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Popularizing Undergraduate Gender Studies

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Welcome to Popularizing Undergraduate Gender Studies (PUGS), a platform for UNC students to share their work and ideas around gender, culture, and more. 

Learn more about PUGS

A special thank you to our student designers, Casey Martinez and Nahono Bayne-Omai, for their work on our PUGS logo. 

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in each article is the opinion of its author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the PUGS editors, Gender Studies program, or UNC. Therefore, PUGS e-zine carries no responsibility for the opinion expressed thereon.


WRC Today

The Gender Studies program has teamed up with the Center for Women's and Gender Equity in developing a page titled “Student Voices” in their monthly newsletter, WRC Today, named for the previous name of the Center, the Women's Resource Center. 

This page was conceptualized by Dr. Ather Zia, who serves as the Consulting Editor. Student Voices will carry write-ups from Gender Studies minors as well as other UNC students. This collaboration is aimed to encourage students from different social backgrounds to publish critical reflections based on their experiences and materials being taught.

Other Student Expressions

Using visual and literary art, UNC students express themselves, spark insight and inspire others to build and express understanding and acceptance. Find even more student expressions on the Center for Women's and Gender Equity page

  • Student Artwork
    Eat Me Pretty
Paintings by Elizabeth Kelly
    Mind and Body
Art project by Alaina Gist
    The Woman's Work
Art project by Alaine Gist
    Woman with Headphones
Mural by Diane Richards

  • "Reflection of 'The Word Love'" by Tyrell Allen

    Reflection of “The Word Love”

    Poem for WS 285 by Tyrell Allen

    I used to write the word “love” with her index finger, exclusively.
    Because she possessed the power to point in the direction of everything good to me.
    She knew best.
    She knew traditions and stories and renditions that crafted my destiny without my consent.
    And this was okay because I trusted she would point me in the right direction.
    Until I found a compass of my own.
    A tool that put so much physical distance between my desire for education and my dedication to family.
    Even though the spiritual distance never changed.

    I used to spell the word “love” with his warmth.
    Because he dressed me in new senses of self seemingly serene.
    And I was happy to pull the letters from his dark blues eyes because I found comfort in them.
    I could see myself.
    But I discovered that this vision was purely one sided because he wasn’t capable of seeing himself in me.
    Unless he was actually in me, on those nights when love and memories and passion and pleasure all collided.
    Collisions conspiring against me, sparking confusion.
    Sparking clouded judgment of what I really wanted.

    I tend to see the word “love” in my dreams and good intentions.
    Because they’re the only things I have left to believe in.
    I am unable to return to sender because my mother knows not who I am anymore.
    “Calcutting” my identity to shreads.
    And he was unable to experience this with me.
    He has internalized all of this to the rim, and refuses to be my refuge.
    I’m seeking surfaces that feel nice to me.              
    Gentle changes in my life that make me happy to be the person I am.
    In honor of the person I’ve always been.

    Love is written by accepting the way things are and growing to be okay with them.
    Love is spelled with images and figures that respect and enjoy the person you are.
    Love is visualized when the methods of writing and spelling the word collide
    And these collisions are anything but cloudy or confusing.
    I can see love again.

  • "Volunteer" by Tyrell Allen


    Poem for WS 285 by Tyrell Allen

    I volunteer as target.
    The Necessary Target.
    In this multi-world dimension.
    Set up social archery and take your shot where you please because everyone knows there's little space for that otherwise.
    Tell me your truth. Throw drinks back.
    Scream from the top of your lungs, and close the gap between first and third.
    I volunteer as feminist.
    Let my ears give you the space that is often filled only with what men have to say.
    I recognize that.
    I have placed duct tape on my mouth and parchment all over my body
    So take your aim at patriarchy.
    My body is your literary vessel.
    It gives you space for your prose.
    Let us liberate each other from gender lines.
    I volunteer as friend first
    Because your story is one that should only be granted by way of authenticity.
    I should not force it.
    Let's talk about our favorite drinks.
    Our first loves. Our deepest desires. Our foundation.
    I volunteer as ashamed.
    Embarrassed because of my heavy stock in now seemingly trivial matters.
    Embarrassed by my ignorance.
    Embarrassed by my initial lack of willingness to turn “them” into “us”
    Embarrassed by the legacy that members of my gender have created.
    Embarrassed by my fear to take responsibility for them. 
    I volunteer as moved
    Taken by the wind of your journey
    The residual inspiration trickling from your willingness to stand tall and carry on.
    You carry me in your dreams
    You've revolutionized my definition of manhood.
    You've shown me truth.
    So I volunteer as change.
    Let us drink together.
    Let us find our place together.
    And we can talk about the things that should have never happened.
    Let us talk about your agency.
    Put me in my place.
    I volunteer as target.
    It’s necessary.

  • Spoken Poetry by Bianca Phipps

    Click below for videos of Bianca Phipp's powerful slam poetry:


    "The Heartbreaker Poem" 

    "Stay With Me"

  • Student Research

    Read Sarah Blattner’s excellent examination of Czech artist Alphoso Mucha’s portrayal of women at the turn of the century and Sarah's ground-breaking essay on 1970s drag culture in Denver.

    Read Hailey Otis’s fantastic examination of the term, “genderqueer.”

    Read Taylor McGinn’s awesome research on perceptions of same-sex and opposite-sex domestic violence (abstract).

    Read Jared Hudson’s superb essay on portrayals of Black gay men in contemporary film (abstract).

    Read Adrianna Smell’s superb research on how underrepresented students combat biases in higher education (abstract).

    Click here to read Lisha Amin’s terrific research about women’s experiences of their first experiences of sexual intercourse.