Monthly Archives: October 2020

Banner image for "Sarah Doyle Center Gender Politics Crossword Puzzle Challenge" with a geometric background and pink and black color palette.

Sarah Doyle Center Crossword Puzzle Challenge – Gender Politics Edition

By: The Sarah Doyle Center Staff

The Sarah Doyle Center for Women and Gender presents a mid-term crossword puzzle challenge around gender politics for this upcoming election week. While this is by no means an exhaustive history of gender politics, this crossword puzzle reveals people, movements, and legislation across time that have had a direct impact on women and gender in the U.S. We wish to thank Amanda Knox, assistant archivist at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, for providing those questions pertaining to the history of women and gender at Brown (HINT: you may need to consult the Pembroke Center archives to answer those questions).

As you work on this puzzle may you be reminded of the power of people’s voices and the ongoing fights for social justice still happening today. Those members of the Brown University community who answer all questions correctly will be entered in a drawing to win a copy of Martha S. Jones’ new book Vanguard: How Black Women Broke Barriers, Won the Vote, and Insisted on Equality for All. There will be 2 opportunities to win! Puzzle challenge will close on Sunday, November 8th [Sunday, November 15th *new deadline*].

Happy puzzling and please remember to VOTE on November 3rd!


You can complete the puzzle online at the link below:

When you are finished, click the “Submit Answers” button on the left and enter your name and Brown email address (you do not need to create an account on the crossword puzzle site to play).

Photo of a blue sky with clouds with the words "sarah doyle thesis writing group" and "writing a thesis? taking a feminist approach in your work? asking questions around gender? join our new writing community"

Take a Seat: Sarah Doyle Center Collaborative Thesis Writing Collective

By: Billie McKelvie ’21, American Studies Concentrator, Sarah Doyle Center Zine Librarian 

The Sarah Doyle Center is starting a collaborative thesis writing collective.

Maybe the most disheartening thing about being asked to sever ourselves from our in-person networks is the unknown conversations we lose. We can’t predict what they might have been, and only know that for some of us, like me, those moments of spontaneous connection breathed life into our days and our work. The material losses of the center’s quiet nooks and warm embraces are deeply felt. 

We are all called to slow down and peel back the layers of our work to find its emotional core. As a staffer at the Sarah Doyle Center, this question has been present for me in the reevaluation of our community role having lost access to the physical space that had so joyfully become our home. As its absence sets in, I’ve had time to notice the function of the space in my own life and those around me who have used it not just as a landing place but a point of collaboration between students, mentors, artists, texts, and history. It is these spaces of casual cooperation, where we are able to unbutton ourselves and exhale our worries, that we do the real work of living.

Relational exchange is at the core of feminist principles. It is the uniting thread between reproduction, continuance, kinship, solidarity, and collectivity among others. Rejecting the patronizing voice of academia means consenting to speak from where we are situated and to build real networks of collaboration with our peers. The university asks us to have individual schedules, theses, processes, and even ideas. Knowledge should not be an individualist process of personal accumulation, and to be fair, it hardly ever is. When possible, the center strives to be a place where students can step outside of these boundaries of self-ascension to learn and be with each other in the co-making of new worlds. 

So many of the texts we use to ground our work have been written collaboratively, too. Before the pandemic, we had planned to host Margo Okazawa-Rey of the Combahee River Collective, a Black Feminist organizing group from the 1970s. The Combahee River Collective statement continues to jolt the world into action around collective liberation from white supremacy and heteropatriarchy by providing an intersectional framework for analysis and action. The Collective’s work has uprooted and reconstituted the feminist movement, not through an individual process alone at a desk, but in its co-making process with peers and call to collective action. The Combahee River Collective is not just a singular miraculous case of mutual thinking, writing and calls to action–it is far from it. 

In feminist history an overwhelming amount of work has been produced/enacted from a position of collaboration instead of isolation. Texts like This Bridge Called My Back, Our Bodies Ourselves, countless essay collections, oral histories, the more recent Feminism for the 99% and Feminisms in Motion, speak to the power of collective writing as an intervention. This writing inspires us as another way to be in the process of knowledge production. We can challenge ourselves to be knowledge sharers rather than producers, and strengthen our commitment to justice over personal gain. 

Can we resist individualism in isolated times? How can we offer energy as well as support? What does our work need right now? What do students need right now? What is this center? These are questions whose responses have guided this idea. 

See this group as an opportunity–a tool that will be reshaped by the people who come to live in its space. It is an open floor, a support system, a rejuvenation, or a room with a ring of empty chairs. Join us. 

The Sarah Doyle Center Thesis writing group will meet on a regular basis over zoom. It is open to all students who are working on a thesis or capstone project that relates to gender or takes a feminist approach. 

For more information and to sign up, fill out our interest form linked here.

What is Feminist Art: A Virtual Exhibition of Children’s Artwork

By: Shanelle Haile, PhD Student in the Department of Sociology and Grad Parent Coordinator at the Sarah Doyle Center

We received 23 submissions during our open call for feminist art from the youth in the Brown community. Children were asked to create feminist works of art. The open call’s interpretation of “feminist art” includes abstract art submissions, such as the epic Dibble Dibble Dap Dap by Winter (age 3); depictions of historical figures Frida Kahlo, Harriet Tubman, and Annie Oakley in The Dessert Party by Lola (age 7); and a Lego sculpture by Milo (age 5). I was particularly inspired by the work of our teenage artists, Bella (age 15) and Natalia (age 16), who submitted thematic pieces (Grow Further and Crying), which invite us to reflect on varied gendered experiences. For example, when I look at Grow Further I think of the liberating nature of knowledge. Crying makes me think of the complexity of social norms surrounding femininity. I don’t know whether these interpretations are what our two young, talented artists had in mind but this is the beauty of art. Each of us take from a piece what speaks to us.

I hope you also enjoy this virtual exhibition of children’s artistic expression. The children in our community are certainly a creative group of budding young artists. Cultivating their talents continues our work at the Sarah Doyle Center to foster community and encourage the next generation of potential feminist thinkers and artists.

Note: Five submissions were selected at random to win one of our art kits. The winners are: Claudeline Chery, Chantel Pheiffer, Regina Peick, Laura Stokes, and Isabel Mattia! Winners will be contacted via email.

Children colorful painting drawing on the wall, child dreams, background texture

The Future of Feminist Art: An Open Call for Children’s Art

By: Shanelle Haile, PhD Student in the Department of Sociology and Grad Parent Coordinator at the Sarah Doyle Center

We are kicking off a new academic year of feminist parenting programming by inviting your children to submit works of art to the Sarah Doyle Center’s Radical Roots blog. Feminist art is often associated with the feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s, a movement that challenged male dominance, sought the recognition of women in society and questioned gender assumptions. Thus, artwork categorized as feminist often depicts images and concepts pertaining to gender in society. We welcome feminist art submissions that depict these images and concepts but also recognize that some of our little ones are only just learning how to hold a crayon. So we also invite “abstract art” submissions. Take a look at the short video linked here where my own toddler creates a doodle titled “Love”; doodling can be a great way for young children to express themselves during the early stages of their artistic development. Abstract art can also be a means for older children to create images that are unbound to gender or to gendered concepts. And the best thing about it is that no special tools are needed!

Submit your child’s work of art (whether feminist or abstract) by October 20th and be entered to win one of five art kits. Each art kit includes a book Women in Art: 50 Fearless Women Who Inspired the World and an art toolkit for doodling and drawing. All submissions will be digitized and added to the SDC blog/digital art gallery. Simply snap a photo of your child’s artwork and upload on this google form. We welcome artwork from children of all Brown University graduate and medical students, staff, faculty, and postdoc parents.

Be sure to check the SDC Blog for programming updates and to view your child’s featured artwork.

For an abstract art idea, take a look at the Dangerous Doodle instruction video linked HERE for an easy abstract art tutorial.

Image credit: Raimonds Kalva LV/