By WIBKE RICHTER
Did you participate in any of the events to celebrate Women’s History Month that were sponsored by OU’s Gender and Sexuality Center?
Celebrating Women’s History Month every March might spark your interest in learning more about women’s experiences in today’s society and from a historical point of view. Oakland University is the place to go for studying in that field and offers a bachelor’s program with a liberal arts major or a minor in women and gender studies.
“Women’s History Month is important because it reminds us of how women have shaped this world,” Reger said. Her favorite event was the discussion “What Does it Mean to be a Transgender Woman.”
“I think we need to seriously examine how we lock people into gender categories and all the diversity in the social and natural world,” Reger said.
The Oakland Post spoke to Jo Reger, Associate Professor for Sociology and Director of the Women and Gender Studies Program at OU.
Q: What do you teach?
A: I teach a variety of courses in sociology and women and gender studies including Feminist Theory, Sociology of Gender, the WGS Capstone, Sociological Theory, Social Movements and Methods of Feminist Analysis.
Q: Who in your field inspires you to teach?
A: I had a lot of great teachers along the way and was often inspired by the graduate students around me at Ohio State [University]. We taught each other a lot about the art of teaching.
Q: What is on your reading list?
A: Depends on the class. In Feminist Theory we read a variety of theorists such as bell hooks, Mary Wollstonecraft, Friedrich Engels, Jo Freeman, Redstockings, etc. We also take some time to read several selections by Audre Lorde. In Sociology of Gender we read books on the prom, eating disorders, women and men in sports, masculinity in high school and so on. I like to keep the books current and relevant to the students.
Q: Could you describe what you do at OU in one sentence?
A: I teach, research and run the Women and Gender Studies program.
Q: What is your favorite OU sport to watch live?
A: Women’s basketball — the Women and Gender Studies program recently had a Saturday afternoon at a game with faculty, students, family and alumni. It was great.
Q: It’s lunchtime and you’re hungry. Have you packed your own lunch, are you going to the OC or are you ordering out?
A: Going out for about half of the week and staying in my office and eating while I work for the other half of the week.
Q: How is your office looking? In other words, if I were a student that had an appointment, would I be able to see around the piles of papers?
A: I am actually pretty organized and people often remark on how clean my office is.
Q: When is bedtime?
A: After I get my daughter to bed (and that varies).
Q: What is the most interesting place that your studies have taken you?
A: I just went to a conference in Belfast, Ireland to talk about feminist fashion as a political tactic. It was an interesting conference in a beautiful place.
Q: What do you hope students know before they take your class(es)?
A: I want them to enter with an open mind and a commitment to engage in the ideas in class. If they can do that, we can catch up on any piece of knowledge they are missing.