UB Gender Week to Offer Multi-Cultural Perspectives on Gender and Sexuality

By Donna Longenecker

Release Date: August 29, 2003 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Issues of importance to women, including research, education, health and legal issues, will be in the forefront Sept. 22-26 as UB celebrates its second annual Gender Week.

Sponsored by the Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender (IREWG), informally known as the Gender Institute, the theme of the week will be "Gender Matters." All events will be free and open to the public.

Gender Week 2003 will offer multi-cultural perspectives on gender and sexuality. Pre-eminent scholars and performing artists will lend their own unique perspectives to gender issues, highlighting the important contributions of women in various fields of research and comprising a wide variety of interdisciplinary lectures, presentations and performances designed to engage, challenge and appeal to the entire university community.

Some of the goals of Gender Week include providing students, particularly undergraduates, with examples of quality research and work while awakening them to the possibilities of including gender as a focus in their own work, raising the awareness and value of research on gender and encouraging faculty to increase awareness of gender in the classroom.

The event will feature two main speakers. Rep. Louise Slaughter will speak at noon on Sept. 26 in the Screening Room of the Center for the Arts, North (Amherst) Campus. Her speech will address current legislation and policies that affect women.

Connie Porter, author of the popular "Addy" books from Pleasant Company's American Girls series, will read from and discuss her work from 7-9 p.m. Sept. 23 in Slee Concert Hall, North Campus. The "Addy" books, which tell of Addy's daring escape from slavery, have sold more than 3 million copies.

A reception and book signing will follow Porter's reading in the Slee lobby. Porter also will talk about the "Addy" books with children from the Buffalo Public Schools from 9-10 a.m. Sept. 24 in 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus. Following the talk, the children will be given a tour of campus and treated to lunch by the Office of Admissions.

Among the other Gender Week 2003 events:

• "UB One: In Celebration of Carol Morrissey Greiner and University at Buffalo Presidential Partners, 1846-2003," an exhibit opening Sept. 24 in the Archives & Special Collections, Fourth Floor, Capen Hall on the North Campus, entrance through the Undergraduate Library.

• "The Evolving Status of Academic Women," Kristin Bowman-James, professor of chemistry, University of Kansas, a pre-Gender Week event, noon, Sept. 19, 684 Natural Sciences Complex, North Campus. The status of women chemists in academia has been evolving over the past 50 years, which is exemplified by an increase in the number of women receiving doctorates and the number entering academia. Nonetheless, the number of women in academia at senior levels has lagged behind the number of doctorates awarded, although some institutions have been making significant efforts in this regard. Bowman-James will examine the trend of women faculty in chemistry at one institution, the University of Kansas, during the early 1920s through 2003. Other aspects of the issues women chemists face, as well as recruiting and retaining women in academia, also will be described.

• "Researching Women's History: Challenges in Research and Library Information," noon to 2 p.m., Sept. 23, Arts and Sciences Library Friends of the Libraries Room, Lockwood Library, Periodicals Section, North Campus. This panel discussion will feature Melanie Kimball, assistant professor in the Department of Library and Information Studies in the UB School of Informatics; Karen Majewski, St. Mary's College, and Laura McClusky, Wells College.

The popularity and novelty of the Internet and electronic databases have persuaded many that "everything" is available to them online, but the reality is that essential historical data not only is not available online, but is physically disappearing from libraries and archives. The challenges of building and maintaining collections to support the study of women's and gender issues often are obscured or even exacerbated by the delusions of electronic grandeur. The panelists, who have investigated women's roles in history, literature and culture, will describe their research and the use of libraries, archives, interviews and other resources to produce groundbreaking publications.

• "The Taxing State of Economic Security: Gender, Race and Inequality," Sandra Morgen, professor of anthropology, University of Oregon, 3 p.m., Sept. 22, 250 Baird Recital Hall, North Campus. Morgen's current research focuses on welfare reform in Oregon based on three years of research with families that were/are on cash assistance or Food Stamps and with welfare workers. She will discuss how, despite a rhetoric of empowerment, development and security, women's economic insecurities have been increasing, both globally and in the U.S. over the past two decades as income and wealth inequalities have grown. She will examine economic and tax policies, welfare restructuring, structural adjustment and other policies to show how poverty and economic insecurities are intensifying for women who are low-income and middle class.

• Old Girls/New Girls Reception, 5-7 p.m., Sept. 22, Center for the Arts Atrium, North Campus. This annual, invitation-only event is an opportunity to welcome new women faculty members to UB and provide an informal occasion to meet current women faculty. All faculty members are invited to help us welcome our new colleagues.

• An evening of theater and education concerning sexual harassment in academia, 7-9:30 p.m., Sept. 24, Mainstage Theatre, Center for the Arts, North Campus. The event will open with "A Cry From the Heart," a nine-minute contemporary dance piece choreographed by Eileen Lambert, lecturer in the Department of Theatre and Dance, and based on the oppression of women in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime.

The dance will be followed by a presentation on UB's sexual harassment policy by Barbara Burke, associate director, and Sharon Nolan-Weiss, assistant director, both with the Office of Equity, Diversity and Affirmative Action. The presentation will be followed by an interactive theater performance, "A Matter of Respect: An Interactive Play about Sexual Harassment," by the Theatre for Change.

• "Ritos," a play written and directed by Rafael Ruiz and performed by Teatro Masque, 7 p.m., Sept. 25 and 26, Black Box Theatre, Center for the Arts, North Campus. Affiliated with the University of Granada, Spain, this professional troupe will be in residence at UB for a week. In addition to the evening performances, there will be a special performance for high school students. Winner of Spain's 2001 Mariana Pineda Women's Theatre Competition, the play considers the role imposed on women in rural Andalucian society. The performance is in Spanish and is free of charge.

• Women's Poetry Reading, members of UB's Poetics Program hosted by Myung Mi Kim, professor of English, and editors of the undergraduate magazine NAME, 3-5 p.m., Sept. 26, 120 Clemens Hall, North Campus.

For a full listing of Gender Week 2003 events, go to http://wings.buffalo.edu/AandL/ahi/irewg/genderweek2002/genderweek02_descri_eventsM.htm.