Signature Lectures

image of a full crowd listening to a lecture.

The Gender Institute hosts cutting edge scholars on gender and sexuality from across the U.S. and the globe. Often organized as thematic series, these lectures provide a rich opportunity for learning and discussion. 

2021

Barbara Smith

"An Evening of Conversation with Lillian Williams"

March 10, 2021

Barbara Smith.

Barbara Smith is one of the most important Black feminists of our time.

In 1974, she co-founded the Combahee River Collective in Boston. She co-authored their now famous Combahee River Collective Statement in 1977, which became one of the earliest explorations of the intersection of multiple oppressions, including racism and heterosexism. Smith and Audre Lorde co-founded Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press in 1980. Kitchen Table later published her collection Home Girls: A Black Feminist Anthology (1983). Her groundbreaking essay, “Toward a Black Feminist Criticism,” opened the door to serious critical consideration of Black women writers. Her most recent book is the award-winning Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around: Forty Years of Movement Building with Barbara Smith.  This event is a collaboration with the Department of Africana and American Studies and their 2021 Endowed African American Studies Lecture.

Let's Talk About Race Series

Loretta J. Ross

"Calling In, Not Calling Out"

February 17, 2021 

Loretta Ross.

Loretta J. Ross is a Visting Associate Professor of the Study of Women & Gender at Smith College in Northampton, MA in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender.

To view a recording of this lecture, please click here.


What if instead of calling people out, we called them in? Professor Loretta J. Ross, a human rights leader who writes and teaches on white supremacy, race, and reproductive justice, is challenging call-out culture. Professor Ross will explore how call-out culture has become toxic and transformed conversations that could otherwise be learning opportunities into sparring matches. How do we uphold our commitment to social justice while resisting the pull of the outrage cycle? Professor Ross will discuss how we can build a unified and strategic human rights movement that uses our differences as a platform for modeling a positive future built on justice and the politics of love, thus shifting away from a past based on the politics of fear and prejudice.
Presented in collaboration with the Office of Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

2020

Mishuana Goeman

“Electric Lights, Tourist Sights: Gendering Dispossession and Settler Colonial Infrastructure at Niagara Falls”

December 3, 2020

Mishuana Goeman.

Mishuana Goeman is a a 2020-2021 UB Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar and Associate Professor of Gender Studies, American Indian Studies, and affiliated faculty of Critical Race Studies in the Law School, UCLA Presented in conjunction with the Center for Diversity Innovation.

To view a recording of this lecture, please click here.


Niagara Falls has become an important monument marking the boundary of the United States northern border and Canada’s Southern border. For Seneca people however, the falls are the place where the Thunder Beings reside and thus it is a place instrumental to Seneca experience of place. Built up as a tourist site in the early 1900s and later marketed as a honeymoon site, Niagara Falls becomes an important geographical area to examine state produced space (such as making of monuments and jurisdictions) and Indigenous place-making (such as the reflection of experiences through intergenerational stories regarding specific sites, that in turn produce a value system). Niagara Falls becomes a site of biopolitical power in which Americans and Canadian settlers come to know themselves by not only sacrificing the Indian maiden, but literally sacrificing Haudenosuanee histories, land, water and meanings of place. This source of electricity built the grid upon which Buffalo as an industrial city flourished. As the middle class accumulates wealth, Niagara Falls is advertised widely as a vacation spot in New York City circles. Goeman is interested not just in individual Indigenous cities but looking at the interconnecting links between them that create a grid of Indigenous dispossession.

Lisa Downing

"On Selfish Women"

September 17, 2020

Lisa Downing.

Lisa Downing is Professor of French Discourses of Sexuality at the University of Birmingham, UK. She is a specialist in interdisciplinary sexuality and gender studies, critical theory, and the history of cultural concepts, focusing especially on questions of exceptionality, difficulty, and (ab)normality. Recent books include: The Subject of Murder: Gender, Exceptionality, and the Modern Killer (2013); Fuckology: Critical Essays on John Money’s Diagnostic Concepts (co-authored with Iain Morland and Nikki Sullivan, 2015); and After Foucault (as editor, 2018), as well as Selfish Women. Her next book project will be a short monograph-manifesto entitled Against Affect.

Video available by request for UB community members.

In this lecture, Lisa Downing will discuss the key themes of her book, Selfish Women. The book offers a provocative rejoinder to many dominant ideas in mainstream culture, as well as in much feminist thinking, about the ethical character of women and the female proclivity to care, to be for the other.  For an excerpt, please click here.

Selfish Women
 asks why difficult, unpalatable — selfish — women are treated with such ambivalent fascination and demonization. Focusing on controversial and influential figures who have espoused philosophies and politics of selfishness, including Ayn Rand and Margaret Thatcher, it asks whether their ideas of self-interest might, counterintuitively and used against the grain, lend something valuable to feminist politics — and, more broadly, whether progressive politics might be missing a trick in rejecting the notion of "self-interest."

Nwando Achebe

"The Politics of Knowledge Production—An Intellectual Sojourn into Understanding; Epistemology and Practice of African Gender History"

February 13, 2020

Image of a smiling woman against a gray background.

Nwando Achebe details her personal journey into becoming an Africanist and gender historian. Along the way, she considers questions relating to the ownership and production of Africanist knowledge; while highlighting several influential interpretive voices that have shaped received canon in ways that are at best, problematic; and at worst, Eurocentric. These voices have worked to interrupt and/or disrupt true understanding and knowing about African women and gender. She ends by offering up her own African- and gender-centered intervention into existing discourse and production of history.

Cosponsored by the UB Department of History, Gender Institute, School of Law and the Office of the Vice Provost for Inclusive Excellence.

 2018-19
On Misogyny Lecture Series

Paisley Currah

"On Transmisogyny"

November 7, 2019

Image of a man in a blue suit coat and glasses.

Paisley Currah, Professor at the Graduate Center, CUNY, is a founding editor, with Susan Stryker, of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, a new journal from Duke University Press. He is co-editor of Corpus: An Interdisciplinary Reader on Bodies and Knowledge and Transgender Rights.  He also co-edited Transgender Rights, which won the Sylvia Rivera Award in Transgender Studies and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award. Recent articles have been published in Theory & EventSocial Research, and Hypatia. Currah sits on the editorial boards of GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian StudiesWomen’s Studies Quarterly, andSexuality Research and Social Policy. He served as the Executive Director of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at the City University of New York from 2003-2007, where he helped launched the International Resource Network, a global network of researchers, activists, artists, and teachers sharing knowledge about diverse sexualities.

 

Moya Bailey

"On Misogynoir"

October 3, 2019

Image of a smiling Black woman wearing a black blazer.

Moya Bailey is an Assistant Professor of Cultures, Societies, and Global Studies and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Northeastern University. Named to Essence Magazine’s Woke 100 Women for 2018, Professor Bailey coined the word “misogynoir” in 2010, a term that describes the intersection of race and gender-based bias that black women face in popular culture. Her work focuses on marginalized groups’ use of digital media to promote social justice as acts of self-affirmation and health promotion. She is interested in how race, gender, and sexuality are represented in media and medicine. She currently curates the #transformDH Tumblr initiative in Digital Humanities. She is also the digital alchemist for the Octavia E. Butler Legacy Network.

 

Wahzmah Osman

"Resisting Misogyny"

April 17, 2019

Image of a woman with short brown hair wearing a pink button up shirt.

Wazhmah Osman is a Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Production at Temple University.  Osman, a filmmaker and anthropologist, will discuss ways to imagine global feminist solidarity beyond ‘imperial feminism’ in our current age of hyper-masculinity and militarism. Her acclaimed documentary, Postcards from Tora Bora (2007), has been shown in festivals around the world. There will be a screening of the film ahead of her visit.

The UB Libraries have obtained a license for one year to the film. UB community members may view the film by logging onto the streaming service Kanopy. A direct link to the film on the UB Libraries website can be found here: Postcards from Tora Bora.

Kate Manne

"On Himpathy and Misogyny"

October 15, 2018

Image a brown-haired woman in a blue and white striped shirt.

Kate Manne is an Assistant professor of the Sage School of Philosophy at Cornell University, where she has been teaching since 2013. She was a junior fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows from 2011 to 2013. She did her graduate work in philosophy at MIT from 2006 to 2011, with the generous support of a General Sir John Monash scholarship. She was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne (her hometown), where she studied philosophy, logic, and computer science.

More recently, her focus is on moral philosophy (especially metaethics and moral psychology), feminist philosophy, and social philosophy. She also enjoys writing opinion pieces, essays, and reviews for a wider audience