Abstract (from author): In both neo-burlesque and roller derby, there is a two-way communication between the audience (both male and female) and the performers/athletes that celebrates what the women (and sometimes men) on stage and on the track are doing. Using interviews with several burlesque performers and derby players, I demonstrate that there is a sense of community at both events between performers and audience, and that the art form of burlesque is not about monetary gain or exclusively for the pleasure of men. The burlesque performer is continually in communication with the audience through eye contact, performer-initiated physical contact, and invited audible response. I draw a parallel to roller derby as another outlet for women to express themselves outside of a traditional patriarchal frame for an audience of both women and men, paying particular attention to the acceptance of a wide range of body types, the creation of community, and a celebration of strength and skill not usually associated with women.
Archive for category Sp2016
When possible, I encourage my students to step out of their LITERAL comfort zone – to venture into the community around OSU – to see life through someone else’s lens.
I do this through many of my extra credit opportunities. I also do this – from time to time – with agencies. A few years ago, my 2367 students collected food for the Mid Ohio Foodbank and my “Helping Skills” class was visited by a representative of that foodbank to explain what they do and how we can help. Often, my 5440 students meet activists in the human sexuality realm and learn – firsthand – the challenges they face.
In Spring of 2016, I had two classes of 2367 students and they combined efforts to gather clothing (especially coats and OSU gear) for some students attending Beechcroft High School.
That effort far surpassed expectations and we created a board in Campbell Hall to commemorate the experience.
The whole effort came about organically. I spoke about students – in our own community – who walk to school without coats in the dead of winter. I talked about young people who have no college plans because that seed has not been planted.
My students were ready to help. Wow. What an amazing response it was. Over the course of two weeks, students brought in coats and hoodies along with t-shirts and fun items as well. They were encouraged to donate OSU items to foster college aspirations. The clothing drive was not attached to points or homework. They didn’t get extra credit for donating, but we collected more than 100 items in quick order.
With the assistance of Skye Zuza (at Beechcroft High School), several high school students in the special education program made posters about the drive to share with my students. Ms. Zuza was also instrumental in receiving and distributing the new and gently-used OSU gear to Beechcroft students.
- A special thanks to the students in both of my 2367 classes in the Sp16 Semester – for their generosity and interest in others.
- A special shout-out goes to Deston Howard (of my Monday/Wednesday class) who created the informative maps seen in the bulletin board image above. He took on that mapping project as an individual extra credit project and knocked it out of the park by providing all of us with a visual comparison of the demographics of the communities being served by a few of the wealthiest and poorest schools in our area.
- I am grateful to the staff at Beechcroft – They were essential in getting items to the students who had need and took the opportunity to talk to students about college aspirations.
Photo taken by – and used with permission of – Raquel Bahmer (student)
I’m on campus for a meeting today.
Meetings aren’t generally my favorite thing but this one? Relatively painless 🙂
It’s a nice change from grading -to be simply talking with a colleague – and so here I am. Most of the work from Spring 2016 is behind us, and a new Carmen is on its way. Summer (and summer classes) are on the horizon. Change is hard but it is good.
Did you catch that?
Change. Is. Good.
Speaking of change… OSU is very very quiet today. This is what happens when students are either GONE for good, or have headed off for summer plans… or are curled up in a ball nursing their wounds after grade-posting. Here’s hoping it’s one of the first two for all of my students. What a great semester – and what fantastic students. Yes… fantastic for the most part. I said it.
We hear a lot about millennials and it’s often negative. I’ve got news for the world: My students aren’t better OR worse than the generation that came before them. Some of them have their head on straight and are focused on their work. Some of them could not care less about school work. Some are just trying to figure out who they are in the world. That’s okay. It’s what young adults are doing today. It’s the same thing their parents and grandparents did before them.
I want to thank my students for an awesome semester. Some of you gave me a headache but nearly all of you made me smile or laugh at least once. If you screwed up this semester? Time for a change. Don’t let that define you. If you screw up in the future? Same advice. We are all capable of monumental failures and epic achievements. I’ve made my fair share of both. I suspect I’ll do the same in the future 😉
I always ask students to keep in touch if they’ve graduated. Let me know where you land… where life takes you. If you start a business or a family (or both), I’d love to hear about it. If you are at OSU still (or for a visit), let’s meet up for coffee.
The semester is winding down, and for many of you that means:
All the Feels
If you need to see me, I’m holding OPEN OFFICE HOURS today and Thursday.
TUESDAY, APRIL 26, 2016 7:30 am – 1:30 pm
(yup, I’m already here!)
THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2016 7:30 am – 1:30 pm
If you need to see me at another time, you will need to schedule private office hours. These are possible, but limited.
Whether you visit during drop-in hours or by-appointment, please come prepared with specific questions or concerns. Help me help you.
Don’t want to see me but anxious about grades? Please be patient as I chip away at this mountain of papers! You will be notified when all grades are in Carmen and ready for the Registrar’s office. If you have anything lower than an “A” I will give you an opportunity to verify your grades before the push to the main system.
Now – On a very serious note: If your stress levels have exceeded your coping strategies, please seek some help. There are lots of resources in the community. There are folks on campus that can talk with you as well. They’ll help you develop strategies to cope with finals as well as other issues. The Younkin Success Center offers excellent Wellness Services that cover everything from tutoring/studying assistance to counseling. Heck, if you are a graduating Senior, you can even go get help with your resume or career search!
If you need help… make sure to ask!
Speakers: BODY MODIFICATION with Nick Wolak and Dakota (Evolved Body Art & Rendezvous Hair Salon) (March 1, 2016 @ 11:10 am)
Nick Wolak and Dakota will visit my HDFS 5440 classroom on The Ohio State University Main Campus (Townshend Hall, Room 247) Today (March 1st) from from 11:10 am to 12:30 pm. to discuss body modification and stereotypes surrounding it.
After a brief introduction by the panel, there will be an informative Question&Answer period for students.
If you wish to bring a friend, make certain to tell them that chairs are not part of the bargain. There are just enough chairs for students enrolled in the class. All others should be prepared to grab a comfortable (?) spot on the floor.
This panel is offered to students along with a reading from Steve Lenius’ “Life, Leather, and the Pursuit of Happiness” about body modification along with a 2010 Article: Body modifications, sexual activity, and religious practices which examined correlations between body modifications (tattoos and piercings), sexual activity, and religious practices and beliefs.
From his Website:
Nick Wolak is the proud parent of two amazing children – Lennox Jahi and Ayala Itzel. He and his wonderful partner, Jennifer have dedicated their years together to balancing the endless tasks and joys of parenthood, academia, yoga/judo, body modification, meditation and traveling.
Nick has been in the industry since 1995 at Dos Gavachos Y Un Chilango Tattoos in Acapulco, Mexico. He has traveled to more than thirty countries where he has visited studios, done guest spots, and taken part in body modification rituals & ceremonies.
Nick completed his Masters degree at the Ohio State University in Somatic and Cultural Studies in 2002. His final project, “Somatic Piercing: The Art and Ritual of Body Piercing” portrays his experiences in body rituals as well as illuminates other piercers’ views on the matter.
From her page:
Dakota has been cutting, coloring, styling, and essentially being madly in love with doing hair for the past 9 years. She followed her heart to the Aveda Institute Columbus after experiencing a few years of college and has never looked back. She has proudly spent her entire career at Rendezvous…. She especially loves to utilize her skills to help you achieve looks that are gender-bending, unexpected, or simply outside the norm: QUEER! But most of all, she thrives on making each and every person that sits in her chair feel like a rockstar, whether their hair is a neon rainbow or a natural brunette.
With each person that sits in my chair, I hope to not only make them feel GREAT, but to remind them that self love is most important; and anything they do to alter their aesthetic should be solely for their own expression, and not as a result of societal pressure and standards.”
Instructor Note: Here are just a few of the things that keep Nick creatively connected to the Columbus community (and beyond):
Image of Nick Wolak source: http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/02/5b/e5/025be55fb4953b522783b18e3dae24e2.jpg
Image of Dakota source: http://www.rendezvoushair.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Dakota-staff-photo-2015-e1445010765434-246×300.jpg
Representatives from PolyColumbus will visit my HDFS 5440 classroom on The Ohio State University Main Campus (Townshend Hall, Room 247) on Tuesday, February 25 from from 11:10 am to 12:30 pm.. PolyColumbus is a growing non-profit organization that provides a safe place for those who are purposefully non-monogamous to learn, share, and build community.
After a brief introduction by the panel, there will be an informative Question&Answer period for students.
If you are in another instructor’s 5440 or you’ve taken it with me previously… YES, you may come. But it’s standing room only… you may need to grab a square of carpet. If you wish to bring a friend? Same thing applies. Make certain to tell them that chairs aren’t part of the bargain. Note: guests should not ask questions of speakers unless “paying” students have exhausted all of their inquiries.
This IS an extra credit opportunity for students in my 2367 class.
THEIR MISSION (From their website):
PolyColumbus empowers individuals that either self-identify as polyamorous, open, or ethically non-monogamous, or are exploring such possibilities. We build community to provide a safe and inclusive place to not only be ourselves, but also meet like-minded individuals from all backgrounds.
We advocate for the equal treatment of the ethically non-monogamous under law, and for broader societal acceptance of the same. We serve organizations with similar goals by documenting best practices and creating other resources for successfully running such an organization.
Finally, we educate each other, allied organizations, and the broader community on what it means to be ethically non-monogamous.
*If you – or someone you know – is interested in this group, more information is available on their website (links above throughout) or here if you would prefer to copy and paste:http://www.polycolumbus.org
Representatives from The Big Girl Burlesque will be visiting my HDFS 5440 classroom on The Ohio State University Main Campus (Townshend Hall, Room 247) on Tuesday, February 16 from from 11:10 am to 12:30 pm.
If you are in another instructor’s 5440 or you’ve taken it with me previously… YES, you may come. But it’s standing room only, so you may need to grab a square of carpet. If you wish to bring a friend? The same thing applies. Make certain they are adults and tell them that chairs aren’t part of the bargain. Note: guests should not ask questions of speakers unless “paying” students have exhausted all of their inquiries.
The Big Girl Burlesque is a troupe of like-minded women who believe that size has nothing to do with sexy! They own their curves and love their bodies. They invite you to come see what a body positive burlesque experience can be!
Empowered, exciting and oh so erotic! Check out the Big Girl Burlesque at their monthly show: Sultry Saturday! It’s every 4th Saturday at The Blue Pickle!
Follow the Big Girls on Facebook at
In addition to normal class readings, students were asked to read David Owen’s “Neo-Burlesque and the Resurgence of Roller Derby: Empowerment, Play, and Community.”
Students are encouraged to visit Leonard (Yes, Spock!) Nimoy’s FULL BODY PROJECT featuring full bodied models in a variety of clothed and naked poses.
Many of the images in this post were captured by the talented lens of Lightning Images.
A more common media portrayal of burlesque (Cher’s Welcome to Burlesque from the film: Burlesque)
Due to their age, the following videos are all in the public domain and are available at ARCHIVE.ORG
A vintage video clip from the 1930’s featuring Sally Rand:
Undated, The performer known as Kalantan:
A 1940’s era burlesque performer:
I am posting this to Carmen, online, and sending via email as well. There is no HDFS 2367(12746) class today (February 15). Please see your Carmen due dates for the shift in assignments as a result. We will make up the lecture (We won’t ignore the Myerson Family!) and catch up in no time. Be safe if you must go out.