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Tea Talks

The Women's & Gender Studies 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.


Fall Term

Exploring Gender and Family from a Perspective of Class in Rio de Janeiro

Sept. 13, 2017

Dr. Theresa Williamson - Urban Planner and Executive Director, Catalytic Communities


Theresa Williamson will be at Augustana to present a campus-wide talk on Rio de Janeiro's favela communities, the origins and implications of unfounded stigma on their effective development, and their potential as sustainable models in a rapidly urbanizing world.

At the Tea Talk she will informally explore some of the behind-the-scenes gender dynamics that influence this work, both in favelas and the city at large. She'll also speak candidly about her own experience as a single mother raising a daughter in the class-divided city of Rio de Janeiro, and how she perceives the city's rapidly changing gender dynamic influencing the broader urban context.


Dr. Theresa Williamson, a city planner, is the executive director of Catalytic Communities (CatComm), a Rio de Janeiro-based organization that provides media/networking support to favela communities. She is an outspoken and respected advocate on behalf of Rio de Janeiro’s favelas to help ensure they are recognized for their heritage status and their residents fully served as equal citizens, with four opinion pieces published in The New York Times.

Among other awards, Dr. Williamson received the 2012 NAHRO John D. Lange International Award for her contributions to the international housing debate and the 2005 Gill-Chin Lim Award for Best Dissertation on International Planning.

She is also editor-in-chief of RioOnWatch, CatComm’s internationally recognized watchdog news site and favela news service regarded for its work in informing and influencing international journalists covering the Olympics, and local debates on housing in Rio.

Dr. Williamson earned her B.A. in Biological Anthropology from Swarthmore College and her Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of Pennsylvania.

The influences of unconscious biases in media

Oct. 11, 2017

Dr. Hyeong-Gyu Choi - assistant professor of business administration


Unconscious bias (UB) is a bias that we are unaware of and occurs outside of our control. UB can be a seemingly harmless cognitive short-cut and one of the most effective assimilation strategies that often help individuals with the same cultural background to process information efficiently and relieve workload from our overworked brains.

Nevertheless, the effortless and automatic bias infects even the well-intentioned and it functions as a mechanism that passes gender related biases on to later generations, especially when it is embedded into multimedia and audience is exposed to it over a prolonged period of time.

In the presentation, Hyeong-Gyu Choi will focus specifically on the role of movie and TV media in the context of gender biases and discusses the influences of such biases on viewers. 


Dr. Hyeong-Gyu Choi research in digital marketing and its implications on consumer strategy with ongoing research interests of marketing ramifications of social media, consumer media consumption, big data, and marketing analytics.

At Augustana College, his primary pedagogical contributions include Marketing Principles, Strategic Promotion and Advertising, Marketing Research, and Business Statistics.

Winter Term

Shoot like a lady: How gender stereotypes affect the role of sports photojournalists

Nov. 29, 2017

Dr. Carolyn Yaschur - assistant professor of multimedia journalism and mass communication


Photojournalism is historically a male-dominated field, with women representing less than a third of photojournalists. Sports photojournalism is even less gender balanced. Using in-depth interviews of eight photojournalists, this research examines the difference gender makes in this field.

Guided by social role theory, it studies how gender stereotypes impact the work of men and women sports photojournalists. Findings showed stereotypes such as being ladylike, weak, and not liking sports harmed women, while being perceived as nonthreatening helped them in their role. Two stereotypes, being thought of as a mother and a sex object, had both benefits and negative consequences.


I'm an assistant professor in the communication studies department, and primarily teach courses for the multimedia journalism mass communication (MJMC) major. Prior to getting my Ph.D., I was a newspaper photojournalist for 10 years. My background as a photojournalist and interest in the people who create the images led me to explore how gender plays a role in photojournalism.

Bodies in Video Games: Performing Gender in Digital Spaces

Jan. 24, 2018

Dr. George Boone - visiting assistant professor of business administration


The Entertainment Software Association reported that the video game industry as a whole generated over $30 billion in sales during 2016, a fact that points to video games as an enduring and popular media form. As video games have changed over time, the content of games has ventured into new forms of storytelling and genres. Yet stories require players to enact characters and make choices in regards to how their characters will appear, interact with other characters (or players), and perform a gender.

This presentation presents historical examples of games reinforcing traditional gender forms, games that challenged gender norms, and the ways gaming technologies themselves upset our distinctions between body and technology.


At Augustana, Dr. Boone teaches Business Communication and courses related to communication theory. His research approaches video games and other technologies as strategic, political, and economic acts of communication.

Spring Term

The sustainable economy is the feminist economy: how the decommodification of land through community land trusts supports unpaid feminized work

March 21, 2018

Dr. Olivia R. Williams - visiting assistant professor of environmental studies


Scholars of feminist economics and feminist geography have long noted the exclusion and devaluation of women’s labor in formal capitalist markets. Care work, volunteer work, community work, and household work, for example, tend to be primarily done by women without compensation. However, the question of how to value or destigmatize feminized unpaid and underpaid labor remains an open one.

Sustainable economic models (based on slow growth, no growth, or de-growth) offer one avenue for supporting feminized work without simply commoditizing it further. A study of community land trusts illustrates how the partial decommodification of land supports low income people who wish to spend less time at traditional jobs and more time on unpaid labor, like volunteering and caring for children.


Olivia R. Williams earned her Ph.D. in Geography in 2017 from Florida State University. As a scholar of alternative economies, her research evaluates the implications of different models for collectively sharing resources, such as cooperatives, local exchange trading systems, community supported agriculture, or the topic of her current research: community land trusts.

She has utilized qualitative, participatory, and activist co-research methods, and contributed to literature in urban studies, critical geography, and research praxis with articles published in Area, Geoforum, and Geografiska Annaler: Series B, Journal of Urban Affairs, and Urban Geography.

You Talk Like a Girl: Gender, Language, and Gendered Language

April 11, 2018

Dr. Jeffrey Renaud - assistant professor of Spanish linguistics


At the height of the self-help movement, Deborah Tannen published You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation (1990), a guidebook written for a lay audience that primarily instructs women on navigating gender-based differences in language and language use. While academics criticized the book, its arguments permeated the popular discourse, reinforcing the already accepted misconception that differences between the genders with respect to language are inherent, and not a result of socialization.

This talk first dispels the linguistic myths contained in Tannen’s book. I then analyze from a sociolinguistic perspective a dialectal property characteristic of Latin American Spanish in order to document and explain one actual linguistic difference between women and men: the frequency with which stigmatized dialectal properties are attested.

Lastly, I address the gendered nature of the Spanish grammar itself in order to explore how linguists and sociolinguists have approached such issues from today’s decreasingly binary, heteronormative perspective.


Jeffrey Renaud is Assistant Professor of Spanish Linguistics in the Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. He joined Augustana in August of 2014 after completing his Ph.D. at the University of Iowa. His areas of expertise include Spanish phonetics and phonology, and he is currently researching the phonological effects of syllable structure in European Portuguese and irregular stress patterns in Italian verbs.