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Delight in the Fight with the CVC

Thought-provoking and infused with humor, the Cassandra Voss Center’s 2015-16 season theme “Delight in the Fight” takes a unique look at hard-to-approach social justice topics as seen through a comedic lens. This series challenges men and women alike to contemplate humor – especially its limits and power.

According to Anna Thompson ’18, women’s and gender studies teaching assistant, a major goal of this CVC initiative is to “take heavy topics and lighten them enough for anyone to understand and contemplate. Our programming is an amazing way for someone to get his or her feet wet in the world of women’s and gender studies.”

First-semester events ranged from “Who’s Laughing Now!?: On Gender & Humor” (a program focusing on how gender and humor function in the workplace, classroom and media) to “You Tweeted WHAT?!: Race, Gender & Comedians in the Digital Age” (which examined how comedians of varying backgrounds succeed in today’s market). Following a successful debut, the CVC is looking forward to premiering more “Delight in the Fight” events throughout the upcoming spring semester.

Student interns play a prominent role in event preparation and staging. Graphic designer Abbie Hausman ’17 is tasked with creating promotional pieces for each event of the season. After working on the “Delight in the Fight” program, Hausman says, “I have learned to be open and responsive to others given the center’s mindset of ‘transformative thinking for a just world.’ ”

On Feb. 25, 2016, volunteers will be “transformed” into a Human Library. This event will take place in the college’s own Mulva Library. Sharing stories of prejudice and discrimination, a host of living “books” will encourage listening patrons to become more tolerant in their search for social justice.

On March 14, 2016, actor, writer and stand-up comedian Sasheer Zamata of Saturday Night Live fame stars in an exclusive Skype conversation during the “Sasheer Awesomeness Video Fest,” streamed live.

The following month, nationally recognized social justice scholar bell hooks returns to St. Norbert College for her third visit. She will spend the week of April 18-22, 2016, in residence, sharing thoughts about her lifelong work, as well as conversations with well-known activists, scholars and artists. In the Walter Theatre on campus, hooks will present alongside native New York comedian Hari Kondabolu on April 19, and world-renowned writer, speaker and activist Parker J. Palmer on April 20.

“These programs are invaluable,” says Thompson. “For St. Norbert, we bring big names in the women’s and gender studies field to discuss topics in an approachable way. Being involved is rewarding, to say the least. It’s a unique feeling you get when you see someone understanding a tough topic they maybe haven’t thought of before.”

Dec. 1, 2015