Gender Week 2017: Reclaiming Our Ancestors

As a symbol of the conference, the Sankofa bird from the Akan tradition represents the importance of healing through revisiting the past. 

October 16- 19:

How does the nineteenth-century history of slavery still haunt the United States and how can we address this legacy of racial injustice today? This is the question that drives this year’s Gender Week conference, “Reclaiming our Ancestors: Community Conversations About Racial Justice and Public History.” This three day conference is being presented by the Gender Institute in collaboration with the  Humanities Institute and organized by the Gender Institute’s former director Kari Winter.

It will feature major scholars of U.S. literature and history such as Bill Andrews (UNC Chapel Hill), Carla Peterson (U of Maryland) and Barbara McCaskill (U of Georgia), together with public historians, artists, filmmakers and groups of descendants of prominent 18th and 19th century African American antislavery activists, authors, and slave owners. Speakers will address the role of cultural memory, city planning and memorializing history through multiple media. The conference will kick off with a reception and film screening of Regina Mason’s search for the history of her ancestor, the slave and author William Grimes. Other speakers include Niya Bates, Public Historian of African American Life and Slavery at Monticello, who has been in the news recently following the newly discovered bedroom of Sally Hemings in Monticello. 


Event Details Coming Soon!

Featured Speakers

Barbara McCaskill
English, University of Georgia

Bill Andrews
English and Comparative Literature, UNC Chapel Hill

Carla Peterson
English, University of Maryland

Niya Bates
Public Historian of Slavery and African American Life at Monticello

2016: Cultural Transformations

Robin Schulze

Mon. Oct. 24:

Annual Welcoming Reception 
4:00-6:00 pm, 120 Clemens Hall
Guest Speaker: Robin Schulze, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences       

Thur. Oct 27   

Maja Horn, Spanish & Latin American Cultures, Barnard College
"Queering Dominican Frames: Performing Beyond the Local, Global and Diaspora"     
2:00-3:00 pm, CFA Screening Room 

Janice L. Moritz Distinguished Lecture on Women and Labor  
Margaret Sallee, Educational Leadership & Policy

"Redefining Family and the Academic Career: Commuting Couples in the Academy"

4:00 pm, 509 O'Brian Hall 

As the academic labor market for tenure-line positions contracts and the number of dual-career couples grows, many academics take jobs away from their families, thus becoming part of commuting couples.  Based on interviews with 35 academics and their partners, this talk explores the benefits and challenges academics face in navigating a life in which career is bifurcated from family.  Although some in the sample reported unhappiness, others thrived and suggested that separating work from family allowed them to redefine conventional norms about gender roles, family, and career. 

Margaret Sallee

Paola Ugolini

Wed. Oct. 26:     

Feminist Research Alliance Workshop
Noon to 1:30 pm, Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons, NC
"Anti-Feminism and Anti-Courtliness: The Use of Misogynist Topoi in Writings against Courts and Courtiers"                                   Paola Ugolini, Asst. Professor of Italian / Romance Languages  


Letitia Thomas

Wed. Oct. 26:   

Excellence in Mentoring Award Ceremony
4 pm, Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
Presentation to Letitia Thomas, Director, STEM Diversity Programs       Professional Staff Recipient for 2016


Fri. Oct. 28:

Fall Symposium:
Honor, Systems of Masculinity, and 
Violence against Women:
Responses and Solutions
9:30 am - 2:30 pm, 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus

REGISTRATION     or email the Gender Institute at


Kari Winter

Famous novelist and UB Professor Nnedi Okorafor closed "Wonder Women and Super Men" Symposium by reading from several of her works. 

What are we to make of the current global fascination with super heroes? From Harry Potter to Lisbeth Salander to endless comic-book-movie franchises, our imaginary is bursting with super-enlarged male and female parts, freaks, mutants, vamps, zombies, and goddesses. Do superheroes bend, twist, and challenge gender, or do they reinforce, with a vengeance, retro gender stereotypes?  Speakers from many disciplines and historical vantage points will analyze the functions of “wonder women and super men” in history, myth, architecture, comics, cartoons, television series, film, politics and other arenas.

This year the Gender Institute's Symposium "Wonder Women and Super Men" opened with a reading by a renowned innovative writer Shelley Jackson's, at Hallwalls, in downtown Buffalo, and it ended at Albright-Knox Art Gallery, with a talk by Jill Lepore, Harvard history professor, the author of "The History of Wonder Woman," and staff writer for the New Yorker. 

2011: Arts, Action, Activism