Feminist Research Alliance

Founded in 2010, the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop advances and energizes interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among feminist scholars locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. At our convivial meetings, faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars present and discuss research-in-progress.  A fertile space for idea-incubation, the workshop also is community-building, enabling students and faculty to network with potential committee members, mentors, and colleagues beyond the boundaries of their home departments. All events are free and open to the public.


Michael Remibis

Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017:

Michael Rembis, Associate Professor, History, UB
"Gender and Madness in the 19th Century"

12:00-1:30 p.m, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

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."

Diane Cihak

Tuesday, Mar. 7, 2017:

Diana Cihak , Founder and Board President of WomenElect
"How to Address the Disparate Representation of Women in Elected Positions"

12:00-1:30 p.m, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Anne Marie Butler

Wednesday, April 12, 2017:
Anne Marie Butler, PhD Candidate, GSS, UB
"Sexuality in Contemporary Tunisian Art: State and Social Considerations"
12:00-1:30 p.m, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute
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.


FALL 2016

Wednesday, October 26, 2016:

Paola Ugolini, Assistant Professor of Italian, Romance Literatures and Languages, UB
“Anti-feminism and Anti-courtliness: The Use of Misogynist Topoi in Writings against Courts and Courtiers”
12:00-1:30 p.m, Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons

Thursday, October 13, 2016:

Judy Scales-Trent, Professor Emerita, School of Law, UB
Black Man's Journey from Sharecropper to College President: The Life and work of William Johnson Trent 1873-1963
12:00-1:30 p.m, Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons

Paola Ugolini

Judy Scales-Trent

Wednesday, September 14, 2016:

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

"Nature vs. Nurture: Addressing the Gender Gap in STEM"
Noon-1:30 pm; 107 Capen Hall, Honors College (inside Silverman Library), North Campus

Feminist Research Alliance Workshop: Engaging a large audience of faculty, students, and professionals, Dr. Rajini Rao, Professor of Physiology at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, discusses "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. 



Tuesday, March 8, 2016:
Melinda Brennan, PhD Candidate, Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington 

"On Fire: Islamophobia, Gendered Geographies of Containment, and the Refusal of the Right to the City"
12:00-1:30 p.m, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus


Melinda Brennan

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.

Thursday, February 25, 2016:
Barbara Bono, Associate Professor, UB English

“The Cult of Elizabeth and the Production of Elizabethan Literature”
12:00-1:30 p.m, 306 Clemens

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”.

Tuesday, February 9, 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)

"On Mentoring"
12:00-1:30 p.m, 17 Norton Hall (Undergraduate Academies)

Luis Colón

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.”