Hi everyone! I’m a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Communication and Public Service and Fine Art in Photography. I have always had a strong passion for gender, sexuality and women’s studies—in fact, I began my began my freshman year at Penn as a prospective major. However, since a young age I have been drawn to politics and art, and I have since used my past Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies classes as a springboard into my studies of communication, public service, and photography.

This is my first cinema studies class, and I am looking forward to delving into the realm of film and expand my studies of communication and art beyond photography. I have not previously critiqued film through this lens, but I am excited to explore the intersections of gender, sexuality, and film. I am very active on campus with the Women’s Center and am a former research assistant for Dr. Lundeen in the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies department.

I see this class as a great supplement to the other classes I am taking this semester. I am taking a two-week trip to Istanbul with my photography class in March to pursue a project on male sexuality, male-to-male relationships, a repressed LGBT culture, and the Turkish bathhouses. I am also taking an Islamic art history class and political communication class, and I believe these coupled with Queer and Feminist Films will provide me the knowledge and inspiration to travel to Turkey and produce a sound collection of work that serves as a political statement.

I grew up in a small, very conservative town in Upstate New York, and I am so blessed to have many opportunities at Penn. What I love about feminism and queer studies is that I find it very applicable to other academic realms, especially communication, politics, and art. Although I am unsure where life takes me, I know my experiences with Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s studies will permeate the classroom walls. I hope one day to continue to be an active and outspoken voice for those who have been silenced and those who have yet to find their voice.

I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone else in the class. Here’s to a great semester!