University Speaker Series: Arab Feminism, Black Feminism, and "A Southern Queer Love Story"...No Commment

Ashley Thorne

Today's No Comment item is a speaker series at the University of Richmond brought to our attention by an Argus volunteer. The series is sponsored by WILL (the acronym isn't spelled out on the website), "a nationally recognized program for women interested in exploring gender and diversity issues both in and out of the classroom."  

WILL Speaker Series

2010–11: Forging Equality:  Rights, Realities, and Social Change 

"Honor Killings, Veiled Women, and Miss USA: The Road Ahead for Arab Feminism"
Susan Muaddi-Darraj
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Westhampton Center Living Room, 7 p.m.

Despite the long history of Arab feminism, as well as roots of women's independence in Islamic traditions, it appears to many Western civilizations that Arab women are far from liberated. Many of the issues that the West perceives to be important for Arab women to address (honor killings, the veil, polygamy) are either not considered crucial by Arab feminists or are already being addressed in effective ways. Yet the gap of understanding between Arab and western feminists continues to be unbridged; this talk will explore ways of doing so.  

Susan Muaddi Darraj is Associate Professor of English at Harford Community College in Bel Air, Maryland, where she is the managing editor of The Baltimore Review.  She graduated from Rutgers University, NJ, with a BA and an MA in English literature.

"Land, Memory & Desire: A Southern Queer Love Story”
Paulina Hernandez
Monday, November 8, 2010
Brown-Alley Room, Weinstein Hall, 7:00 p.m.

Paulina Hernandez is the co-director of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), a 17 year old queer & trans southern regional organization that focuses on building, connecting and amplifying the work, lives, and resiliency of people of color, working class, two-spirit, immigrant, disabled and rural LGBTQ folks living, loving and organizing in the South.  Her talk will explore some of the themes of this work, as well as the frameworks, stories, imperatives and conditions from which it was borne.  

Paulina Hernandez is an LGBTQ activist and co-director of SONG based in Durham, NC. She has a background in farm worker and immigrant rights organizing, youth organizing, anti-violence work, and cultural work. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Third Wave Foundation and Student Action with Farmworkers.  

“Still Brave?  The Future of Black Feminism”
Patricia Hill Collins
Friday, April 1, 2011
Jepson alumni Center, 7:30 p.m.

Women's Studies and Gender Studies are at an important crossroads. On the one hand, intersectionality, which calls for examining multiple identities across intersections of race, gender, class, age, sexuality, ability, and nationality, is widely accepted as an important approach within gender scholarship. Yet, at the same time, one might ask whether gender scholarship continues to advance emancipatory ideas of social justice. This talk will investigate the contested relationship between intersectionality and emancipatory knowledge. 

Professor Collins, Distinguished University Professor of sociology at the University of Maryland, is a social theorist whose research and scholarship have examined issues of race, gender, social class, sexuality and nation. Her iconic first book, Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment, published in 1990, won the Jessie Bernard Award of the American Sociological Association (ASA) for significant scholarship in gender, and the C. Wright Mills Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. In 2008, she became the 100th President of the American Sociological Association. 

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