Feminist Research Alliance Workshop Archives

Founded in 2010, the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop advances and energizes interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among feminist scholars locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. 

View Feminist Research Alliance Workshop Presentations by Year

2018    2017    2016    2015    2014    2013    2012    

FRA icon.

2018

Ossa.

Abigaël Candelas de la Ossa
Assistant Professor, Linguistics

February 28, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

"Merely diversifying?: Intersectional experience in resources for survivors of sexual violence"

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo 
Professor, Anthropology

May 2, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

Bacigalupa.

Image credit: Jhonny Aguirre

"Judge Karen Atala’s Transformative Vision and her LGBT Rights Child Custody Case: Shamanic Justice and International Human Rights in Chile"
In her LGBT custody case, Chilean Judge Karen Atala drew on the discourse of international human rights as well as the power obtained from a shamanic vision which transformed her sexuality to challenge the Catholic moral criteria used by the Chilean Supreme Court to deny her custody of her children because of her lesbianism. Atala’s case furthers understanding of the role that religion and spirituality play in sexual identities, legal practice and notions of justice.

Carrigan.

Dr. Coleen Carrigan
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (STS)
California Polytechnic State University

September 13, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

"Innovative Ways to Change the Culture of STEM"
Using ethnography, Dr. Carrigan, investigates the historical and cultural dimensions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and why these high-status fields appear impervious to desegregation. Carrigan shares the findings from her research to foster welcoming environments for underrepresented groups in STEM and transform the powers of technology to advance social justice.

Gretchen Ely
Associate Professor
School of Social Work

October 4, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

Ely.

"Abortion Fund Services Recipients: Challenges and Hardships"
The presentation highlights the undue burdens experienced by abortion fund service recipients, through a discussion of a secondary data analysis of The National Network of Abortion Funds’ Tiller Memorial Fund data spanning 2010-2015. Study findings indicate that people who received financial aid to pay for unaffordable abortions are facing dire personal circumstances when trying to access abortion services.

Bett.

Glenna Bett
Deputy Director, Gender Institute
Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiology and Biophysics

October 18, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

UB recently undertook an analysis of the pay of tenure track faculty, to determine if there was any gender bias in pay. This study was performed jointly by the Faculty Senate and the UB administration.  In this presentation, Dr. Bett will present the findings of this study, and discuss what the analysis indicates about pay at UB.

Fredrick.

Sharonah Fredrick
Clinical Assistant Professor
Romance Languages & Literatures

November 8, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

"Sephardic Jewish Legends of Lilith from Spain and the Spanish Americas"
The sexual image of Lilith, (Adam’s spurned and vampirical first wife) in the Judeo-Spanish Kabalah, and the tales of her exile from Eden, became a metaphor for the Jews and Muslims expelled from Spanish soil after 1492. Gender-wise, the Lilith legends were transformed in the New World. There, crypto-Jewish and crypto-Muslim refugees -many of them female- reworked the stories, viewing the female vampire, Lilith, as a more benevolent being. That Early Modern (1492-1700) and “colonial” reimagining of Lilith is still light years away from the later, post-1960’s feminist construction of Lilith as a symbol of female emancipation. What exactly do the Judeo-Spanish and Hispano-Muslim tales of Lilith say, and how different are they from contemporary imaginings of one of mythology’s first divorced women? 

Full article: Disarticulating Lilith Download pdf(438 KB)
by Sharonah Fredrick (Asmar Volume)

2017

Rembis.

Michael Rembis, Associate Professor, History

February 23, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Gender and Madness in the 19th Century"

In this talk, Rembis will interrogate "violence" as both a concept and a lived experience that is intimately linked with madness and the lives of mad people in both contemporary and historical contexts. By making a gendered historical analysis of the role of violence in the lives of 19th century Americans, Rembis seeks to move beyond current articulations of the place of violence in discussions of madness and mad people. This is work in progress that is based on research for his new book, "A Secret Worth Knowing: Living Mad Lives in the Shadow of the Asylum."

Cihak.

Diana Cihak, Founder and Board President of WomenElect

March 7, 2017 
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"How to Address the Disparate Representation of Women in Elected Positions"

 

Butler.

Anne Marie Butler, PhD Candidate, GSS

April 12, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Sexuality in Contemporary Tunisian Art: State and Social Considerations"

 

Social organization in Tunisian is highly dependent upon the development of the country as a post-independence modernist nation-state, where sexuality is regulated by both the state apparatus and social positions. The Tunisian social-sexual system is anchored by the relationships of sexual subjects to sexual penetration by cis-gender males. Artworks from two queer Tunisians embody different positioning within this hierarchy: effeminate gay men situated as subordinate to heterosexual men and queer and lesbian women illegible to a system based on cis-male penetration. The artists Khookha McQueer and Aicha Snoussi problematize the centrality of male penetration to the creation and maintenance of the social-sexual system by pointing out the possibilities for marginal sexualities to enact the undoing of the dominant social order.

Stratigakos.

Despina Stratigakos, Professor of Architecture

October 4, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

"The emergence of Architect Barbie" 

For a century and a half, women have been proving their passion and talent for building and, in recent decades, their enrollment in architecture schools has soared. Yet the number of women working as architects remains stubbornly low, and the higher one looks in the profession, the scarcer women become. Law and medicine, two equally demanding and traditionally male professions, have been much more successful in retaining and integrating women. So why do women still struggle to keep a toehold in architecture? Where Are the Women Architects? tells the story of women's stagnating numbers in a profession that remains a male citadel, and explores how a new generation of activists is fighting back, grabbing headlines, and building coalitions that promise to bring about change.

An excerpt will be pre-circulated that will feature the origins of Architect Barbie and how Despina Stratigakos and Kelly Hayes McAlonie persuaded Mattel to include such a doll in its Barbie “I Can Be” series of career dolls.

Braverman.

Irus Braverman, Professor of Law

October 18, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink

Dr. Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. Her work is in the intersection of law, anthropology, science and technology studies, and the environment. She is author of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/ Palestine (2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (2012), Wild Life: The Institution of Nature(2015), and Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink (forthcoming 2018). Her edited collections include The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (coedited, 2014), Animals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities (2016), and Gene Editing, Law, and the Environment: Life Beyond the Human (2017).

Bett.

Dr. Glenna Bett, Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology

October 25, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

Insights on Writing Successful Grants 

young.

Hershini Young, Professor of English

November 8, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

Illigible Will

Using a series of Southern African historical performances, Illegible Will explores how scholars have read the archive for evidence of black will. The book insists on the illegibility of the motivations and desires of black historical figures. Instead it argues for queer imaginative conjuring or alternate performances of agency that while not necessarily empirically true, reconceptualize the relationship between historical process and narrative to offer us outlines of history’s afterlife. Focusing on the vulnerability of the material body, Illegible Will argues for new forms of relationality where the meaning of black will is forged out of collaborative imaginative performances that bear the trace of forgotten surrogations.

segol.

Marla Segol, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies

December 6, 2017
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons

“Sacred Sexuality in North America: Roots and Shoots”

In this essay Segol compares models for sex magic ritual, from late antique, medieval and contemporary sources. The first part of this paper examines Jewish esoteric sources from late antiquity to early modernity. This includes the 5th-7th C Shiur Qomah (Measurement of the divine body), The Sefer Bahir (Book of Clarity) which includes at least two layers, dating to the early 10 and 12 C, the 13 C Zohar, and finally Moshe Cordovero’s 16 C the Prayer of Moses. The second part of this paper examines how-to books written by women, including Tantra for Dummies and Barbara Carellas’ Urban Tantra. The third section analyzes Segol's interviews with women teaching sacred sexuality. These divisions show the ancient and medieval roots of sex magic in the discourses that model it, and how contemporary women change some of its applications in the context of New Age Religion.

2016

Luis A. Colón, A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, UB: recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring, fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


February 9, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm, 17 Norton Hall

"On Mentoring"

Colon.

Mentoring, guidance, advice, encouragement, coaching; we each may call it somewhat differently. The truth of the matter is that there is always a human touch, a relationship when “passing on” experiences from one individual to another, to a community, a sense of encouragement that results in advancement. At the most basic level, I think it is a survival/preservation instinct. There is a strong desire to make the world that surrounds us a better place to live. One way to do that is by facilitating learning, providing opportunities, and passing on our experiences to those who will follow; this is a lifetime commitment! Over my almost 23 years at UB, I have dedicated a considerable effort to such an endeavor, while pursuing research in the physical sciences. The dedication and the one-on-one mentoring approach, accompanied with the awareness of the diverse world we life in, has resonated with the students I have become in contact at UB and elsewhere. They look forward to a brighter and harmonious future as they take on the rigor of a demanding career. This presentation will reflect on experiences and mentoring efforts undertaken to increase participation of traditionally underrepresented students in the chemical sciences while at the University at Buffalo.

Luis Colón, recognized for “distinguished contributions to the field of separation science and service to the profession, particularly for the mentoring efforts advancing diversity in the chemical sciences.” 

Shakespeare.

Barbara Bono, Associate Professor, UB English

February 25, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm, 306 Clemens, North Campus

“The Cult of Elizabeth and the Production of Elizabethan Literature”

Building on my more focused and occasional September 2015 slide presentation for the Gender Institute Symposium “Wonder Women and Super Men”—"From A Midsummer Night's Dream to Twelfth Night: Shakespeare and the Cult of Elizabeth in the Twilight of the Elizabethan Regime”—this presentation argues for the creative tension in artistic production in a patriarchal society created by the presence of a long-lived female ruler, Elizabeth I (governed 1558-1603), on the English throne. Examples, which will be illustrated by visual analogues, will be drawn especially from the second half of her reign, and from a range of notable literary authors, including John Lyly, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson. This presentation is also one of the first of a year-long series of public humanities events commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, “Bvffalo Bard 2016: 40 Years Since Shakespeare”.

For the complete listing visit https://buffalobard.wordpress.com/

BRENNAN.

Melinda Brennan, PhD Candidate, Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington 

March 8, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"On Fire: Islamophobia, Gendered Geographies of Containment, and the Refusal of the Right to the City"

The controversies surrounding the Park51 lot in New York and the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, often erroneously referred to as the "Ground Zero Mosque" and the "Murfreesboro Mosque", underscore the ways that tactics of spatial containment operate against racialized religious communities, and are connected to intersecting legacies of violence, racism, and xenophobia in the U.S. The importance of changing attitudes towards Muslims and Islam in the U.S., as well as the ways that racialization of religious communities is a gendered process, are crucial to understanding the geographies of containment enacted against Muslim communities. In her project, Brennan advances the concept “slow death” as a way to describe denials of space and debates about who has the "right to the city" as tied to gendered discourses of counterterrorism, and racist legacies of arsons against black churches and the mass shooting against the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She argues that the contemporary Islamophobic political climate in the U.S. is ‘heating up’ because of the increasing political cachet of Islamophobic rhetoric, while decentering 9/11 from analysis of Islamophobia in an effort to illustrate that challenges to mosques, community centers and cemeteries reveal the ordinariness of rejection, and how quickly such local discourses and democratic challenges can access a national sentimentality, in turn increasing the likelihood of physical danger for racialized religious communities.

Rao.

Rajini Rao, Professor, Physiology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

September 14, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm; 107 Capen Hall, Honors College

"Nature vs. Nurture: Addressing the Gender Gap in STEM"

Although women outnumber men in receiving undergraduate degrees, and there is near parity at the doctoral level, their numbers fall off drastically as they climb academic or corporate ladders. The National Science Foundation reports a decline from 49% of women with doctoral degrees, to 39% in postdoctoral positions, and 32% in full time faculty positions. Of these, only 12% are promoted to full professor and a mere 6% are National Academy of Science members. In physical sciences, math and engineering fields, representation by women has actually fallen since 1990 and is not showing significant gains. Dr. Rao will discuss many of the issues underlying these troubling statistics, including structural problems in academic hiring, and the role of stereotype threat and unconscious bias. She will present steps that institutions can take to promote gender equity, diversity and inclusion in STEM, and discuss how we can change the culture and climate of sexism in society, how professional organizations can help, and how men can be allies.

Scales-Trent.

Judy Scales-Trent, Professor Emerita, School of Law, UB

October 13, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

Black Man's Journey from Sharecropper to College President: The Life and work of William Johnson Trent 1873-1963

 

Ugolini.

Paola Ugolini, Assistant Professor of Italian, Romance Literatures and Languages, UB

October 26, 2016
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

“Anti-feminism and Anti-courtliness: The Use of Misogynist Topoi in Writings against Courts and Courtiers”

 

2015

Culp.

Christopher Culp, Ph.D. Candidate, Musicology, UB

February 4, 2015
12:00 - 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"The Voice, The Lyre, The Red Shoes, and The Power of Song: Dorothy as America’s Optimistic Orpheus" 

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is thoroughly lodged into the American psyche. At the center of the film is Dorothy, a mildmannered girl with the gift of song and a set of powerful shoes. Citizens of Oz continually question the nature of her power within their world, though she constantly exclaims that she’s “not a witch.” My research aims to articulate a constellation of myths and fairy tales as a way of understanding Dorothy’s power through her relationship to music and performance. To do this, I will compare Dorothy’s story with that of Hans Christen Andersen’s tale, “The Red Shoes,” the film The Red Shoes, and the Orpheus myth, among others. Each articulates a violent disciplining of the feminine body, most often by dismemberment, yet admit a drastic power contained within that body as sound-producer. I aim to tie these towards the particularly American tropes within the film in order to examine if Dorothy really is America’s Orpheus and what kind of model of femininity she embodies and engenders within the American Dream.

Fathers book cover.

Margaret Sallee, Asst. Professor, Higher Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Faculty Fathers in the Gendered University" 

Over the past several decades, colleges and universities have increased their attention to family-friendly policies and programs, though have primarily targeted their efforts toward the needs of mothers. In her new book, Faculty Fathers: Toward A New Ideal in the Research University, Margaret Sallee considers the experiences of another part of the population. Based on interviews with 70 faculty fathers at four research universities around the United States, Sallee uses theories of hegemonic masculinity, the ideal worker, and the gendered organization to explore how men have been neglected by institutional efforts and the challenges they face when trying to navigate the demands of work and family.

Boucai.

Michael Boucai, Assoc. Professor, UB Law School

March 3, 2015 
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Is Assisted Procreation an LGBT Right?" 

Given the inherent sterility of same-sex relationships, LGBT people seem like an obvious constituency for easy and affordable access to assisted reproductive technologies. Should the LGBT movement take up this cause in the name of satisfying individual preferences and challenging traditional kinship models? Or would doing so represent (to quote Michael Warner's take on gay marriage) "a repudiation of queer culture's best insights"? Published in Wisconsin Law Review (2016): 1065-1125.

Ramia.

Ramla Karim Qureshi, MSc Civil Engineering, UB & Founder, Women Engineers Pakistan

March 10, 2015
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

"Inclusion of Pakistani Women in STEM: Enablers and Barriers" 

The dearth of engineering talent is a major concern not just in Pakistan, but the world over. It is now imperative for the industry to rapidly attract more women into engineering to increase its talent pool. In Pakistan, women make up over half of the population. This ratio should ideally equate to fifty percent or more of engineers, designers, technologists, scientists and inventors. Unfortunately, the country faces a humongous gender gap. The Women Engineers Pakistan (WEP) believes that the prevalent lack of gender balance within Pakistani engineering sectors can be alleviated by the following initiatives: 1. Increasing representation of women in engineering by encouraging the notion of diversity. 2. Educating about career choices in engineering 3. Promoting liaison between Industry and student-bodies 4. Inspiring younger generations about engineering by highlighting success of women in Engineering & Technology. 5. Determining & advocating for the essential needs of women engineers in Pakistan 6. Featuring scholarships and awards pertinent to engineering on regular basis and 7. Engaging and activating Alumni connections to facilitate smoother graduate-to-employer correspondence. This talk will be centered on the enablers and barriers faced in the path of including women in STEM fields and the best methods for conducting above mentioned methodologies.

Rolison.

Dr. Debra Rolison, Physical Chemist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

March 20, 2015 
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Creating Change In Scientific Institutions Through Subversion, Revolution (Title IX!), and Climate Change" (Introduction by Joseph A. Gardella, SUNY Distinguished Professor & John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry) 

The leaders of our S&T institutions need to answer the following: how good can American science, engineering, mathematics, and technology (STEM) be when we are missing more than two-thirds of the talent? The slow crawl at which research-intensive universities diversify their faculty is a national disgrace in that these institutions actively recruit for students that reflect the face of America. But how can one person change the world of science? Subvert the standard operating procedure. Create a microclimate that shows―over time―how new patterns of operation and inclusiveness yield productive, innovative science. Remember the importance of uppity behavior. Learn to demand that our world of science be one that truly relishes the talent innate to all of humanity for science and discovery.

Pressley-Sanon.

Toni Pressley-Sanon, Asst. Professor, Transnational Studies

March 31, 2015 
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons
 

"Between Two Rocks and a Hard Place: Haitian Peasant Women, the Family, the Farm, and the Market" 

Pat Ellis avers in Women of the Caribbean that since International Women’s Year in 1975, there has been increased interest among national planners, the wider population, and women themselves in the lives of Caribbean women. Much of the research that has taken place since then has focused mainly on women in rural communities and has revealed that in addition to performing the majority of work inside the home, most “Caribbean women have always been—and still are—engaged in a variety of economic activities outside the home” where they are a vital source of cheap, unskilled, and semi-skilled labor. This talk highlights the lives of several women who are members of Oganizasyon Peyizan, a farmer’s cooperative in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. The discussion of several of the women’s narratives aims to excavate the myriad ways that that rural women negotiate their multiple roles as mothers, wives, farmers, entrepreneurs, and human beings with their own dreams and desires.

Earls.

Averill Earls, Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow & Ph.D. Candidate, History

April 14, 2015
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Love in the Lav: Irish Masculinity and the Eroticization of Courtroom Testimony in Twentieth-Century Dublin"

Between 1950 and 1951, sixty-seven men were arrested for acts of gross indecency. Forty-seven of those arrests were made at the public lavatory at Beresford Place. “Gross indecency” was the blanket term for the arrest and conviction of expressions of desire between men codified by the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. The forty-seven men arrested at Beresford Place were not caught by chance. Officers of the Dublin police force, the Garda Síochána, were instructed by their superiors to stake out the lav at Beresford Place. Some were even instructed to dress in plainclothes and entrap the unsuspecting men looking for a quick urinal-stall hook-up. These policing efforts, which were systematized and forumalized in the summer of 1950, put Irish police men in the precarious position of voyeur and agent provocateur in a state where any expression of same-sex desire was potentially criminal and certainly condemned. Further, the experiences of these police men were recounted in Irish courtrooms, often in great detail. This paper considers the erotic nature of the courtroom testimony, the construction of knowledge about same-sex desire, and the challenge that both processes had to the maintenance of appropriate masculine norms in twentieth-century in urban Ireland.

Iverson.

Lara Iverson, Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow & Ph.D. Candidate, Geography

April 14, 2015
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

""Social Networks, Tuberculosis, and Decision-Making

This talk will address the practical application of social network analysis in public health research. My study, implemented in two field sites in Lusaka, Zambia, examines the role of social networks in tuberculosisrelated health behavior among community members. The global burden of tuberculosis (TB) currently is estimated to be 30-50% and is on the rise. In Zambia, as well as throughout the developing world, persons thought to be infected often are diagnosed via “community diagnosis” and consequently are stigmatized within their communities. As a result, TB has a deleterious impact on the physical, social and economic well-being of communities worldwide. Therefore, effective public health intervention that is sensitive to socio-cultural constraints is imperative to controlling the disease. Overcoming TBrelated stigma through targeted intervention in the form of household counseling is one such strategy implemented in Zambia. I will present how my research analyses the sustainability of this intervention strategy through the application of social network analysis, exploration of information diffusion, and the adoption of new ideas.

KARA WALKER SIGN.

Sarah Brophy, Professor, English and Cultural Studies McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

October 22, 2015
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"The Stickiness of Instagram: Kara Walker’s 'A Subtlety, or the Marvellous Sugar Baby'" 

This talk explores the pivotal roles of selfinscription, mediation, and audience participation in African American artist Kara Walker’s summer 2014 maximalist installation at the Domino Sugar Factory, with a particular focus on the Instagram hashtag #KaraWalkerDomino. What surfaced on Instagram, and what now constitutes a considerable portion of the post-exhibition online archive of “A Subtlety,” are numerous self-portraits that show museum visitors posing in highly sexualized ways against the backdrop of parts of Walker’s sugar-coated polystyrene sphinx figure. But many critical, creative, and contestatory images and interventions were generated as well over the course of—and after—the exhibition. How best to conceptualize a project that deliberately elicited disturbing and conflicting forms of autobiographical, participatory labour? What are the affordances (technical, affective, pedagogical, and political) of social media, especially Instagram, in counter-historical art practice today? Arguing that the digital mediation of Walker’s installation was premised on dynamics of ruination, disgust, and, above all, stickiness, this analysis traces the critical-creative processes of spectator implication and potential unsettlement (what Stephano Harney and Fred Moten theorize as a mode of “tearing down” the edifices of racial capital from within) that were mobilized in and around “A Subtlety.” In turn, the paper reflects on the limits and complications of digital participation, especially vernacular photography, for art projects that endeavour to remember slavery and post-slavery history critically.

2014

Indigenous.

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, Anthropology

February 4, 2014
12:30- 2:00 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"The Potency of Francisca Kolipi‘s Words: Gendering Mapuche Shamanic Literacy and Historical Consciousness in Chile" 

Scholars often see indigenous Mapuche women shamans as lacking a historical consciousness because their oral narratives and ritual performances appear irrational and ahistorical relative to Western-style, linear historical narratives, official texts, and masculine forms of authority. These scholars often conceive of texts only as repositories of meaning, underestimating their potency as ritual objects that communicate across time and space. I argue that in the constitution of indigenous women’s Mapuche shamanic identity and power and history, a non-Mapuche textual object, the “bible,” has come to play a central role. I analyze why Francisca Kolipi, a nonliterate Catholic Mapuche shaman, charged me to write about her life and practice in the form of a bible—the physical manifestation of herpower—within a larger set of engagements that center on temporality, text, biography, and shamanic force. I argue that the written word, “shamanic literacies,” and women’s shamanic biographies play central roles in the creation of indigenous historical consciousness and the production of indigenous history. The potency and transcendental authority of Francisca’sentextualized shamanic power make her bible a ritual object with inherent force and the ability to speak to an audience in the distant future. When shamans smoked and chanted over it, the realities and powers it stores can be extracted, transformed, circulated, and actualized for a variety of ends, even to bring about shamanic rebirth.

Dianne Avery, UB Law

Thursday, February 27, 2014 

"Resisting the Breast as Brand: Law, Community Standards, and the Selling of Embodied Labor"

This talk will examine the forms of community resistance to the branding of the female body—particularly the female breast—as a marketing tool in the restaurant business. This discussion also has implications for the commercial use of sexualized workers—and sexy workplace uniforms—in other low-wage customer-service jobs such as selling coffee, cutting hair, or shining shoes, but Avery will focus primarily on the socalled breastaurant industry. Here Avery explores the discourses about the secondary effects that these “sex plus” enterprises have—or are believed to have—on their surrounding communities. In other words, what is the legal and social context of the local disputes that have arisen as breastaurants have moved into new communities, seeking a place in the public square?

poster from Arab Spring.

Beata Kowalska, Prof. of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Poland

March 27, 2014
12-1:30pm

"Women’s Touch In The Arab Spring: The Struggle of Jordanian Women for Equality in Citizenship"

The Arab Spring has opened new channels for expressing political demands. Under the liberal surface covered by the international media, a number of political struggles of different citizens’ groups are hidden. The women’s groups are often the main actor backstage. The main subject of this talk is the new grassroots groups which started own struggle at the beginning of Arab Spring, the Jordanian mothers struggling for equality in the citizenship law. Motherhood is an inspiration for their political activity that challenges authoritarian government and exclusion politics. It allows women to enter public areas reserved for men and transform the political domain.

American Story.

David Squires, Ph.D. Candidate in English & Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow

April 8, 2014
12:00 - 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

"Pan-American Futures: Muna Lee Tells The American Story" 

In 1943, modernist poet and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish began corresponding with fellow poet Muna Lee about a broadcast series for NBC. Over the course of the next year, Lee provided the research that MacLeish used to compose a series of multilingual radio plays dramatizing the history of the Americas. Yet her marginal presence in the publicized project highlights the gendered and ethnic paternalism that often marks attempts to universalize or disembody histories. This talk will demonstrate that, by appropriating Lee’s vision of inter-American cultural exchange, MacLeish’s radio plays model an imperfect future for life in the Western hemisphere after World War II.

Marion Werner, UB Geography

May 7, 2014
1:00 - 2:30 PM, 109 O'Brian, UB North Campus

"Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Dominican Republic and Haiti" 

Garment workers.

Based on more than a year of ethnographic work with workers and managers of export garment firms as the industry drastically re-structured in the mid-2000s, retrenching thousands of Dominican workers and shifting some operations to Haiti, this study draws on feminist and post-colonial approaches to make sense of experiences of work, unemployment, gender and race in the face of these dramatic global shifts in production.

Delgado.

Jessica Delgado, Asst. Professor of Religion, Princeton University

September 16, 2014
12:00- 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Women as Witnesses: Gossip, Confession and the Local Impact of the Mexican Inquisition" 

This talk will explore an aspect of women’s interactions with the Mexican Inquisition that is often overlooked: namely, the role of women as witnesses and their participation in local investigatory mechanisms. The Inquisition tapped into women’s informal communication networks as well as their sacramental and personal relationships with priests, and in doing so, made witnesses out of a far larger number of women than would otherwise come into contact with the Inquisition.Although most of the resulting testimony never led to a full trial, participating in these local processes nonetheless significantly affected women’s devotional practices and social reputations. Exploring this aspect of women’s experience of the Mexican Inquisition sheds light on the local impact of the Inquisition; the role of both priests and women in Inquisitorial justice; and the relationship between gendered concepts of sin and scandal, women’s sacramental practices, and colonial efforts to enforce religious orthodoxy.

murshid.

Nadine Shaanta Murshid, UB Social Work

November 12, 2014
12:00- 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute

"Discussion on Microfinance: Stories from the Field" 

This talk will examine the “trickle down” of neoliberal ideas, language, and decisionmaking–economic and familial–among 30 women who participate in microfinance in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The premise of the current study is that neoliberal notions of personal responsibility, opportunity, freedom, and choice encourages individualized and entrepreneurial citizenship that focus on optimization of resources through “personal initiative and innovation.” Within this sample of microfinance participants it appears that neoliberal ideology made an appearance in their language, which shows that they use neoliberal words to reflect new realities, and their statements exemplify the conflicting rhetoric that they use to describe their positions within their families. This research, based on in-depth interviews, shows that women participating in microfinance use language that mirrors the development agenda of nongovernmental organizations (NGO) even in situations that may not be applicable. For example, taking “personal responsibility” for domestic violence that occurs amidst a confluence of factors, involving changing gender norms, expectations, and status inconsistency, is a neoliberal manifestation; by taking personal responsibility individuals internalize the experience of domestic violence ascribing the “solution” to a function of changes in the individual as opposed to the system.

2013

January 30, 2013 
Laura Garofalo Khan, Architecture & Planning
“Messing with Eden”

February 5, 2013
Krishni Burns, Classics

February 19, 2013
Jess MacNamara, Sociology

March 6, 2013
Leah Benedict, English

Patrick Bellegarde-Smith, Univ. of Wisconsin & Oungan Asogwe

September 12, 2013
4:00- 600 PM, 207 UB Commons, North Campus

“Entwined Spirits: Cosmological Truths, And Natural Order: Ideas of the “Feminine” in Vodou and Cultural Erasures” 

spirits drawing.

Spirits, non-sexed by definition, in the Lwa of Haitian Vodou, are gendered emanations of an ideal societal construct, and provide elements for a social contract in which gender parity is extant in all creation. The sophisticated metaphysical intricacies tied to the pedestrian approach of daily existence, reveal millennial wisdom yet untapped in schemes for nationald evelopment and in (re)construction efforts.

Stevie Berberick, Penn State

October 25, 2013
4:00 p.m., 112 Norton Hall, North Campus

"Shouting Through Skin: Re/envisioning Re/markable Bodies" 

Centered on hyper-visibly tattooed white women living in New York State during 2012, "Shouting Through Skin" engages concepts regarding whiteness and white femininity, seeking to explain the ways in which decorated forms come to complicate these constructions and thus fall subject to a number of violations against their persons. As such, certain conditions are explored in order to locate and explain the nature of said violations; these conditions include overall physical appearance, tattoo design, tattoo location, age and geographic place. Engagement with these topics is completed through analyses of primary and secondary sources. “Shouting Through Skin” is a highly intertextual project that speaks not only of the body politic, but also of the society in which forms are problematized and eroticized while also being reclaimed by the subject as a site of personal awareness and power.

Marta Marciniak, American Studies

November 6, 2013
12:00-1:30 p.m., 207 UB Commons, North Campus

"The Gendered Architecture of the Polish Street: A Punk View” 

Punk tags.

As Marshall Berman stated, the street is "a primary symbol of modern life.” The apparentlysimple construct of the street is in reality a complex and fascinating environment in which individuals and cultures may thrive or, both metaphorically and literally, die. It is also an essential space for urban subcultures. The danger and romanceof streetlife appeal to bothguys and girls engaged in subculturalactivities. How does it feel for a punk girl to walk down the street? What does she see and hear? How does she interact with the street environment? This examination of the gendered architecture of Polish streets will offer insight into the lives of young Polish women and men and will illuminate how street culture organizes the dance, the chase, the fight and the flight.

2012

September 12, 2012 
Jane E. Fisher, Director of Women’s Studies / Assoc. Professor of English, Canisius College
"Disease's Power to Expand Subjectivity: Representing the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Buchi Emecheta's The Slave Girl and Elechi Amadi's The Great Ponds"

September 25, 2012 
Victoria Wolcott, UB History
“Eroseanna Robinson: The Long Civil Rights Movement and Interracial Pacifism in Postwar America”

October 18, 2012
Gender Week Keynote Address by Robert Pogue Harrison, Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature, Stanford University
“Landscape and Sanity”

October 31, 2012
Jean Dickson, UB Libraries
"Felicita Vestvali and Transatlantic Feminism in the 19th Century"