Skip to main content

Tea Talks

Now entering its 11th year, the Tea Talks lecture series at Augustana will begin Nov. 13, 2019, featuring faculty speakers on a range of topics.The series is sponsored by the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program.

All lectures are held from 11:10 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Wednesdays in Carlsson Evald Hall in the Great Hall on the first floor.

Lectures are free and open to the public as well as the campus community. Refreshments are served. For more information about the series, contact


Nov. 13: Minerva and the representation of women of color in Cuba

Dr. Oleski Miranda Navarro, visiting assistant professor of Spanish

Description: In 1888 and 1889 in colonial Cuba, the journal Minerva was penned and printed by women of color, providing a unique perspective of society from the viewpoint of black women. Slavery in Cuba had only been abolished two years prior to the creation of the magazine, and its publication represents an exceptional case of female textual production in the Hispanic world.

Nov. 20: On the question of (im)proper pronouns: a provocation for queering linguistic networks

Dr. Kiki Kosnick, assistant professor of French, and Vickie R. Phipps, assistant professor of art and graphic design

Description: "In recent years, familiarity with gender-neutral and non-binary pronouns has continued to increase as speakers of English are identifying themselves as “they,” “xe,” and “per” with greater frequency at the same time as many educators and activists are mindful to avoid gender-coded language. Although it is now common in some educational and community settings for folks to share their pronouns as part of routine introductions, at best, one notes a chasm between everyday linguistic practices and the grammatical standards of editorial and scholarly bodies...

"Our provocation intervenes in these ongoing debates by providing an alternate framework that leverages sensibilities already embedded in English grammar (e.g., proper nouns and proper adjectives) while making room for the articulation of queer experience."

Feb. 19, 2020: Women on the Podium: When Females Lead

Dr. Dawn Farmer, assistant professor of music

Description: "In contemporary instrumental ensembles, male conductors far outnumber female conductors. The more professional the ensemble level, the less likely it is that a woman conductor will be seen in front of such groups. This session examines this phenomenon and will present historical roots, statistical data, and qualitative interview data regarding women on the podium and as conductors.

"This will be of interest to any woman planning to go into a field that is male-dominated, female musicians, female educators, and those who find interest in gender studies."

March 4, 2020: Valorizing the marginalized: The perils and possibilities of climate activist capital

Dr. Bobby Wengronowitz, assistant professor of sociology

Description: "Drawing on observant participation, interviews, and surveys, I present findings from a climate justice campaign against a natural gas pipeline in the northeast USA. This research suggests that some activists valorize the marginalized, that is, they celebrate the dominated in the space of positions. This means — all else equal — that typically disadvantaged individuals are advantaged while typically advantaged individuals are disadvantaged.

"For example, women and gender non-binary identifying individuals and gay and queer folks are celebrated. They are understood to appreciate oppression, disadvantage, and so on, such that they are better activists (or at least could be). This flipped hierarchy garners them the symbolic form of what I call Climate Activist Capital: status-enhancing recognition that has value within the climate activist social space. "

March 18, 2020:  Women in Prison

Dr. Sharon Varallo, professor of communication studies

Women are the fastest-growing segment of the incarcerated individuals in this country, but public discussions of mass incarceration sometimes overlook specific issues related to women's imprisonment. This session provides quantitative and qualitative data on the state of incarceration on American women.

Dr. Varallo is on sabbatical crafting what she hopes will become an Augustana College-in-Prison program. She teaches courses across the interdisciplinary field of communication studies, especially intercultural communication and social relationships, and is recently returned from teaching a Holden Village J-term course focused on Time.

April 22, 2020: Trésor du temps: Fallacies and femmes in 1970s elementary French textbooks

Dr. Emily Cranford, visiting assistant professor of French

Dr. Cranford's research interests include gender and sexuality in early modern France; the intersections of friendship, proto-feminism, and masculinity; monsters, odd bodies, and otherness; and medieval to contemporary writings about plants and animals.