Lectures and Special Events
The 2014-2015 Gerda Lerner Lecture Series
Jasbir Puar, Associate Professor of Women & Gender Studies at Rutgers University and author of Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times
October 8, 2014
Jasbir K. Puar argues that configurations of sexuality, race, gender, nation, class, and ethnicity are realigning in relation to contemporary forces of securitization, counterterrorism, and nationalism. She examines how liberal politics incorporate certain queer subjects into the fold of the nation-state, through developments including the legal recognition inherent in the overturning of anti-sodomy laws and the proliferation of more mainstream representation. Combining transnational feminism and queer theory, Jasbir Puar calls into question "homonationalisms"; nationalisms that rely on homonormative ideologies that replicate narrow racial, class, gender, and national ideals.
Alexis Coe MA '09, author of Alice + Freda Forever
Wednesday October 29, 2014
Women's History graduate Alexis Coe tells the story of the real life murder of Freda Ward by her 19 year old fiancée, Alice Mitchell. Alexis uses love letters, maps, artifacts, historical documents, newspaper articles, courtroom proceedings to recount their lives, their relationship and their tragic deaths.
Shirley Stewart MA '10, author of The World of Stephanie St. Clair: An Entrepreneur, Race Woman and Outlaw in Early Twentieth Century Harlem
Wednesday December 3, 2014
Born in Guadeloupe in 1897, Stephanie St. Clair entered the United States thirteen years later. By 1923 at the age of twenty-six she would create and manage a highly lucrative policy bank in Harlem - earning a quarter of a million dollars a year. To this day, she remains the only black female gangster to run an operation of that size. Upon arrival in the United States St. Clair did not conduct her life in the manner expected of a black female Caribbean immigrant in the early twentieth century. What factors influenced St. Clair’s decision to become an entrepreneur and activist within her community? Why did she call herself a lady when the common perception at the time was that ladies did not run illegal businesses and they were not Black? Shirley Stewart '10 returns to Sarah Lawrence to share Sinclair's story and her own historical process for discovering this little known activist of the early twentieth century.
LaShonda Barnett MA '98, author of Jam! On the Vine
Co-sponsored with the Graduate Program in Writing
Wednesday February 4, 2015
Library Pillow Room
Ivoe Williams, the precocious daughter of a Muslim cook and a metalsmith from central-east Texas, first ignites her lifelong obsession with journalism when she steals a newspaper from her mother’s white employer. Living in the poor, segregated quarter of Little Tunis, Ivoe immerses herself in printed matter as an escape from her dour surroundings. She earns a scholarship to the prestigious Willetson College in Austin, only to return over-qualified to the menial labor offered by her hometown’s racially-biased employers.
LaShonda Barnett '98, known for her scholarship on Black women artists, comes to Sarah Lawrence to discuss her debut historical novel. She will share her writing and research process and talk about how she turned historical facts to fiction to bring history alive!
Unfinished Business: Legacy of Second Wave Feminism
Monday, March 9, 2015
Feminist, revolutionary, and acclaimed historian, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, will speak at Sarah Lawrence College about the relationship between activism and academia, women in academia, and her experiences in various liberation movements. Dunbar-Ortiz is a long-time activist, engaged in various social justice movements including the women's movement and Indigenous peoples' rights movement.
She received a PhD in history from UCLA and in 1974 she began teaching at California State University at Hayward, near San Francisco, where she helped developed the Department of Ethnic Studies, as well as Women's Studies.
Her most recent book, An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States, offers a history of the United States told from the perspective of Indigenous peoples and reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted expansion of the US empire.
Worn Out: Motherwork in the Age of Austerity
Friday and Saturday March 6 & 7, 2015
Roksana Badruddoja, member of the Academic Advisory Board for the Museum of Motherhood (MOM), Board Member of the Council on Contemporary Families (CCF), and Professor of Sociology and Women's Gender Studies at Manhattan College
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than 60% of mothers of preschool children are in the paid workforce, and for mothers of school-age children, that figure nears 80%. If paychecks were all it took to liberate women, we would be well on our way. Instead, we’re exhausted, and while this problem is hardly unique to the United States, the American system of long on hours the job and scant provisions for public welfare makes the challenges of motherwork all the more acute. It’s not hard to figure out what brought us to this pass: wage stagnation, increasingly lengthy workweeks, proliferating numbers of single-parent households and two-income couples, gaping holes in the social safety net, erosion of labor unions, and diminished public spending on youth recreation, daycare, afterschool programs and other services crucial to working families. The question is, what can we do to turn things around? This conference will explore answers to that question.