Mothering, Popular Culture, Science Fiction, TV and Film, Performance/Theatre
Kryn Freehling-Burton earned her interdisciplinary masters degree in Women Studies and theatre from Oregon State University and has been teaching for the department for the past nine years. She teaches a variety of classes on campus, including 223 and 224, our two introductory courses, Women and Sexuality, Women in the Movies, Gender and Science, and a first-year experience course each fall and was promoted to Senior Instructor in 2014. Though most of her work at OSU is teaching and advising, Kryn is involved in research and creative writing projects focusing on mothering, theatre, activism, and online learning. This research informs her classroom work and she includes popular culture and student-created art projects as important components of learning in all of her classes.
Kryn took her first class at OSU through e-campus before grad school and is excited to be part of the on-line major as the online advisor and coordinator. She works with the more than dozen instructors who teach for the online major and more than 25 students who major and minor in WGSS through e-campus.
In addition to teaching and advising, Kryn currently serves as Co-Chair for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women at Oregon State and is on Ms. Magazine’s Committee of Scholars. In 2015, she was appointed as the book review editor for the Journal Of the Motherhood Initiative (JMI), based in Toronto, Ontario.
Kryn’s book, Performing Motherhood, co-edited with Amber Kinser and Terri Hawkes was published by Demeter Press in December of 2014.
Forthcoming is a chapter entitled “Reforming the Evil Mother on ABC’s Once Upon a Time” in the book Evil Women, Mean Girls and she co-wrote Atlantis’ upcoming article, “Gender, Nation, and Belonging: Representing Mothers and the Maternal in Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation” with colleagues Patti Duncan and Mehra Shirazi.
As editor for the Africa and Middle East Volume of the Women’s Lives Encyclopedia, Kryn is working with scholars from around the world, including OSU students who are writing 42 country entries. Her co-editors, Susan Shaw, Patti Duncan, Jane Nichols, and Nancy Barbour, are also located at Oregon State University in the WGSS program, the School of Language, Culture, and Society, and the University Library.
Kryn and her theatre colleague, Dr. Charlotte Headrick, have co-written and produced a documentary film about the scientist Gerty Cori and the women’s experiences in STEM at OSU called Gerty Cori: Beautiful Light and Pattern. It premieres on campus in 2015-16.
One of Kryn’s favorite classes to teach is Feminist Organizing in New York City and Washington DC. For two weeks during June, OSU Women Studies students visit a variety of organizations and meet with women running non-profit organizations, organizers working in politics, and activists advocating for women and other under-represented groups in our society.
Kryn is a playwright whose most recent play, In the Image of God, toured Southern California for a year and a half. Inspired by interviews Dr. Susan Shaw conducted with Southern Baptist women, Kryn co-wrote Baptist Preacher Girl that premiered at OSU’s One-Act Festival in 2007. She is currently writing two plays; Language of Silence is based on women’s stories about their mothers and the other depicts one group of women’s response to domestic violence. As an actor, Kryn is most often seen on stage in activist theatre productions and staged readings connected to events on campus. The upcoming Play Reading Series focuses on women scientists.
Kryn met her partner on the theatre stage as an undergraduate political science major in California and they now live with their family-including 4 almost-grown kids-in Portland. Kryn feels lucky to work with such amazing scholars and human beings and especially cherishes her carpool friends and colleagues.