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Film series to look at women in sport

Andrea Lynn, Humanities Editor


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Gender and Women’s Studies Program (GWSP) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced its fall semester film series.

The series, titled “Run Like A Girl: Representing Women in Sport After Title IX,” is supported by the Chancellor’s Office in conjunction with the university’s yearlong examination of the Brown v. Board of Education segregation cases. The series is free and open to the public.

According to Jacque Kahn, associate director of GWSP, the film series “provides a public forum for the discussion of gender equity and the controversies around women and sport that have emerged since Title IX.”

Kahn also said that the series “interfaces with the university’s Athletic Board/Department of Intercollegiate Athletics’ plans for a conference on the effects of Title IX,” the 1972 educational amendment that prohibits institutions that receive federal funding from practicing gender discrimination in educational programs or activities.

All films will begin at 5:30 p.m. Films, dates, locations and running times:

Oct. 9, “Run Like a Girl,” 1998 film directed by Carol Cassidy, 57 minutes. Girl athletes tell how sports have given them the strength to thrive under the pressures of growing up; 192 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St., Urbana.

Nov. 6, “Blue Crush,” 2002, directed by John Stockwell, 103 minutes. A girl trains for “the ultimate” surfing competition, even as she is haunted by the trauma of a near-fatal accident; 106 Lincoln Hall.

Dec. 4, “Bend It Like Beckham,” 2003, directed by Gurinder Chadha, 112 minutes. A coming-of-age comedy about an 18-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a professional soccer player, while her parents have more traditional plans for her; 62 Krannert Art Museum, 500 E. Peabody Drive, Champaign.

The spring line-up will include “Personal Best,” “Love and Basketball,” “But I’m a Cheerleader,” “Red Rain,” “A League of Their Own” and “A Day on the Force,” the last film being a documentary about the professional women’s football team known as the “Chicago Force.”

GWSP, which was formerly called the Women’s Studies Program, changed its name last May. Kahn said that the program’s name change “reflects the current research interests and teaching of our faculty.”

“The word ‘gender’ includes the study of men and masculinities as well as women and femininities,” Kahn said. “As a field, gender studies examines gender as a shifting category of social identity that is historically and culturally determined.”

The program, an academic unit in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, is dedicated to studying gender issues. Its mission is “to provide an educational environment that promotes an awareness of and appreciation for differences created by gender, race, ethnicity, class, global locations and sexual orientation.”