UMBC Gender & Women's Studies

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    Gaming Capital on Overwatch's Official Forums
    (Sage, 2023-09-14) Korkeila, Henry; Dashiell, Steven; Harviainen, J. Tuomas
    This study uses the public discussion boards of Overwatch to see how context-based gaming capital is present, accumulated and expended through the messages. The data consists of a 1-month snapshot from which 50 most viewed threads were analyzed. The following aspects were recorded from each thread and first 10 replies: views, number of comments, users’ role in forums, has the developer replied to thread, topic, date, whether there are types of capital (social, economic, cultural, symbolic) present, and in what linguistic form is the message posted. Findings: while discussions are within Overwatch's framework, there is scarcely any demonstrable amount of gaming capital in a single post or reply. Certain topics elicited more discussion, articulation methods varied but greatly leaned on the user's anecdotal experiences. Further, it was found that gaming capital is used to validate users’ own views and argument for the credibility of the user and their messages.
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    Sexual Violence, Race and Media (In)Visibility: Intersectional Complexities in a Transnational Frame
    (MDPI, 2015-08-10) Patil, Vrushali; Purkayastha, Bandana
    Intersectional scholarship argues that women of color have distinct experiences of rape compared to white women and highlights their relative invisibility as victims compared to white women victims in news media. While the bulk of intersectional work has examined such issues within one nation and particularly within the US, in an era of increasingly transnationalized media content, we explore such intersectionalities in a transnational frame. That is, we explore the treatment of the rape of a local Indian woman in New Delhi, India, and the rape of a white woman in Steubenville, USA, in the New York Times and the Times of India. We find that contra assumptions in the intersectional literature, the racialized Indian victim is hyper-visible across both papers while the white US victim is relatively invisible. Situating both newspapers within the global histories of the development of news as a particular genre of storytelling, we argue that their respective locations within larger processes shaped by colonial, imperial and neo-colonial histories have critical implications for the coverage each paper offers. Thus, we argue that issues of race and visibility in media operate very differently depending on the space and scale of analysis. In an increasingly globalized world, then, we must start paying attention to the transnational and its implications for rape, race and (in)visibility in news media. Ultimately, our approach brings together processes of racialization at multiple scales—both below the nation and above the nation—to offer a more complex, multi-scalar understanding of how racialization processes impact rape coverage.
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    Colorblind Feminisms: Ansari-Grace and the Limits of #MeToo Counterpublics
    (The University of Chicago Press, 2021) Patil, Vrushali; Puri, Jyoti
    This article focuses on the uproar over the sexual encounter between actor/comedian Aziz Ansari and a woman known publicly as Grace as a lens onto the colorblind counterpublic feminisms driving the #MeToo movement. Tracing the ways that this sexual encounter between a Brown Muslim man and an anonymous, presumably white, woman were spotlighted, we show that race is superficially absent even as it informs the range of feminist counterpublics that emerged around this case. Extending feminist theories of counter/publics, we explore the ways that the hybrid media system, including traditional as well as digital media, enables colorblind feminisms. Focusing on Facebook as an index of these plural feminist perspectives, we examine eighty-four of the most shared links on this platform to show that, regardless of the positions taken, issues of gender and sexuality dominate framings of the Ansari-Grace encounter, even as race and racialization implicitly mediate the public conversations on heterosexual violence and misconduct. Situating these conversations within the broader history of US racisms and the politics of sexual assault, we also point to how mediated technologies are contributing to the hypervisibility of men of color and shaping which cases occupy the limelight and the feminist counterpublics emerging around them. We argue that these colorblind feminist counterpublics, in effect, center the pain of white women.
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    Finding Amica in the Archives: Navigating a Path between Strategic Collaboration and Independent Research
    (Oxford University Press, 2021-11-05) Armstrong-Partida, Michelle; McDonough, Susan
    This article is a call for US-based historians to consider participating in strategic collaboration with fellow academics in their field. Out of a series of lucky encounters in person and with documentary collections, the authors, both archival historians, created a generous and expansive collaboration both in research and writing. Galvanized by the shift in working conditions occasioned by the coronavirus, the authors map out how the field in the United States should change to accommodate and reward such collaboration.
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    Captured at Home: Gender, Family, and the Burden of Captivity
    (Brepols Publishers, 2017) McDonough, Susan
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    Singlewomen in the Late Medieval Mediterranean
    (Oxford University Press, 2022-09-22) Armstrong-Partida, Michelle; McDonough, Susan
    This article challenges a long-entrenched model of two discrete marital regimes in northern and southern Europe. Demographer John Hajnal argued in 1965 that a distinctive north-western European Marriage Pattern emerged post-1700 when a large population of unmarried men and women married in their early to late twenties and formed their own household rather than join a multi-generational household. The corollary to this argument is that women in southern Europe married young and universally, and thus rarely entered into domestic service. Medievalists have embraced and repeated this paradigm, shaping assumptions about the Mediterranean as less developed or less European than the north and ignoring the experience of women enslaved throughout the region.Notaries and judicial officials in medieval Barcelona, Valencia, Mallorca, Marseille, Palermo, Venice, Famagusta and Crete recognized singlewomen owning property, buying, selling and manumitting enslaved people, appointing procurators, committing crimes and making wills. We reintegrate the experiences of singlewomen, both enslaved and free, into the daily life of the medieval Mediterranean. Understanding how these women made community, survived economically and participated in the legal and notarial cultures of their cities reframes our understanding of women?s options outside marriage in the medieval past.
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    Amigas and Amichs: Prostitute-Concubines, Strategic Coupling, and Laboring-Class Masculinity in Late Medieval Valencia and the Mediterranean
    (University of Chicago Press, 2023-01-01) McDonough, Susan; Armstrong-Partida, Michelle
    This article illuminates the experiences of prostitute-concubines in late medieval Valencia and the Mediterranean. It addresses their economic and affective relationships with amichs and argues that the temporary concubinary union between a prostitute and a low-status man, often a foreigner or itinerant laborer, was important to the gender identity of men at the lower levels of medieval society. Our analysis shows that patrician men who comprised the Consell de Valencia worked to denigrate the manhood of poor and laboring men through the criminalization of these short-term relationships.
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    Affective networks across the divide: singlewomen, the notarial archive, and social connections in the late medieval Mediterranean
    (Taylor & Francis, 2023-12-07) McDonough, Susan; Armstrong-Partida, Michelle
    Though previous scholarship has presumed singlewomen in medieval Southern Europe were nearly non-existent and had few means, notarial sources from the late medieval Mediterranean reveal not only that singlewomen were present in the thriving port cities, but also that they created extensive networks among other women and men in order to survive and in some cases to flourish. Some had children out of wedlock, some were formerly enslaved, others traveled long distances and still remembered family members in their places of origin, and many built new communities in their homes. Indeed, it is remarkable that many of these migrant and formerly enslaved women created deep ties to both local and migrant neighbors, and their actions suggest a sense of responsibility to manumit other enslaved peoples and give charity to poor women. We investigate how singlewomen strategically used their final wills and testaments and other notarial documents to sustain, post-mortem, the networks that nurtured the women in their life, both friends and family members. We consider how women bestowed personal goods and financial legacies to maintain and memorialize their relationships and to sustain community, even in their absence.
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    Impoverished mothers and poor widows: negotiating images of poverty in Marseille's courts
    (Taylor & Francis, 2012-01-03) McDonough, Susan
    In the early fifteenth century, in Marseille's court of first instance, a sailor's wife Margarida Gramone sued her son-in-law's estate to recoup money she had spent nursing her dying daughter and granddaughter. She justified her claim on the money by arguing that she had been completely impoverished by the medicine, doctors and wet nurses that her sick family had needed. She called witnesses to attest to her impoverished state and they told a story of a woman unable to pay her bills and reliant on the charity of her neighbours. Other witnesses in the same case, however, suggest Margarida was not poor, but a woman of means. Attempting to reconcile this discrepancy, this article will examine how Marseille's legally savvy citizens negotiated between at least two different attitudes towards the poor: a Christian celebration of charity and a legal scepticism of a pauper's word. The legal records from late medieval Marseille show a multivalent attitude towards the poor. They suggest that the city's citizens were able to draw on different narratives about poverty in order to win over the presiding judge. At the same time, witness testimony about the poor reminds us that the burden of charity was not always welcomed by Marseille's citizens.
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    She Said, He Said, and They Said: Claims of Abuse and a Community's Response in Late Medieval Marseille
    (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007) McDonough, Susan
    This article examines two court cases from Marseille's civil court in 1424 and the three competing goals of the people involved. Silona Calverie initiated the suits to dissolve her marriage and reclaim her dowry from her husband, whom she claimed had mismanaged her dowry, usurped her inheritance, beaten and imprisoned her. Johannes Calverie dismissed Silona's claim, saying the court had no jurisdiction over marriage, and he had a right to chastise his wife as he saw fit. Having recently survived a Catalan attack, Silona's witnesses, from her neighborhood and the city's hierarchy, intervened to limit the violence in their midst. Unlike other studies, which have found communities rallying behind abused women and supporting their desire to separate from their husbands, the witnesses in this case did not stand entirely behind Silona's story. The discrepancy between Silona's claims and the witness testimony in her case suggests anxieties about unattached women and maintaining a peaceful neighborhood.
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    Being a Neighbor: Ideas and Ideals of Neighborliness in the Medieval West
    (Wiley, 2017-09-03) McDonough, Susan
    This essay takes stock of current scholarship on neighbors in the Middle Ages to think through medieval understandings of the notion of neighborliness. When historians invoke the ideas of neighbors and neighborliness, they mean something beyond the people who lived in adjoining buildings or on adjacent plots of land. When medieval people called someone a neighbor the label conveyed a set of obligations, behaviors, and expectations, rooted in the idea that neighbors were among the group of people who were privy to the intimacies of each others' lives, at times both monumental and mundane. Medieval neighborliness was not uncomplicated or understood as unequivocally positive of course. Neighbors were not always a source of unconditional support or love. Despite a Christian rhetoric that emphasized a love of one's neighbor as a vehicle for loving God, medieval studies have suggested that the figure of the neighbor was, in fact, a source of danger and disquiet. This notion of neighborliness as a source of unease explains, perhaps, why scholars of medieval religion and religious interaction showcase some of the most fruitful uses of the concept. This article considers how scholars have accessed medieval notions of neighbors and neighborliness in their exploration of medieval community.
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    The Legacy of Black Vaudeville w/ Dr. Michelle Scott
    (UMBC Center for Social Science Research, 2023-06-14) Anson, Ian; Scott, Michelle
    On this episode Dr. Anson speaks with Dr. Michelle Scott, Professor of History and Affiliate Faculty in Gender and Women’s Studies, Language, Literacy and Culture, and Africana Studies at UMBC, about her recent book: T.O.B.A. Time: Black Vaudeville and the Theater Owners’ Booking Association in Jazz-Age America Check out the following links for more information on UMBC, CS3, and our host: The UMBC Center for the Social Sciences Scholarship The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Ian G. Anson, Ph.D.
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    The Social Science of Dialects w/ Dr. Christine Mallinson
    (UMBC Center for Social Science Research, 2023-02-28) Anson, Ian; Mallinson, Christine; Hudley, Anne H. Charity; Berry-McCrea, Erin; Muwwakkil, Jamaal
    On this episode we hear from Dr. Christine Mallinson, Director of CS3, Special Assistant for Research & Creative Achievement and APLU-CoR Fellow in the Office for Research & Creative Achievement, Professor of Language, Literacy, and Culture, and Affiliate Professor of Gender, Women’s + Sexuality Studies. Visit Dr. Mallinson’s page on Baltimore language: On Campus Connections, we hear about a chapter co-authored by Dr. Mallinson about Black voices in the classroom: Empowering African-American Student Voices in College, by Anne H. Charity Hudley, Christine Mallinson, Erin Berry-McCrea (graduate of UMBC’s Language, Literacy & Culture PhD Program), and Jamaal Muwwakkil. Check out the following links for more information on UMBC, CS3, and our host: The UMBC Center for the Social Sciences Scholarship The University of Maryland, Baltimore County Ian G. Anson, Ph.D.
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    Surveying the landscape of college teaching about African American Language
    (Elsevier, 2023-06-13) Sedlacek, Quentin C.; Hudley, Anne H. Charity; Mallinson, Christine
    College courses are an important forum for combating the stigmatization of African American Language (AAL). However, there is no comprehensive data regarding where, how, and by whom AAL content is taught. Understanding the landscape of college teaching about AAL could help identify challenges faced by instructors who teach this content, as well as policies or practices that could help support these instructors. We surveyed college instructors (N = 149) in multiple disciplines (primarily Linguistics, Education, English, and Communication Sciences) who teach courses with AAL content. We found patterns in the sources of support and levels of resistance instructors reported. Instructors also expressed varied levels of knowledge and confidence related to teaching about African American Language and Culture. Many of these patterns were correlated with instructors’ racialized identities and language backgrounds. We discuss implications for professional organizations, university department leaders, and instructors who teach AAL content.
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    Tango, Gendered Embodiment, and Acousmatic Listening in Argentina
    (Stanford University, 2021) Berman, Jessica
    This essay considers the modernist cultural production of tango within the contexts of broadcast radio and popular print in the 1920s and 1930s, when both tango and radio were reaching their heyday. Because of its deep engagement with the changing social, economic, and media dynamics of Argentine modernity, its emphasis on cultural “newness” and experimental forms, as well as its play with matters of identity, embodiment, and belonging, tango deserves to be considered among the forms of Argentine modernism. I explore the connections between tango-canción (tango song) as broadcast on the radio, cultural conceptions of voice, and the new and changing understandings of gender identity, embodiment, and women’s roles as they emerge in popular magazines of the time. When we consider the modernism of tango or the shifting notions of embodiment, intimacy, and relation that accompany broadcast radio in the early twentieth century, we must recognize popular print as central to those developments and part of an intermedial nexus of responses to the situation of Argentine modernity. By examining the changing roles of tango’s cancionistas (female singers) in the twenties and thirties in the context of writing about women in the popular press, I show how the protocols and practices of radio and popular print offered crucial challenges to existing notions of gender in the mediascape of 1920s and 1930s Argentina.
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    Training for Business Success: Does Diversity Training Improve Productivity, Performance, and Fair Promotions?
    Henderson, Loren; Washington, Patrick; Watkins-Butler, Akilah
    There is a great deal of pessimism about the impact of diversity. Some critics have declared that diversity training programs do not work. Using data from the 2002 National Organizations Survey, this paper offers an examination of the relationship between the presence of diversity management and training in business organizations and assessments of business performance, business productivity, and fairness in the job promotion processes. The results suggest that, even after taking into account the size of the organization, the age of the organization, the percentage of workers who were minority, the percentage of workers who were female, and whether the organization was a private corporation, companies that have diversity training are more likely than are their counterparts without diversity training programs to report higher productivity than their competitors. Similarly, business organizations with diversity training programs are more likely than are other business organizations to report better business performance than their competitors. Also, companies with diversity training are more likely than are companies without diversity training programs to report that their employees believe procedures for determining promotions are fair. Such results go a long way toward dispelling the notion that diversity training programs do not matter. They show that diversity training programs can lead to positive outcomes.
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    Credit Where Credit is Due?: Race, Gender, and Discrimination in the Credit Scores of Business Startups
    (Sage, 2015-01-01) Henderson, Loren; Herring, Cedric; Horton, Hayward Derrick; Thomas, Melvin
    This research seeks to understand the degree to which credit scores of new business startups are influenced by racial or gender considerations. It also examines the degree to which access to business credit lines is influenced by racial and gender-related factors that go beyond would-be borrowers’ credit scores. Using credit data from new startups, the analysis finds that, when controlling for firm and human capital characteristics, Black-owned startups receive lower than expected business credit scores. Moreover, when credit scores, firm characteristics, and human capital characteristics are taken into consideration, startups owned by people of color still receive business credit lines that are substantially lower than those of their Whiteowned counterparts, and startups owned primarily by women receive credit lines that are substantially lower than those owned primarily by men. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition suggests that credit lines for Black-owned businesses would more than double, Latino-owned businesses’ lines of credit would nearly triple, Asian-owned businesses’ lines of credit would more than triple, and those where the primary owners are women would be more than twice as large if their business lines of credit were determined in the same way as those for businesses owned primarily by Whites and by men.