Personal tools
You are here: Home > Programs > Panels on Popular Culture

Panels on Popular Culture

These panels use popular culture as a mechanism to analyze how gender is understood. What does The Hunger Games popularity say about feminism, race, and the role of women? Is the Game of Thrones empowering for women? Join us for these panels on popular culture as we debate and discuss the role that popular culture has in our lives.

Fall 2014 Panel on Popular Culture

Gender and Horror Films
October 30th, 2014
Sage 1216, 6:00PM-7:30PM

Join the Women's Center for their series of panels on popular culture. Fall 2014 brings us to a discussion of Women in Horror Films. Join us for this panel on popular culture as we debate and discuss the role that popular culture has in our lives. 

Panelists Include: John Pata, Ashley Lamers, Aaron Jackson, and Brian Kirst.


Brian Kirst escaped the Amish laced confines of Western New York to unleash Big Gay Horror Fan upon the world. As an entity, Big Gay Horror Fan was directly inspired by the new crop of passionate female filmmakers and fans, many interviewed by Kirst during his stint as the host of Horror Society Live, a weekly radio show. Previously, Kirst’s muses were the passionate sirens of the Riot Grrl movement, who influenced his theatrical career in the 90s in Chicago. They helped him produce such award winning shows as Perished, a document about child abuse and Masks, which chronicled the adventures of a female wrestler. In addition to his enjoyable duties as BGHF, Kirst is, currently, the Theater Editor of Sheridan Road Magazine, a North Shore women’s periodical.

Links for Big Gay Horror Fan:

John Pata is an independent filmmaker and Oshkosh, WI native, and darn proud of it. Upon graduating from UWO in 2007 with a degree in Graphic Design, he quickly emerged himself into the world of independent horror, as you do. 
Pata co-wrote/directed the Rondo-nominated, award-winning survival horror/post-apocalyptic love story Dead Weight, which received North American distribution by Kino Lorber / Horizon Movies in January 2014. His latest short film, Pity, about one individual's inability to overcome the emotions of a recent breakup, is currently making the rounds in the film festival circuit. 
Outside of filmmaking, Pata's been organizing horror-related events, including the annual Oshkosh Horror Film Festival, under the pseudonym Oshkosh Horror for over eight years, and is president of the volunteer-based, non-profit Time Community Theater. He rides his bike too much, enjoys listening to punk rock records when reading his comic books, always drinks iced tea, and never gets his fill of veggie burritos. 

Aaron Jackson is an U.S Army veteran and a current student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Where he is pursuing a double major in Criminal Justice, Sociology and a triple minor in Spanish, Psychology and he just completed his minor in African American Studies. Jackson also is the president of Omega Delta Phi and a proud member of Big Brothers Big Sisters. He also works with the Veterans Resource Center (V.R.C), were he has put in place a Veteran newspaper called the Vet Gazette and a weight loss program called Operation Belly Burn (O.B.B).
Outside of school Jackson has spoke on multiple broads and comities about race and discrimination. Also Jackson is a vigorous movie watcher/collector and has a particular way of unraveling movie scenes, especially horror movies.   

Ashley Lamers is a 2012 graduate from UW-Oshkosh with a bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies. Her academic and activist focus has been directed toward sex-positive feminism, women’s sexual and personal empowerment, victim advocacy, and the pursuit of creating safe spaces and positive, interconnected communities. She is currently employed with the Wisconsin Department of Corrections at Oshkosh Correctional Institution as an Offender Records Assistant. In her real life, she is a straight edge, vegetarian, cat enthusiast who enjoys good conversations, drawing, dancing and/or rocking out (especially to hardcore and new wave music), watching movies (especially horror movies and movies that feature Patrick Swayze), and spending downtime with friends and family.

Spring 2014 Panel on Popular Culture

Game of Thrones
March 19th, 2014
Sage 1216, 6:30pm-8:00pm

Join the Women's Center for their series of panels on popular culture. Spring 2014 brings us to a discussion of the Game of Thrones. Join us for this panel on popular culture as we debate and discuss the role that popular culture has in our lives.
Elizabeth Stinebaugh, JD, will speak on the eroticization of sexual violence in the series.

Dr. Miriam Schacht (English) is an Assistant Professor of English with a focus in Native American literature and history, particularly of the Ojibwe people, and she advises the Inter-Tribal Student Organization here on campus.  She is particularly interested in the way that gender and race intersect in the series. 

Melissa Loest (Community Development Coordinator for the Girl Scouts): "I'm very interested in the gender bending/dual gender characters of Game of Thrones. [...] Really I'll talk about anything except for the Red Wedding, I'm really bored with that."

Dr. Jodi Eichler-Levine (Religious Studies and Women's and Gender Studies) will approach the series from her Religious Studies and Women's and Gender Studies background.

"Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. Political and sexual intrigue is pervasive. Robert Baratheon, King of Westeros, asks his old friend Eddard, Lord Stark, to serve as Hand of the King, or highest official. Secretly warned that the previous Hand was assassinated, Eddard accepts in order to investigate further. Meanwhile the Queen's family, the Lannisters, may be hatching a plot to take power. Across the sea, the last members of the previous and deposed ruling family, the Targaryens, are also scheming to regain the throne. The friction between the houses Stark, Lannister and Baratheon, and with the remaining great houses Greyjoy, Tully, Arryn, and Tyrell, leads to full-scale war. All while a very ancient evil awakens in the farthest north. Amidst the war and political confusion, a neglected military order of misfits, the Night's Watch, is all that stands between the realms of men and icy horrors beyond." Information retrieved from:

Fall 2013  Panel on Popular Culture

The Hunger Games
November 21st, 2013
Sage1234, 6:30pm-8:00pm


Cosponsor: LGBTQ Resource Center

Panelists: Justine Stokes (Radio, TV and Film), M. Geneva Murray (Women's Center and Women's and Gender Studies), Diane Crotty (English Department) and Liz Cannon (LGBTQ Resource Center).

On the eve of the film release of The Hunger Games sequel, the Women's Center invites you to a panel to discuss issues of gender, sexuality and race in both the first film and the book series. The response to the first film demonstrated that women can indeed be successful as leads in action films, but also raised questions about how the media treats women's bodies and the sexualization of other female action heroes. Additionally, social media, such as Twitter, allowed us to see the racist reaction some audience members had when they realized that, in fact, Rue is Black. Lastly, The Hunger Games is an opportunity for us to think about the association of gender queer with the upper classes in Panem and heteronormativity. Our panelists will discuss these issues and more!

The Hunger Games Trilogy, by author Suzanne Collins:

  • Sold over 26 million print copies
  • Spent 135 weeks on USA Today's Best Sellers list
  • Spent over 100 weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list
  • The first film earned $152,535,747 in the United States on its opening weekend
  • The first film grossed $408,010,692 in the United States by September 6, 2012

Information from IMDb: "In a dystopian future, the totalitarian nation of Panem is divided between 12 districts and the Capitol. Each year two young representatives from each district are selected by lottery to participate in The Hunger Games. Part entertainment, part brutal retribution for a past rebellion, the televised games are broadcast throughout Panem. The 24 participants are forced to eliminate their competitors while the citizens of Panem are required to watch. When 16-year-old Katniss's young sister, Prim, is selected as District 12's female representative, Katniss volunteers to take her place. She and her male counterpart Peeta, are pitted against bigger, stronger representatives, some of whom have trained for this their whole lives."

Spring 2013 Panel on Popular Culture

50 Shades of Grey
February 26, 2013
Sage 1234, 6.30-7.30pm

50 Shades of Grey has sold more than 60 million copies worldwide. With talks of a movie based on the book, it has become an important piece of popular culture which must be examined. It has been celebrated by some as a new example of sex positivity for women. Others have denied that it has a positive message, or that it's at least a mixed message. 

The Women's Center would like to invite you to critically explore why 50 Shades of Grey is so popular. Our guest panelists will explore how 50 Shades of Grey is and is not an example of sex-positivity and how the book has fostered discussion about BDSM. We will ask whether the novel is successful in reaching out to new feminists, and/or if the book models unhealthy, abusive relationships counter-intuitive to feminism.


Dr. Kathleen Corley, Professor of Religious Studies

Dr. Susan Rensing, Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and History

Dr. Liz Cannon, Director of the LGBTQ Resource Center

Ashley Lamers, UW Oshkosh Alum

All-Female Roller Derby
March 6, 2013
Sage 1234, 6.30-7.30pm

Roller derby, a full-contact sport on quad roller skates, has its origins as a coed sport in the 1930s. In 2001, the sport was revitalized as primarily a women's sport - although men do participate, most leagues in the United States are all-female and it is the female players who have often captured the attention of the media. 

The Women's Center is excited to have representatives from two local roller derby leagues, the Fox Cityz Foxz and Paper Valley Roller Girls, participate in a panel on issues of women's empowerment in the sport. More information is forthcoming, but don't miss this opportunity to mark your calendars so that you can attend!

Loredai Kilmore and Blazin' Britches will join us from Paper Valley Roller Girls. Wring Leader, Gixx Her, and Secretary of Skate will join us from Fox Cityz Foxz.


Document Actions
by Murray, Geneva G. last modified Aug 12, 2014 10:02 AM
Connect with us