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UB to celebrate Gender Week


Published October 17, 2013

“Genders of Architecture/Architectures of Gender” is the theme of the 16th annual Gender Week Oct. 21-25. Gender Week is sponsored by UB’s Institute for Research and Education on Women & Gender—informally known as the Gender Institute.

Kari Winter, professor of transnational studies and the director of the Gender Institute, calls Gender Week one of the institute’s “signature events for more than a decade.”

Winter says the week’s theme aims to encourage analysis of the ways human bodies are sites on which gender and other aspects of identity are built. Additionally, she says, the theme fosters analysis of how architecture influences straight, gay, lesbian and transgendered individuals to experience their environment. Specifically, participants of Gender Week will see how power, inclusion, comfort, danger and aesthetics are present in public, private and domestic places.

The week’s activities are designed to promote mentoring relationships between faculty, professionals and the next generation—students.

For example, Winter believes mentoring relationships—specifically those between clients and designers—greatly affect the career trajectories of architects. This theme will be the focus of the Gender Institute’s fall symposium, “Building Talent: Women, Patronage & Mentorship,” to be held from 3-7 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Greatbatch Pavilion at the Darwin Martin House, 125 Jewett Parkway, Buffalo. The discussion, co-organized by Kelly Hayes McAlonie and Joyce Hwang, and co-sponsored by the Department of Architecture and the School of Architecture and Planning, will highlight the influence of women as patrons of and mentors for female architects.

Speakers include Lori Brown, associate professor of architecture, Syracuse University; Susan Chin, vice president, American Institute of Architects, and executive director, Design Trust for Public Space; Marika Shiori-Clark, principal, SOSHL Studio; and Beverly Willis, founder, and Wanda Bubriski, executive director emeritus, Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. 

For more information about “Building Talent” and a full schedule of speakers, visit the School of Architecture and Planning’s website.

Similarly, the Gender Institute is interested in cultivating the talents of women students who may have much to offer society in the fields of medicine and scientific research. Erie County Health Commissioner Gale Burstein, a member of the institute’s Executive Committee, has helped organize a panel discussion featuring prominent women in the local medical community. Other participants on the panel, to take place at 4 p.m. Oct. 24 in 107 Talbert Hall, North Campus, are Nancy Nielsen, past president of the American Medical Association and senior associate dean for health policy, UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Diana Wilkins, residency program director, UB Department of Family Medicine; and Glenna Bett, deputy director of the Gender Institute and associate professor and vice chair for research, UB Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Gender Week programming also will include three appearances by nationally known performance artist Karen Finley, whose work addresses the topics of sexuality, abuse and exclusion. Finley will speak on Oct. 21 as part of the Visual Studies Speaker Series, and will host a roundtable lunch discussion on censorship in art on Oct. 22. Later on Oct. 22, she will premiere a new performance piece, “Written in Sand: Collected AIDS Writings,” in Baird Recital Hall.

For more details about Finley’s visit to Buffalo, see a story in this week’s UB Reporter.

Gender Week will conclude with “Shouting Through Skin: Re/envisioning Re/markable Bodies,” a presentation by UB alumna and Penn State graduate student Stevie Berberick on tattoos and women. The presentation, part of the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop, will take place at 4 p.m. Oct 25 in 112 Norton Hall, North Campus. Winter says she invited Berberick to the conference because her topic resonates deeply with college students. Berberick will discuss tattooed women and their struggle against the idea that tattoos are anti-feminine and “unladylike.”

All Gender Week events are free and open to the public. Those attending the architecture symposium and the Finley luncheon are asked to register by emailing Becky Burke at

For the full schedule of Gender Week programming, visit the Gender Institute’s website.