Expanding the Circle Conference Schedule

SATURDAY November 12
8:30am Registration Opens
9:00am Welcome
9:15am Paper Session 1 - Innovations and challenges for LGBTQ curricula in higher education Luter, "Exploring Queer Identity at a Southern College"
Thomas, "'Where Do We Go From Here?' Race, Class and the Split Between L, G, B and T"
Merryman, "Queering the Study Abroad Experience
10:40am Break
10:50am

Paper Session 2 - Curricular Transformations and LGBTQ Inclusion in K-12 Education

Special Session, 10:50am-12:30pm, Rm 306: Trans*101 at Google Workshop with Marnie Florin and Kevin Perry

Alexander, "LGBT-Inclusive School Curriculum: Tolerance or Acceptance"
Royaltey-Quandt, "Preparing Educational Leaders for Queer Inclusion in Schools"
Woolley, "Intersectionality in a High School Social Studies and English Language Arts Class"

12:15pm Notes from the Field: Nationwide LGBTQ Access to Higher Education Michelle Marzullo
12:30pm Lunch
1:15pm Intersectionality, and Heterosexual and Cisgender Privilege Warren Blumenfeld
2:15pm Break
2:30pm Paper Session 3 - Developing and Adopting Trans* Affirming Practices   Florin & Perry, "Transgender 101 Education for the Workplace"
Very, "Examining the Guidelines of Gender Specialists"
4:00pm Break
4:15pm The Shifting Sands of Being TRANS Theresa Sparks
5:15pm Closing
5:30pm Reception In collaboration with the Kent State University Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality
SUNDAY November 13
8:30am Registration Open
9:00am Welcome
9:15am Paper Session 4 - Activism as History / History as Activism kemp-delisser, "Lessons from Alumni Queer Oral History Project"
Mahr, "Conveniently Lost Histories: Reconciling Space, Time, and Memory"
Valente, "Activism as History / History as Activism"
10:45am Break
11:00am Workshop - Queer Inclusion in Teacher Education Olivia Murray
12:30pm Lunch
1:15pm Transgender Cultural Competency in the Academy and the Field Willy Wilkinson
2:15pm From Awareness to ACTION: A conversation with Arcus Fellows

Sam Offer, Lexus Phillips & Romeo Jackson

Read more about the Arcus Fellowship here.

3:00pm Break
3:15pm Paper Session 5 - Experiences and Studies Related to LGBTQ Visibility in Education Garcia, "LGBTQ English Language Instructors and Sexuality in the Workplace"
Mattheis, "Queering Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs: A Report on the Experiences of LGBTQ Individuals in a State University System"
Peck, "'Blurring Out': Experiments and Experiences with Teaching while Coming Out as Trans / GNC"
4:45pm Closing

See full descriptions below.

Paper session 1 | Innovations and Challenges for LGBTQ Curricula in Higher Education
Presentations in this session focus on curricular and institutional initiatives that speak to LGBTQ students, allies, and advocacy in higher education. It also highlights challenges faced in addressing the needs of LGBTQ students, faculty, and staff.

  • Luter, "Exploring Queer Identity at a Southern College"
  • Thomas, "'Where Do We Go From Here?' Race, Class and the Split Between L, G, B and T"
  • Merryman, "Queering the Study Abroad Experience" 

Exploring Queer Identity at a Southern College
Gary Luter

Inspired by John D'Emilo's Making Trouble, an LGBTQ studies course was created at the University of Tampa in the early 1990's.  Over three decades and following assorted experiments with the content, this course has morphed into a multi-disciplinary examination of mass-mediated signs and signifiers from a non-, anti-, and contra-heterosexual perspective.  There have been successes and failures along the way.  Topics have varied over the years, including an examination of a queer aesthetic in performance art, theater and film; a "queer theory" approach to analyzing cultural icons and constructions; and a review of evolving representations of queerness in America and their sociopolitical consequences.  The one constant feature of this course is the empowerment and affirmation it provides to queer students at Bible Belt school. The genesis and evolution of the course, last taught in spring of 2016, is mapped and surveyed by the course creator/instructor.

"Where Do We Go From Here?" Race, Class and the Split Between L, G, B and T
 Ardel Thomas

Since the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that paved the way for same-sex marriage, we are experiencing a major split between cis gay, lesbian and bi people and trans people (regardless of sexual orientation) within our communities. In my pedagogical approach, I have struggled to work with the ramifications of this rift.  To understand the roots of the problem, we need to explore historic anti-cross-dressing laws, the confusion between gender identity and sexual orientation, and our earliest trans riots and protests that took place in L.A. in 1959 and Philadelphia in 1965. These protests - which were also centered around race issues, inequities and police brutality -  help us understand an ongoing conflict. If students are able to understand a more complete historic picture, then we can move toward constructing a cohesive and compassionate queer community.

Queering the Study Abroad Experience
Molly Merryman

This paper will explore the process of planning and executing a gender-themed Study Abroad trip for LGBTQIA+ students. Topics addressed will include planning enriching gender- and sexuality-themed travel, curricular development for LGBTQIA+ Study Abroad courses, special considerations for travel with LGBTQIA+ students, and impacts and learning outcomes.

Paper session 2 | Curricular Transformations and LGBTQ Inclusion in K-12 Education
While notable efforts are being made to incorporate LGBTQ lives and concerns into K-12 curricula, speakers in this session draw attention to the effectiveness, methods, and preparedness in leadership associated with such initiatives.

  • Alexander, "LGBT-Inclusive School Curriculum: Tolerance of Acceptance"
  • Royaltey-Quandt, "Preparing Educational Leaders for Queer Inclusion in Schools"
  • Woolley, "Intersectionality in a High School Social Studies and English Language Arts Class"

LGBT-Inclusive School Curriculum: Tolerance of Acceptance
Tamara Alexander

In 2011, the State of California amended its educational code to require that social sciences curriculum for grades 1 through 12 include "a study of the role and contributions ... of other ethnic and cultural groups" (California Senate Bill 48). SB 48 became known as the "gay history law" due to its inclusion of LGBT individuals (Lin, 2011). The projected outcome would be inclusion of the LGBT minority into the educational curriculum. Opposing parties insist that the heternormative atmosphere within the schools will be disrupted by sexualizing the curriculum.  Supporters insist on the inclusion of LGBT Americans and their contributions to society as members of a greater inclusive culture. My interest lies in whether or not the implementation of this law will bring about the expected level of acceptance of LGBT equality that works to transform discriminatory educational structures into culturally dynamic ecosystems that dismantle heteronormative privilege.

Preparing Educational Leaders for Queer Inclusion in Schools
Valerie Royaltey-Quandt

Although the scope and magnitude of the job of the school principal has increased and diversified dramatically, preparation for these jobs has remained overwhelmingly static and removed from the increasing demands of actual practice. Educational leaders are required to ensure equitable academic outcomes for all students, regardless of social class, race, gender, language, cultural identity, or other factors-including sexual orientation. In the rapidly changing political and social landscape for LGBTIQ people, there is an increasing need to define the educational impact of marginalizaton on queer youth. For school leaders specifically, the job of maintaining a social justice focus on this subgroup is imperative if all students are to receive equitable treatment in schools, and achieve equitable academic and developmental outcomes. This presentation explores queer transformative leadership theory and how strategies and attributes of educational leaders can interrogate and disrupt the heteronormative foundation of the public education system.

Intersectionality in a High School Social Studies and English Language Arts Class
Susan Woolley

When race and ethnicity are the curricular focus in the fall semester and focused study on gender and sexuality is reserved for the spring semester, teaching toward intersectionality proves to be a complicated challenge. Drawing on an intersectional analysis, respecting intersectional identities, or centering ones examination on intersectional axes of privilege and oppression are ways in which teachers can teach toward intersectionality. Yet, each class provides different conditions of possibility which shape the limitations and opportunities for what can be accomplished in an academic course. Based on three years of ethnographic research in a Northern California public high school, this work examines the curricular and pedagogical approaches toward teaching LGBTQ, gender, and sexuality studies in one social studies and English language arts class. This presentation carefully considers the ways the teacher and students incorporate intersectionality in their everyday study of LGBTQ issues, gender, and sexuality in a high school class.

Notes from the Field: Nationwide LGBTQ Access to Higher Education
Michelle Marzullo

This talk will discuss insights from an ongoing, nationwide longitudinal study on LGBTQ college students. It will discuss broad insights from a 5 year, ongoing longitudinal study of LGBTQ college students in the U.S. by examining qualitative and quantitative data insights. The talk will conclude by discussing question development for gender identity/expression, limitations and methodological considerations for LGBTQ respondents.

Keynote

Intersectionality, and Heterosexual and Cisgender Privilege
Warren J. Blumenfeld

According to Erik Erikson, preeminent developmental psychologist, individuals possess an innate drive for identity, an inborn lifetime quest to know who they are, which powers their personality development. Educational psychologist, Anita Woolfolk, defines "identity" as "...the organization of the individual's drives, abilities, beliefs, and history into a consistent image of self." Depending on our multiple and intersecting identities, society grants us simultaneously a great array of unearned privileges or benefits while marginalizing us based solely on these identities. Therefore, we can understand forms of privilege along a continuum or spectrum rather than conceiving them as binary opposites. Dr. Warren J. Blumenfeld discusses the intersectionality (or positionality) of identities and, specifically, addresses issues of heterosexual and cisgender privilege within educational and business institutions.

Paper session 3 | Developing and Adopting Trans* Affirming Practices

  • Florin, TBD
  • Very, "Examining the Guidelines of Gender Specialists"

Examining the Guidelines of Gender Specialists
JS Very

This workshop will provide an overview on how the requirements of Gender Specialists have evolved over time. The presentation will review the existing scholarly literature published on Gender Specialists, as well as Trans Friendly, and Trans Affirming Psychotherapists. The facilitator will discuss why Gender Specialists are held to rigorous standards, and outline the responsibilities and ethics around this title. The facilitator will encourage participants to discuss the topic of assessments related to pre-surgical preparation and post-operative recovery. The content in this presentation is geared towards psychotherapists who specialize in trans/gender non-conforming clients, and have an advanced knowledge of gender speciality. However, participants with limited knowledge of trans/gender non-conforming issues would benefit greatly from the content and discussions as well. All participants will be given a current and comprehensive resource list of relevant trainings and CEUS specific to California for the year of 2016.

Keynote

The Shifting Sands of Being TRANS
Theresa Sparks

Developing public policy for the transgender community has always been controversial but doing so when the TRANS experience is changing, growing and re-defining itself constantly is uniquely challenging particularly when a clear direction has yet to be defined.
How does a policy body address the ever-changing needs of the transgender, gender-fluid, non-binary, gender queer community when it is re-making itself at an unprecedented rate. What happens when even basic definitions and  descriptors continue to change so fast that, at no one point, does everyone agree. How can forward-looking approaches be institutionalized when opinions are more and more generational, the younger community does not relate to "dated" ideas and the older hold tightly to the concepts developed by their contemporaries. San Francisco is leagues ahead of other regions both in the US and globally in TRANS-policy development but how can the leader continue to lead when the final direction has yet to be determined.



Paper session 4 | Activism as History / History as Activism
This panel is dedicated to examining the extent to which activism and history can be mutually beneficial to improving the campus climate for LGBTQ students. It speaks both to possibilities and particular efforts undertaken at a small liberal arts college.

  • kemp-delisser, "Lessons from Alumni Queer Oral History Project"
  • Mahr, "Conveniently Lost Histories: Reconciling Space, Time, and Memory"
  • Valente, "Activism as History / History as Activism"

Lessons from Alumni Oral History Project
khristian kemp-delisser

This presentation will share results and themes from a project Colgate's LGBTQ Initiatives office launched in order to collect and compile oral histories of LGBTQA alumni.  The project explored specifically questions such as: When and how did LGBTQ-related campus traditions get their start? What drew the attention and participation of LGBTQA people prior to achieving a critical mass or visible community? What were the formal and informal ways students sought community through the years? Who were the staff/faculty members who provided support/mentorship for LGBTQA students and their allies? What social/political shifts influenced institutional advancements toward full LGBTQ-inclusion? Moreover, at the heart of the project is a desire among current students and staff to access the knowledge and lessons from alumni and foster intergenerational ties and relationship that strengthen both the alum's connection to their alma mater and the current student's sense of historical context.

Conveniently Lost Histories: Reconciling Space, Time, & Memory
Jake Mahr

As a student activist at Colgate University, it's become apparent that history and tradition serve as testaments to the worth of communities and organizations on campus. Unfortunately for LGBTQ students, the school's recorded history of queer experiences is often fraught with holes, discrepancies, and inaccuracies, leaving the community to act without a solid foundation. Further, while the complete history of queer lives at Colgate may never be known, more accurate accounts remain elusive. This presentation will shine light on recent student projects that not only highlight the importance of historical context for marginalized communities, but also reveal how uncovering such a history can be a form of activism. It will also stress the attention recent social justice efforts and projects have placed on cultural production (i.e. zines, posters, photographic documentation) to ensure archival for the future.

Activism as History, History as Activism
Kenneth G. Valente

The impulse for activism among LGBTQ-identified people and their many allies is -- and has long been -- one that is urgently felt. It responds to injustices and asymmetries that justifiably call for immediate attention and action. In many cases these actions can or might be effectively informed by our own histories; yet these histories are often difficult to uncover. Further, activism that takes place on college and university campuses can be particularly difficult to document as our students, who are typically among the most engaged and invested actors, come and go. This presentation is intended to provide general comments and observations that encourage us to productively entangle activism and history, particularly as part of our work to improve the climate for LGBTQ-identified people in educational settings.

Workshop

Queer Inclusion in Teacher Education
Olivia Murray

This session is designed as an interactive dialogue. The decision to use this format is deliberate as one of the goals will be to increase the level of LGBTQ visibility by modeling the creation of a safe(r) forum within which to explore personal perspectives, assumptions, and uncertainties. The session will begin with an introduction to establish community and provide context. The presenter will share her Framework for Queer Inclusion in Education and synthesize the steps she took to lead her colleagues in adopting policy and practices that promote LGBTQ advocacy in teacher education. Next, participants will engage in small group discussion addressing probing questions to make sense of the framework and to share their own experiences with gender and sexual orientation, and how these themes surface in professional practice. Finally, time will be allocated for participants to share big ideas/"take aways" and raise questions before cutting to a short conclusion.

Keynote

Transgender Cultural Competency in the Academy and the Field
Willy Wilkinson

While the basic human rights of trans people are under attack, there have also been unprecedented federal victories affirming equal access for trans people in education and health care. What do these victories mean, and what does transgender cultural competency look like in academic settings and in the field? Join the author of the Lambda Literary Award-winning book Born on the Edge of Race and Gender: A Voice for Cultural Competency for a lively discussion about trans-affirming services and systems in educational and community health settings. We will explore respectful interactions, equal access to gender-specific settings, records management, confidentiality, residential accommodations, culturally and medical competent health care, leadership development, and more.

From Awareness to ACTION: A conversation with Arcus Fellows
Sam Offer, Lexus Phillips & Romeo Jackson

Each year, Arcus Fellows are chosen and charged with building leadership capacity of LGBTQ students, in order to improve their campus' climate. This session will provide an opportunity to learn more about the amazing projects and journeys of last year's Arcus Fellows. Each attending fellow will briefly share their project, experiences and lessons learned. Come acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate their hard work and success. Join us for this fun and informative dialogue.

Read more about the Arcus Fellowship here.

Paper session 5 | Experiences and Studies Related to LGBTQ Visibility in Education
This session features empirical studies and personal experiences that shed light on the ways by which teaching professionals are effected by and might be better prepared for increasing the visibility of LGBTQ individuals and concerns in education.

  • Garcia, "LGBTQ English Language Instructors and Sexuality in the Workplace"
  • Mattheis, "Queering Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs: A Report on the Experiences of LGBTQ Individuals in a State University System"
  • Peck, "'Blurring Out': Experiments and Experiences with Teaching while Coming Out as Trans / GNC"

LGBTQ English Language Instructors and Sexuality in the Workplace
Pablo Garcia

My research explores issues of sexual identity in the teaching profession.  Specifically, I examine LGBTQ English language instructors.  This is important, in the context of changes in policies that address gay and lesbian identities in the last decade.  With the very recent U.S. Supreme Court's decision to legalize same sex marriage, perhaps the visibility of gay and lesbian teaching professionals in the workplace has increased and they can now serve as positive role models for language learners.  I will conduct a qualitative research study in which I gather first person narratives, by conducting one-on-one interviews, observations, and maintain an on-line dialogue of weekly structured responses.  The purpose is to shed light on their experiences as teaching professionals, how they navigate their sexual identity in different classroom contexts, and their perceptions of sociocultural factors affecting their visibility that are not addressed in the existing body of literature.

Queering Educational Leadership Doctoral Programs: A Report on the Experiences of LGBTQ Individuals in a State University System
Allison Mattheis

Although many Educational Doctorate (EdD) programs are oriented toward issues of social justice and serving marginalized communities, gender and sexuality remain underexplored as topics in coursework. The heteronormative nature of the educational spaces in which many EdD students work as professionals (in both K-12 schools and higher education) creates additional silence around these aspects of identity, and can create blind spots on the part of researchers. We used a transformative queer theory framework to analyze data collected from surveys completed by 108 respondents and interviews conducted with 16 people in a statewide university system, and identified the following themes that described participant experiences: cohort structure; intersectional identities; differing perceptions based on role; and the role of allies. We end this presentation with suggestions for improvement and opportunities for growth offered by the expansion of coverage of LGBTQ topics and the use of queer theory perspectives in EdD programs.

Experiments and Experiences with Teaching while Coming Out as Trans /GNC
Nico Peck

This paper explores strategies and responses around coming out in the higher education profession as trans, drawing on my own experiences as an adjunct instructor for the past five years. From navigating the increasingly salient issue of bathrooms to the intersectionality of adjunct trans life, this paper seeks to make the institutional oppression of non-normative employees more visible, while also recounting my personal journey toward living and working more fully outside the gender binary. This essay poses questions about responsibility, agency, and liberation, while drawing on the thinking of communication theorists, ecologists, spiritual teachers, philosophers, and poets. As a working poet and artist myself, the process of coming out as trans at work became an opportunity to explore a different way to create the awareness of difference, to sculpt this awareness from the inside out. I chose to explore a less comfortable mode, one that I call "blurry." This indirect coming-out mode has carved a deeper knowing within the social environment at work. By using word-of-mouth, this blurring of my identity at work occurred and continues to occur, just as I am always in transition, so too is the workplace environment perpetually focusing and refocusing on the moving, blurry target of my so-called gender.

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