Students to tackle race, gender and sexuality


Race, gender and sexuality will be in focus at UVM March 13.

On this date, UVM will host the 11th annual UVM Student Conference on Race, Gender and Sexuality.

The conference will include presentations by students who submitted various scholarly papers and creative works.

These works explore the themes of the event, according to the gender, sexuality and women’s studies program.

Sophomore Christina Tsitso said she will be attending the conference for the first time this year.

“I don’t know much about the issues being presented, which is why I want to go to the conference,” Tsitso said. “I think it’s great that students feel comfortable being so open with an audience.”

Professor Emily Bernard is a key member involved with the conference.

Bernard works in the English department and is the interim director of the ALANA U.S. ethnic studies program.

Bernard said she is on the planning committee and selection panel for the conference.

The works submitted by students are “creative, intellectual… not just scholarly,” Bernard said.

“The conference is like a performance,” she said. “Students always come away being pleased to have their work submitted, chosen and presented.”

Sophomore Andie Parento said she is interested in the conference.

“It’s important that the UVM community be aware and supportive of various issues regarding race, gender and sexuality,” Parento said. “I’m excited to see what the students have to say about it.”

Bernard said that the conference will also include a talk from keynote speaker professor Crystal Feimster from Yale University.

Feimster’s academic focus is racial and sexual violence, according to her profile on the Yale website.

She is currently completing a project that focuses on rape during the Civil War, according to the website.

The conference is cosponsored by the race and ethnic studies program and the gender, sexuality and women’s studies program, according to their website.