Senior Kendra Nickel and Junior Hilry Hazelwood presented the results of their independent research project at the Southeastern Association of Women’s Studies in Charlotte, NC last weekend. Nickel is a Communications major and Hazelwood is an English major and both are Women’s and Gender Studies minors.
Their research project, directed by Dr. Lisa Peloquin, is entitled “Feminisms in Higher Education: A Case Study of Elon University.” In their work they explore how feminism manifests itself in the lives of students, faculty, and staff of Elon University and how it breaks from orthodox interpretations of feminist activism. Beside researching in the Elon archives, Nickel and Hazelwood conducted oral histories of people involved in Women’s and Gender Studies over the past 30 years. Among other insights, their research raises awareness about how traditional conceptualizations of the feminist movement are not universal and that methods of activism are highly influenced by the politics of geography and culture.
In addition to presenting at the conference, Nickel and Hazelwood had the opportunity to hear and meet bell hooks (photo included), an important feminist theorist and social activist.