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Famous figures to hit the runway for Women’s History Month

February 13th, 2010 Posted in Arts and Life

LOGAN—Utah State University will host the likes of Cleopatra, Rosa Parks, Lady Gaga, Amelia Earhart and Bette Davis on March 25 as “Women Rock the Runway” in celebration of Women’s History Month.

The event, sponsored by the USU Women & Gender Studies Program, will permit students, faculty, staff and members of the community to dress up as their most admired “unapologetic women in history or popular culture,” said WGS Director Brenda Cooper.

“We’re all familiar with the statement by historian Laura Thatcher Ulrich that, ‘Well-behaved women seldom make history,’” Cooper said. “We are honoring and celebrating the many women in all walks of life who have made history and changed society for women and men.”

Participants will come dressed as famous (and infamous) figures, from suffragists to queens, cartoon characters, movie stars and fictional femmes fatales, Cooper said.

“In our celebration of women who have made history, we want to share and honor each other’s heroines,” she added.

The contestants will compete for prizes in at least six different categories: “A Room of Their Own”—Women Writers; Crime Fighters—Sleuths and Warrior Women; Red-Carpet Women—Starlets and Strumpets; The Social Justice League (crusaders for civil rights); and the Wild Women of Rock ‘n Roll. There also will be a People’s Choice Award, selected by the audience.

“We may have more categories,” said senior Jess Larsen, one of the WGS event organizers, “depending on who shows up. Where would we put Rosie the Riveter, or [teacher-astronaut] Sally Ride?”

Contestants may register ahead of time or at the event, which will be from 3-5 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, in the Merril-Cazier Library Auditorium (room 101) on the USU campus. In addition to dressing the part, contestants must bring a brief, 50-word statement explaining their “unapologetic” heroine and how she changed the world.

The statements will be read by the emcee while the contestants pose for the audience. A three-judge panel will offer immediate commentary on each contestant, a la “Project Runway,” said JCOM senior Storee Powell, another event organizer.

Judges will be 2006 WGS alumna Jacoba Mendelkow Poppleton of the USU research office, 2002 WGS graduate Maure Smith, director of the USU GLBTA  Services Office, and USU Classics Professor Mark Damen.

The event is co-sponsored by the Women & Gender Research Institute and the Women’s Resource Center; the USU Honors Program; GLBTA Services; Merrill-Cazier Library, and the USU departments of History, Journalism & Communication, and Sociology, Social Work & Anthropology. Food will be provided by Hamilton’s Steak & Seafood.

For information and registration, contact Cooper at Brenda.cooper@usu.edu.

TP

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