Women's and Gender Studies

Mosiac of Knowledge history-month

Women's History Month 2016

Women's History Month Calendar PDF
All events are free and open to the public.

Black History Month / Women's History Month

Poetry performance by Jasmine Mans

Thursday, February 25| 7:30pm
Higgins Lounge in Dana Commons

Jasmine's poetry has teeth. Her stories are told to evoke the emotional wellbeing of those who are apprehensive about culture, politics and social stigmas. When Mans performs, every stanza is delivered with passion and honesty. In 2012, Jasmine was chosen by Glamour Magazine, as one of their Top 10 Most Influential Woman in College. She has also successfully competed in HBO’s Russell Simmons Presents Brave New Voice and Knicks Poetry Slam competitions. Whether critiquing Nikki Minaj as a role model or celebrating the presence of a black couple in the White House, she is not afraid to stand and deliver representing her beliefs. Jasmine uses spoken word to single-handedly bring change to the world with positive agitation; hoping to prompt dialogue where there is normally fear. Her goal is to encourage bravery and activism in the youth of tomorrow. Visit jasminemans.com for a peek at Jasmine’s live performances, multimedia projects and bio.

Sponsored by the Black Student Union with Women’s and Gender Studies; Speaker’s Forum; Higgins School of Humanities; Office of Diversity and Inclusion; International Development and Social Change Undergraduate Program; Peace Studies; Center for Gender, Race and Area Studies; Language, Literature and Culture; and Visual and Performing Arts.


International Women’s Day

MuslimGirl: Harnessing New Media to Shatter Glass Ceilings

Tuesday, March 1 | 12-1:15pm
Grace Conference Room, Higgins University Center

Amani Al-Khatahbeh, Editor-In-Chief of MuslimGirl.net

Amani Al-Khatahtbeh discusses how MuslimGirl has been on the forefront of the world’s missing discussion about the intersection of Islam and Muslim women’s feminist identities. This talk explores the ways in which Muslim women lead diverse lifestyles and have vastly different experiences, yet there are often few positive examples and too many caricatures of Muslim women in the mainstream media. The talk will highlight the ways in which Muslim women are now normalizing the word “Muslim” for both Muslims and non-Muslims alike and reclaiming the narrative to raise their place in mainstream society. Co-sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies, the Muslim Community Link, and the Muslim Cultural Society. Sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies with the Muslim Community Link and the Muslim Cultural Society.

Worcester Women’s Symposium

Thursday, March 17 |11:30am-1:30pm
Tilton Hall, Higgins University Center

We invite students, faculty, and staff to join the Women’s and Gender Studies Program in welcoming more than 20 organizations to the Clark campus for our first Worcester Women’s Symposium. Invitees include women’s organizations, youth programs, advocacy groups, local institutions, and students from the greater Worcester area. Our intention is to provide a networking space to discuss internships, LEEP projects, research partnerships, and other opportunities for collaboration. Join us in making this event a success!

Women authors and artists

Atlantic Crossings: A Screening and Conversation with Filmmaker Fabienne Kanor

Monday, March 21 | 6pm
Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts

In the short, experimental documentary Some feet, my foot (2011), Fabienne Kanor blends fact and fiction, weaving an imaginary dialogue with her father to explore the history of the Antillean migration to France and the lasting impact of collective memory, notably the Atlantic slave trade, on individuals of the African diaspora today.

Born in Orléans, France to parents from the French Caribbean island of Martinique, Fabienne Kanor currently lives in New Orleans. An award-winning author and director, she has published six novels, including Humus (2006), Faire l’aventure (2014, about undocumented emigration from Africa to Europe), and Je ne suis pas un homme qui pleure (I am not a man who cries, 2016), and has directed and produced numerous film, both fiction and documentary. Sponsored by the Department of Language, Literature and Culture, with Screen Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies. See film excerpt on Vimeo.


Blood, Salt, and Tears: Medicine and Ethics in Black Feminist Speculative Fiction

Thursday, March 24 |12-1:15pm
Fuller Music Room, Goddard Library

A book talk by Professor Esther Jones

Esther Jones discusses the politics of difference in medicine as it pertains to the historical and contemporary (ab)use of black women’s bodies. Based on her recently published book, Medicine and Ethics in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction (Palgrave 2015), the talk explores contemporary issues in medical ethics such as the recurrence of eugenic practice in genome research, female circumcision, constructions of madness and, further, reveals how black women science and speculative fiction writers challenge dominant narratives of black female pathology to assert their own alternative constructions of health and well-being. Sponsored by Women’s and Gender Studies.

Women’s sexuality and reproductive rights

NARAL Panel Discussion: Effects of Roe v. Wade

Saturday, March 26 | Time TBD
Location TBD

With the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade and women’s reproductive rights being brought to the Supreme Court once again, this event offers a look into the experiences of those affected by Roe v. Wade and the women’s reproductive health movement throughout the years.

This event will include a panel discussion of men and women whose lives were harshly affected by illegal abortions and the fight for women’s right to choose. Before and after the panel we will also provide a display of household items that women used for self-induced abortions, and information regarding women’s reproductive rights decades ago and how their rights are being challenged today. Food and drinks will be provided. Sponsored by NARAL with Women’s and Gender Studies.


Choices Trivia Night!

Thursday, March 31 | 7pm (to be confirmed)
Location TBD

Think you're an expert on women? Choices invites you to test your knowledge about the women, women's movements, and organizations that have shaped the field of Human Sexuality throughout history! This trivia night will span many different topics, from medicine, to pleasure, to identity and everything in-between! Choices will be providing prizes for the winning teams, so study up on women's sexuality throughout history so you don't miss out on the chance to win! More information about prizes and the categories will be announced! Sponsored by Choices with Women’s and Gender Studies.

Women's History Month 2015

All events are free and open to the public.

Alumna to speak in recognition of International Women’s Day

Friday, February 27 | 1:30pm
Lurie Conference Room, Higgins University Center
The Continuum of Displacement: Iraqi Women Refugees in Jordan and the USA Post 2003

Isis Nusair, PhD

This talk will focus on the continuum of displacement among Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the USA since 2003, and the challenges they face as they transition from one country to the other to rebuild their lives. Isis Nusair will analyze the themes that emerge in the women's narratives and the modes of support Iraqi women refugees employ to sustain their agency in this prolonged state of instability and displacement. This event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the International Development and Social Change (IDSC) Graduate and Undergraduate Programs.

Isis Nusair, Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and International Studies at Denison University. She teaches courses on transnational feminism; gendered migration, feminism in the Middle East and North Africa; and gender, war and conflict. Isis previously served as a researcher on women’s human rights in the Middle East and North Africa at Human Rights Watch, and at the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network. She is currently working on two book projects. The first focuses on the effect of war and displacement on Iraqi women refugees in Jordan and the USA post 2003, and the other on gendering the narratives of four generations of Palestinian women in Israel from 1948 until the present. She is the co-editor with Rhoda Kanaaneh of Displaced at Home: Ethnicity and Gender among Palestinians in Israel. She is also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures and the Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa. She served on the editorial committee of MERIP (Middle East Research and Information Project).

Egyptian women's rights activists to visit Clark

Tuesday, March 10| 12pm
Lurie Conference Room, Higgins University Center
Challenges to Women’s Rights in Post-Revolution Egypt

A talk by Nada Nashat and Sara Katrine Brandt

La litaharrushNada Nashat and Sara Katrine Brandt will discuss their work with the Center for Women's Rights Legal Aid (CEWLA) in Egypt. CEWLA provides legal support for women in family law cases including divorce and child custody, and is dedicated to organizing more broadly for women's rights. It has developed a 3-minute film featuring women from across Egypt as they discuss which rights they regard as important to secure in the in the post-Mubarak constitution (including economic rights). CEWLA has also been a pioneer in grassroots cultural initiatives against female genital cutting, traveling to villages and casting locals in plays which dramatize the harms of FGC. Nada is the Director of Programs for CEWLA and Sara is CEWLA's International Advocacy Adviser. This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Political Science and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Image courtesy of Vickie Langohr.

Film Screenings

Wednesday, March 11 | 6:30pm
Jefferson 320, Jefferson Academic Center
The Jungle Radio

Film followed by discussion with Denise Humphreys Bebbington, PhD (WGS and IDSC) and the IDSC Strategic Initiative Core Student Group

Jungle RadioThe Jungle Radio takes us deep into the jungle of Nicaragua, where feminist Yamileth Chavarría has launched a radio station with a unique mission: denouncing rife domestic violence against women and children. Having been threatened several times herself, she does not shrink from pillorying men that commit such abuses.

In her daily radio show ‘The Messenger Witch’, Chavarría rebukes the local perpetrators of domestic (and sexual) violence by name, thereby criticizing the local court’s sluggishness. Although Chavarría receives many death threats, she refuses to give in to intimidation: “If they shoot me on the air, everyone will hear it.” Besides interviews with Chavarría and footage of the radio station, The Jungle Radio features conversations with village residents, both male and female, contains musical performances by local bands and highlights activities of the Womens Centre, also founded by Chavarría. This event is sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program. Contact wgs@clarku.edu for more information.
Image courtesy of Movies that Matter; See the trailer on YouTube.

Wednesday, March 18 | 2:30pm
Jefferson 320, Jefferson Academic Center
I am a Girl

Film followed by discussion with Cynthia Caron, PhD (IDSC)

I am a Girl imageThere is a group of people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else, but they are not political or religious activists. They are girls. Being born a girl means you are more likely to be subjected to violence, disease, poverty and disadvantage than any other group on the planet.

As a day on earth transpires from dawn to dusk and into the night, we meet Manu, Kimsey, Aziza, Habiba, Breani and Katie – each on the brink of womanhood and dealing with the realities of what it means to grow up female in their world today. As they come of age in the way their culture dictates, we see remarkable heart-warming stories of resilience, bravery and humour. I AM A GIRL is an inspirational feature length documentary that paints a clear picture of the reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. This event is sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program. Contact wgs@clarku.edu for more information.
Image courtey of Women Make Movies; See the trailer at iamagirl.com.au/

Wednesday, March 25 | 6:30pm
Jefferson 320, Jefferson Academic Center
Girl Rising

Film followed by discussion with Catherine Rielly, PhD (IDSC)

Girl RisingGirl Rising is a global campaign that uses the power of storytelling to share the simple truth that educating girls can transform societies.Girl Rising unites girls, women, boys and men who believe every girl has the right to go to school and the right to reach her full potential.

From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Viewers get to know nine unforgettable girls living in the developing world: ordinary girls who confront tremendous challenges and overcome nearly impossible odds to pursue their dreams. Prize-winning authors put the girls’ remarkable stories into words, and renowned actors give them voice. This event is sponsored by the Women's and Gender Studies Program. Contact wgs@clarku.edu for more information.
Learn more about Girl Rising and see the trailer at girlrising.com

Faculty Talks

Tuesday, March 31 | 4:15pm
Fuller Music Room, Goddard Library (4th floor)
When Pussy Riots: Feminist Activism in Russia

Book talk and signing by Valerie Sperling, PhD

What do Russian feminists think of Pussy Riot? Following the arrest of three members of the self-proclaimed feminist punk band Pussy Riot in March 2012, the group got an enormous amount of attention from the press. One thing that was little questioned in the western press accounts, however, was that the group members were, in fact, feminists who were serious about struggling against patriarchy and oppressive gender norms. The feminist activists I interviewed in Moscow and St. Petersburg in June 2012 had mixed views about Pussy Riot. While all were supportive of the jailed trio as "political prisoners," a significant subset was quite adamant that Pussy Riot itself was not a feminist endeavor, while others regarded Pussy Riot with admiration. In my new book, Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia(Oxford University Press, 2015), I present and analyze these viewpoints on the Pussy Riot phenomenon in more detail, and examine the ways in which politicians and political activists in Russia use masculinity, femininity, and homophobia to bolster their legitimacy and undermined their opponents. This event is co-sponsored by the Women’s and Gender Studies Program and the Department of Political Science. Light refreshments provided.Read Huffington Post book review published on February 17, 2015.

Thursday, April 2 | 12noon
Fuller Music Room, Goddard Library (4th floor)
International Pastimes: Using Sport and Marriage to Interpret the Global Context

A talk by Amy Richter, PhD, and Kristen Williams, PhD
Both Historians and Political Scientists consider the relationships between nation-states. How do non-scholars make sense of the global context in which we all live? Professors Amy Richter and Kristen Williams seek to answer this question by exploring two different metaphors and experiences that ordinary people have used to describe international relations: marriage and sport. These global understandings of marriage and sport are informed by and in turn shape gender constructions. Much scholarship has documented the ways in which marriage as a cultural ideal and legal structure defines acceptable masculinity and femininity. Likewise, sport, with its focus on physical strength, camaraderie and competition, has long been understood as a benchmark for masculinity.

Women's History Month at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

Thursday, March 18th | 4:00-5:00pm
WPI Campus Bookstore

International Tea Tasting and Poetry Reading (in celebration of International Women's Day)
Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Visit the OMA Facebook page for more information.

Tuesday, March 24th | 6:00-9:00pm
Fuller Labs, Upper Perreault Hall

"Miss Representation" Film Screening and Discussion
Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Visit the OMA Facebook page for more information.