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.
Thursday, November 3, 2022 - 12 PM (EDT)
Charles and Mary Bauer Professor and Chair,
SUNY Distinguished Professor,
Department of Medicine
Thursday, December 1, 2022 - 12PM (EST)
Jean Monnet Chair
Department of Anthropology
Department of English
Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 12 PM (EST) via Zoom
Recording available upon request...
While considered theoretically marginal by some during her active years as a writer, Zora Neale Hurston’s “Characteristics of Negro Expression” (1934), an essay explaining the contours of African American language, dancing, dialect, and folklore, is now considered an originary locus for contemporary Black performance theory. This talk will explore the impact that Hurston’s traversing and embodying of various Souths (geographical, ideological, etc.) had upon her 1934 treatise on Black performance. Additionally, the talk will address a key shift in Hurston’s creative orientation following her experiences in Jamaica and Haiti. When confronted with narrative challenges in both anthropological and New Negro discourse, Hurston finds an expansive framework for expressing Black humanity in the very Souths that would initially threaten to render her illegible.
Creating Videos on Sexual Assault Prevention for Black College Women
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 - 12 PM (EST) via Zoom
Recording Available upon Request!
Senior Research Scientist
Department of Psychology
School of Social Work
About the talk:
St. Vil and Parks' talk describes their exploration of African American college women’s social experiences and its implication for creating a culturally specific video for use as a training tool to increase perception of risk for sexual assault.
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
On the Promises and Pitfalls of Using Computational Methods to Study Gender
This talk will focus on two projects that use computational approaches to study gender. In the first, we develop a simulation--- a toy model of the real world--- that helps to explain how small, persistent biases against women can combine to produce drastic gender inequalities in the workplace. In the second, I introduce computational tools that scholars have been using to study gender, and explore how they do, and don't, seem to reflect perceptions of gender as measured in survey data. These two works provide significant evidence of the benefits and drawbacks of using computational methods to study gender. Perhaps most importantly, I argue that these methods can serve as a useful complement to, but under no circumstances are a substitute for, qualitative methods.
Department of Media Study
Storytelling in Queer and Trans Video Games
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
12:00 PM -1:30 PM
Recording here: https://youtu.be/5N9sa0A8eI8
Our bodies that create, perceive, and interpret stories are different, meaning that any theory of narrative and storytelling must account for different embodied experiences in systems of race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. As a contemporary, popular, and especially performative medium, video games provide excellent case studies in how this operates––how stories are always embodied experiences mediated by difference. This talk argues that video games show us how the body is a site for bridging trans, queer, feminist, and cognitive approaches for storytelling, and further suggest new ways of understanding our experiences and our differences.
In particular, this talk focuses on what it means to be embodied as and think like a trans person in a narrative video game. I draw on my team’s work with developing a video game where players play through short stories drawn from different trans folks’ experiences, such as choosing which bathroom to use, going on a date, or finding a new church. By placing players in the shoes of different trans folks, the game asks players to think across difference and understand a bit of experiences that may not be like their own. Virtual embodiment in a video game cannot fully simulate what it is to be trans (nor should it), but the mediated experience of virtual space requires players to play across bodies in ways that resonate with trans experiences. In reflecting on these points, this talk highlights the challenges in representing trans embodiment, the narrative forms that help address them, and their implications for research and storytelling.
Department of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Women’s Health Initiative (WHI): Updates 1993-2027
Thursday, October 14, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Jean Wactawski-Wende, PhD, is dean of the School of Public Health and Health Professions (SPHHP). She leads the school’s strategic initiatives, oversees its academic offerings, resources and people, serves as an active member of university’s senior leadership team, and represents the school in the community and the profession. Under Jean’s leadership, the school has increased its enrollment and programs, becoming one of the fastest-growing schools of the university. She has also focused the school’s efforts on further developing its status as part of a Research 1 institution, emphasizing work that results in evidence-based solutions to helping improve the health of communities and populations. As an internationally recognized epidemiologist who focuses her research on understanding factors that influence women’s health, Jean has spent more than 30 years conducting research on, among other areas, risk factors and prevention of cancer, osteoporosis, and periodontal disease in postmenopausal women. She is the principal investigator of UB’s Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Center and leads the WHI Northeast Regional Center. Initiated in 1993, WHI is a National Institute of Health (NIH)-funded, multi-center study that involves randomized clinical trials and an observational longitudinal study examining the major factors influencing morbidity and mortality in older women. Jean has served in various leadership roles in WHI including as the national chair of the WHI Steering Committee.
Department of English
Big Red Books: Simone de Beauvoir, Nawal el Saadawi, and Social Reproduction Theory
Thursday, September 23, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex (1949) and Nawal el Saadawi’s The Naked Face of the Arab Woman (1974; translated as The Hidden Face of Eve) are two classics of socialist feminist theory. But they are almost never called that. Marxist theorists disinterested in gender and sexuality chronically neglect them, while liberal and post-structural feminists tend to overlook the historical materialist dimensions of their work, with an additional dollop of condescension in referring to Saadawi as “The Simone de Beauvoir of the Arab world.”
But Beauvoir is the Beauvoir of the Arab world, as Saadawi is the Saadawi of the Rive Gauche, and beyond. And there are profound and illuminating affinities between their two big books, which use multiple analytical disciplines, including literary criticism, in a project of methodological totalization. The recent explosion of socialist feminism under the rubric of “social reproduction theory” should incorporate the crucial theoretical work of these precursors, who are also, not incidentally, socialist feminist novelists.