A university-wide research center founded in 1997, the Gender Institute promotes research and teaching related to women, gender, and sexuality.
We offer grants and awards to faculty and students to support scholarship on women and on the intricate connections between gender and other social forces, such as sexuality, race, class, health, age, religion, and place. We convene interdisciplinary networks and organize lectures, workshops, conferences, film screenings, art exhibitions, and community events.

Dedicated to advancing women's and LGBTQ leadership, vision, and influence, the Gender Institute fosters workspaces in which each participant is stimulated to reach their highest potential and to increase knowledge and justice within the university, within their disciplines, and in society at large.

Message from the Director

Carrie Bramen.

On the eve of the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment (August 26), and less than three months until the US presidential election, it is important to recognize the progress that women—in all of our diversity and complexity— have made in many aspects of life, while at the same time acknowledging the deeply embedded obstacles that still face us. This summer, in the midst of a pandemic, there has been a historic reckoning with the racial and economic injustices that continue to plague our nation. The spirit of public protest and the suffragist call to “make noise” continue to shape the ongoing struggle for equal rights and to inform the work of the Gender Institute.

#SayHerName featuring Breonna Taylor by Liza Donnelly, http://lizadonnelly.com.

#SayHerName featuring Breonna Taylor by Liza Donnelly, http://lizadonnelly.com

It is in this spirit that we have included on this page New Yorker cartoonist Liza Donnelly’s powerful #SayHerName tribute to Breonna Taylor, an emergency medical technician who was killed on March 13 when Louisville police stormed into her apartment using a no-knock warrant and shot her multiple times. For the past three years, Donnelly has given us permission to feature one of her images and we selected this one.

This semester, the UB Gender Institute will continue the conversation begun at our symposium last March on “Legacies of Suffrage: Women’s Activism Then and Now,” with virtual programming for all of our events. On October 22, we will have a virtual discussion of the Hulu mini-series “Mrs. America,” about the 1970s movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Join me and Karen King, Executive Director of the Erie County Commission on the Status of Women and Commissioner of Public Advocacy, for a spirited conversation about this timely drama.

We are also kicking off a year-long virtual Black Lives Matter Book Club, featuring recent work by Black feminists. This is a graduate student led series, initiated by our Graduate Assistant Hilary Vandenbark and our Dissertation Fellow Dana Venerable, together with Visiting Professor Mope Ogunbowale.

We have two exciting Signature Virtual Events this semester. Professor Lisa Downing at the University of Birmingham (UK) will speak about her most recent book Selfish Women on September 17, at noon (EST). Downing works at the interstices of medicine, culture, and politics to explore female extremists from female killers to selfish women. Please make sure to register ahead of time to receive the Zoom link.

The second Signature Event features Mishuana Goeman, a Center for Diversity Innovation Distinguished Visiting Scholar at UB. She will give a virtual talk entitled “Electric Lights, Tourist Sights: Gendering Dispossession and Settler Colonial Infrastructure at Niagara Falls” on Thursday, October 15, at 4 p.m.

We have a stellar line-up for our fall Feminist Research Alliance Series, featuring new work by Professors Joseph Conte (English), Margaret Rhee (Media Study), and Laina Bay-Cheng (Social Work).

We are updating our Affiliates website to encourage an easier display of research interests to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration. If you haven’t already done so, please submit your information here. Open to researchers and faculty; it carries no new obligations. Gender may be the primary focus of your work, or it may be just one part among many.

We are looking forward to sustaining our UB Gender Institute Community virtually this semester and ‘seeing’ you at one of our events.


Carrie Tirado Bramen
Director of the Gender Institute
Fall 2020