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Fall 2017 Speaker Series Calendar


Center Events

Women’s Studies Certificate Program
Center for the Study of Women and Society
CUNY Graduate Center

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Room: 9207
Black Power and Women’s Liberation: Reconsidering the History of the Black Panther Party in Oakland, CA
Robyn Spencer
Robyn C. Spencer is a historian whose research centers on social protest after World War II, urban and working-class radicalism, and gender. In this talk, she will explore how the Black Panther Party attempted to provide an alternative space where black men and women could challenge sexism and patriarchy, as well as reconceptualize gender roles. The Panthers provided a space where they could develop their consciousness and find the tools to critique male chauvinism and female socialization. These politically conscious women transformed the Panthers internal gender politics, and by extension, their overall political agenda.

Co-sponsored with Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean (IRADAC)
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Room: 9206
Othello’s Gypsy Handkerchief
Sydnee Wagner
While the “Egyptian charmer” who purportedly created the handkerchief in Shakespeare’s Othello (1604) has been regarded as nothing more than a simple signifier for bad omens, the presence of the Gypsy woman imbues the handkerchief with associations of hypersexuality, counterfeit nature, and a seemingly unnatural relationship to magic. In attending to the Gypsy woman lurking behind the origin of the handkerchief, this talk will explore how the materiality of such objects often constitutes the immateriality of certain racialized subjects on the early modern stage, who are rendered ghostly matter in the wake of a memory in flux.
Sydnee Wagner is a PhD Candidate studying early modern English literature and culture at The Graduate Center, CUNY.

Co-sponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance (SSWR) and the CUNY Academy for Humanities and Sciences


Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Time: 6:00-8:00pm
Room: 6304.01
Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki
Perry Gilmore
Perry Gilmore, Ph.D., a sociolinguist, educational anthropologist, professor of Language, Reading and Culture (LRC), and Second Language Acquisition and Teaching (SLAT) faculty at the University of Arizona, will speak about her most recent book, Kisisi (Our Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki. Kisisi documents the creative invention of a private Swahili pidgin language by two five-year-old friends in postcolonial Kenya. Part historic ethnography, part linguistic case study, and part a mother’s memoir, this mixed genre study presents an unfolding interdisciplinary narrative that explores the complex and nuanced story of these two young language activists that effectively interrupted the colonial linguistic landscape to carve a safe space for their friendship.

Part of the Public Science Project Book Series, Fall 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
Time: 4:00-5:30pm
Room: 9204-9205
Women Writing Women’s Lives (Dorothy O.Helly Works-in-Progress Lecture):  A Bio/Memoir, or: Seven years (for each) of working with Samuel Beckett and Simone de Beauvoir
Deirdre Bair
Deirdre Bair was a newly minted Ph.D. who thought she was going to write a critical study of Samuel Beckett. One thing led to another, and she--who had never read biography--suddenly found herself writing one. Her talk will describe the privilege (and the trials and tribulations) of working with two living subjects. It will include her coming of age as a scholar and feminist, and why now is the proper time to tell these stories. 
Deirdre Bair is the critically acclaimed author of award winning biographies; Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, Anais Nin, C. G. Jung, Saul Steinberg and Al Capone. She is also the author of the cultural study, Calling it Quits: Late-Life Divorce and Starting Over.  Her innumerable, prestigious prizes include the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett

Co-sponsored with the Leon Levy Center for Bibliography, CUNY Graduate Center’s PhD Programs in History and English, MA Program in Liberal Studies, MA Program in Women’s and Gender Studies, The Center for the Humanities, and The Feminist Press
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Time: 4:30-6:30pm
Room: Sociology Lounge
A Critique of Sara Soh’s Rejection of the Japanese Military “Comfort Women” System as Sexual Slavery
Pyong Gap Min
Pyong Gap Min, Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY, will give a talk on his critique of Sara Soh’s rejection of the Japanese “comfort women” system as sexual slavery.  According to Min, Soh’s 2008 book, The Comfort Women: Sexual Violence and Postcolonial Memory in Korea and Japan, is the only comprehensive English-language book that covers both the “comfort women” issue and the redress movement for the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery, but it has provided many controversial arguments.  Prof. Min will try to show that many of Soh’s arguments provided to reject the sexual slavery thesis conflict with facts and logically unsound. Prof. Min is completing a book project focusing the redress movement for the victims of Japanese military sexual slavery.

Co-sponsored with the Sociology Immigration Speaker Series
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Room: 9205
Troubling Devotion: Laywomen and the making of colonial Catholicism in New Spain
Jessica Delgado
Jessica Delgado is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Princeton University. In this talk, she will present some of the significant historiographical contributions of studying religion in colonial Mexico from the starting point of laywomen's participation and experience. Looking at laywomen's interactions with clergy, ecclesiastical courts, sacraments and other church rituals, and cloisters, the larger study from which this talk is taken argues that women were central in the gradual process of creating colonial religious culture in New Spain. This talk synthesizes some of the most important findings of this larger study, focusing on the ways that centering laywomen impacts a number of historical and theoretical debates in the field of colonial Latin American history the history of early modern Catholicism.

Co-sponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance (SSWR) and the CUNY Academy for Humanities and Sciences
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Room: 9205
A Challenging Journey in-between Turkey and the U.S.: Woman’s Touch in Architectural Practice
Meral Ekincioglu
Dr. Meral Ekincioglu, a visiting scholar at the MIT, HTC program (2014-2016) who received her Ph.D. in Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in 2011, will elaborate and discuss some significant Turkish women practitioners dealing with commercial architecture, urban planning, historic preservation in the U.S. architecture and their contribution to the built environment from the 1960s until today. Most of those Turkish women practitioners are silent on their career and their cross-cultural encounters have been left out of the established history of postwar architecture. Considering the lack of a collective memory that recognizes those women architects in the U.S. and the Republic of Turkey, their continued absence in the scholarly literature raises a question: Can their presence in their practice be strategically constructed and maintained in architecture history?"
Friday, October 27, 2017
Time: 4:15-6:15pm
Room: C415A
Engaged Scholarship in Dangerous Times: Racism, Gender and Social Movements in the Americas
Leith Mullings
In this talk. Dr. Leith Mullings, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Anthropology at the Graduate Center CUNY, will explore the current context of racism and briefly review the principal findings of a recently concluded collective research project carried out by RAIAR, a network of scholars and activists in seven countries, committed to challenging racism against African descended and indigenous people. A key methodological principle of this work posits that careful tracking of anti-racist resistance strategies can generate key insights into the particular racial formations that oppress us. The focus of the presentation will be the U.S., where there is significant intensification of the movement to normalize white supremacy and misogyny. Mullings will examine the resistance, with emphasis on the Movement for Black Lives. She will conclude with discussion of the importance of international solidarity and the pleasure, potential, and pitfalls of activist scholarship.

Co-sponsored with the Anthropology department

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Time: 6:30-8:00pm
Room: 9204
Georgia O'Keeffe and Feminism
Linda Grasso
Linda M. Grasso, professor of English at York College and of Liberal Studies at the Graduate Center, CUNY, will discuss her new book, Equal Under The Sky: Georgia O’Keeffe and Twentieth-Century Feminism. Equal Under the Sky is the first historical study of the artist’s complex involvement with, and influence on, U.S. feminism from the 1910s to the 1970s. The women’s movements that impacted the creation and reception of O’Keeffe’s art, Grasso argues, explain why she is a national icon who is valued for more than her artistic practice.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Time: 4:00-6:00pm
Room: C203
Incarceration, Gender, and Philosophy
Christia Mercer (Speaker)

This event is co-sponsored with the New York Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) and is part of their Sue Weinberg Lectures.

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Time: 6:00-7:30pm
Room: 9205
Moral Constitution: Elizabeth Cary’s ‘Tragedy of Mariam’ and the Color of Blood
Kimberly Anne Coles
Any feminist inquiry must assume that the gravity of political power bears upon the sexed subject, irrespective of other considerations of subject position. Years ago, Dympna Callaghan wrote brilliantly and provocatively about how Elizabeth Carey “deploys and manipulates the concept [of race] as a vital aspect of her construction and interrogation of femininity” in her drama The Tragedy of Mariam. I revisit this question because I believe that a different concept of race needs to be applied to Carey’s interrogation than any modern apprehension of the term affords. Recent scholarship has opened up the question of the continuities and discontinuities between early modern and modern rationalizations of human difference, and Cary’s drama usefully throws both into sharp relief. But perhaps more productively, a contemporary (early modern) application of the concept reveals the extent to which sex is weighted among the competing claims on subjectivity explored in the play.  
Kimberly Anne Coles is an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, and the author of Religion, Reform, and Women’s Writing in Early Modern England (Cambridge UP, 2008).

Co-sponsored with the Society for the Study of Women in the Renaissance (SSWR) and the CUNY Academy for Humanities and Sciences

Monday, November 27, 2017
Time: 4:00-6:00pm
Room: 9204
Forgiveness: Its Power and Corruptions
Miranda Fricker (Speaker), Myisha Cherry (Commentator)

This event is co-sponsored with the New York Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) and is part of their Sue Weinberg Lectures.