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.

FALL 2017

Despina Stratigakos

Wednesday, October 4
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Despina Stratigakos, Professor of Architecture, will discuss the emergence of Architect Barbie in her book Where Are the Women Architects? (Princeton UP, 2016).

For a century and a half, women have been proving their passion and talent for building and, in recent decades, their enrollment in architecture schools has soared. Yet the number of women working as architects remains stubbornly low, and the higher one looks in the profession, the scarcer women become. Law and medicine, two equally demanding and traditionally male professions, have been much more successful in retaining and integrating women. So why do women still struggle to keep a toehold in architecture? Where Are the Women Architects? tells the story of women's stagnating numbers in a profession that remains a male citadel, and explores how a new generation of activists is fighting back, grabbing headlines, and building coalitions that promise to bring about change.

An excerpt will be pre-circulated that will feature the origins of Architect Barbie and how Despina Stratigakos and Kelly Hayes McAlonie persuaded Mattel to include such a doll in its Barbie “I Can Be” series of career dolls.

Download a PDF of Chapter 3 below.

Irus Braverman

Wednesday, October 18
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Irus Braverman, Professor of Law, will preview her forthcoming book, Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink.

Dr. Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. Her work is in the intersection of law, anthropology, science and technology studies, and the environment. She is author of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/ Palestine (2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (2012), Wild Life: The Institution of Nature (2015), and Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink (forthcoming 2018). Her edited collections include The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (coedited, 2014), Animals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities (2016), and Gene Editing, Law, and the Environment: Life Beyond the Human (2017).

Glenna Bett

Wednesday, October 25 
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Insights on Writing Successful Grants 
Dr. Glenna Bett, Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology, will guide students and faculty through the basics of writing a successful proposal.

Hershini Young

Wednesday, November 8
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Hershini Young, Professor of English, will talk about her new book, Illegible Will: Coercive Spectacles of Labor in South Africa and the Diaspora (Duke UP 2017).

Using a series of Southern African historical performances, Illegible Will explores how scholars have read the archive for evidence of black will. The book insists on the illegibility of the motivations and desires of black historical figures. Instead it argues for queer imaginative conjuring or alternate performances of agency that while not necessarily empirically true, reconceptualize the relationship between historical process and narrative to offer us outlines of history’s afterlife. Focusing on the vulnerability of the material body, Illegible Will argues for new forms of relationality where the meaning of black will is forged out of collaborative imaginative performances that bear the trace of forgotten surrogations.

Marla Segol

Wednesday, December 6
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Marla Segol, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, will present  “Sacred Sexuality in North America: Roots and Shoots,” a chapter in progress from her book project.

In this essay Segol compares models for sex magic ritual, from late antique, medieval and contemporary sources. The first part of this paper examines Jewish esoteric sources from late antiquity to early modernity. This includes the 5th-7th C Shiur Qomah (Measurement of the divine body), The Sefer Bahir (Book of Clarity) which includes at least two layers, dating to the early 10 and 12 C, the 13 C Zohar, and finally Moshe Cordovero’s 16 C the Prayer of Moses. The second part of this paper examines how-to books written by women, including Tantra for Dummies and Barbara Carellas’ Urban Tantra. The third section analyzes Segol's interviews with women teaching sacred sexuality. These divisions show the ancient and medieval roots of sex magic in the discourses that model it, and how contemporary women change some of its applications in the context of New Age Religion.