A Gendered World – 2007-2008 Annual Theme

Gender is a central organizing principle of social life that informs everything from the taken for granted clothing we wear, our interactions with others, and our subjective understandings of who we are, to the kinds of work and social tasks we perform as we move through the gendered spaces of everyday life. Gender roles and meanings are different in every cultural context, but always inform patterns of social, political and economic inequality that are embedded in government, military, health, familial and educational institutions, legal systems, and the media. Women all over the world suffer disproportionately from violence, make less money than men, and have less access to power. Yet men all over the world die at younger ages than women, suffer from more heart attacks and serious mental illnesses, and are incarcerated at higher rates. This year’s Clarke Forum theme examines some of the ways that women and men live their lives as they are defined and define themselves in different political, economic, and cultural contexts.

Guerrilla Girls

Monkey Business

Guerilla Girls posters
Thursday, November 29, 2007
7:00 p.m. – The Depot

The Guerrilla Girls are feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders, like Wonder Woman and Batman. They use facts, humor and outrageous visuals to expose sexism, racism and corruption in politics, art, film and pop culture. Co-sponsored by Women’s Studies and The Zatae Longsdorff Women’s Center.

Issue in Context

Sexism and racism are pervasive throughout the world of art and popular culture. Women artists and artists of color are greatly under-represented in art museums. In the National Gallery of Art, 98% of the artists displayed are male and 99.9% are white. Galleries and art collectors generally buy art from white men and when they do buy art from women or artists of color, it often ends up hidden in the gallery’s storage facility.
Women and people of color are also under-acknowledged and under-appreciated in the film industry. A female director has never won an Oscar and only three have ever been nominated. In all of the Oscars for acting, only 3% have gone to people of color.
The film and music industries continue to portray women as sexual objects or in a stereotypical fashion without depth Read more

Karin Morin

Associate Professor, social/gender geography, Bucknell University.

Women, Religion and Space: Making the Connections

Karin Morin Poster
Thursday, November 15, 2007
4:30 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

In this talk, Karen Morin ‘triangulates’ among the scholarly domains of geography, women’s studies, and religious studies, suggesting ways to draw out the geographical implications of the study of women and religion. The talk highlights the ways that religions regulate women spatially, and how religious women negotiate and define spaces and their sense of themselves in them. Co-sponsored by the anthropology and religion departments.

Issue in Context
In the 17th century, Medieval Roman Catholic nuns benefited from the mobility of being allowed to work outside of their convents and within their communities, and of participating in missionary activities. However, in 1662, laws were passed in accordance with the Counter-Reformation that restricted the nun’s movement and often imprisoned them to their cloisters. The construction of gates and high walls around convents, the grills used to separate the nuns from the laypeople, and the use of the turntable to receive goods were just some of the limitations imposed on their lives. Nuns no longer had the right to play an active part in the church or in the Read more

Selma James

Wednesday, November 7, 2007Selma James Poster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Sex, Race and Class

Selma James, activist, author strategist. How can we defeat sexism, racism, and other violent destructive power relations among us all internationally? What are the economic connections and what do they have to do with class? A development of Sex, Race & Class, her classic of the anti-racist women’s movement. Co-sponsored by the anthropology and sociology departments.

Issue in Context
Should women be paid for their housework duties? According to the United Nations, women do two-thirds of the world’s total labor, from raising children to working in hospitals, yet they only receive five percent of the world’s assets. In a recent interview, Selma James explained that women are working even harder today than in the past, “Women are the carers, the nurturers, put the food on the table, make sure that shirts are clean for the next day, keep the children alive and have them lined up when the men come home. But still their work is not included in the GNP (gross national product). It still doesn’t count.” As the Coordinator of Global Women’s Strike, James continues to struggle for the recognition of women’s lives Read more

Lisa Sherman ’79

Metzger-Conway Fellow, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Logo TV.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007Sherman poster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Changing Hearts and Minds: Media as a Bridge Builder for LGBT America

For the past several decades, the media has been an important and powerful tool for humanizing LGBT Americans, gradually replacing stereotypes and caricatures with authentic portrayals and depictions of LGBT people characters. In the past several years, media specifically for the LGBT audience has come to the forefront, notably with the launch of Logo, the new 24/7 ad-supported television and broadband channel from MTV networks. Lisa Sherman will discuss gays and lesbians in the media as well as the context for Logo’s place in the media landscape and how it is helping to advance a sense of an electronic community for many LGBT Americans. Co-sponsored by the psychology department.

Issue in Context

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are frequently excluded and misrepresented. Gay men are often represented as overly ‘feminine,’ while lesbian women are depicted as ‘masculine.’ LGBTs are also classified as excessively sexual, and it is assumed that they will make advances towards all members of the sex to which they are attracted. Such Read more

Yolanda Lopez, political artist

The Virgin of Guadalupe on the Road to Aztlan

Yolanda Lopez poster

Wednesday, October 17, 2007
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Artist-provocateur and activist, Yolanda Lopez, will discuss the trajectory of her work, including her famous “virgin of guadalupe” paintings, in the context of her experiences with the Chicano civil rights movement, feminism, and contemporary immigration debates. Co-sponsored by Latin American Studies, American Studies and sociology Department.

Issue in Context
The Virgin of Guadalupe is one of the most revered Roman Catholic symbols in Mexico. She is believed to be an apparition of the Virgin Mary. From the time of the Mexican War of Independence, the Virgin of Guadalupe has been assumed as an icon of Mexican culture. Each year on December 12, millions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans celebrate The Queen of Mexico with dancing, songs, fireworks, and prayers.

According to the United States Census Bureau, in 2000 there were more than 20 million Mexican Americans living in the United States. Although they represent a large portion of the U.S. population, Chicanos, or Mexican-Americans, still often find themselves marginalized and discriminated against in mainstream society. The Chicano movement addresses negative representations of Mexican-Americans. Activists in the Chicano movement have worked Read more

Julie Nemecek and Bear Bergman

Gender and the Search for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

Thursday, October 11, 2007
Gender Poster
Part I – Common Hour
“Transgender Issues” – Facilitator, Prof. Christine Talbot
12:00 p.m. – Weiss Center, Rubendall Recital Hall

Part II – “Gender and the Search for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Julie Nemecek, consultant, former associate professor and minister and S. Bear Bergman, writer, activist, performer, will use their own compelling stories and current research to discuss the barriers gender causes for the realization of the “unalienable rights” enumerated in our country’s Declaration of Independence. They will also identify key tools and actions needed to overcome those barriers. The Clarke Forum Student Board has created this program. Co-sponsored by the Office of the Dean of Students.

Issue in Context
In an article published in the September issue of the Human Relations journal, professors Stephen Linstead and Alison Pullen define “transgender” as a gender identity that goes beyond the normative binary system of male and female social representation. By this definition, transgender does not refer to sexual orientation and transgendered people may identify as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual. The American Psychological Association specifies Read more

Carmencita "Chie" Abad

No More Suffering From Sweat

Tuesday, October 9, 2007ChieAbadPoster
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room

Chie will discuss the horrible working conditions she endured in the U.S. territory of Saipan while making clothing for the Gap. In her struggle to unionize workers, she was forced to leave the island and is now working to educate Americans about inhumane factory conditions worldwide. Co-sponsored by campus academic life (first year seminars/learning communities) and the sociology department.

Issue in Context
Where did you buy the clothes you are wearing today? It is possible your clothes were made in a garment factory by underpaid women and children working in deplorable conditions. In many garment and clothing factories around the world, workers spend prolonged periods of time in dangerous settings, pressured to meet production quotas. Corporations use these “sweatshops” in their production process in order to capitalize on cheap labor costs, boost production, and pursue increased profits at the expense of the human rights and dignity of the human beings who sweat to assemble products for mass consumption.

While some limited progress has been made in establishing regulations and worker rights in some factories, a large percentage remain outside the sphere of global attention. Read more

Jackson Katz, educator and filmmaker

Tough Guise: Violence, Media and the Crisis in Masculinity

Thursday, September 6
7:30 p.m. – Anita Tuvin Schlechter Auditorium
Mr. Katz explores the relationship between the social construction of masculinity and the widespread violence in American society, including the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech, Columbine, and elsewhere. Katz will provide the audience with conceptual and practical tools for reading both negative and positive media images critically, especially those connected with masculinity and violence. Co-sponsored by the sociology and anthropology departments.

Issue in Context
The past fifty years have seen serious challenges to conventional gender and sexual relations, which have reshaped people’s identities and experiences in the United States. Diversity has become more than just a statement of gender, racial, and ethnic uniqueness. People are embracing the idea of gender equality and more women are assuming positions of power and responsibility that transcend the domestic realm. Discriminated groups have been demanding their rights and claiming acceptance and visibility in society. These social movements are perceived as a threat by some men who react violently to the challenge of their dominant role. Jackson Katz points that the only field in which men still have an advantage over women is the “area of Read more

"Tough Guise: Violence, Media, and the Crisis in Masculinity" – Film Showing

Wednesday, September 5
7:00 p.m. – Stern Center, Great Room
The first educational video to systematically examine the relationship between pop-cultural imagery and the social construction of masculine identities in the United States at the dawn of the 21st century.
Jackson Katz, educator and filmmaker will present a lecture on Thursday, September 6. Click here for more information about this lecture.
For a film clip, visit http://www.mediaed.org/videos/MediaGenderAndDiversity/ToughGuise/# Read more

Afghanistan Beyond the Burqa

Thursday, November 9, 2006
Afghanistan Beyond the Burqa
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Afghanistan Beyond Burqa
Issue in Context
A free and compulsory education is viewed by many as one of the most fundamental of all human rights. However, at least 125 million worldwide children are denied basic education and one in three adults remain illiterate, according to the Global Campaign for Education.

Under the Taliban, basic education declined between 1996 and 2001, causing an increased percentage of illiteracy and low rate of school attendance. School curriculum was restricted, schools were destroyed and female education was banned. The government closed all of the girls’ schools in the country and prevented female teachers from working. Some girls were secretly educated in their homes by parents and teachers, others attended underground schools. In 2000, UNICEF reported that only 4% to 5% of Afghan children were being educated at the primary school level. Fewer had access to secondary and university education. By 2001, Afghanistan possessed one of the worst educational records in the world.

Since the Taliban fell from power in 2001, international efforts led by numerous countries negotiated an aid package of $4.5 billion to help rebuild Afghanistan. More than a million attend school Read more

Women Confronting Globalization

Wednesday, November 8, 2006
Women Confronting Globalization
Stern Center, Great Room – 7:00 p.m.

Women Globalization

Issue in Context

Ninety percent of Mexico ‘s potable water comes from Chiapas, but many communities have no access to fresh water. Similarly, Chiapas is Mexico’s top producer of hydroelectric energy and a major producer of natural fuels, and yet most of Chiapas ‘ indigenous people live without electricity. The Zapatistas, a largely non-violent revolutionary group struggling for the autonomy of indigenous people, has spent the last two decades raising awareness of local conditions domestically and internationally. Early in the Zapatista’s history, women joined the ranks and many rose to leadership positions, eventually creating the “Revolutionary Laws of Women,” which explicitly provided for equal rights for women in Zapatista-controlled areas. While the government has made changes in Chiapas, the region still suffers.

About the Speaker
Gabriela Martinez is a sociologist, activist, and researcher who worked with the Center of Political Analysis and Social and Economic Research in Chiapas, Mexico. Martinez has focused her studies and community work on the collective rights of indigenous communities, liberation theology, and fair trade and women’s cooperatives.

Celeste Escobar will translate for Martinez at this event. Escobar, originally from Paraguay , Read more

From Wiseguys to Wise Men: Masculinities and the Italian American Gangster Figure

Thursday, November 2, 2006
From Wiseguys to Wise Men: Masculinities and the Italian American Gangster Figure
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.

Wiseguys to Wisemen
Issue in Context
What does one associate with an Italian-American: pasta, large families, nice clothes, masculine men, and the mafia? These are some of the common stereotypes Americans have had about Italians living in the United States since they began arriving in the late 19 th century. Violence, sexism, machismo, overt sexuality and an obsession with abundance have characterized the persona of the Italian-American gangsters of yesterday in films such as The Godfather or Goodfellas. Represented as highly physical, the images of Italian men have helped construct what it meant to be an American man. The “wiseguy” character expresses both the experience of Italian immigrants and native fantasies that reveal the culture of American race, gender, and ethnicity. The wiseguy figure can be interpreted as a “trickster” character long employed as a metaphor in American literature to serve as a model of improper behavior.

About the Speaker
Fred Gardaphe is the director of the American and Italian American Studies Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He teaches courses in Italian American history and Read more

International Women's Day: Perspectives on Progress and Challenges

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006
International Women’s Day: Perspectives on Progress and Challenges
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 p.m.Womens Day

Issue in Context
International Women’s Day takes place on March 8th of each year. The celebration was created by German Socialist Klara Zetkin in 1911. On International Women’s Day in 1917, Russian women were inspired to protest the rising costs and shortages of food, the world war, and their increased suffering. After 1917, March 8 became the official date for the celebration. When feminism surged in the 1960’s, interest in the holiday revived, and in 1975 the United Nations begun to sponsor International Women’s Day. In 1981, in Santa Rosa California a National Women’s History Week was spearheaded to bring international women together. In 1987 the week was expanded to an entire month, making March National Women’s History Month. Today, women from all over the world come together annually to celebrate peace, equality, and justice. This evening’s panel will discuss progress on women’s issues as well as persistent challenges regarding women’s rights.

About the Speakers
Rae Yang is a professor of Chinese language and literature in the East Asian Studies Department at Dickinson College. She was born in China and held several Read more

Women and Politics

Thursday, February 9, 2006
Running as a Woman: How Stereotypes Influence the Conduct and Consequences of Political Campaigns
Weiss Center, Rubendall Recital Hall, 12:00 PM

Women, Media and Politics
Stern Center, Great Room, 7:00 PM

Running as a Woman

Issue in Context
Throughout the course of history, women have been the subject of oppression and countless stereotypes. Over the past few decades, general views of women have begun to change drastically. Women now are able to hold professional positions and command respect in a manner they were not able to in the early part of the century. In regards to electoral politics, however, the success of women tends to be directly correlated to stereotypical images of female candidates and the prominent issues of the day. The manner in which the general public perceives the capabilities and liabilities of today’s female candidate can greatly affect the operation and outcome of a political campaign. Additionally, stereotypes have a tendency to influence such aspects of campaigns as media coverage, the candidates’ behavior, and voters’ opinions. They may also shape the electoral climate, providing women with an advantage in some settings and a disadvantage in others.

The recent elections of female candidates around the globe combined with the Read more

Women, Knowledge & Power

Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Women, Knowledge & Power
Stern Center, Great Room 7:00 P.M.


Issue in Context
In 1833, Oberlin College became the first co-educational college in the United States. The 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, was ratified in 1920 and Congress passed the Equal Employment Opportunity Act in 1972. In 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor became the first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The word “feminist” first appeared in the 19th century and the modern feminist movement took off with passion in the 1960s. Yet, though the twentieth century saw a wave of progress in achieving women’s rights, many believe that women still have obstacles to overcome.

Dorothy Smith has argued forcefully that some of those obstacles lie squarely within the academy and in the nature of scholarly work and scientific research. In particular, Smith contends that commonly accepted social science models are problematic for women, and indeed for everyone, because women’s experience did not play a role in their development. Though women have made tremendous strides in the field of sociology over the past century, Smith believes that sociology (and more generally the social sciences) remains dominated by a male perspective and ideology. Thus, Read more