Gender Studies Student speaks at Notre Dame University Conference

by Katie McConnell | Apr 16, 2014

Two years ago, Marian University introduced the gender studies minor, an interdisciplinary minor that allows students to study and understand the impact of gender. On April 6, Olivia Gehrich ’14, spoke to peers at the annual gender studies conference at Notre Dame University. In May, Gehrich will be one of the first students to graduate with the gender studies minor.

The conference, titled Bursting Gender’s Bubble, spanned over two days and consisted of five panels with a total of 33 presentations. The research presented at the conference came from many disciplines, ranging from sociology to literature and science. For the conference, Gehrich presented her senior thesis, “The Sacrament of Sexual Agency: A Feminist Critique of Mary Gordon’s Final Payments.”

In her presentation, Gehrich shows how patriarchal religions undermine female sexual agency by controlling women through the male gaze. Gehrich began this project in the special topics course, “Representations of Catholicism in Literature.” She then continued her research in Senior Seminar, which is Marian University’s senior capstone class.

Gehrich is a senior English major with minors in theatre and gender studies. Prior to the conference, she presented a photo essay project on gender at the Marian University Undergraduate Conference in Excellence in Research and Scholarship. Gehrich took photos of Marian University students posing with different props that are usually associated with a certain gender.

In addition to research opportunities, the gender studies program offers many opportunities for students to learn beyond the classroom. Throughout the year, the program holds “Dinner and Discussion,” where faculty, staff, and students are invited to come together and talk about various gender-related topics over dinner.

Gehrich’s presentation “The Sacrament of Sexual Agency: A Feminist Critique of Mary Gordon’s Final Payments” will be offered again at the Honors Research Conference on Friday, May 2. Prior to graduation, the Honors Research Conference is held annually as an opportunity for senior honors students to present the research they’ve done over the past four years.

News Media Contact

Mark Apple
Vice President of Marketing Communications
(317) 955-6775

Meeting people through student government
Getting involved in student government helped Oluwabanwo Adeniyi '21 feel like she’s part of the campus community.
Watch Bami's story
Building relationships with faculty and coaches
After he explored his college options, Conor Smith '20 decided to choose Marian because of his interest in athletics and exercise science.
Read Conor's story
Following her dream to be a dentist
After graduating cum laude with Marian's Class of 2017, Chrislyn (Church) Fite is well on her way.
Read Chrislyn's story

© 2017 Marian University
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Marian University does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, sex, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, creed, national origin, age or disabilities in the selection of administrative personnel, faculty and staff, and students.
*Placement rates are gathered from data collected from graduates within six months of graduation.