Women's conference convenes at USF

02/08/08 Arielle Stevenson
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With Women’s history month being just a few weeks away, the University of South Florida hosted day one of the third annual Florida Consortium for Women’s studies conference in Tampa today. This year’s theme is femininity and masculinity in the global context.

Kim Vaz in the chair of the department of women’s studies at USF, she spoke with WMNF about the Florida Consortium for Women’s Studies and discussed some of the challenges facing professors of women’s studies today.

LaMonda Horton-Stalling, a University of Florida assistant professor of English spoke at the women’s conference this weekend. In the midst of the Don Immus scandal Stalling responded to what happened in a paper titled, "In defense of nappy head hoes and other women who sell body on athletics and sex work." Dr. Horton-Stalling says the paper began as a rant at two in morning but really developed into something else altogether.

Students and professors held discussion panels on Queer studies, world writers, and health disparities in aging womens populations. Dr. Horton-Stalling described in her presentation what she calls the “politics of hoeing.”

Dr. Horton described going to camp every summer in North Carolina as a young girl and deciding to try swimming lessons, which most of the young black girls stayed away from because of the damage it did to their hair. She describes a pivotal moment in her youth facing both the culturally unacceptable state of her hair and the sudden advance of puberty and how this affected her perception of “the politics of hoeing.”

Those who had been in swimming lessons had to take a test at the end of summer, here Dr. Horton-Stalling describes how this sport combined with what she calls “the politics of hoeing,” made her embrace herself to do better.

The Florida Consortium Third Annual Women’s conference continues tomorrow in Tampa where discussion panel will center on creating a new standpoint on feminism and challenging institutions.

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