The Cassandra Voss Center provides a vibrant and collaborative learning environment for the study of women and gender, and enables cooperation of all persons in the creation of more just and inclusive communities.

Upcoming Programs

Power Yak 2015

Fri 3.27.15 3-4:30pm Cassandra Voss Center

Power Yak

Kapow! Who’s your Hero? 2014-15
Yearlong programs on heroes, power, comics, and identity.


Kapow! Wonder Woman. Batman. Storm. Hulk. Amidst capes, masks, and spandex unfold epic tales of our heroes and their stories. Through the lens of fantastical identity narratives, superheros & comics provide a vehicle to talk about gender, race, sexuality, and class. These heroes are poised to speak. Who’s your hero?

***”SkypeTacular!” is a three-part skype series highlighting major scholars and creators of color in the comics industry.


Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 3:00 p.m., Ft. Howard Theatre
SkypeTacular! "Super Black" Pop culture and Black Superheroes

Presenter: Dr. Adilifu Nama, Associate Professor, African American Studies, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Author of Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes & Black Space: Imagining Race in Science Fiction Film.

Description: This first installment of the CVC’s “Kapow!” series, Dr. Nama’s conversation focuses on black racial identity and superheroes- from Storm, to Blade, to pop culture imagery of a hero-ified Barack Obama. Dr. Nama discusses constructed notions and myths about black racial formation.


Saturday, Sept. 13, 2014 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., SNC Day, Cassandra Voss Center

SuperHero SuperFun Action Fest

Description: Calling all superheroes, comic fans, and fun people: join the Cassandra Voss Center for a drop-in day for all ages featuring hero-themed games, art projects, face painting, capes, and more. Reimagine heroes. Part of the Cassandra Voss Center’s yearlong focus on heroes, power, comics, and identity. Kapow!


Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 3:00 p.m., Ft. Howard Theatre

SkypeTacular! “Ms. Marvel and the League of Marvel Women Speak”

Presenters: Sana Amanat, Editor, Marvel Entertainment; co-creator of Ms. Marvel, the first solo-series featuring a Muslim female superhero. Amanat manages creative content for Marvel’s publishing lines including the first African-American and Latino Spiderman, as well as Captain Marvel, which reframes the female super hero.

-Sana Amanat brings with her special guests- women creators, artists, and writers from Marvel Entertainment.

Description: An exclusive, first-ever college appearance of the female makers at Marvel Comics. Suit up for a Heroic Halloween & prepare to talk to the big dogs. This second event in the three-part “SkypeTacular” series features Ms. Marvel founder Sana Amanat and women creators at Marvel discussing identity in the comics industry- from Muslim heroes to biracial characters to mass-consumed women-made media. Wear your halloween best & pose for our photo contest. Super+Spooky Snacks provided.


Friday, Nov. 7, 2014 3:00 p.m., Cassandra Voss Center

“People of the Comic Book”: It’s a Man! Is He Jewish? It’s Supermensch!

Presenter: Dr. Harry Brod, Professor of Philosophy and Humanities, University of Northern Iowa.  Brod is a founding figure in the field of Masculinities Studies. He has written several books and speaks internationally on issues of masculinities, anti-racism and privilege, sexual consent, and Jewish studies. Brod is most recently the author of Superman is Jewish?: How Comic Book Superheroes Came to Serve Truth, Justice, and the Jewish-American Way.

Description: Did you know Superman is Jewish?  Come learn how Clark Kent and Superman embody the fantasy lives of their creators, two Jewish teenagers in Depression era Cleveland.  From Superman and Batman to Spider-Man and the Hulk, many comic book superheroes have sprung from the imaginations of Jewish men. What themes of gendered power, powerlessness, and immigrant longings did these men write in their heroes?

*Co-sponsored by Prevention and Wellness Education, Counseling & Psychological Services, and the Office of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion. He is also giving a talk, “Asking For It: The Ethics and Erotics of Sexual Consent.” Thursday, November 6, 7:00 p.m., Ft. Howard Theater.


Friday, December 5, 2014 3:00 p.m., Cassandra Voss Center

'Flame On!': Nuclear Families, Unstable Molecules, and Queer History of 'The Fantastic Four.'

Presenter: Dr. Ramzi Fawaz, Assistant Professor of English, UW-Madison. Fawaz explores how traditionally underrepresented groups use popular literature/culture to engage in American political life. His book The New Mutants: Comic Book Superheroes and Popular Fantasy in Postwar America is forthcoming from NYU Press.

Description: Enter our thought lab: learn how mutation (literally & metaphorically!) affects societal norms. Join the conversation on how "The Fantastic Four" offered a key contribution to queer literary history in the 1960s by using the mutated bodies of its four heroes to depict the transformation of normative types in the 1950s nuclear family - the breadwinning father, doting wife, and bickering male siblings - into icons of 1960s radicalism.


Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015 11:00am- 12:30 p.m., Cassandra Voss Center

Guitar Hero Workshop: Write Lyrics Like you Mean It

Presenter: Carrie Newcomer is a songwriter and performer whom Rolling Stone says, “asks all the right questions.” From performances in Carnegie Hall to Kenya, from penitentiary workshops in Indiana to studying with classical masters in India, Newcomer’s eclectic repertoire melds social justice with skillful writing for a purpose.

Description: Learn how to be a real Guitar Hero in this writing workshop. Discuss tools for driving home a message in your songs with lyrics that pack a punch and a voice that matters. All levels welcome- no instrumental or songwriting experience necessary.

*Co-sponsored with the office of Faith, Learning, and Vocation. Concert with Newcomer Thursday evening, February 19.


Friday, Feb. 27, 2015 3:00 p.m., Ft. Howard Theater

SkypeTacular! Behind the Mask: (Re)Creating the first Asian-American Superhero

Presenter: Gene Luen Yang, Chinese American writer and drawer of award-winning comics and graphic novels, just wrote “The Shadow Hero,” a revival of the first ever asian-american superhero. Yang works for the popular series “Avatar: the Last Airbender.” His graphic novel American Born Chinese (2006), Publishers Weekly’s Best Comic of the Year, is the first graphic novel to be nominated for a National Book Award and the first to win the American Library Association’s Printz Award.  His most recent book, Boxers and Saints is also up for a National Book Award. Yang’s Catholicism informs his writing as well; he teaches in Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children/Young Adults.

Description: Installment three of the Cassandra Voss Center’s “SkypeTacular” series asks--how do you create an asian-american superhero? Gene Luen Yang discusses racial identity in comic books and how to illustrate it all to a national audience.


Friday, March 6, 2015 3:00 p.m., Cassandra Voss Center

Gender & Comics: The Hero you Think you Need

Presenters & Description Join Prof. Anne Elizabeth Moore in digital conversation @Cassandra Voss Center to discuss gender & comics through the eyes of the international Ladydrawers Comics Collective. The Lady Drawers Comics Collective is the only such comics collective in the country.  They research, perform, and publish comics and texts about how economics, race, sexuality, and gender impact the comics industry and our culture. Their comics journalism has been featured nationally in The New York Times Magazine, Forbes, Chicago Reader, and Jezebel. With art that is research-oriented and evidence based, the Collective dream-draws comics that spark a multiplicity of identities rather narrow ones.


bell hooks Residency April 20-24, 2015
Featuring Gloria Steinem April 21, 2015

bell hooks residency