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New women's studies travel seminar accepting applications through April 12

RELEASED: March 29, 2010

Women's Studies travel seminar posterEAU CLAIRE — University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students and faculty members will travel to San Francisco June 20-28 to experience the 40th annual Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Pride Celebration. The trip will be part of an inaugural monthlong women's studies course titled "LGBTQA Studies: San Francisco Travel Seminar."

Ellen Mahaffy, assistant professor of communication and journalism, and Dr. Pamela Forman, assistant professor of sociology, will co-teach the course, which begins June 14.

"As a transformative learning experience, we hope that this course will encapsulate the university's baccalaureate goals — especially individual and social responsibility and respect for diversity among people," Forman said.

The group will stay in a house in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco in order to form a living-learning community. They will attend the LGBT Pride Festival and the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival, visit LGBT organizations and meet with filmmakers and LGBT activists. Each morning they will have an opportunity to reflect on their experiences.

"We hope that students will become aware of the discrimination faced by LGBT people and the challenges that LGBT individuals may encounter regarding acceptance from their families and treatment in their workplace," Forman said.

Students will record, videotape and photograph their experiences and compile them to create digital stories that present aspects of LGBT history and their impressions of LGBT identities. Mahaffy will incorporate a portion of each digital story into a documentary film she is working on. She will present the documentary at the inaugural LGBT Film Festival Oct. 8-10, on the UW-Eau Claire campus. The festival also will feature other films selected by the students from the Frameline International LGBT Film Festival.

Financial support for the trip is provided through a domestic intercultural immersion grant for 2009-10, the women's studies program, the department of communication and journalism, the department of sociology, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation and private donors.

Interested students must be available June 14-July 8. Applications will be accepted through April 12 in the women's studies office, Room 55 of Brewer Hall, weekdays from 7:30-11:30 a.m. The course fee is $342.

For more information, contact Dr. Katherine Rhoades, interim coordinator of women's studies, at rhoadeka@uwec.edu; Dr. Pamela Forman at formanpj@uwec.edu; or Ellen Mahaffy at mahaffe@uwec.edu.

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AH/RD/DW

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