Feminist Research Alliance Workshop

Founded in 2010, the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop seeks to advance and energize transnational feminist research in the 21st century by promoting interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among feminist scholars locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our convivial meetings offer opportunities for faculty and graduate students to discuss their research, explore key texts of classic and emerging feminisms, and develop research and teaching collaborations. The workshop also provides chances for graduate students and junior faculty to meet potential committee members or mentors beyond the boundaries of their home departments. All events are free and open to the public.



Tuesday, February 9, 2016:
Luis A. Colón, A. Conger Goodyear Professor of Chemistry and Associate Dean for Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, UB: recepient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in STEM Mentoring

"On Mentoring"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Thursday, February 25, 2016:
Barbara Bono, Associate Professor, UB English

“The Cult of Elizabeth and the Production of Elizabethan Literature”
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Building on my more focused and occasional September 2015 slide presentation for the Gender Institute Symposium “Wonder Women and Super Men”—"From A Midsummer Night's Dream to Twelfth Night: Shakespeare and the Cult of Elizabeth in the Twilight of the Elizabethan Regime”—this presentation argues for the creative tension in artistic production in a patriarchal society created by the presence of a long-lived female ruler, Elizabeth I (governed 1558-1603), on the English throne. Examples, which will be illustrated by visual analogues, will be drawn especially from the second half of her reign, and from a range of notable literary authors, including John Lyly, Philip Sidney, Edmund Spenser, William Shakespeare, and Ben Jonson. This presentation is also one of the first of a year-long series of public humanities events commemorating the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, “Bvffalo Bard 2016: 40 Years Since Shakespeare”: for a complete listing see http://www.buffalobard.wordpress.com/ .

Monday, March 8, 2016:
Melinda Brennan, Ph.D. Candidate, Gender Studies, Indiana University, Bloomington

"On Fire: Islamophobia, Gendered Geographies of Containment, and the Refusal of the Right to the City"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

The controversies surrounding the Park51 lot in New York and the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, often erroneously referred to as the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ and the ‘Murfreesboro Mosque’, underscore the ways that tactics of spatial containment operate against racialized religious communities, and are connected to intersecting legacies of violence, racism, and xenophobia in the U.S. The importance of changing attitudes towards Muslims and Islam in the U.S., as well as the ways that racialization of religious communities is a gendered process, are crucial to understanding the geographies of containment enacted against Muslim communities. In her project, Brennan advances the concept “slow death” as a way to describe denials of space and debates about who has the ‘right to the city’ as tied to gendered discourses of counterterrorism, and racist legacies of arsons against black churches and the mass shooting against the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. She argues that the contemporary Islamophobic political climate in the U.S. is ‘heating up’ because of the increasing political cachet of Islamophobic rhetoric, while decentering 9/11 from analysis of Islamophobia in an effort to illustrate that challenges to mosques, community centers and cemeteries reveal the ordinariness of rejection, and how quickly such local discourses and democratic challenges can access a national sentimentality, in turn increasing the likelihood of physical danger for racialized religious communities.

FALL 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015:
Angelique Szymanek, Visiting Assistant Professor, Art and Architecture, Hobart and William Smith Colleges

"The Fear of Rape, The Threat of Looking"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Angelique Szymanek will present core ideas from her dissertation, "The Fear of Rape, The Threat of Looking: Feminist Art and Sexual Violence.” Her research concerns how and when rape is, or is not, represented, both in terms of artistic production and scholarly writing within the disciplines of Art History and Visual Studies. Through analyzing the work of Suzanne Lacy and Ana Mendieta, two artists who are central and exceptional in their address of the relationship between feminist art, activism, and rape, Szymanek attends to historical oversights while generating a series of theoretical propositions for what it means to both create and look at violent imagery.
Image: Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz, In Mourning and in Rage, Los Angeles, 1977

Thursday, October 22, 2015:
Sarah Brophy, Professor, English and Cultural Studies McMaster University Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

"The Stickiness of Instagram: Kara Walker’s 'A Subtlety, or the Marvellous Sugar Baby'"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

This talk explores the pivotal roles of self-inscription, mediation, and audience participation in African American artist Kara Walker’s summer 2014 maximalist installation at the Domino Sugar Factory, with a particular focus on the Instagram hashtag #KaraWalkerDomino. What surfaced on Instagram, and what now constitutes a considerable portion of the post-exhibition online archive of “A Subtlety,” are numerous self-portraits that show museum visitors posing in highly sexualized ways against the backdrop of parts of Walker’s sugar-coated polystyrene sphinx figure. But many critical, creative, and contestatory images and interventions were generated as well over the course of—and after—the exhibition. How best to conceptualize a project that deliberately elicited disturbing and conflicting forms of autobiographical, participatory labour? What are the affordances (technical, affective, pedagogical, and political) of social media, especially Instagram, in counter-historical art practice today? Arguing that the digital mediation of Walker’s installation was premised on dynamics of ruination, disgust, and, above all, stickiness, this analysis traces the critical-creative processes of spectator implication and potential unsettlement (what Stephano Harney and Fred Moten theorize as a mode of “tearing down” the edifices of racial capital from within) that were mobilized in and around “A Subtlety.” In turn, the paper reflects on the limits and complications of digital participation, especially vernacular photography, for art projects that endeavour to remember slavery and post-slavery history critically.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015:
Christopher Culp, Ph.D. Candidate, Musicology, UB

"The Voice, The Lyre, The Red Shoes, and The Power of Song: Dorothy as America’s Optimistic Orpheus"
12:00 - 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is thoroughly lodged into the American psyche. At the center of the film is Dorothy, a mild-mannered girl with the gift of song and a set of powerful shoes. Citizens of Oz continually question the nature of her power within their world, though she constantly exclaims that she’s “not a witch.” My research aims to articulate a constellation of myths and fairy tales as a way of understanding Dorothy’s power through her relationship to music and performance. To do this, I will compare Dorothy’s story with that of Hans Christen Andersen’s tale, “The Red Shoes,” the film The Red Shoes, and the Orpheus myth, among others. Each articulates a violent disciplining of the feminine body, most often by dismemberment, yet admit a drastic power contained within that body as sound-producer. I aim to tie these towards the particularly American tropes within the film in order to examine if Dorothy really is America’s Orpheus and what kind of model of femininity she embodies and engenders within the American Dream.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Margaret Sallee, Asst. Professor, Higher Education, Department of Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate School of Education

"Faculty Fathers in the Gendered University"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Over the past several decades, colleges and universities have increased their attention to family-friendly policies and programs, though have primarily targeted their efforts toward the needs of mothers. In her new book, Faculty Fathers: Toward A New Ideal in the Research University, Margaret Sallee considers the experiences of another part of the population. Based on interviews with 70 faculty fathers at four research universities around the United States, Sallee uses theories of hegemonic masculinity, the ideal worker, and the gendered organization to explore how men have been neglected by institutional efforts and the challenges they face when trying to navigate the demands of work and family.


Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Michael Boucai, Assoc. Professor, UB Law School

"Is Assisted Procreation an LGBT Right?"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Given the inherent sterility of same-sex relationships, LGBT people seem like an obvious constituency for easy and affordable access to assisted reproductive technologies. Should the LGBT movement take up this cause in the name of satisfying individual preferences and challenging traditional kinship models? Or would doing so represent (to quote Michael Warner's take on gay marriage) "a repudiation of queer culture's best insights"?



Tuesday, March 10, 2015:
Ramla Karim Qureshi, MSc Civil Engineering, UB & Founder, Women Engineers Pakistan

"Inclusion of Pakistani Women in STEM: Enablers and Barriers"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

The dearth of engineering talent is a major concern not just in Pakistan, but the world over. It is now imperative for the industry to rapidly attract more women into engineering to increase its talent pool. In Pakistan, women make up over half of the population. This ratio should ideally equate to fifty percent or more of engineers, designers, technologists, scientists and inventors. Unfortunately, the country faces a humongous gender gap. The Women Engineers Pakistan (WEP) believes that the prevalent lack of gender balance within Pakistani engineering sectors can be alleviated by the following initiatives: 1. Increasing representation of women in engineering by encouraging the notion of diversity. 2. Educating about career choices in engineering 3. Promoting liaison between Industry and student-bodies 4. Inspiring younger generations about engineering by highlighting success of women in Engineering & Technology. 5. Determining & advocating for the essential needs of women engineers in Pakistan 6. Featuring scholarships and awards pertinent to engineering on regular basis and 7. Engaging and activating Alumni connections to facilitate smoother graduate-to-employer correspondence. This talk will be centered on the enablers and barriers faced in the path of including women in STEM fields and the best methods for conducting above mentioned methodologies.


Friday, March 20, 2015
Dr. Debra Rolison, Physical Chemist, U.S. Naval Research Laboratory

"Creating Change In Scientific Institutions Through Subversion, Revolution (Title IX!), and Climate Change"
(Introduction by Joseph A. Gardella, SUNY Distinguished Professor & John and Frances Larkin Professor of Chemistry)
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

The leaders of our S&T institutions need to answer the following: how good can American science, engineering, mathematics, and technology (STEM) be when we are missing more than two-thirds of the talent? The slow crawl at which research-intensive universities diversify their faculty is a national disgrace in that these institutions actively recruit for students that reflect the face of America. But how can one person change the world of science? Subvert the standard operating procedure. Create a microclimate that shows―over time―how new patterns of operation and inclusiveness yield productive, innovative science. Remember the importance of uppity behavior. Learn to demand that our world of science be one that truly relishes the talent innate to all of humanity for science and discovery.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Toni Pressley-Sanon, Asst. Professor, Transnational Studies

"Between Two Rocks and a Hard Place: Haitian Peasant Women, the Family, the Farm, and the Market"
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Pat Ellis avers in Women of the Caribbean that since International Women’s Year in 1975, there has been increased interest among national planners, the wider population, and women themselves in the lives of Caribbean women. Much of the research that has taken place since then has focused mainly on women in rural communities and has revealed that in addition to performing the majority of work inside the home, most “Caribbean women have always been—and still are—engaged in a variety of economic activities outside the home” where they are a vital source of cheap, unskilled, and semi-skilled labor. This talk highlights the lives of several women who are members of Oganizasyon Peyizan, a farmer’s cooperative in the Central Plateau region of Haiti. The discussion of several of the women’s narratives aims to excavate the myriad ways that that rural women negotiate their multiple roles as mothers, wives, farmers, entrepreneurs, and human beings with their own dreams and desires.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015:
12:00-1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

Averill Earls, Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow & Ph.D. Candidate, History
"Love in the Lav: Irish Masculinity and the Eroticization of Courtroom Testimony
in Twentieth-Century Dublin"

Between 1950 and 1951, sixty-seven men were arrested for acts of gross indecency. Forty-seven of those arrests were made at the public lavatory at Beresford Place. “Gross indecency” was the blanket term for the arrest and conviction of expressions of desire between men codified by the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. The forty-seven men arrested at Beresford Place were not caught by chance. Officers of the Dublin police force, the Garda Síochána, were instructed by their superiors to stake out the lav at Beresford Place. Some were even instructed to dress in plainclothes and entrap the unsuspecting men looking for a quick urinal-stall hook-up. These policing efforts, which were systematized and forumalized in the summer of 1950, put Irish police men in the precarious position of voyeur and agent provocateur in a state where any expression of same-sex desire was potentially criminal and certainly condemned. Further, the experiences of these police men were recounted in Irish courtrooms, often in great detail. This paper considers the erotic nature of the courtroom testimony, the construction of knowledge about same-sex desire, and the challenge that both processes had to the maintenance of appropriate masculine norms in twentieth-century in urban Ireland.


Lara Iverson, Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow & Ph.D. Candidate, Geography
"Social Networks, Tuberculosis, and Decision-Making"

This talk will address the practical application of social network analysis in public health research. My study, implemented in two field sites in Lusaka, Zambia, examines the role of social networks in tuberculosis-related health behavior among community members. The global burden of tuberculosis (TB) currently is estimated to be 30-50% and is on the rise. In Zambia, as well as throughout the developing world, persons thought to be infected often are diagnosed via “community diagnosis” and consequently are stigmatized within their communities. As a result, TB has a deleterious impact on the physical, social and economic well-being of communities worldwide. Therefore, effective public health intervention that is sensitive to socio-cultural constraints is imperative to controlling the disease. Overcoming TB-related stigma through targeted intervention in the form of household counseling is one such strategy implemented in Zambia. I will present how my research analyses the sustainability of this intervention strategy through the application of social network analysis, exploration of information diffusion, and the adoption of new ideas.


FALL 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014:  Jessica Delgado, Asst. Professor of Religion,
Princeton University

"Women as Witnesses: Gossip, Confession and the Local Impact of the Mexican Inquisition"
12:00- 1:30 PM
, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

This talk will explore an aspect of women’s interactions with the Mexican Inquisition that is often overlooked: namely, the role of women as witnesses and their participation in local investigatory mechanisms. The Inquisition tapped into women’s informal communication networks as well as their sacramental and personal relationships with priests, and in doing so, made witnesses out of a far larger number of women than would otherwise come into contact with the Inquisition.Although most of the resulting testimony never led to a full trial, participating in these local processes nonetheless significantly affected women’s devotional practices and social reputations. Exploring this aspect of women’s experience of the Mexican Inquisition sheds light on the local impact of the Inquisition; the role of both priests and women in Inquisitorial justice; and the relationship between gendered concepts of sin and scandal, women’s sacramental practices, and colonial efforts to enforce religious orthodoxy.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014:  Nadine Shaanta Murshid, UB Social Work
"Discussion on Microfinance: Stories from the Field"
12:00- 1:30 PM
, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

This talk will examine the “trickle down” of neoliberal ideas, language, and decision-making–economic and familial–among 30 women who participate in microfinance in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The premise of the current study is that neoliberal notions of personal responsibility, opportunity, freedom, and choice encourages individualized and entrepreneurial citizenship that focus on optimization of resources through “personal initiative and innovation.” Within this sample of microfinance participants it appears that neoliberal ideology made an appearance in their language, which shows that they use neoliberal words to reflect new realities, and their statements exemplify the conflicting rhetoric that they use to describe their positions within their families. This research, based on in-depth interviews, shows that women participating in microfinance use language that mirrors the development agenda of non-governmental organizations (NGO) even in situations that may not be applicable. For example, taking “personal responsibility” for domestic violence that occurs amidst a confluence of factors, involving changing gender norms, expectations, and status inconsistency, is a neoliberal manifestation; by taking personal responsibility individuals internalize the experience of domestic violence ascribing the “solution” to a function of changes in the individual as opposed to the system.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014:  Ana Mariella Bacigalupo, Anthropology
"The Potency of Francisca Kolipi‘s Words: Gendering Mapuche Shamanic Literacy and Historical Consciousness in Chile"
12:30- 2:00 PM
, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus
Scholars often see indigenous Mapuche women shamans as lacking a historical consciousness because their oral narratives and ritual performances appear irrational and ahistorical relative to Western-style, linear historical narratives, official texts, and masculine forms of authority. These scholars often conceive of texts only as repositories of meaning, underestimating their potency as ritual objects that communicate across time and space.  I argue that in the constitution of indigenous women’s Mapuche shamanic identity and power and history, a non-Mapuche textual object, the “bible,” has come to play a central role. I analyze why Francisca Kolipi, a nonliterate Catholic Mapuche shaman, charged me to write about her life and practice in the form of a bible—the physical manifestation of herpower—within a larger set of engagements that center on temporality, text, biography, and shamanic force. I argue that the written word, “shamanic literacies,” and women’s shamanic biographies play central roles in the creation of indigenous historical consciousness and the production of indigenous history. The potency and transcendental authority of Francisca’sentextualized shamanic power make her bible a ritual object with inherent force and the ability to speak to an audience in the distant future. When shamans smoked and chanted over it, the realities and powers it stores can be extracted, transformed, circulated, and actualized for a variety of ends, even to bring about shamanic rebirth.


Thursday, February 27, 2014: Dianne Avery, UB Law
"Resisting the Breast as Brand: Law, Community Standards, and the Selling of Embodied Labor"
12:00 - 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

This talk will examine the forms of community resistance to the branding of the female body—particularly the female breast—as a marketing tool in the restaurant business.  This discussion also has implications for the commercial use of sexualized workers—and sexy workplace uniforms—in other low-wage customer-service jobs such as selling coffee, cutting hair, or shining shoes, but Avery will focus primarily on the so-called breastaurant industry.  Here Avery explores the discourses about the secondary effects that these “sex plus” enterprises have—or are believed to have—on their surrounding communities.  In other words, what is the legal and social context of the local disputes that have arisen as breastaurants have moved into new communities, seeking a place in the public square?


Thursday, March 27, 2014: Beata Kowalska, Prof. of Sociology, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Fulbright Senior Fellow, New School for Social Research, New York, 2014

"Women’s Touch In The Arab Spring: The Struggle of Jordanian Women for Equality in Citizenship"
12:00- 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

The Arab Spring has opened new channels for expressing political demands. Under the liberal surface covered by the international media, a number of political struggles of different citizens’ groups are hidden. The women’s groups  are often the main actor backstage. The main subject of this talk is the new grassroots groups which started own struggle at the beginning of Arab Spring, the Jordanian mothers struggling for equality in the citizenship law. Motherhood is an inspiration for their political activity that challenges authoritarian government and exclusion politics. It allows women to enter public areas reserved for men and transform the political domain.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014: David Squires, Ph.D. Candidate in English & Gender Institute Dissertation Fellow
"Pan-American Futures: Muna Lee Tells The American Story"
12:00 - 1:30 PM, 207 UB Commons, Gender Institute, North Campus

In 1943, modernist poet and Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish began corresponding with fellow poet Muna Lee about a broadcast series for NBC. Over the course of the next year, Lee provided the research that MacLeish used to compose a series of multilingual radio plays dramatizing the history of the Americas. Yet her marginal presence in the publicized project highlights the gendered and ethnic paternalism that often marks attempts to universalize or disembody histories. This talk will demonstrate that, by appropriating Lee’s vision of inter-American cultural exchange, MacLeish’s radio plays model an imperfect future for life in the Western hemisphere after World War II.


Friday, April 25, 2014: "What is Sex?" UB Center for the Study of Psychoanalysis & Culture Symposium
10:30 AM - 6:00 PM, 120 Clemens Hall

The symposium will feature five invited speakers who will each give a full-length presentation followed by Q&A. The symposium’s title, “What Is Sex?” figures its topic as a question to which the answer might not be as self-evident as popular opinion would suggest. Our speakers have been invited to address the tension between “sex” as sexual difference and “sex” as sexual practice—that is, to examine how psychoanalysis might think erotic practice without always framing it via the heterosexualizing lens of sexual difference. The intellectual aim is to generate more varied accounts of gender/sexuality outside the orbit of heteronormativity, and to consider how a psychoanalytic emphasis on sexual difference de-prioritizes other forms of embodied difference, such as race or dis/ability. The invited speakers represent an international and interdisciplinary group who promise to engage these questions with rigor and gusto.


Wednesday, May 7, 2014: Marion Werner, UB Geography
"Global Displacements: The Making of Uneven Development in the Dominican Republic and Haiti"
1:00 - 2:30 PM, 109 O'Brian, UB North Campus

Based on more than a year of ethnographic work with workers and managers of export garment firms as the industry drastically re-structured in the mid-2000s, retrenching thousands of Dominican workers and shifting some operations to Haiti, this study draws on feminist and post-colonial approaches to make sense of experiences of work, unemployment, gender and race in the face of these dramatic global shifts in production.  


FALL 2013

Thursday, September 12: Patrick Bellegarde-Smith,Univ. of Wisconsin & Oungan Asogwe
“Entwined Spirits: Cosmological Truths, And Natural Order: Ideas of the “Feminine” in Vodou and Cultural Erasures”
4:00- 6:00 PM, 207 UB Commons, North Campus
Spirits, non-sexed by definition, in the Lwa of Haitian Vodou, are gendered emanations of an ideal societal construct, and provide elements for a social contract in which gender parity is extant in all creation.  The sophisticated metaphysical intricacies tied to the pedestrian approach of daily existence, reveal millennial wisdom yet untapped in schemes for nationald evelopment and in (re)construction efforts. And while patterns of thought make a difference, one also has to account for an obdurate international system that yet seeks to control, to define, and to punish at will. Would the Lwa provide ready answers for what ails us, as persons of primary African descent, and as a collective?


Friday, October 25: Stevie Berberick, Penn State
"Shouting Through Skin: Re/envisioning Re/markable Bodies"
4:00 p.m., 112 Norton Hall, North Campus

BBonoCentered on hyper-visibly tattooed white women living in New York State during 2012, "Shouting Through Skin" engages concepts regarding whiteness and white femininity, seeking to explain the ways in which decorated forms come to complicate these constructions and thus fall subject to a number of violations against their persons. As such, certain conditions are explored in order to locate and explain the nature of said violations; these conditions include overall physical appearance, tattoo design, tattoo location, age and geographic place.  Engagement with these topics is completed through analyses of primary and secondary sources. “Shouting Through Skin” is a highly intertextual project that speaks not only of the body politic, but also of the society in which forms are problematized and eroticized while also being reclaimed by the subject as a site of personal awareness and power.


Wednesday, November 6: Marta Marciniak, American Studies
"The Gendered Architecture of the Polish Street: A Punk View”
12:00-1:30 p.m., 207 UB Commons, North Campus

As Marshall Berman stated, the street is "a primary symbol of modern life.” The apparentlysimple construct of the street is in reality a complex and fascinating environment in which individuals and cultures may thrive or, both metaphorically and literally, die. It is also anessential space for urban subcultures. The danger and romanceof streetlife appeal to bothguys and girls engaged in subculturalactivities. How does it feel for a punk girl to walk down the street? What does she see and hear?  How does she interact with the street environment? This examination of the gendered architecture of Polish streets will offer insight into the lives of young Polish women and men and will illuminate how street culture organizes the dance, the chase, the fight and the flight.

UB Graduate Students Interview Feminist Faculty


Kamaria Busby, an M.A. student in American Studies,
interviewed Professor Alexis De Veaux (Global Gender Studies) on February 8, 2011. 
An internationally acclaimed artist-activist-scholar, Professor De Veaux is the author of a major biography of Audre Lorde and several award-winning works of fiction.   In this interview, she highlights a few aspects of her life and work from her childhood in Harlem to her scholarly specialization in Black diasporic women’s literatures.  She says she teaches “out of my passion, because what I want my students to come away with, particularly, is a sense of the centrality of black women’s literary production, black women’s intellectual production, to larger discourses about what it means to be human, what it means to live in one’s time, what it means to be able to transgress time, what it means to be central to the project of social justice.”
Click here for a transcript of the interview.

Rachel Snyder
 Lockman, an M.A. student in UB’s English Department, interviewed 
Lucinda M. Finley, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs and the Frank Raichle Professor of Law,
on March 2, 2011. 
Professor Finley’s research into how the male serves as the normative has led her to look at “tort law from a feminist perspective.”  She asks:  “To what extent are they [laws] not objective?  To what extent are the laws framed to male needs?  I found that, although there were not intentional biases, the laws didn’t fit women’s needs as well as men’s.  This is especially true with tort law and what constitutes damage.”
Click here for a transcript of the interview.

Christine Ditzel, a Ph.D. student in American Studies,
interviewed Lois Weis, SUNY Distinguished Professor of
Educational Leadership and Policy, Graduate
College of Education,on February 1, 2011.
In this interview Professor Weis illuminates key issues in the underfunding of
American schools at the same time that she exemplifies an empowering
feminist praxis as a mentor of graduate students.
Click here for a transcript of the interview.


Beth Kuberka, a doctoral student in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, interviewed Carrie Tirado Bramen, Associate Professor of English and Executive Director of UB’s Humanities Institute on February 4, 2011. 
In this interview, Professor Bramen describes the awakening of her passion for critical theory and archival research.  She challenges each new generation of scholars to value the humanities as “a living archive of knowledges that have to be sustained . . .  . The humanities have to challenge the market economy rather than try to assimilate to its rules.”
Click here for a transcript of the interview.

Jennifer Loft, an M.A. student in Global Gender Studies,
interviewed Susan Cahn, Professor of History, on February 8, 2011. 
In this interview, Professor Cahn describes the emergence of her interests in women and sports, southern women's history, and feminist studies.  She urges emerging feminist scholars to work hard, be true to themselves, and love what they do.
Click here for a transcript of the interview.

Kayla Chan
, an M.A. student in Global Gender Studies,
interviewed Dr. Kush Bhardwaj on February 24, 2011.
Dr. Bhardwaj's research and teaching interests include Afro-diasporic cultural retentions in the United States vis-à-vis Ghana, resurrecting the socio-political significance of radical abolitionist John Brown and hip hop culture. In this interview, Dr. Bhardwaj describes what it means to him to be a male feminist.
Click here for a transcript of the interview.


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Archive of FRA Workshops:

Spring 2013


Wednesday, January 30: Laura Garofalo, Architecture & Planning
“Messing with Eden”
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
Addressing historical and contemporaneous perceptions of pristine wilderness and Arcadian landscape as well as current analysis of what we recognize as our socio-ecological context, this talk highlighted the garden as a generative construct. The architecture of the garden makes it into an interface where the boundaries between nature and the man-made are negotiated. Prof. Garofalo focused on the design of a group of contemporary gardens physically set in a site known for both the 18th century Romantic garden constructed by Canadian landscape matriarch Elyse Reford, and its adjacent nature preserve untouched since colonial times. The confluence of these three diverse insertions in the landscape, the wilderness, the romantic landscape, and the temporary garden proposes an alternative ecological imagination for design and a counterpoint to the nature/culture dichotomy underpinning not only architecture practice, but the construction of most econarratives.

Wednesday, February 6: Krishni Burns, Classics
"Meetings at the Temple:  Locating Women in Ancient Rome’s Urban Landscape"
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
The women of Republican Rome, with a few notable exceptions, supposedly lived extremely cloistered lives.  They were confined exclusively to the domestic sphere and their identity was dependent on either their fathers or husbands.  This presentation offered an expanded view of women’s public lives during the mid to late Roman Republic by exploring to possibility that women used the courtyard of the temple to the Goddess known as the Magna Mater to conduct public business such as planning political protests and holding meetings of women's social organizations.

Tuesday, February 19: Jess MacNamara, Sociology
"Rearticulating Beauty Norms: Gender Transition, Appearance, and Family Acceptance"
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
Family has been mostly absent from studies on transgender issues, yet their influence is undeniable. Beauty is central to trans narratives about families accepting, supporting, and rejecting gendered physical changes. Appearance is the crux of gender transition, with the goal of aligning the physical with a powerful sense of inner self. This presentation drew from 30 in-depth interviews with self-identified transgender women and men to highlight the role of physical appearance in shaping familial acceptance.

Wednesday, March 6: Leah Benedict, English
"Performing Impotence"
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
From the convergence of law, medicine and popular culture, male sexual failure emerged as a defining characteristic of masculine subjectivity.  "Impotence" was an idea rapidly exchanged through the marketplace of ideas in the long eighteenth century, creating a slew of new anxieties, inhibitions and confessional modes. While divorce trials demanded that husbands demonstrate their potency before a jury, accredited physicians and quack doctors peddled a range of sometimes-deadly cures for sexual dissatisfaction. Meanwhile, playwrights, poets, novelists and pamphlet-writers incorporated the legal and physiological markers of impotence into their works to create a new "type" of substandard man. "Performing Impotence" considered bodies obliged to enact their own failure on the stage and in the courtroom.

Wednesday, March 27: Carrie Tirado Bramen, English
"On the Racial Politics of Niceness: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Plantation"
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons


Fall 2012


Wednesday, September 12: Jane E. Fisher, Director of Women’s Studies & Assoc. Professor of English, Canisius College
"Disease's Power to Expand Subjectivity: Representing the 1918 Influenza Pandemic in Buchi Emecheta's The Slave Girl and Elechi Amadi's The Great Ponds"
12:00 to 1:30 p.m. at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons

Tuesday, September 25: Victoria Wolcott, UB History
“Anatomy of a Hunger Strike:  Eroseanna Robinson and Radical Nonviolence”
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons

Tuesday, October 16: Molly Ranahan, UB Urban Planning
“Interrogating the Notion of Queer Spaces: An Examination of Urban Spaces, Queer Users, and Urban Planning and Design Practices”
4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
The built environment expresses values concerning sexuality through its design, composition, and management. The ways in which these spaces are created and controlled impact the way users feel and act. To understand the implications of heteronomormativity on the construction and management of space, it is important to observe and understand user experiences. The “sexing” of the built environment is a concept through which to begin developing a greater understanding of queer users and queer space and the impact that planners and designers have on these communities and environments in urban settlements.

Thursday, October 18: Robert Pogue Harrison, Rosina Pierotti Professor of Italian Literature, Stanford University
“Landscape and Sanity”
4:00 p.m. Clemens 120

Wednesday, October 31: Jean Dickson, UB Libraries
"Felicita Vestvali and Transatlantic Feminism in the 19th Century"
12:00 to 1:30 at the Gender Institute, 207 UB Commons
Felicita Vestvali (ca. 1830-1880), despite her Italian stage name, was a Polish-German opera singer and actress who was known in North America as "Vestvali the Magnificent."  Although a major attraction wherever she performed, she is nearly forgotten today. This presentation focused on her life as a self-described "man-hater" and an ambitious theatrical star, as well as her direct and mostly indirect links with the feminist movement, the nascent movement for gay and lesbian rights, and the movements for racial and religious emancipation.


Spring 2012

Wednesday, February 15: Stacy Hubbard, English
“Marianne Moore's National/Natural Histories”
Noon to 1:30,  Clemens 1004
The modernist American poet, Marianne Moore, was an avid student of natural history whose reading and lecture notes reveal wide knowledge of ornithology, zoology, botany, garden design, and art historical depictions of plants and animals. In her poems about American places, she often raises questions of national history and politics through descriptions of nature. This talk focused on the ways that Moore's poems invite reconsideration of the sexual and racial politics of America's founding through depictions of restored gardens and grounds at national historical sites such as Jamestown and Williamsburg.

Friday, February 24

Roundtable on Early Modern Masculinities
Noon - 5:00 p.m., Park 532

Organized by Christian Flaugh (Romance Languages and Literatures)
Cosponsored by the Early Modern Research Workshop

This round-table discussion investigated the struggles and the anxieties generated by the attempt at constructing a successful model of manhood and selfhood through an interdisciplinary analysis of representations of masculinity. The presenters explored the ambivalence around representations of masculinity as located in various spaces and discourses in the early modern period. They addressed paramount questions of early modern selfhood such as what constituted the period’s notion of male identities, what practices and narratives were designated as masculine, and ultimately the real stakes of constructing masculinity in the various realms of the early modern world.

Thursday, March 8: Presentations by Gender Institute Dissertation Fellows
Katie Grennell
(American Studies) on gender, disability & American popular music
Michael Hurst (English), “Heroic Slave Bodies: Epic Masculinity and Transcendence in Frederick Douglass”
12:00 to 1:30p.m., UB Gender Institute, 207 The Commons

Friday, March 23, Regina Mason and Rhonda Brace

“Searching for Ancestors: Extraordinary Discoveries”

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

After years of searching for her family roots, Rhonda Brace of Springfield, Massachusetts discovered that her ancestor, Jeffrey Brace, had published a memoir of slavery in 1810. Ms. Brace then worked with Professor Kari Winter, the editor of The Blind African Slave; or Memoirs of Boyrereau Brinch, Nicknamed Jeffrey Brace (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005) to gather more information about the Brace family’s history in New England from the Civil War to the present. After years of searching for her family roots, Regina Mason of San Francisco, California discovered that her ancestor, William Grimes, had published a memoir of slavery in 1825. Ms. Mason formed a partnership with Professor William L. Andrews anddevoted years of research to produce a new edition of Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave (Oxford University Press, 2008). Meeting each other for the first time, these two women shared their unique stories of genealogical research and academic collaborations.

Respondents: Barbara Nevergold, Uncrowned Queens Institute
Christopher Lee, University of Western Ontario
Candice Reynolds-Lee, sculptor and Brace descendant

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Gender-Neutral Housing at UB: Breaking Through the Binary of Traditional Campus Living"
Gender Institute, 207 The Commons

Trey Ufholcz, the 2011-12 M.S.W. intern with the Gender Institute
Ethan A. Gibson, Ph.D. Candidate Electrical Engineering and
Anderson Starrantino, first year student and future Nursing major

In January, UB decided to implement a Gender-Neutral
Housing Policy, starting in Fall 2012.

Fall 2011

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Victoria Wolcott
(History) will introduce
Toni Pressley-Sanon
(African and African American Studies) 
"Bloodline/Bloodlust: Reading Race and Gender in Octavia Butler's Fledgling"
12:00 to 1:30 p.m., 207 UB Commons, North Campus


BBonoWednesday, September 28, 2011
Carine Mardorossian (English) will introduce Margarita Vargas (Romance Languages and Literatures) 
"From Body to Voice and Back: 20th- Century Mexican Theatre"
12:00 to 1:30 p.m., 207 UB Commons, North Campus


Saturday, October 15, 2011
Casa de Arte
141 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo

BBonoTuesday, October 25, 2011:Rae Muhlstock, English
"This Text Which is Not One: A Unity of Fragments in the Works of Shelley Jackson"
12:00 to 1:30 p.m., 207 UB Commons, North Campus



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