WGSS @ 50

UConn WGSS, AAASI, CLAS, and the Philosophy Department proudly presents

The Uses of Anger: WGSS @ 50, March 21-22, 2024

In 1981, the third annual National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference was held at UConn, themed “Women Respond to Racism.” Black lesbian poet, warrior, and mother Audre Lorde gave the keynote speech “The Uses of Anger,” which marked a significant moment in feminist education, highlighting what Lorde argued was the power to envision and reconstruct. Exploring these past and future liberation efforts, the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program will celebrate its 50th anniversary with presentations by M. Jacqui Alexander, Beverly Guy-Sheftall, Alexis De Veaux, and many more. Join us as we aim to grapple generously and soberly with our past to inform the forging of expansive and fruitful futures. Plus, make sure to check out UConn Today’s feature article about the event: “A Look Back, A Look Forward With WGSS.Any questions? Email stephanie.lumbra@uconn.edu


Thursday, March 21st — All events located in The Ballard Ballroom, The Graduate Hotel

10:00 am: Celebration Opening, WGSS Director Sherry Zane with Provost Anne D’Alleva

10:15 am-10:45 am: “The Uses of Audre Lorde,” featuring Alexis De Veaux

10:45 am-12:45 pm: “The Uses of Anger: Looking Back Panel,” featuring Judith Plaskow, Chela Sandoval, and Holly Smith

12:45 pm-1:45 pm: Lunch break (Lunch provided for panelists and WGSS faculty: RSVP here)

2:00 pm-3:45 pm: Event Keynote: M. Jacqui Alexander and Beverly Guy-Sheftall in Conversation

4:00 pm-6:15 pm: “The Uses of Anger: Looking Forward Panel,” featuring V Varun Chaudhry, PJ Di Pietro, Evren Savci, endawnis Spears, and Jaimee Swift

6:30 pm-8:30 pm: Celebration Dinner. (Dinner is open to anyone, RSVP here)

7:00 pm – 7:30 pm– Caroline Peters, African Feminist, Human Rights Defender, Social Justice Activist Callas Foundation Presentation


Friday, March 22nd — Benton Museum, Student Union, and Oak/Herbst Hall

10:00 am-11:00 am: “Looking Back/Looking Forward: Undergraduate Career Roundtable with WGSS Alumni,” moderated by Morgan Keating and Kate Wagner. Location: Women’s Center Program Room (Student Union, 4th Floor, Room 421G)

10:00 am-11:30 am: “The Uses of Anger for BIPOC Poets,” workshop led by Cecilia Caballero. Location: Oak/Herbst Hall, Room 438 (priority to WGSS and ENGL students; requires pre-registration — RSVP here)

11:15 am: The Benton WGSS @ 50 Art exhibit opens

11:30 am: Light snacks at the Benton

12:00 pm-1:00 pm: Bobby Sanchez Concert (Location: Benton Museum of Art)

1:45 pm-2:45 pm: Lunch at Wilbur Cross North Reading Room (Lunch is open to WGSS@50 panelists and WGSS faculty: RSVP here)

4:30 pm-5:45 pm: Mariana Ortega, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Penn State. Talk Title: “Ambiguity, Aesthesis, and Resistance: A Lugonesian Approach.” Location: Oak/Herbst 408. Co-sponsored by PHIL, POLS, El Instituto, and WGSS. You may also join the event virtually at:

Meeting ID: 852 2701 2042
Passcode: 353906

Guests Include:

  • Provost Anne D’Alleva
  • Chela Sandoval
  • M. Jacqui Alexander
  • V Varun Chaudhry
  • Evren Savci
  • Jaimee Swift
  • Cecilia Caballero
  • Alexis De Veaux
  • Judith Plaskow
  • Holly Smith
  • Beverly Guy-Sheftall
  • PJ Di Pietro
  • endawnis Spears
  • Bobby Sanchez

    Please continue the festivities by attending the Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS) Indigipalooza events… 

    Friday, 3/22:

    2:30 pm-3:30 pm

    Reception before Chairman Rodney Butler’s Talk

    Location: NACP Office (Room 103), Student Union


    3:30 pm-4:30 pm

    Chairman Butler’s Talk

    Location: Student Union Theater


    Sunday, 3/24:

    12 pm-5 pm

    UConn Spring Powwow

    Location: Student Union Ballroom


    10 am-3:30 pm


    Location: NACP Office (Room 103), Student Union