This past week I was so happy to be able to attend and moderate a panel for the 28th Annual Indiana University Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Conference at Indiana University Southeast, where I teach.
I spent the better part of my Friday listening to, and talking with undergraduate students from across the IU system about feminism and gender studies, and I came away so impressed with the conversations that were happening. It was so affirming to help students express their ideas and research in a supportive environment. Students discussed everything from sex education to cyborg reproduction to the exclusion of women’s research in philosophy. It was exciting to listen especially to the young women who were so empowered and independent in their thinking and world views, yet firmly grounded in solid academic research. This is the kind of work I wish I had been doing as an undergrad!
I’m reminded that what students need is an opportunity to express themselves, along with the support system to encourage them to try something new. And these students, from the perhaps lesser-celebrated regional campuses of IU, are ready to take on the world. Let’s make sure we help them do so!