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Center Events

Women’s Studies Certificate Program
Center for the Study of Women and Society
The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY
Spring 2016
Labor, Land, Social Reproduction
Thursday, February 18, 2016
6:00-7:30 pm
Room 9206
Dressing Renaissance Bodies: Metaphors and Meaning 
PENNY JOLLY teaches Skidmore's courses on medieval art from the early Christian period through the Gothic, as well as on Renaissance Italy and northern Europe; additionally, she offers a course on the history of European dress and hair from the Renaissance through the present. Her research focuses particularly on the 15th century, especially the work of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, and involves topics such as hair and dress, including a study of earrings and the meaning of body air in art; imagery involving gender, especially as related to breastfeeding, birthing and childhood; Adam and Eve narratives; and the iconography of Mary Magdalene in northern Europe in the 15th and 16th centuries. Her book, Picturing the “Pregnant” Magdalene in Northern Art, 1430-1550: Addressing and Undressing the Sinner-Saint, was published by Ashgate in 2014.
The event is co-sponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance
Monday, February 29, 2016
6:30 pm
Room 4116 Comparative Literature Lounge
Crafting Wearables: A Plea for Slowness
ANNEKE SMELIK is Professor of Visual Culture at the Radbound University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Her books include Thinking through Fashion: A Key Guide to Theorists (2015) and Performing Memory in Art and Popular Culture (2013). In this lecture, she argues that wearable technology does not merely involve technological innovation, but also needs changes towards a more sustainable system of production and consumption. Wearable technology can never fulfill its promise in a pressurized system of fast fashion within a speedy 24/7 culture (Crary 2013). Ultimately, this lecture therefore argues for a ‘small philosophy of slowness’.
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Room 4108 Liberal Studies Lounge
BROWN BAG LUNCH Conversation
Testimonial Politics and Poetics: BlackLivesMatter and Claudia Rankine’s Citizen
LEIGH GILMORE is a visiting scholar in the English Department at Brown University and formerly Associate Professor of English at Ohio State University. She is the author of The Limits of Autobiography: Trauma and Testimony (Cornell, 2001), Autobiographics: A Feminist Theory of Self-Representation (Cornell, 1994), and coeditor of Autobiography and Postmodernism (University of Massachusetts Press, 1994).
Friday, March 4, 2016
9:00 -5:00 pm
Elebash Recital Hall
CLAGS 25th Anniversary Conference
One-day conference with former CLAGS executive directors, board members, and students, to discuss the past, present, and future of CLAGS. Speakers include: Martin Duberman, Jonathan Ned Katz, Carmen Vasquez, Paisley Currah, and more. More information at
This event is co-sponsored with The Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies, CLAGS
Tuesday, March 8, 2016           
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Room 9207
Social Movements for Gender Violence Prevention in Spanish Universities
TINKA TABEA SCHUBERT is a visiting scholar in the Sociology Ph.D. program at the Graduate Center, working on the issue of gender violence in Spanish universities, and how it can be combatted. She is a researcher at the Community of Researchers on Excellence for All (CREA) ([]) at the University of Barcelona, Spain. She is one of the founding members of the first peer-to-peer networks of victims of gender violence in universities in Spain.
While gender violence on US campuses is a recognized problem, in Spanish universities this is still a taboo issue, which is just being brought to light. In her talk, Tinka focuses on the role of social movements in this struggle against gender violence in Spanish universities, and especially, the success of these movements in achieving political and social impact. The empowerment of victims is analyzed as well as how this kind of activism can contribute to universities free of gender violence. Implications for the international context of the struggle against gender violence in higher education are also highlighted. 
Monday, March 14, 2016
4:00 - 5:30 pm
Room C197
Women Writing Women’s Lives                                          
RUTH FRANKLIN is a book critic and a contributing editor at the New Republic. She is the author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction (Oxford, 2013) and is currently working on a biography of the American writer Shirley Jackson, to be published by Norton in 2016. She has written for many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Slate, Granta, the Jewish Review of Books, and Salmagundi, to which she contributes a regular film column. She was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s Nona Balakian Award for Excellence in Reviewing in 2013 and the recipient of a 2012 Guggenheim Fellowship in biography and the 2012 Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. She received a B.A. in English literature from Columbia University and an M.A. in comparative literature from Harvard.
Cosponsored with Writing Women’s Lives, WSCP, Leon Levy Center for Biography, CUNY Graduate Center’s PhD Programs in History and English, MA Program in Liberal Studies, and the Center for the Humanities.
Monday, March 14, 2016
10:00 - 6:00
Rooms C203, C204, C205
Empowerment of Women and Sustainable Development           
The NGO Committee on the Status of Women is sponsoring eight events from 10:00 - 6:00 organized by international women's NGOs based on the Commission on the Status of Women's Priority Theme, The Empowerment of Women and its Link to Sustainable Development, and the Review Theme, The Elimination and Prevention of all Forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.
Events coordinated as part of NGO CSW Forum 60 by Susan O’Malley, Chair, NGO CSW/NY
Thursday, March 17, 2016  
6:00 – 7:30 pm
Room C201
Queer Pregnancies in William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream
ALICIA ANDRZEJEWSKI is a Ph.D. student and Enhanced Chancellor's Fellow in the English program at the Graduate Center. She holds an M.A. from Appalachian State University, N.C. Her current research focuses on representations of pregnancy and fertility control in early modern drama, bringing together feminist, queer, and affect theory in order to work through how “failed” pregnancies were, and continue to be, imagined and understood. She teaches in Queens College's English Department and works as the program's Assistant Director of First Year Writing.
Cosponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance.
Wednesday, March 23, 2016
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Room C201
Gender and Labor                                         
RUTH MILKMAN is a sociologist of labor and labor movements who has written on a variety of topics involving work and organized labor in the United States, past and present. Her early research focused on the impact of economic crisis and war on women workers in the 1930s and 1940s. She then went on to study the restructuring of the U.S. automobile industry and its impact on workers and their union in the 1980s and 1990s; in that period she also conducted research on the labor practices of Japanese-owned factories in California. More recently she has written extensively about low-wage immigrant workers in the U.S., analyzing their employment conditions as well as the dynamics of immigrant labor organizing. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, where she teaches Labor Studies and also serves as Research Director.  
Monday, March 28, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 pm
The Segal Theatre
Amelia Hertz: Decadent Histories: Four Plays
A presentation of play excerpts from the new Segal Theatre Center publication: Decadent Histories, Four Plays by the recently re-discovered extraordinary Polish playwright Amelia Hertz (1878-1942). After earning a doctorate in chemistry in 1904, Hertz followed careers as both playwright and historian, fields traditionally dominated by men, with in-depth studies of history, archeology, and ancient Middle Eastern languages. In her plays, which evoke perverse and macabre decadences and the ends of old worlds, she reworks legendary, historical, and fairy-tale materials. Hertz reinterpreted well-known legends, such as Tristan and Isolde and Gilles de Rais, from an unorthodox point of view--through the eyes of a secondary character, usually a victim. Jadwiga Kosicka, editor and translator of the plays, will provide commentary.
Cosponsors: Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, Jane House Productions, and the Polish Cultural Institute New York.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
6:00 –7:30 pm
Room C201
A Lens into the Study of Early Modern Women: Ashgate’s Women and Gender in the Early Modern World   
ABBY ZANGER, has been active in the field of gender studies as co-editor of the Ashgate Press series “Women and Gender in the Early Modern World” since 1999 and in various positions in the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women, including secretary since 2012.  She is author of Scenes from the Marriage of Louis XIV: Nuptial Fictions and the Making of Absolutist Power (Stanford 1997).  Most recently she has published articles and book chapters on topics such as women and iconography, witchcraft and placebos, the politics of the marriage plot, allegories of royal procreation, and the relations between print and theatre.  She is currently working on two book projects, one on political allegory and the other on passages to print, both concerning early modern France.  She has held academic appointments in French at Harvard University, Bowdoin College, Duke University and The University of Iowa, in Comparative literature at Yale University, and in history at Tufts University. 
Cosponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance.
Thursday, April 14, 2016
9:30 am-4:00 pm, Segal Theatre
9:30 am-7pm, Rooms C203, C204, C205
Research and Pedagogy Seminar: Fashion Studies and Material Culture
Scholars in various disciplines, students, librarians, curators, archivists will explore the challenges and perspectives of interdisciplinary work in their fields. For further information, please contact:

Monday, April 18, 2016
6:30 –8:00 pm
Room 9207
Women in Agriculture, in the Context of Ongoing Climate Change and the Corporate Takeover of Food Systems
JOAN P. MENCHER, Professor Emerita, Lehman College and the Graduate Center/CUNY
Professor Mencher, who has been working in South India since 1958 and has studied female agriculturalists for many years, will talk about the situation these women face at the present time, when apart from the hazards of climate change and the departure of many males from rural areas to seek employment, agricultural land is being appropriated by Indian states and corporations (some of them connected to MNCs) with support from the Government of India.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
6:30 -8:00 pm
Room 9207
Revisiting Social Reproduction
TITHI BHATTACHARYA, is a professor of South Asian History at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies (University of London) in 2000. She is the author of The Sentinels of Culture: Class, Education, and the Colonial Intellectual in Bengal (Oxford, 2005) and a longtime activist for Palestinian justice. Her next book project is titled Uncanny Histories: Fear, Superstition and Reason in Colonial Bengal. She writes extensively on Marxist theory, gender, and Subaltern studies, with specific interests in Modern South Asia, histories of fear and superstition, and the politics of Islamophobia. Her work has been published in the Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia Research, Electronic Intifada, Jacobin,, the New Left Review, and the Huffington Post. She is on the editorial board of the International Socialist Review.