From the Chair
Greetings from the Cottage! The past 5 months have presented us all with both challenges and triumphs. In the first weeks following the presidential election, CU Boulder witnessed several shocking instances of intolerance. But we took some good advice, and when they went low, we went high. Here are some highlights:
- Low: A man disrupted a class on race and ethnicity by shouting “Build that #@%^& wall!”
- High: WGST’s Gender Justice League student group coordinated an “Election Detox” led by Prof. Celeste Montoya and myself that filled the cottage library and beyond.
- Low: An unknown person or persons covered an outside wall of the WGST cottage with racist flyers.
- High: WGST coordinated with other departments and responded with bigger posters welcoming all and promising to work collectively to build a just and inclusive world.
- Low: A student group invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus. Milo became famous for harassing African American actress Leslie Jones with racist and misogynist taunts to the point that Twitter banned him. On other campuses during his subsequent speaking tour, he targeted specific students and programs with overtly racist, sexist, and transphobic slurs.
- High: CU faculty, staff, students, and administration planned an alternative event to coincide with Milo’s talk to celebrate and strengthen CU’s commitment to diversity. WGST Prof. Deepti Misri was a speaker, along with WGST affiliated faculty Profs. Bianca Williams and Kwame Holmes. This event was followed by a talk given in Macky Auditorium by Laverne Cox, celebrated actress in Orange Is the New Black and trans-activist. Attendance at these back-to-back inclusive events dwarfed that of Milo’s, giving a terrific boost to morale and helping many feel safer and more welcome.
We have seen a small boost in donations since the elections. Thank you for thinking of WGST when responding with your checkbooks. Your support is most welcome and allows us to invite more speakers to campus, conduct research, and support student efforts.
Lorraine Bayard de Volo
Chair & Associate Professor, Women and Gender Studies
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In this Issue:
Associate Faculty Profile: Rachel RinaldoAn assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and associate faculty member in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, Rachel Rinaldo studies the ways global and transnational social forces influence gender, particularly in Muslim societies and Southeast Asia. Rinaldo came to CU Boulder in 2015, having previously taught sociology at the University of Virginia. A graduate of Barnard College (BA, Political Science) and the University of Chicago (MA & PhD, Sociology) Rinaldo also completed two postdoctoral fellowships -- as the Kiriyama Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for the Pacific Rim, University of San Francisco, and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.
Rinaldo is the author of an ethnographic study of both Muslim and secular women activists in the megacity of Jakarta, Mobilizing Piety: Islam and Feminism in Indonesia (Oxford 2013). Although feminism and Islam are often seen as incompatible, Rinaldo reveals the ways that democratization and the Islamic revival in Indonesia are shaping new forms of personal and political agency for women through an examination of a feminist NGO, Muslim women’s organizations, and a Muslim political party. She contrasts the different ways religious texts are interpreted to facilitate different types of collective action, used to argue for both more rights and equality and to more public moral regulations. Rinaldo also published findings from this research in journals such as Social Forces and Gender & Society.
Rinaldo recently served as a guest editor (with Manisha Desai from the University of Connecticut) on a special issue of Qualitative Sociology centered on gender and globalization (Vol. 39, Issue 4, Dec. 2016). Rinaldo and Desai's introduction to this special issue argued that scholarship in this subfield needs to overcome several key limitations, including an understanding of gender that tends to reflect the binary gender system in Western societies, a continuing focus on women rather than gender relations, and a gendered intellectual division of labor in which women scholars tend to be the ones who study the gendered aspects of globalization while men study a gender blind globalization.
Currently, Rinaldo is working on an article about marriage, gender, and social change in urbanizing Java, as well as a book chapter on democratization and women’s activism in Indonesia. She is also in the midst of new research projects on the increase in divorce among Indonesian Muslims and the emergence of a globalized contemporary art scene in Southeast Asia. This semester, she is also teaching two courses for the sociology department, an undergraduate lecture “Women and Development” that investigates the status of women in the context of globalization and social and economic development, as well as a graduate seminar on the sociology of sex and gender. In fall 2017, she will be teaching an undergraduate course called "Gender, Islam, and Modernity" which surveys gender relations in majority Muslim societies in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Alumna Update: Kat Morgan
Kat Morgan (BA, Women’s Studies, ’88) has been an advocate and ally throughout her career in human services, nonprofit management, and as a community leader. Currently a consultant at ChangeAbility Solutions LLC, which she founded, Morgan helps organizations and nonprofits facilitate for positive and purposeful change. Based in Charleston, Morgan is the lead facilitator for her local chapter of Showing up for Racial Justice, a national network organizing white people against racism. Living very near the site of the Emanuel AME massacre, Morgan has been working in her community to initiate conversations with white folks about racism. She was an invited speaker at TedXCharleston last fall, giving a very personal and powerful talk about how to be an ally for racial justice, and the importance of speaking out and calling out racism while maintaining compassion.
We encourage you to watch this short video of Kat's TedXCharleston talk, and share its important message with your family, friends, and colleagues:
Silence is Not Always Golden
Kat Morgan, WGST Alum, Speaking at TedXCharleston
Sam Bullington - Phoenix, Colorado’s trans community choir—founded and directed by Sam Bullington—has recently made great strides with regards to youth engagement and education. This past weekend they performed at the PFLAG/TYES gender expansive youth fashion show, and in February at a Boulder elementary school, dressed as animals enacting a story—written by one of the parents in Phoenix—about a transgender raven in a community of animals. The message, about the importance of being seen for who you are on the inside rather than what you look like on the outside, with the songs interwoven throughout has been so popular with students, teachers, and parents they’ve already been invited back to this school as well as others that have heard about their production.
After years of speaking on campus about transgender issues, racism, and toxic and healthy masculinities, Sam is taking his teaching beyond the confines of the university. After recent invitations to lead unlearning racism workshops with various LGBT choral organizations, as well as being the keynote speaker for the upcoming Safe Shelters Symposium on Domestic Violence, Sam has decided to leave CU to expand his reach in this charged moment of collective uncertainty and potential. Sam is very grateful for all the amazing students who have crossed his path over his 4 years at CU and will deeply miss all the friends he has made here on campus during that time.
Emmanuel David - Dr. David's latest article "Capital T: Trans Visibility, Corporate Capitalism, and Commodity Culture" was recently published in the journal Transgender Studies Quarterly (2017; vol 4:1).
Alison Jaggar - Dr. Jaggar has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which was founded in 1780, "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." She will travel to accept the nomination in the fall.
Deepti Misri - Dr. Misri participated in a colloquium for students in the Miramontes Arts and Science Program last month, "Gender, Violence and Representation in South Asia." In this colloquium, she reflected on her work as a feminist cultural critic attending to the legacies of violence in South Asia. She reviewed some of the ground covered by her book Beyond Partition: Gender, Violence and Representation in Postcolonial India, and introduced her current work on Kashmir, the site of a long-standing movement for self-determination. She also discussed her location as an international scholar on an Indian passport at a US research university, and how it has shaped her relationship to her research. She has also been invited to a symposium on "Reimagining Creative Economy" at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada in late April.Dr. Misri was also a speaker at the Buffs United event earlier this semester, along with Kwame Holmes and Bianca Williams from the Department of Ethnic Studies. This event was presented by a partnership of CU students, faculty and staff to celebrate the CU Boulder community, and in support of the shared vision for an inclusive, affirming campus. Through music, spoken word, theater and art, dynamic performers and presenters highlighted important social issues and helped audience members share their own voices.
Celeste Montoya - Dr. Montoya officially become Director of the Miramontes Arts and Science Program after serving as interim director for a year. She has published the book chapters "Institutions" in the Oxford Handbook of Feminist Theory (edited by Lisa Disch and Mary Hawkesworth, Oxford University Press) and "Exploits and Exploitations: A Micro and Macro Analysis of the ‘DSK Affair.’” in Scandalous Economics (edited by Aida Hozic and Jacqui True, Oxford University Press). Montoya also served as an invited commentator for NBCNews.com this past fall and have been an invited speaker this spring at University of California, Davis and the University of Central Florida.
Student Profile: Oriana RichmondOriana Richmond is a sophomore majoring in Women and Gender Studies and minoring in Sociology and Spanish at CU Boulder. Last spring, she attended the day-long Activist-in-Residence program at the Cottage centered on women’s reproductive health and justice featuring WGST alum Brittany Burton of the Boulder Valley Women’s Health Center, and Jillian Coffey, a Field Organizing Specialist for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. Oriana says she was drawn to the event because she had never met anyone who worked as an activist and was interested in knowing more about what their jobs were. “I also wanted to network with fellow activists in addition to learning more about the subjects that were being discussed,” she notes.
We were very excited to learn that after attending this workshop, Oriana applied for and was awarded an internship at Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, working directly under Jillian Coffey and under the advisement of WGST Assistant Professor Robert Wyrod. “At the Activist in Residence event, I introduced myself to Jill and let her know that I was interested in volunteering and being an intern,” Oriana related. “I continued to be in touch with her throughout the summer and was officially offered the internship in August. The internship application itself was just a cover letter, submission of my resume, and a few meetings with Jill; what really mattered was that I kept in touch and followed up.”
Since August, Oriana has worked as an organizing intern, performing grassroots organizing tasks such as volunteer coordination, phone banks, community organizing and outreach, researching reproductive policies in relation to Planned Parenthood, as well as helping to run activist events and doing data entry at their health center in Boulder. She additionally serves as the President of Buffs for Reproductive Justice, a campus student group affiliated with Planned Parenthood, which she also founded.
Oriana was also selected to attend the Patient and Provider Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., where she, with a small group of other Planned Parenthood patients, providers, and activists from Colorado, lobbied our Congresspeople to support Planned Parenthood and protect comprehensive and affordable reproductive healthcare policies. Politicians she met with included Congressman Jared Polis, Congresswoman Diana DeGette, and Congressman Ed Perlmutter. Oriana says, “I also was lucky enough to meet Cecile Richards, who is the nationwide President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. It was an amazing experience overall.”
You can follow or learn more about Buffs for Reproductive Justice through Facebook: facebook.com/groups/buffs4RJ, Twitter: twitter.com/buffs4rj, and Instagram: instagram.com/buffs4rj.
Spring 2017 Events
Lunch with an Activist:
Why and How to Think Before You Pink
Friday, April 14, 2017 • 1:30 - 3:00pm
Gates Woodruff Cottage Library
To attend, RSVP to WGST@Colorado.edu by Thursday, April 13thWGST is hosting a "lunch with an activist" as part of our Activist in Residence series, featuring Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director of Breast Cancer Action. We will talk about the “corporatization” of social movements and causes, using the breast cancer movement and the ubiquitous pink ribbon as a case study. We’ll discuss the origins of the pink ribbon, arguably the most successful cause marketing symbol ever created, and explore what values this symbol conveys and how that shapes the demands of the breast cancer movement.
About the Activist: Karuna Jaggar joined Breast Cancer Action (BCAction) as Executive Director in early 2011 and brings a lifelong commitment to social justice to this work. Under her leadership, Breast Cancer Action has grown in size and reach and is a leading source of independent information about breast cancer through one-of-a-kind educational materials, internationally acclaimed webinars, and a strong grassroots community leaders program. BCAction was the first – and remains the only – breast cancer organization to speak out about the health harms of fracking and other forms of dangerous drilling and its 2014 campaign challenging Susan G. Komen and Baker Hughes’ pink drill bits “for the cure” was featured on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Karuna is an unapologetic patient advocate for loved ones who have undergone treatment for breast cancer. She is the parent of two daughters and aunt to two nieces, all between the ages of 7 and 10. Karuna holds a Master’s degree in Economic Geography from UC Berkeley, with a special emphasis on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and received her BA in Philosophy from Smith College.
Book Release Reception–
The Holocaust Across Generations: Trauma and its Inheritance Among Descendants of Survivors
Thursday, April 27, 2017
5:00 - 6:30pm
Gates Woodruff Cottage Library
Join us for a reception to celebrate Dr. Janet Jacobs' latest book release The Holocaust Across Generations: Trauma and its Inheritance Among Descendants of Survivors (NYU Press, January 2017). This work examines the experiences of 75 children and grandchildren of Holocaust survivors, and how the trauma that their ancestors endured impacts their own psychological and social development. Through social mechanisms such as narratives, rituals, belief systems, and memorial sites, collective memory of trauma is passed down -- causing nightmares, guilt, fear and sadness to subsequent generations. Jacobs discusses the impact of this social memory on survivor identities, and through a feminist analysis frames the importance of gender in the study of traumatic inheritance.
Dr. Jacobs' previous books include Hidden Heritage: The Legacy of the Crypto-Jews and Memorializing the Holocaust: Gender, Genocide and Collective Memory.
"This important book illustrates the social structures through which the trauma of the Holocaust has been transmitted to the children and grandchildren of survivors. Based on carefully documented narratives gathered over ten years, Jacobs’s contribution is profound and illuminating." —Wendy Cadge, Brandeis University
"Janet Jacobs has provided us with a thoroughly sociological understanding of the social transmission of collective trauma across generations. It is integrative theoretically and empirically, focusing on the social structures and social relations of transmission, including family processes, rituals and narratives of identity construction, public commemorations, and the sociology of place. There are, as she notes, `multiple landscapes of memory’ and her sensitive and in-depth empirical work shows many of them. This book will be a valued addition to the sociology of collective memory and to genocide and Holocaust Studies." —Rhys H. Williams, Loyola University Chicago
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Gates Woodruff Cottage Library
Praseeda Gopinath, Associate Professor of English at Binghamton University-SUNY, and Laura Brueck, Associate Professor of Indian Literature at Northwestern University, joined with our faculty to discuss Dr. Deepti Misri's book Beyond Partition: Gender, Violence, and Representation in Postcolonial India, winner of the Eugene M. Kayden Book Award 2016 for the best book in Literary Studies by a CU Boulder faculty member. The award included grants for both research and this author-meets-critics symposium, giving a platform for the author and other experts in the field of literary studies to critique and discuss Misri's perspectives on the ways caste, identity, and class complicate representations of violence, and how our understanding of both violence and India are shaped by such representations.
April 17-21, 2017
The Gender Justice League, along with many other student volunteers, will be observing Denim Days the week of April 17th-21st, 2017. This transnational movement is aimed at combatting sexual violence and victim blaming, and has been held annually on CU's campus since Spring 2011. Past years events have included film screenings, silent vigils, marches, workshops, and a display of jeans and denim patches decorated by students to show their solidarity with victims of gendered and sexual violence. Through these activities, students hope to create awareness around the issue of gender-based violence, to challenge rape culture and victim blaming, and provide information about resources available to members of our community.
2017 Women & Gender Studies Commencement
Friday, May 12, 2017
Old Main Chapel
Join us Friday, May 12th, 2017 to recognize the Women and Gender Studies graduating class of 2017, including our minors, certificate students, and our scholarship awardees.
Parents, relatives and friends will gather at 3pm in the Old Main Chapel on the CU-Boulder campus, and the graduates and awardees will process from the Gates Woodruff Cottage across the Norlin Quad to Old Main. A catered reception will follow in the Heritage Center, on the third floor of Old Main.
Women and Gender Studies Newsletter
Women and Gender Studies
University of Colorado Boulder
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Phone: (303) 492-8923 | Fax: (303) 492-2549