(February 6, 2013)

Centenary hosts Attaway Fellow Robyn Ochs

SHREVEPORT, LA — Robyn Ochs, speaker and award-winning activist, will visit the Centenary campus February 27-28 as an Attaway Fellow. Ochs's work focuses on increasing awareness and understanding of complex identities, and mobilizing people to be powerful allies to one another within and across identities and social movements. Her arrival was a coordinated effort between students and faculty:

Robyn Ochs
Robyn Ochs

"I attended an LGBT leadership camp last summer called Camp Pride, where Robyn was a facilitator," said Sara Whittington, a Centenary Sociology major and NOW President. "I was so impressed with her and the workshops that she offers that I along with Dr. Kelly Weeks invited her to campus. Everyone should attend Robyn's presentations. Please join us in creating a safe space for everyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, class, ethnicity, or ability."

Ochs will present two programs that are open and free to the public:

Loosening the Gender Girdle: How Gender Affects You
Wednesday, February 27, 5:30 p.m.
Whited Room, Bynum Commons

What makes a man a man? What makes a woman a woman? We will look at the ways in which we are limited by a binary understanding of gender, and explore how the politics of gender tie together the feminist, queer and transgendered movements. Come, and bring your gender with you.

Embracing An All/And Identity in an Either/Or World
Thursday, February 28, 11:00 a.m.
Whited Room, Bynum Commons

While any sexual orientation or gender identity comes with its own challenges, there are particular issues faced by people who identify as bisexual, pansexual, genderqueer, or who use other labels that defy an either/or interpretation of the world. Together we will examine these issues and devise strategies to create spaces that affirm complex, nonbinary identities.

Ochs is the editor of the 42-country anthology, Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World and the Bi Women newsletter. Her writings have been published in numerous bi, women's studies, multicultural, and LGBQ anthologies, and she has taught courses on LGBT history and politics.

Funded by and named for Douglas and Marion Attaway, the Attaway Board of Regents Professorships in Civic Culture, Attaway Fellows, and Attaway Scholars designations are awarded to intellectuals who have made notable contributions to the public discussion. Any student, faculty or staff member may propose Attaway Fellows or Scholars to the Convocation Committee, who, in turn, make recommendations to the Provost.