ~ Break

3:30-4:30 ~ Literary Gender and Sexuality

  • Sarah DeGeorge (English: Rhetoric and Composition, University of Western Kentucky), “The Good, the Bad, and the Queer”: Queer Rhetoric of Caryl Churchill’s Cloud 9”
  • Karleigh Kimbrell (Department of English, Mississippi State),  “Seeking Control in Caldwell: Irrevocability in Zadie Smith’s NW”

6 PM ~ Juliana Huxtable Keynote

Gertrude C. Ford Center – Studio Theatre

Friday, March 31st

9 – 9:50 ~ Queer Literatures

Matt Kessler  (MFA program University of Mississippi) and Dr. Jaime Cantrell (Department of English, University of Mississippi) “”What is Queer Lit? – Past, Present & Future.”

10 – 10:45 ~ Gender and Sexual Expression

  • Rhaina Johnson (Social Work, Mississippi State), “Female Sexuality and Self-Expression”
  • Holden Hays (Gender Studies, University of Mississippi), “The (In)Visible Gay Bar: The Intersection of Gender, Sexuality, and Space in the American 1970s”
  • Laura Wilson (Department of English, University of Mississippi), ““Made to Go Unnoticed:” Uncovering How Menstruation Gets Socially Gendered”

10:45 – 11 ~ Break

11 – 12:15 ~ Gender: Food, Fashion, Activism and Breaking the Silences  

  •  Victoria De Leone (Southern Studies, University of Mississippi) “Deconstructing Bodies: Exploring Research Gaps in Masculinity and Butchery”
  • Mellissa Black (English, University of Mississippi) “Speechless:  Culturally Mandated Female Silence ”
  • Holly Robinson (Southern Studies, University of Mississippi) “Stitched Together:  The Price of the Political Pantsuit”
  • Michelle Ayers (English, University of Mississippi) “Student  Activism and Changing the Narrative of Campus Rape Culture”

12:15 – 12:30 ~ Break

12:30-1:15  ~ Gender Norms and Gender Trouble

  •  Cynthia Bauer (International Studies, Arabic, University of Mississippi), Gender Jihad as an Islamic “Feminism”
  • Jacqueline Knirnschild (Anthropology, University of Mississippi), “”This Pussy Fights Back”: An Examination of Gender Standards in Profanity and Vulgarity”
  • Victoria Mathias (Psychology, University of Mississippi), “Is your Sexism showing? Ambivalent Attitudes of Greek and Non-Greek”

1:15 – 1:30 ~ Break

1:30 – 2:15  ~ Changing the Narrative Round Table

  • Katherine Wilkins (English/Creative Writing, Western Kentucky University), “Disdaining Men and Oxygen”
  • Claire Hubacek (Computer Science, University of Mississippi), “Southern, Patriarchal, and Engineering Pressures as a Woman in Computer Science”

  Conference Keynote Speakers

Ashly Burch

Wednesday, March 29th at 6 PM – 1000 Thad Cochran Center

Ashly Burch is an Emmy nominated writer and BAFTA nominated actor known for her voice acting roles in such video games as Life is Strange (2015), Fallout 4 (2015), and the upcoming PlayStation 4 title, Horizon Zero Dawn, as lead character, Aloy. Burch wrote and voiced for the animated television series  Adventure Time and authored a graphic novel titled Adventure Time: Islands.

Online, Burch  developed a larger following as a writer, actor, and co-creator for Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?, a YouTube webseries with 279,000 subscribers and well over 48 million views across its 5 seasons. In addition to her acting and writing talents, she is an activist who lectures on issues of gender and identity in the games industry.

Additional Links:



Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin’?:

Juliana Huxtable

Thursday, March 30th at 6 PM – Ford Center Studio

Juliana Huxtable is a performance artist from Bryan-College Station, Texas who explores the intersections of race, gender, queerness, and identity. Her pieces include self-portraiture, text-based prints, performance, nightlife, music, writing, and social media. Drawing on life experiences and inspired by Internet communities, Juliana Huxtable strives to create safe spaces, address anxieties, and cultivate a sense of inclusivity through her work. Huxtable, who is transgender and whose adopted name is inspired by the family on The Cosby Show, constructs hybrid human-creature avatars as manifestations of her fluid gender and sexual identity, articulating each distinct self through portraiture and writing. Her work has been featured at MOMA, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum of Art.

For more information on Ms. Huxtable, please see

Additional Links:

Vogue Article: “Meet Juliana Huxtable: Star of the New Museum Triennial”

Vice Article: “Trans Artist Juliana Huxtable’s Fight for Acceptance”

YouTube Video ~ Bodies Beyond Nature: