2022 Presenters

Keynote Speaker

Profile picture for Dr. Natalie Lira

Dr. Natalie Lira, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Natalie Lira is an interdisciplinary scholar and Assistant Professor in the Department of Latina/Latino Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. Dr. Lira earned her Ph.D. in American Culture from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include the politics of reproduction, histories of medicine, and the ways that struggles for racial and reproductive justice intersect. She is an expert on eugenic sterilization, co-director of the Sterilization and Social Justice Lab, and author of the book Laboratory of Deficiency: Sterilization and Confinement in California, 1900-1950s. You can find her work in Aztlán: A Journal of Chicano Studies, the American Journal of Public Health, and Latino Studies


Genesis Agosto, University of Nebraska – Lincoln – “Involuntary Sterilization of Native American Women.”
Genesis M. Agosto is a final year, dual-degree student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she is pursuing a J.D. through the College of Law and an M.A. in History. Her research focuses on the legal history of marginalized people, particularly Native Americans and Puerto Ricans, and female reproductive rights. Her forthcoming publication, “Involuntary Sterilization of Native American Women in United States: A Legal Approach”, is an interdisciplinary legal inquiry piece that spotlights the United States’ involvement in the involuntary sterilization of Native American women during the 1970s.

Emmanuella Amoh, Purdue University – “The American and un-American: Pauli Murray and Shirley Graham Du Bois in Nkrumah’s Ghana, 1961-1966.”
Emmanuella Amoh is currently a third-year Ph.D. history candidate at Purdue University. Her research interests include; Modern African history, Diaspora African history, African American Studies and Women Studies. Amoh has two papers currently in the process of publication; the first is “The Dilemma of Diasporic Africans: Adger Emerson Player and Anti-Americanism in Kwame Nkrumah’s Ghana” to be publish in the African Studies Review and the second is “Revisiting Kwame Nkrumah’s African Personality: The Diaspora Context and the Making of Ghana Television” to be publish in Ghana Studies journal.

Sarah Bartlett, Iowa State University – “Embracing Ambiguity: Examining a New Framework for the study of Ancient Athenian Women on Attic Pottery.”
Sarah Bartlett is a Master’s student at Iowa State University in Anthropology with a graduate certificate in Preservation and Cultural Heritage. She studies women in Ancient Athens. Specifically, she looks at, how a move away from the strict study of written sources alone towards a methodology that incorporates material culture can help us move away from the andro- and ethnocentric work of the past which has mischaracterized women’s place in the public sphere. She argues for a reexamination of the scholarship of the past to understand the origins of these narratives to better understand how they have persisted for so long and to understand how they can be dismantled. The goals of her research are to understand why we tend to write women out of human history and how we can use that knowledge to craft a future that no longer writes off the contributions of women as insignificant outliers.

Chelsea Buggs, University of Memphis – “‘Strained to the Breaking Point’: I am Me: Black Middle-class Women’s Intellectual-Activism, Public Spaces, & Identity Construction & Demonstration in the Jim/Jane Crow Era, 1880- 1930.”
Under the mentorship of Drs. Aram Goudsouzian, Beverly Bond, and Brian Kwoba, Chelsea Buggs is currently a Ph.D. ABD history candidate at the illustrious University of Memphis. Ms. Buggs is the 2021 Dr. William and Helen Lucille Gillaspie Scholarship recipient. Ms. Buggs’ current research interests include: African American women, intersectionality, positionality, and self-determinism, identity formation and demonstration, Race women’s intellectual-activism on local, national, and international levels, anti-Blackness, and the connections between white supremacy and Black liberation. Currently, Ms. Buggs is researching the connection between white supremacy and Black liberation via exploring the intellectual-activism and identity formation and demonstration of late 19th-20th century middle-class Black women in Memphis, TN.

Catherine Drzewiecki, San Diego State University – “Bars, Social Hygiene Clinics, and Mixed-Race Babies: The Flourishing Sex Industry Near US Military Bases in the Philippines”
Catherine Drzewiecki is a second year Master’s student at San Diego State University’s history department. She received her Bachelor of History degree in 2019 at the University of California, Riverside. Her current research aims to bring attention to the Filipino Amerasian population born during the Cold War era. Through analyzing the cultural and political environment in which they were born and grew up in, she hopes to understand why this population was excluded from U.S. legislation benefiting other Amerasian ethnic groups in the 1980s. In the future, she plans to pursue her PhD in history.

Caroline Greer, George Mason University – “Sites of Spectacle and Sites of Sacrifice.”
Caroline Greer is a second-year Ph.D. student in the History Department at George Mason University as well as a research assistant at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media. She currently works on American Religious Ecologies, a project digitizing and transcribing schedules from the 1926 US Census of Religious Bodies. This project also centers on data analysis and visualizations. Her interest in female preachers is also developed in this project, where she has been doing research and writing about women found in the census schedules. This paper came out of research from her master’s thesis and an ongoing interest in women, gender, and the body that she hopes will develop into a dissertation.

Fernando Jauregui, California State University – “The Agent of Transformation: Cauim and Tupinamba Women in Sixteenth-Century Brazill.”
Fernando Jauregui is a graduate student at California State University, Los Angeles, where he is specializing in Indigenous peoples of Brazil during the Sixteenth Century. In 2019, he graduated from Cal State LA with a Bachelor’s degree in History. He is a first generation college student and his scholarly interests include: Gender studies, Environmental studies in sixteenth-century century Brazil, indigenous people, and social and cultural histories. He hopes to decolonize the archives and uncover the silenced voices and experiences of the indigenous people of Brazil to further understand their society and history.

Patrick Levine, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign – “From Wimps & Nerds to Mass Shooters and Incels Political Bodies and the Rage of Some Marginalized Men.”

Patrick Levine is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana. He has published two book reviews in respected journals; dealing with topics of masculinity, feminist policies, gender & politics. Patrick’s current research focus is a radical departure from typical gender and sexuality studies. Moving beyond the gender binary Patrick examines the competing triadic forces of dominant men, non-dominant men and women. Arguing that through the mode of organizing the sexually competitive triad exist the true source of ideology, a key site of social inequalities reproduction. Within said framework Patrick reveals the complex dynamics underlying mass rampage murderers and school shooters.   

Hailee Josefina Menchaca, San Diego State University – “Madrigal v. Quilligan: Cultural Identity and Testimony as a Site of Power.”
Hailee Menchaca is a second year Master’s student at San Diego State University specializing in twentieth-century Chicana feminist history. Her current work focuses on the forced sterilizations of women of Mexican descent and seeks to analyze processes of healing, identity formation, and community building through testimonio and Indigenous feminist theory. Menchaca’s other research interests include reproductive justice, racial capitalism, and public health access. She will begin working towards a PhD in History in the Fall of 2022.

Claire Patton, Oklahoma State University – “Cleanliness in the Dust Bowl: Preservation, Society, and Hope.”
Claire Patton is a Masters of Public History graduate student at Oklahoma State University and her work explores gender in the West from 1865 to 1950. Her thesis is an experimental archeology project that will recreate an original 1870s dress held in the Western Heritage and Cowboy Hall of Fame museum in Oklahoma City. This project will explore ideas of consumerism, community, and labor in the west. In her spare time, Claire enjoys reading classic literature, drinking coffee, and petting her evil cat, Sophie.

Cameron Sauers, University of Kentucky – “Black Women and the Freedmen’s Bureau in Reconstruction South Carolina, 1865-1869.”
Cameron Sauers is a graduate student in the history department at the University of Kentucky where he holds one of the department’s Robert Lipman Fellowships. Cameron graduated summa cum laude from Gettysburg College in May of 2021 with a degree in History, Public History, and Civil War Era Studies. Cameron is currently working on his Master’s Thesis which examines the Freedmen’s Bureau in South Carolina during Reconstruction, with a particular interest in the Bureau’s response to paramilitary violence and political organizing.

Ann Vlock, University of Nebraska – Lincoln – “Once Ruined, Always Ruined: The Late Nineteenth Century Discourse on the Age of Consent.”
Ann Vlock is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Department of History at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her dissertation research focuses on women’s participation and leadership in the Populist reform movement of the late nineteenth century, which includes an interest in related reform movements such as age of consent. Her article on Populist reformer Luna Kellie was published in the spring 2020 issue of Great Plains Quarterly (vol 40, no. 3) as “Justice, Not Charity: Luna Kellie and Great Plains Populist Reform, 1890-1901.”

William Walker, Iowa State University – “Honor With Death: Roman Masculinity and Self-Killing.”

William Walker (he/they) is a history graduate student at Iowa State University with a certificate in Historic Preservation and Cultural Heritage. His research focuses on Ancient Roman gender and sexuality. The goal of his research is to re-examine preconceived ideas of masculinity and recharacterize Roman masculinity and manhood as a cultural identity through the lens of approaching their social and cultural aspects of gender identity. His research uses archaeology and written sources. One of the main areas he draws upon his research is through plays, poetry, and graffiti. He focuses on how men interpreted their social identity and how this idea was constructed. He also researches suicide in Ancient Rome, using epigraphical evidence to decode Roman cultural concepts of suicide and their beliefs about it.   

Emma Wathen, University of Wisconsin – Madison – “‘The Girls at Taycheedah: Labor and Political Organization in the Wisconsin Industrial Home for Women.”
Emma Wathen (she/her) is a third-year graduate student pursuing a joint degree in History and History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, with a concentration in the Program in Gender and Women’s History. Back in 2017, she received an undergraduate degree in history and communication arts after writing a senior honors thesis on Wisconsin’s eugenic marriage law. Last spring, she completed her master’s thesis on early twentieth-century obstetrical experimentation in the United States. Her research interests also include the pregnancy experiences of Americans in the early twentieth century, the intersection of disability and reproduction, and reproduction within early twentieth-century carceral institutions.

Emily Windham, San Diego State University – “African American Women and Progressive Reform: Examining Social Action and Mental Health.”
Emily is a first-year masters student in the history department at San Diego State University. She grew up in San Diego, California. Emily has always felt connected to history- her great grandfather was instrumental in the early history of her hometown, and her 19th century ancestors founded another town in the hills of San Diego. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish in 2014, Emily spent seven years working in the corporate field, but with the COVID pandemic felt inspired to return to her passions of academics and history. Emily focuses on US history, specifically issues of gender, race, and identity. She aims to become a professor at a local community college once graduated from this program.