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Gender Studies Writing Contest

Each Spring the Gender Studies program sponsors a campus-wide writing contest. Any student may enter by submitting any course paper that focuses on a gender issue. Evaluators judge papers according to uniqueness of topic, depth and integration of research, strength of argument, clarity, and style. Junior & Senior level: top 3 papers - $100 each. First-year and sophomore level: top 2 papers - $100 each. Detailed Information on submission is available in the spring.

Gender studies sponsored/co-sponsored events

Spring 2015

Date/Time Place Event/Speaker Title/Details
Wednesday, January 14 7:00pm Meeter Center Lecture Hall Jamin Warren

Sexism in Video Games: Changing The Conversation

Jamin Warren founded videogame arts and culture company Kill Screen. Formerly a culture reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he has been an advocate for game culture and served as an advisor to MoMA's department of Architecture and Design. He currently hosts the PBS Game/Show on youtube, in which he explores the art and culture of games and gaming. Jamin has consistently opened dialogue about gender dynamics in games and in gaming culture. He thoughtfully challenges the gaming community to engage with ideas it often avoids.
Co-sponsored by the Gender Studies Department, Gender Equality Now, and the Video Game Sphere

Wednesday, January 21 7:00pm

Bytwerk Theater Film Screening

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide (film). Part 2

The second part of the Half the Sky documentary focuses on maternal mortality, forced and generational prostitution, economic empowerment. Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s groundbreaking book, Half the Sky takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide. Take an unforgettable journey with six actress/activists and New York Times journalist Kristof to meet some of the most courageous individuals of our time, who are doing extraordinary work to empower women and girls everywhere. These are stories of heartbreaking challenge, dramatic transformation and enduring hope. You will be shocked, outraged, brought to tears. Most important, you will be inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the capabilities of women and girls to realize their staggering potential. Half the Sky is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world’s women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. Our future is in the hands of women, everywhere.

Cosponsored by International Development Studies, Sociology and Social Work, Gender Studies, Voices Against Human-Trafficking, Gender Equity Now, Social Justice Coalition.

Thursday, February 5 7:00pm Covenant Fine Arts Center Auditorium Mark Yarhouse

Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture

Few topics are more contested today than gender identity. In the fog of the culture war, complex issues like gender dysphoria are reduced to slogans and sound bites. And while the war rages over language, institutions and political allegiances, transgender individuals are the ones who end up being the casualties. Mark Yarhouse, an expert in sexual identity and therapy, challenges the church to rise above the political hostilities and listen to people’s stories. In this talk based on his forthcoming book of the same title, Dr. Yarhouse offers a Christian perspective on transgender issues that eschews simplistic answers and appreciates the psychological and theological complexity, engaging the latest research while remaining pastorally sensitive to the experiences of each person.

Sponsored by the Sexuality Series, Campus Ministries, Broene Counseling Center, Psychology, Sociology and Social Work, Gender Studies, Residence Life, Gender Equality Now, the Gender Equity Committee and SAGA.

Wednesday, April 8 7:00pm

Commons Lecture Hall Wendy VanderWal-Gritter

Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church

Wendy VanderWal-Gritter, author of Generous Spaciousness: Responding to Gay Christians in the Church, has served as Executive Director of New Direction Ministries of Canada since 2002. Wendy completed her Master of Divinity degree in 1999 and is in the final thesis stage of her doctorate. Wendy is a passionate advocate for those who have been hurt or marginalized by the church. She believes that the church is impoverished if any voices are missing from the conversation. She is an internationally recognized contributor in the conversations around faith and sexuality. As an avid student of the church, she is committed to equipping the local congregation to nurture hospitality.

Cosponsored by the Sexuality Series and Gender Studies


Wednesday, April 22


Writing Contest

Junior & Senior level: top 3 papers - $100 each
First-year and sophomore level:
top 2 papers - $100 each
Submit a Spring 2014–Spring 2015 course paper that focuses on a gender issue for this campus-wide writing contest. E-mail an electronic copy to

Evaluators will judge papers according to uniqueness of topic, depth and integration of research, strength of argument, clarity, and style.

Paper winners will be announced at the Gender Studies end of the year party, Monday, May 4, 3:30pm.

Monday, May 4 3:30pm Meeter Center Lecture Hall Book Reception and End of Year Party Join us as we celebrate the book release of A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism,written by Calvin College History Professor Kristin Du Mez. We will also announce the winners of the Gender Studies Writing Contest. Refreshments will be served.

Past Events