Madison Oakley

What makes you want to be a CRIS major or minor?

I took Sex and Power my freshman year and fell in love on the very first day. Throughout the class, I was able to explore topics of interest to me like pornography, women’s work, and bodies. I was able to put a name to the theories I already believed, as well as explore new theories and concepts. I declared my CRIS major in order to continue learning about these theories and apply them to the real world.

If you’ve already taken CRIS courses, what has been your favorite reading or assignment? Why? OR, what CRIS course do you look forward to taking? Why?

I really geeked out about most of the readings and assignments in Sex and Power. My favorite assignment was probably the final paper in which we had to apply one of the theories to an object of our choosing. I chose to analyze a Veet commercial from Foucault’s lens of docile bodies. I had a hard time choosing what to write about, simply because I look at the world with a feminist lens all the time. I also really enjoyed reading the intro to “The Curious Feminist” in CRIS 301 because I found it to be so relevant and applicable to Beloit.

What are your CRIS learning goals?

My first learning goal is to consider my privilege in all asoects of my life. This has already manifested in Sex and Power, but I believe that any class I will take at Beloit, whether CRIS or otherwise, will allow me to consider what sort of privileges I might have, how they are projected onto others, and how they contribute to the greater system of power and oppression.

Second, I want to focus my CRIS major on the notion of boundaries and compartmentalization in regards to identity and power. This is a fairly new learning goal of mine that was realized through Engendering Race: Boundary and the Self this semester which focuses on issues regarding boundaries, categories, and space. I will also engage more with these concepts during my summer research project in Seattle where I will explore how Universities and higher education students contribute to gentrification and the dichotomization of neighborhoods.

What do you want to do with your CRIS knowledge/skills in your post-Beloit life?

As I continue taking classes and asking myself this question I get closer and closer to a tangible answer. Currently, I see myself working for some organization (non-profit, interest group, NGO) that deals with human rights. “Human rights” of course is very vague, but I have so many interests that cover the whole spectrum. With time and new opportunities I’m sure I will be able to come up with a more specific answer.

What would you tell other students thinking about majoring or minoring in CRIS?

I tell so many students that they should take at least one CRIS class in their Beloit career because, no matter what their interest, they will always learn something fascinating about themselves and the world around them, as well as learn how to be a more sensitive, respectful person.

I think a lot of Beloit students associate CRIS with women and gender studies, but it is so much more than that. I like to say that CRIS is less of a combination of different disciplines, and rather the study of how those disciplines and identities intersect.

June 05, 2018

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