Oral History Collection: Barnard College Class of 1971

BCRW is excited to announce that the oral histories of the Barnard Class of 1971, held at the Barnard Archives and Special Collections, are now available for student and community researchers to view and utilize. These oral histories offer a window into the social and political lives of feminists who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s. 

Members of the Barnard Class of 1971 were inspired by a suggestion from the late Barnard Political Science Professor Peter Juviler, who, upon participating in a reunion conversation among BC ’71 alums about their experiences during the Columbia Student Building Occupation and Strike in April 1968, urged them to collect and share their stories. Stirred by Professor Juviler’s perspective, a group of BC ’71 alumnae incorporated the not-for-profit BC Voices, Inc., setting out to create a collection containing the oral histories (life stories) of class members of BC ’71 in the Barnard Archives and Special Collections.

To date, BC Voices has interviewed 35 classmates and donated the video tapes and transcripts to the Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Collection (BC ’71 OHC). By Spring 2016, an additional 30-40 interviews will be added to the BC ’71 OHC. The oral histories reflect the diversity of the women of BC ’71 in terms of their geographic, socio-economic, and ethnic backgrounds, as well as the choices they have made and the lives they have lived since their Barnard days.

Watch a short video with excerpts from the first interviews, focusing on experiences at Barnard and on the events of 1968:

The Barnard Class of 1971 Oral History Collection provides rich, primary source material on the many issues that touched women’s lives from 1949 to the present. Classmates speak fully and frankly about growing up in the Jim Crow south; being the child of Holocaust survivors; life and learning at a Seven Sisters college; occupying buildings in 1968; and as a commuter, coming home every night to questioning parents. They also share their early experiences with the Women’s Liberation movement, reproductive justice, queer liberation, anti-racism, and more.

These conversations highlight the historical trajectory of student involvement in activism on campus and in New York City, be it in anti-war or anti-gentrification organizing, and its impact on social justice feminisms today.

The BC ’71 OHC is in active use by scholars at Barnard and Columbia and is currently being digitized by the Barnard Archives to make it available to the general public.

For more information on the project, contact Katherine Brewster, President BC Voices, Inc., bcvoicesinc [at] gmail.com. To access the BC ’71 OHC in the Barnard Archives, researchers can contact Shannon O’Neill, Barnard Archivist, soneill [at] barnard.edu.

New S&F Online: Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond

Nicci Yin's octopus illustration

Guest Edited by Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse
Contributors include Ujju Aggarwal, Gabriel Arkles, Maile Arvin, Myrl Beam, Alisa Bierria, Avi Cummings, Hope Dector, Treva Ellison, Pooja Gehi, Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Lani Hanna, Gillian Harkins, Priya Kandaswamy, Paul Kivel, Soo Ah Kwon, Colby Lenz, Edwin Mayorga, Mimi Thi Nguyen, Vero Ordaz, Dylan Rodríguez, Rori Rohlfs, Paula X. Rojas, Dean Spade, and Lee Ann S. Wang. 

This issue of S&F Online looks at the nonprofit and the university as two key sites in which neoliberal social and economic formations are constituted and contested. 

Emerging out of a 2009 meeting at the American Studies Association convened by Munshi and Willse and drawing on the theoretical and historical models articulated by INCITE! Women, Gender Non-conforming, and Trans People of Color Against Violence, the collection asks: What are the possibilities for transformative politics given the capacity of neoliberal capital to incorporate, absorb and/or neutralize demands for social justice? 

Essays in this issue offer theoretical arguments grounded in case studies on a wide range of topics, including the role of civic engagement in women’s and ethnic studies programs, the constitution of community through nonprofits in and against Hawai’ian sovereignty movements, the reconstitution of privatized prison education programs in the wake of their defunding and dismantling by the state, and the commodification of “gay youth” in LGBT nonprofit worlds, among others.

Queer Dreams Part 1: What are We Fighting For? from BCRW Videos on Vimeo.

In addition to groundbreaking scholarship, this issue includes an exhibit from Interference Archive, a collaborative research project on mapping police violence, and an original video series, “Understanding the Nonprofit Industrial Complex,” featuring interviews with Christine Ahn, Trishala Deb, Kenyon Farrow, Reina Gossett, Shira Hassan, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Imani Henry, Amber Hollibaugh, N’Tanya Lee, Andrea Ritchie, Dean Spade, Urvashi Vaid, Jason Walker, and Craig Willse.

Read the full issue at http://sfonline.barnard.edu/navigating-neoliberalism-in-the-academy-nonprofits-and-beyond.

FILM SCREENING: “I Remember Harlem”

We are excited to announce the launch of a BCRW and Africana Studies joint initiative: the Harlem Semester! 

The Harlem Semester offers a new way for students and faculty to be in closer dialogue with our Harlem neighbors and connect to the rich history of Harlem’s sociopolitical organizing and cultural legacy.

I Remember HarlemOur opening Harlem Semester event is an public screening of Bill Miles’ film “I Remember Harlem” (Parts I and II) on Friday, January 29th at 6pm at the Held Auditorium in Barnard Hall.  The screening will be followed by a discussion and Q&A with producer Juanita Howard. For more information on the event, visit: http://bcrw.barnard.edu/event/film-screening-i-remember-harlem-parts-i-and-ii/

A Harlem resident his entire life, Miles grew up on 126th Street, behind the Apollo Theater and spent a lifetime documenting African-American history and culture. “I Remember Harlem” was a singular achievement, documenting Harlem history from its beginnings as a Dutch settlement, to its status as “the Negro Mecca” in the 1920s to its later status an an icon of “urban renewal” efforts in the 1980s. The film screened in its entirety, over four nights, on PBS in 1981.

About the Harlem Semester: 

The Harlem Semester, a public humanities initiative, immerses students in the neighborhood’s deep cultural, social, and political history, through partnerships with the Apollo Theater, the Harlem Stage, the National Black Theatre, the Studio Museum of Harlem and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Using Barnard as a home base for six classes in the spring semester of 2016, the Harlem Semester integrates classroom learning with hands-on experiences like master classes and archival research, and allows faculty to co-teach courses with curators, archivists, administrators and artists at partner institutions.

For more information on Harlem Semester, contact africana@barnard.edu and follow @BCRWTweets or #HarlemSemester on Twitter.

BCRW Spring 2016 Newsletter


Tina CamptThis spring, BCRW will host an exciting array of events pivoting on a complex engagement with the ethics and politics of life-making. Framing these events is a central question: What are the challenges we face as feminist scholars, activists, writers, artists, and thinkers fashioning, fighting for, and building a world for lives worth living in the 21st century?

Our speakers and events this semester grapple with this question from a multitude of vantage points. Our 41st annual Scholar and Feminist Conference poses the question of how we sustain the activist movements, community institutions, and critical practices that are most crucial to making a livable world where, as our keynote speaker Reina Gossett states so powerfully, ‘no one is disposable.’ Amber Hollibaugh will share her work to centralize working-class and poor LGBTQ people in anti-poverty, labor, and LGBTQ organizing. And together we will reflect on the creative and contestatory narratives of queer life and family-making so beautifully articulated in the writing of Maggie Nelson at a book salon honoring her captivating memoir, The Argonauts.

Similarly, the writerly ethics and politics of life-making are, as always, at the core of our Caribbean Feminisms on the Page series, and this semester, we will expand these conversations beyond the Barnard campus to stream an additional dialogue broadcast from Barnard’s Global Symposium in Paris. The challenges of alternative practices of life-making will also be a central theme of the first annual Black Lesbian Conference: “The Evolution of Our Community,” hosted by BCRW and organized by Beyond Bold and Brave.

These are just a few of the highlights of our programs in the upcoming semester. We look forward to seeing you in the coming months and hearing your insights into what it means to fashion a life worth living in the 21st Century.

All best wishes,

Tina Campt


THE SCHOLAR & FEMINIST ONLINE 13.2: Navigating Neoliberalism in the Academy, Nonprofits, and Beyond

This issue of the Scholar & Feminist Online uses the theoretical and historical models articulated by INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence to critique the non-profit industrial complex (NPIC) and later the academic industrial complex (AIC) to explore the non-profit and the university as two key sites in which neoliberal social and economic reforms are constituted and contested. This issue is edited by Soniya Munshi and Craig Willse. Authors in this issue include Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Reina Gossett, Kenyon Farrow, Trishala Deb, Pooja Gehi, Paulina Helm-Hernandez, Imani Henry, Shira Hassan, Amber Hollibaugh, Colby Lenz, Dean Spade, and many more. This issue also includes videos from the 2013 conference “Queer Dreams and Nonprofit Blues” produced by Hope Dector.

Available free online at http://sfonline.barnard.edu.

BCRW and Africana Studies Department Launch the Harlem Semester Program

Spring 2016 marks the inaugural launch of the Harlem Semester – an ambitious public humanities initiative that explores the myriad forms of black culture and politics emerging in and around Harlem. Organized by the Barnard Center for Research on Women and the Department of Africana Studies, the Harlem Semester pairs faculty research and instruction with venerated Harlem institutions to teach the neighborhood’s rich cultural and political legacy.


Black Light: Tom Lloyd, Lorraine O’Grady, and the Effect of Art Historical Disappearance
Krista Thompson
Natalie Boymel Kampen Memorial Lecture in Feminist Criticism and History
Krista Thompson
Thursday, February 11 | 6-7:30 PM
Event Oval, The Diana Center

Tom Lloyd was a black artist among the first wave working with light and electronic technologies in the 1960s. His early centrality in the mainstream 1960s New York art world is belied by the bare archival and material traces that remain of his work. Taking a cue from performance artist Lorraine O’Grady’s Caribbean-inspired public performances as Miles Bourgeoise Noire, art historian Krista Thompson experiments with more expansive definitions of art and new methodologies of writing art history and recovering the lost history of this important black photographer.



The Scholar and Feminist 41: Sustainabilities
A conference
Saturday, February 27 | 10 AM – 6:30 PM
The Diana Center, Barnard College

In the forty-first year of BCRW’s cornerstone conference, we are taking seriously and appropriating the framework of sustainability to ask how we can sustain the material, financial, creative, cultural, spiritual, and communal resources necessary to maintain the vitality of our communities, movements, and critical feminist inquiry. The conference brings together feminist scholars, activists, artists and community members from various constituencies to address the obstacles they face–including biomedical models of health and wellness; anti-black police and state violence; and the far-reaching tentacles of neoliberalism shrinking public resources and expanding the prison industrial complex. Panelists will address the creative and courageous responses they have developed for creating and sustaining their work as activists, scholars and visionaries working toward housing justice, ending poverty and incarceration, and building feminist knowledge production as theory, research, teaching, and praxis. Visionary activist and thinker Reina Gossett will be the keynote speaker.

Presenters include:

Katherine Acey, Yana Calou, Charmaine Crawford, Kate D’Adamo, Ejeris Dixon, Geleni Fontaine, Kenyon Farrow, Gabriel Foster, Elliott Fukui, Reina Gossett, Ryan Hickey, Amber Hollibaugh, Deanna James, Gregory Jost, Joo-Hyun Kang, Frances Kunreuther, Jamal Lewis, Naima Lowe, Cara Page, Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha, Ola Osaze, Krystal Portalatin, Tara Shuai, Alison Swartz, Rebecca Weinberger, Sondra Youdelman, and more.

For more information, visit http://bcrw.barnard.edu/sf41.



Caribbean Feminisms on the Page III: In Paris
Reading and Discussion
Maryse Condé and Fabienne Kanor, moderated by Kaiama L. Glover
Thursday, March 17 5-6:30 PM
Reid Hall, Paris, France

Taking place during Barnard’s 2016 Global Symposium in Paris, this conversation will feature esteemed writer and former Columbia University faculty member Maryse Condé and renowned contemporary Franco­Martinican novelist and filmmaker Fabienne Kanor. Building on a rich tradition of artists and writers moving between the French-speaking Caribbean and France, these writers will discuss the specific gendered realities of transnational migration and Afro-Europeanness.



Caribbean Feminisms on the Page IV
Reading and Discussion
Gloria Joseph and Naomi Jackson
Thursday, March 24 | 6-7:30 PM
Event Oval, The Diana Center

This literary series pairs established writers with emerging novelists to discuss their work, their engagements with the Caribbean and its diaspora, and their experiences as women writing in and about the region. In this event, distinguished writer Gloria Joseph and debut novelist Naomi Jackson are in conversation, discussing their recent publications. Joseph presents her newest work, a bio/anthology entitled The Wind is Spirit: The Life, Love, and Legacy of Audre Lorde, and Jackson discusses her novel, The Star Side of Bird Hill.



The Evolution of Our Community: Black Lesbian Conference 2016
Black Lesbian Conference
Presented by Beyond Bold and Brave
Friday, March 25 – Saturday, March 26
The Diana Center, Barnard College

Beyond Bold and Brave’s 2016 Black Lesbian Conference: “The Evolution of Our Community” will be a gathering of transgender and cisgender Black/African descent lesbians, from youth to elders, and people with varied class, education, and life/work histories. Participants will discuss important concerns in a respectful, welcoming, and authentic environment. Conference content will focus on Black/African descent lesbians in the greater New York City area. National and international communities are welcome to support, attend, and participate. For more information, visit bcrw.barnard.edu/blc2016.



BCRW Archive Fever

che gossettLunchtime Lecture
Che Gossett
Wednesday, April 6 | 12 – 1 PM
BCRW, 101 Barnard Hall

In this lecture, BCRW Student Coordinator and Community Archivist Che Gossett will discuss the history and emerging future of the BCRW archives as they become housed in special collections and digitized. The BCRW archives hold a remarkable record of the organization’s life and work and Gossett will be discussing some of the most fascinating archival material alongside the changing meanings of social justice feminism.



The Argonauts: A Salon in Honor of Maggie Nelson
maggie nelsonSalon
Maggie Nelson, Christina CrosbySaidiya Hartman, and Heather Love
Thursday, April 14 | 6-7:30 PM
James Room

In her widely acclaimed memoir, The Argonauts, Maggie Nelson writes, “There is much to be learned from wanting something both ways.” Undeterred by contradiction, she follows her desires and then “reckons” with the consequences. Her distinctive lyrical voice creates a singular intimacy with her audience. She draws into this intimacy a wide range of theorists whose italicized words become one with her own. Defying traditional genres, Nelson powerfully weaves theory into a narrative of queer relations and family-making, juxtaposing such supposed opposites as transgressive and normative politics, reproductive and sodomitical motherhood, and intellectual and domestic life to tell a different kind of story. BCRW’s sixth annual book salon celebrates Nelson’s remarkable exploration of intimacy, writing, and life-making.



Invisible Lives, Targeted Bodies: Queer Precarity and the Myth of Gay Affluence
Amber Hollibaugh
Lunchtime Lecture
Amber Hollibaugh
Wednesday, April 20 | 12-1 pm
CRW, 101 Barnard Hall

Queer precarity is a reality. As the wealth gap continues to grow, LGBTQ people struggle with increasing hardships and economic crises, alongside the majority of working-class and poor Americans. Economic precarity has necessitated new forms of labor organizing, including worker centers and union–community partnerships. But the particular struggles of queer, trans,  and gender non-conforming people remain sidelined, both in scholarly work and in the LGBTQ and labor movements themselves. Class, race, the erotic, gender identity, sexuality, and desire: How are these issues intertwined and interlocked in our analysis and in our organizing?



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Edwidge Danticat

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