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updated: 3/8/2013 3:12 PM

Explore the Future of Feminism at Oakton Conference

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  • Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, keynote speaker for Oakton's "Futuristic Feminism: Visionary Perspectives Across the Disciplines" conference being held March 22, in Des Plaines.

      Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai, keynote speaker for Oakton's "Futuristic Feminism: Visionary Perspectives Across the Disciplines" conference being held March 22, in Des Plaines.
    Courtesy of Oakton Community College

Submitted by Oakton Community College

Examine feminism through diverse lenses from women involved in academics, science, literature, activism, and art at the one-day conference Futuristic Feminism: Visionary Perspectives Across the Disciplines, 8:30 a.m. -- 5 p.m., Friday, March 22, at Oakton Community College, 1600 E. Golf Road, Des Plaines.

Award-winning spoken word poet and activist Kelly Zen-Yie Tsai will serve as the keynote speaker. Chicago-born Tsai is a Chinese Taiwanese American who was a founding member of Sirenz, an all-female spoken word group that weaves together experiences of the Asian, Black, and Latina American diasporas. For the past decade, she has been one of the country's leading innovators of spoken word poetry, touring extensively and appearing in more than 500 shows in Canada, China, England, France, Germany, Kenya, the Netherlands, Trinidad, and the United States. In addition, Tsai appeared on three seasons of the Peabody Award-winning Russell Simmons Presents HBO Def Poetry. As a writer, filmmaker, performer, and multidisciplinary hip hop theater artist, she strives to broaden the impact of spoken poetry as a tool to transform political realities, revolutionize arts and entertainment, and empower audiences around the world.

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Sponsored by Oakton's Women's and Gender Studies Program, the seminar also features Teresa Woodruff, Ph.D., director and founder of the Women's Health Research Institute at Northwestern University, and Sarah B. Rodriguez, Ph.D., lecturer at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University. The institute encourages women to pursue careers in the sciences, and fosters research that explores the sex and gender determinants of health and disease with an emphasis on women's health. Rodriguez's scholarly work and teaching also focuses on women's health, especially reproductive and sexual health.

Participants may choose from more than 10 small group sessions throughout the day. Topics include future directions in sex, gender, and health research; body image and eating disorders; and femme fatale characters.

Registration is $35 in advance (deadline is Monday, March 18), $50 at the door, and $20 for students. Registration includes continental breakfast, lunch, and a dessert reception.

For more information, visit and choose the "conferences" tab or contact Kathleen Carot at (847) 376-7061, or

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