BC prepares lineup for women’s history month
March 2, 2017
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In 1987, the month of March became the National Women’s History Month in the United States. Since then, Bakersfield College’s Women’s History and More (W.H.A.M.), led by psychology professor Pat Thomas, was formed by faculty and staff and to commemorate March as Women’s History Month.
The W.H.A.M. committee was later chaired by history professor Ann Wiederrecht.
To this day, the committee organizes events for Women’s History Month at BC that provide historical context and contemporary significance.
History professor and W.H.A.M. committee member Erin Miller stated that this year, “The committee will examine the ways in which historical portrayals of women originated, evolved, and continue to influence modern presentations of ‘self,’ especially on social media.”
Miller explained that the committee’s goal is to provide a variety of different types of events, such as panels involving professors, staff, and students, scholarly lectures, films and documentaries, performing art, and studio art, so that students and the community have different ways to engage the material and themes.
“We also create opportunities for the audience to engage in the experience, either through soliciting student participation in advance or through moderated discussion,” stated Miller.
“For example, our performing art event this March, Brian’s Beard Improv Theatre Troupe, will allow the audience to give impromptu topics related to the theme of how men’s views of women impact how women see themselves to the actors.”
Miller mentioned that the committee organizes events that deal with women’s history specifically but that also discuss the ideas of sexuality, race, class, ethnicity, and immigration, among a few.
The committee is currently mostly composed of BC faculty and staff.
However, Miller highly encourages more students to become involved.
“Most departments emphasize gender in components of their curriculum, but working with W.H.A.M. is a great way [to get involved],” said Miller. “We offer a Women’s History course, History B25 in the History department, and the Sociology, Anthropology, and Communications Departments feature gender as an area of emphasis in their courses.
“Also, the Student Government Association usually organizes events related to women’s issues as well.” Miller stated that the W.H.A.M. committee members “would like to offer special thanks to Wiederrecht, BC history professor, for her leadership over the years in leading such vital campus events.”