Recorded Dec 11, 2009

Grace Paley: Speaking Truth to Power

This conversation, which took place on Grace Paley’s birthday, December 11, 2009, explores how imagination, truthtelling, and courageous action flow out of Paley’s life and work. A prolific writer, Paley’s fiction highlights the everyday struggles of women, what she calls “a history of everyday life.” In addition to her writing, Paley was also a committed activist, passionate about numerous issues, including women’s rights, the Vietnam War, nuclear non-proliferation, and most recently, the war in Iraq. Her death in 2007 was a great loss, but her work continues to inspire. Speakers include: Beatrix Gates, poet and publisher of Grace Paley’s first book of poems; Yvette Christianse, poet and novelist; Ynestra King, ecofeminist activist and educator, and editor of Dangerous Intersections: Feminist Perspectives on Population, Environment, and Development; Nancy Kricorian, New York-based writer and activist, author of Zabelle and Dreams of Bread and Fire, and coordinator of the New York City chapter of CODEPINK Women for Peace; Amy Swerdlow, founding member of Women Strike for Peace and author of Women Strike for Peace: Traditional Motherhood and Radical Politics in the 1960s; and Lucila Silva and Perla Placencia, members of the Center for Immigrant Families (CIF), an inter-generational, collectively-run organization of low-income immigrant women of color and community members in Manhattan Valley.

Recorded Nov 6, 2009

Catherine Waldby: Citizenship, Labor and the Biopolitics of the Bioeconomy

Catherine Waldby is an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at The University of Sydney, Australia. In this lecture, delivered on November 6, 2009 at Barnard College, Professor Waldby explores the emerging tensions between women’s voluntary (public good) donation of reproductive tissues for stem cell research and the increasing resort to transactional forms of tissue procurement, for example egg sharing and egg vending. She locates this tension in both a feminist biopolitical analysis and in the broader dynamics of the global bioeconomy.

Recorded Oct 5, 2009

Saba Mahmood: The Politics of Freedom

Introduced by Janet Jakobsen, Saba Mahmood delivered the lecture, “The Politics of Freedom: Geopolitics, Minority Rights and Gender” on October 5, 2009 at Barnard College. Originally titled “Should Feminist Ethics Matter to Religious Politics?” Mahmood’s talk marked the sixth annual Helen Pond McIntyre ’48 lecture. Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Mahmood is an expert on issues of secularism, gender, and modernity within the context of Islamist movements in the Middle East and South Asia. In this lecture, she reflects on why ethical practice and forms of embodiment matter to questions of feminist politics and analysis. By engaging some common misreadings of her 2005 book Politics of Piety, Mahmood urges feminist scholars to critically re-think the normative status accorded to secular conceptions of the self and body in contemporary debates about religion.

Recorded Oct 3, 2009

Eileen O’Neill: The City of Women

Introduced by Christia Mercer, Eileen O’Neill presented closing remarks, entitled “The History of Women,” at “Women, Philosophy and History: A Conference in Celebration of Eileen O’Neill ’75.” This two-day conference continued the groundbreaking work of Eileen O’Neill by examining the standard narrative of the history of philosophy from a feminist perspective. O’Neill’s pioneering scholarship has brought to light the texts and ideas of women in the early modern period, and demonstrated the substantial contributions they made to philosophy. Her work has encouraged the analysis of thinkers as diverse as Marie de Gournay, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Anna Maria van Schurman, Mary Astell, Emilie du Chatelet, and Damaris Masham. It has also challenged philosophers to reconsider methodological assumptions that have hidden these women and their works from view. The eminent international scholars gathered for this conference will continue this exploration and discuss the methodological, pedagogical, and philosophical implications of O’Neill’s work. The conference also celebrates the impact of O’Neill’s commitment to women in philosophy more generally.

Recorded Sep 16, 2009

New Feminist Activism

BCRW has long been interested in supporting social justice movements that reach beyond the limits of traditional feminist activism. In past semesters, we have hosted programs that have taken up a variety of intersectional projects that join feminist activism and analysis with other progressive movements, including reproductive justice, workplace rights across the economic spectrum, and the links between sexual and economic justice, to name a few. This panel on New Feminist Activism will explore how young feminist activists are engaging with struggles for justice in areas such as education, the environment, and race and class. By using new forms of media and building alliances, these activists (and many others like them) are creating a strand of feminist activism that is fundamentally concerned with social justice and social change. Panelists include: Mia Herndon, Executive Director of the Third Wave Foundation, a feminist, activist foundation that works nationally to support young women and transgender youth; Debra Cole, a member of Domestic Workers United, an organization working for fair labor standards for nannies, housekeepers, and other domestic workers in New York; and Rinku Sen, President and Executive Director of the Applied Research Center, a racial justice think tank and home for media and activism, publisher of Color Lines magazine, and the author of Stir It Up: Lessons in Community Organizing and The Accidental American: Immigration and Citizenship in the Age of Globalization.

Recorded Apr 2, 2009

Laura Flanders and Patricia Williams: Post-Election Race and Gender Analysis

Patricia J. Williams, renowned legal scholar and expert on race in the U.S., joins Laura Flanders, Barnard alumna and feminist activist and journalist, in this conversation about the 2008 election and its implications for future political alliances, possibilities, and risks. The discussion, introduced by Janet Jakobsen and moderated by Ann Pellegrini, took place on April 2, 2009 at Barnard College. There is no question that the results of the 2008 U.S. presidential election were monumental. For the first time in the nation’s history, an African-American man has been elected to the highest political office in the country. The presidential campaigns themselves were also full of other important milestones in the fight for truly diverse political representation. Hillary Clinton obtained over 18 million votes in the Democratic primaries, and for the second time a woman was chosen as the Vice Presidential candidate for a major political party. Now that the dust has settled from last November’s election, it is time for feminist scholars and activists to regroup and begin a conversation about the impact of these events and the changes they represent. Have the politics of civil rights changed fundamentally? At all? Has the meaning of feminism broadened? Or narrowed? Will these changes set the stage for future movement toward justice in the United States?

Recorded Feb 28, 2009

Scholar & Feminist Conference 2009 image

Sarah Franklin: Keynote Lecture from The Scholar & Feminist 2009

Sarah Franklin delivers the keynote address at the 2009 Scholar and Feminist Conference. Increased demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption has been propelled by a number of factors, including the development of new technologies and changes in familial form – such as childrearing in second or third marriages; lesbian, gay, and transgendered families; and delays in childbearing and subsequent difficulties in conception – that make ART helpful. Other relevant factors include environmental changes that have negatively affected fertility levels, new levels of transnational migration and interaction that have fueled awareness of babies available for and in need of adoption, and concerns about genetic diseases and disabilities. Effectively, the various imperatives and the desires, both cultural and personal, that the use of ART fosters and responds to, have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and that raises a number of important social and ethical questions. Do these new technologies place women and children at risk? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses?

Recorded Feb 28, 2009

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The Scholar & Feminist 2009: Global Dimensions of ART

Iris Lopez introduces and moderates this panel discussion on “Global Dimensions” of ART practices which features speakers Dana-Ain Davis, Laura Briggs and Claudia Castaneda. Increased demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption has been propelled by a number of factors, including the development of new technologies and changes in familial form – such as childrearing in second or third marriages; lesbian, gay, and transgendered families; and delays in childbearing and subsequent difficulties in conception – that make ART helpful. Other relevant factors include environmental changes that have negatively affected fertility levels, new levels of transnational migration and interaction that have fueled awareness of babies available for and in need of adoption, and concerns about genetic diseases and disabilities. Effectively, the various imperatives and the desires, both cultural and personal, that the use of ART fosters and responds to, have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and that raises a number of important social and ethical questions. Do these new technologies place women and children at risk? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses?

Recorded Feb 28, 2009

Scholar & Feminist Conference 2009 image

The Scholar & Feminist 2009: Marginality and Exclusivity in ART Practices

David Eng, Rayna Rapp, Faye Ginsburg and Michele Goodwin discuss “Marginality and Exclusivity in ART Practices” in this panel discussion moderated by Lesley Sharp. Increased demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption has been propelled by a number of factors, including the development of new technologies and changes in familial form – such as childrearing in second or third marriages; lesbian, gay, and transgendered families; and delays in childbearing and subsequent difficulties in conception – that make ART helpful. Other relevant factors include environmental changes that have negatively affected fertility levels, new levels of transnational migration and interaction that have fueled awareness of babies available for and in need of adoption, and concerns about genetic diseases and disabilities. Effectively, the various imperatives and the desires, both cultural and personal, that the use of ART fosters and responds to, have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and that raises a number of important social and ethical questions. Do these new technologies place women and children at risk? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses?

Recorded Feb 28, 2009

Scholar & Feminist Conference 2009 image

The Scholar & Feminist 2009: Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART)

Debora Spar gives opening remarks and introduces the first panel discussion of this year’s conference, “ART: Where are We Now?,” which includes panelists Lori Andrews, Wendy Chavkin, Leith Mullings and Loretta Ross. Increased demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) and transnational adoption has been propelled by a number of factors, including the development of new technologies and changes in familial form – such as childrearing in second or third marriages; lesbian, gay, and transgendered families; and delays in childbearing and subsequent difficulties in conception – that make ART helpful. Other relevant factors include environmental changes that have negatively affected fertility levels, new levels of transnational migration and interaction that have fueled awareness of babies available for and in need of adoption, and concerns about genetic diseases and disabilities. Effectively, the various imperatives and the desires, both cultural and personal, that the use of ART fosters and responds to, have created a “baby business” that is largely unregulated and that raises a number of important social and ethical questions. Do these new technologies place women and children at risk? How should we respond ethically to the ability of these technologies to test for genetic illnesses?