SUNY Potsdam's Malone Series to feature SLU's Willis


St. Lawrence University Visiting Assistant Professor in Gender and Sexuality Studies Dr. Jessica L. Willis will present a talk as part of SUNY Potsdam’s Anne Righton Malone Women’s and Gender Studies Lecture Series on Tuesday, Sept. 29, at 4 p.m. in the eighth floor lounge of Raymond Hall.

Dr. Willis’ talk, “Girls Constructing Identity and Transforming ‘Femininity’: Intersections between Empirical and Theoretical Understandings of 21st Century ‘Girlhood,’” examines the divergent and agentive ways that girls construct identities by drawing from varying discourses of femininity.

Utilizing a cross-disciplinary approach, individual interviews and the related data analysis focus on ways in which girls, through their meaning-making and decision-making contribute to diverse cultural constructions of female subjectivity.

Dr. Willis received her Ph.D. in women and gender studies from Clark University in Massachusetts. Her Master of Arts degree in clinical feminist psychology was awarded by New College of California in San Francisco. Her Bachelor of Arts degree was completed in literature and women studies at University California Santa Cruz.

Presently, Dr. Willis is teaching “Cinema of Childhood,” “Gender and Society” and “Sexual Citizenship” at St. Lawrence University. Her research focuses on preadolescent girls and their reformulation of discourses of “femininity.”

Her most recent publications include “Sexual Subjectivity: A semiotic analysis of girlhood, sex, and sexuality in the film” featured in “Sexuality and Culture” and “Signifying Girlhood – Cultural images of girlhood and semiotic meaning-making by girls in the 21st century, U.S., in Sokol, R.I.”

Her “Girls reconstructing gender: Agency, hybridity, and transformations in “femininity” is forthcoming in the “Girlhood Studies Interdisciplinary Journal.”
The lecture is free, and the public is invited to attend.

Womens and Gender Studies Program
(315) 267-2079 |