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Tea Talks

The Women's & Gender Studies department's annual Tea Talks series features faculty, staff and guest speakers on a range of topics. All lectures will be held from 4-5 p.m. in Carlsson Evald Hall (Great Hall).

Lectures are free and open to the public as well as the campus community. For more information about the series, email

Videos of the talks are archived on the Augustana YouTube Tea Talks channel.

A Feminist Investigation into Nineteenth-Century Italian Art

April 20, 2016

Dr. Claire L. Kovacs, director, Augustana Teaching Museum of Art
Carlsson Evald, Great Hall

Description: The Macchiaioli were a group of Tuscan painters whose work presaged that of the French Impressionists, and connected with many modernist impulses including an engagement with the qualities of light on canvas, subject matter that focused on their changing sense of place, and their role — both active and through critical interpretation — in the formation of an Italian artistic identity (or at least an attempt at creating one). Unfortunately, while the critical history of the Macchiaioli proceeds in fits and starts in the art historical discourse outside of Italy, the role of women within this movement is all but unknown.

Administrators, Mothers, and Smugglers: Teasing out the Political Roles of Women within the United States Illicit Drug Trade

March 23, 2016

Dr. Jason Plume, visiting assistant professor of political science
Carlsson Evald, Great Hall

Description: The illicit drug trade has been condemned, heralded, and romanticized. However, whether depicted as convicts, heroes to the people, or mysterious individuals worthy of being film noir protagonists, popular culture and much of academic research has focused on men as the central figures controlling and profiting from illegal substances. This research examines the political roles of women within the U.S. illegal drug trade; moonshining during Prohibition, the international cocaine market and large scale marijuana cultivation have, and continue to include women as integral nodes for the success of such operations.  

The Revolution Will Wear Pink Bunny Ears: 'Bob's Burgers' and Birth Order Theory

Dec. 16, 2015

Dr. Margaret France

Description: "Bob's Burgers" distinguishes itself from animated family sitcoms like "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" by harnessing the surreal possibilities of the medium to parody popular social science rather than current events or popular entertainment. Rule-governed eldest daughter Tina valiantly attempts to act as a proxy for her parents, middle child Gene performs manically in a constant attempt to keep their attention, while Louise, as the youngest, exhibits all the rebelliousness of a typical "laterborn," to use the terminology from Frank J. Sulloway's controversial study "Born to Rebel: Birth Order, Family Dynamics, and Creative Lives."

Folktales and Fables: Gender Stereotypes in Children's Literature

Dec. 2, 2015

Danielle Beliveau-Derion, assistant professor of education

Description: Children's literature has a long history that is heavily influenced by the era in which the books are written. It reflects the ideological perspectives of the culture and serves as a dissemination of cultural values from one generation to the next. Consequently, children's literature more often manifests adult views of the world rather than a point of view that is representative of children.The characters portrayed in children's books have a heavy influence on children's beliefs about the world in which we live. Often times these books serve as socially acceptable or "normal" models of behavior. The way that gender is portrayed in these books has a profound effect on children. They can shape career development, frame attitudes about future roles in society, and even go as far as to impact personality characteristics (Hamilton, Anderson, Broaddus, & Young, 2006). During this discussion, the researcher will explore the world of children's books and provide an analysis of distribution and representation of gender, biological sex, and gendered behavior in children's literature.

In/visibility and belonging in Costa Rica

October 14, 2015

Dr. Tony Pomales, fellow in sociology, anthropology and social welfare.

Description: Drawing on 14 months of ethnographic research in the urbanized and heavily touristed city of San José, this talk will explore the senses of belonging of older women sex workers in Costa Rica and the discursive space within which they are allowed to be seen and understood.Empowerment strategies developed by study participants to address these issues will also be discussed.

Men at the co-op don't talk': Homosocial networks and farmland management in Iowa

October 7, 2015 

Dr. Angie Carter, assistant professor of sociology

Description: This Tea Talk shares some of Angie Carter's dissertation research studying Iowa women farmland owners' constructions of land ownership and land use. Recent demographic shifts in U.S. agriculture and the pressure for farmers to "feed the world" in the face of increased population and climate change realities make now a propitious time to study gender and its implications in farmland management.Dr. Carter focuses on women farmland owners' experiences in Iowa, U.S., where women own or co-own approximately half of the state's farmland. She uses qualitative data to analyze how interactive processes maintain gendered agricultural narratives and the obstacles these processes create for women landowners in the management of their farmland with tenants and co-owners.This talk focuses on how the creation of homosocial spaces for women farmland owners may challenge these cultural narratives and provide opportunity for intervention.