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Samantha Schenk ACF Abstract FY11

"Activist Identity Development Through the Lens of The Vagina Monologues (Individual Paper); From the Stage to the Streets: Feminist Performance ad the Call to Activism (Panel)"

Conference Name: National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) Annual Conference

Panel Title: From the Stage to the Streets: Feminist Performance and the Call to Activism

Panel Abstract:  One of the central themes of feminism, generally, and Women’s Studies, specifically, is the concept of praxis—the practical application of feminist theory into the world at large. While the classroom provides a myriad of opportunities to engage students and would-be activists in this endeavor, sometimes the most salient experiential learning occurs outside of the classroom. Feminist performance is one such conduit for feminist praxis. This panel will examine the ways that feminist performance engages both performers and audiences in raising awareness about feminist issues. The panel will examine the power of feminist performance as a tool of praxis or activism itself, as it inspires and enables a shift in awareness and consciousness to enact future actions toward positive social change.

Paper Title: Activist Identity Development Through the Lens of the Vagina Monologues

Paper Abstract:  Opening the minds of both participants and audience members, The Vagina Monologues has been met with both controversy and life-changing anecdotes. The production provides creative expression while igniting difficult dialogue related to gender inequality for communities and college campuses. However, little research has explored the specific impact of either viewing or participating in the production. We seek to examine the experience from a student development perspective of activist identity. Specifically, what are their values of social change through participation, as well as what is their journey of involvement prior, during, and after production in relation to their activist identity development.

Presenters: Samantha Schenk & Ashley Nickels