Fireside Chats


“Fireside Chats” were a regular feature in the Women’s Studies calendar until a few years ago and the tradition was revived last spring. During the fall semester WVU’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies hosted two fireside chats. These brief discussions are given by handpicked speakers to present their own specialized research, interests, or experiences in women’s and gender studies for a small group in an informal setting.

The first, given on September 25 by one of WVU Women’s and Gender Studies graduate teaching assistants, Brendan Muckian-Bates, addressed The Gendering of Young Byzantine Males. He earned an MA in History from WVU in May, concentrating in ancient and medieval history. During his 20 minute talk, Brendan presented his research on the effect fathers had on raising Byzantine children.

This semester’s second Fireside Chat on October 23 was given by Cookie Mankowsi from WVU’s School of Social Work. Mankowski completed her bachelor’s degree at Michigan State University and earned her master’s degree from the University of Michigan. She received a pre-dissertation fellowship at Yale University and her Ph.D. from Smith College and, before coming to WVU, worked at community mental health agencies, schools, universities and hospitals, most recently at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in West Haven, CT. Her talk entitled “Coming Home: Readjustment for Women Veterans returning from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom”, focused on a veteran’s return from deployment, from a female perspective. She discussed ways in which daily activities can be extremely unpredictable for female veterans.

Several Fireside Chats are planned for spring 2015 starting on February 5. For up to date information please visit our website in the new year.