Women in the Field Panel

a group of people at a sculpture dedication

Date and Time

Thu, Apr 7, 2022 - 5:00pm

Part of the Exhibition

In alignment with the Western Gallery’s current exhibition, Nancy Holt, Between Heaven and Earth, the Gallery is putting together a panel of female academics, scholars and professionals from across the WWU community to address the topic of “Women in the Field.” With an academic background in Biology and her successful career as an artist, Holt was a pioneer in the land art movement and one of the only women artists within the male dominated movement. Land art emerged during the 1960s/70s coinciding with the growing ecology movement in the United States, leading to an overlap of art and science. For this reason, the panelists will include professionals in fields ranging from the fine arts to natural sciences. The panel will consider the challenges and opportunities of women professionals working in their respective fields, just as Holt was a pioneer among her contemporaries.

Panelist Bios

Sasha Petrenko

Sasha Petrenko is an interdisciplinary artist and Artistic Director of The New Urban Naturalists. Her work utilizes sculpture, performance, social practice and new media to draw parallels between ecology and human relationships. Petrenko’s projects have been featured widely at national and international venues. Currently Sasha is developing an ecological rock opera combining interactive sound installations, live musical performance, dance and video projections, and Jack Straw New Media Artist 2022-2023.

Rae Lynn Swartz-DuPre

Rae Lynn Schwartz-DuPre (PhD, University of Iowa) is a professor of Communication Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies. Her research and teaching centers on post-colonialism, rhetoric, identity, and popular culture in primary US contexts and critically considers the circulation of cultural icons and the ways in which their linguistic and visual representations constitute knowledge. She is the author of Curious about George: Curious George, Cultural Icons, Colonialism, & U.S. Exceptionalism (Univ. Press of Mississippi, 2021) and Communicating Colonialism: Readings on Postcolonial Theory(s) and Communication (Peter Lang, 2014) and several other journal articles in the Communication and Feminist disciplines.

Caroline Hardin

Dr. Caroline Hardin is an Assistant Professor in the department of Computer science, with a research focus on Computer Science Education and Digital Privacy. Her work centers on increasing diversity in computer science through informal pathways (such as hackathons, e-textiles, games, and makerspaces) and improving computer science pre-service teacher training options.


Image: Nancy Holt speaks at the 1978 dedication ceremony for "Stone Enclosure: Rock Rings" at Western Washington University. Courtesy photo

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