News Release

Southeastern celebrates March as Women's History Month

Contact: Christina Chapple


     HAMMOND Southeastern Louisiana University will celebrate women’s history in March with a free lecture series on topics ranging from notable America’s First Ladies and Elizabeth I and Louisiana women and the state’s fragile coast.

     The university’s annual Women’s History Month series is again partnering with the National Women’s History Project’s celebration, incorporating its 2009 theme “Women Taking the Lead to Save Our Planet,” said Natasha Whitton of the Southeastern Department of English. The theme honors women who have taken the lead in the environmental movement.

     To tie in with the national theme, Whitton said Women’s History Month will feature a lecture by geographer Gay Gomez, “The Louisiana Coast: Worth Seeing and Worth Saving?,” March 12, 12:30 p.m., in the Student Union Theatre.

     Gomez, a geography professor at McNeese State University, is the author of “The Louisiana Coast: Guide to an American Wetland,” published last year by Texas A&M University Press, and “A Wetland Biography: Seasons on Louisiana's Chenier Plain.”

     Women’s History Month events also include a March 26 lecture by author Christina Vella, and “W.E. – Women Empowered,” a March 20 conference designed to bring community women and university students together for a day of learning and networking.

     Vella’s first book, “Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of the Baroness de Pontalba,” was chosen for the cover of the New York Times Book Review and was selected by Publishers Weekly, the New York Times and The Times-Picayune for their “Best Books of 1997” lists. Her most recent history is “Indecent Secrets: The Infamous Murri Murder Affair.”

     She will present “Reader, I Didn’t Marry Him: The Brontës, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot, Mary Shelly – The Rigmarole of Matrimony,” as the Women’s History Month series’ final lecture on March 26, 12:30 p.m., in the Student Union Theatre.

     The W.E. Conference will feature workshops and presentations on topics such as work-life balance, stress and its effects on health, navigating and negotiating gender differences, minority women in business, smart risk-taking, building a leadership legacy, and business and technology etiquette.

     The cost of the one-day conference is $50, which includes breakfast and lunch. Discount prices are available for Southeastern students, faculty and staff, and members of the FE-Lions. The deadline to register for the conference is March 6. A printable registration form and additional information, including a list of conference speakers, is available at

     Unless otherwise indicated, Women’s History Month events are free and will be held in the Student Union Theatre. The schedule includes:

     ▪ March 3, 11 a.m. -- Donovan Hudson, “African American Women and Civil Rights -- Winning a War on Two Fronts”

     ▪ March 4, noon -- Margaret Gonzalez-Perez, “Women, Politics, and the Media”

     ▪ March 4, 2 p.m. -- Carolyn Hembree, poet, Writing Center (D Vickers Hall, room 383)

     ▪ March 5, 12:30 p.m. -- William Robison, “Was England’s Greatest ‘Renaissance Man’ a Woman?: The Real Queen Elizabeth I”

     ▪ March 10, 11 a.m. -- Denelle Cowart, “Edith Somerville: Facing the Challenges of a Transitional World”

     ▪ March 11, noon -- Pamela Binnings Ewen, “The Moon in the Mango Tree: My Grandmother’s Story in the 1920s”

     ▪ March 12, 12:30 p.m. -- Gay Gomez, “The Louisiana Coast: Worth Seeing and Worth Saving?”

     ▪ March 13, noon -- Janet Allured, “The Women’s Liberation Movement in Louisiana”

     ▪ March 14, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. – “Women in Louisiana History from Poverty Point to Katrina,” Teaching American History Grant teacher workshop featuring Janet Allured, Charles Elliott, William Robison, and Ann Trappey, Louisiana State Museum, Baton Rouge. Information: 985-549-2109

     ▪ March 16, 11 a.m. -- Mary Sue Ply, “18th Century British Women and the Struggle for Formal Education”

     ▪ March 17, 11 a.m. -- Patricia Brady, “From Martha to Michelle: Some Notable First Ladies and their Struggles with the Role”

     ▪ March 18, noon -- Rebecca Hensley, “In Your Face Women: The Ones We Never Hear About”

     ▪ March 18, 5 p.m. -- “Safe” by Todd Haynes, presented by the Silver Screen Society, McClimans Hall, room 116

     ▪ March 19, 12:30 p.m. -- Tara Mann, “Femicide in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico”

     ▪ March 20, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. -- “W.E. – Women Empowered” Conference, Student Union. Information, registration:

     ▪ March 24, 11 a.m. -- Amy Acosta, “Powerful Puritan Women in Fact and Fiction”

     ▪ March 25, noon -- Carol Madere, “Getting the Dirt Out: Female Investigative Reporters of Yesterday and Today”

     ▪ March 26, 12:30 p.m. -- Christina Vella, “Reader, I Didn’t Marry Him” -- headliner

Louisiana Book Festival – academic affiliation

     For additional information about Southeastern’s Women’s History Month, contact Whitton at 985-549-2413,, or Judith Fai-Podlipnik, 985-549-5388,

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