Sonia Pierre (1963-2011), mobilized communities in the Dominican Republic to advocate for citizenship and human rights for Dominicans of Haitian descent. As the director of Movimiento de Mujeres Dominico-Haitiana (MUDHA), she used legal challenges in domestic and international courts to defend the citizenship rights of first and second generation children born on Dominican soil. This panel highlights the activism of young women who are moving forward with Sonia Pierre’s work on behalf of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and addresses the question of how international pressure impacts efforts by marginalized groups to demand recognition. Panelists include Manuela (Solange) Pierre, Sonia Pierre’s oldest daughter, and the founder and coordinator of the Dominican Network of Young African Descendants (Red Dominicana de Jóvenes Afrodescendientes); Ninaj Raoul, the Executive Director of Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees; Monisha Bajaj, Associate Professor of International and Comparative Education at Teachers College; Minerva Leticia Solange, daughter of Sonia Pierre; and Miriam Neptune (moderator), video producer and director of Birthright Crisis, an award-winning documentary depicting the cycle of deportation and violence faced by Dominicans of Haitian descent.
The 2012-13 Africana Distinguished Alumna Series honors one of Barnard’s most distinguished African American alumnae: Ntozake Shange ’70. A playwright, poet, and novelist of startling originality, Shange is best known for her 1975 Obie Award-winning play, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Following the screening of Tyler Perry’s acclaimed 2010 film version of the play, Ms. Shange speaks candidly with Soyica Diggs Colbert, assistant professor of English at Dartmouth College, and Monica Miller, associate professor of English at Barnard, about her groundbreaking work and its controversial adaptation to the screen.
Since visual images invoke the spectator’s experience of unmediated access to the inner world of the subject, the evocative power of photographic images may readily reproduce forms of voyeurism. This under-theorizing becomes particularly problematic in projects that document the lives of migratory and marginalized women. Drawing on several decades of prior field research and documentary film projects, Professor Haaken presents a study carried out with women refugee and asylum-seekers in the UK. In discussing photographic images from the study, Haaken provides a framework for working through a series of ethical, political, and methodological dilemmas. She draws on psychoanalytic feminist theory, critical psychology, and participatory action research methods to argue for the importance of an approach to the visual that includes the dynamics of spectatorship as well as the dynamics of the research setting itself as an affectively rich and conflicted site of knowledge production.
Celebrating the release of The Collection: Short Fiction from the Transgender Vanguard (Topside Press, 2012), four of the volume’s contributors, Ryka Aoki, Imogen Binnie, Red Durkin, and Donna Ostrowsky come together to read from their work. Following the readings, the writers discuss future of literature, the complex ways that literary trans narratives will evolve in years to come, and their own stories of characters navigating relationships, gender, family, work, race, and more. This panel, co-sponsored by Barnard Library, Topside Press, and the Barnard Center for Research on Women, is moderated by Reina Gossett.
Some writers have celebrated a new biological citizenship arising from individuals’ unprecedented ability to manage their health at the molecular level. In this year’s Helen Pond McIntyre ’48 lecture, Dorothy Roberts examines the role of race and gender in the construction of this new biocitizen in light of the current expansion of race-based, reproductive, and genetic biotechnologies along with neoliberal reliance on private resources for people’s welfare. Roberts argues that science, big business, and politics are converging to support a molecularized understanding of race, health, and citizenship that ultimately helps to preserve inequities. An internationally recognized scholar, public intellectual, and social justice advocate, Dorothy Roberts has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues and has been a leader in transforming public thinking and policy on reproductive health, child welfare, and bioethics. She is the Penn Integrates Knowledge/George A. Weiss University Professor, the Raymond Pace and Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander Professor of Civil Rights, and Professor of Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Feminist writers discuss what the new digital landscape means for them—how to deal with a constant barrage of critiques and suggestions, how race and gender impact the ways communities form online, the ethics of live-tweeting academic conferences, and more. From #twittergate to the necessary limitations of identity in digital networks, these academics and journalists take a fresh look at the complicated practice of performing feminist labor online. Panelists include Brittney Cooper, Gail Drakes, Dana Goldstein, Courtney Martin, and Renina Jarmon in this discussion moderated by Jonathan Beller.
Dr. Ziba Mir-Hosseini is a legal anthropologist specializing in Islamic law, gender, and development. She is currently Professorial Research Associate at the Centre for Middle Eastern and Islamic Law, University of London. In this lecture, “The Potential and Promise of Feminist Voices in Islam,” Dr. Mir-Hosseini explores the Islamic feminist movement’s potential for changing the terms of debates over Islam and gender, arguing that the real battle is between patriarchy and despotism on the one hand, and gender equality and democracy on the other.
The second event in BCRW’s newly inaugurated Salon Series features Karla FC Holloway, Tina Campt, Farah Griffin, Saidiya Hartman, Rebecca Jordan-Young, and Alondra Nelson. These scholars, whose expertise lies at the cross-section of law, race, gender, and bioethics, respond to Karla FC Holloway’s new book, Private Bodies, Public Texts: Race, Gender, and a Cultural Bioethics, an important and groundbreaking work that examines instances where medical issues and information that would usually be seen as intimate, private matters are forced into the public sphere, calling for a new cultural bioethics that attends to the complex histories of race, gender, and class in the US.
How does a shift from focusing on the “autonomous and independent subject” to a framework of shared vulnerability transform intellectual, legal, and activist terrains? This interdisciplinary panel explores how our ideas of personhood, the state, politics, organizing, religion, consciousness, arts, and ethics change when vulnerability becomes the lens through which we examine them, focusing particularly on relationships of interdependence and structural inequality. Panelists include Martha Albertson Fineman, Ewa Plonowska Ziarek, Colin Dayan, and Ilaria Vanni. This discussion, moderated by Elizabeth Castelli, took place at The Scholar and Feminist Conference 2012, Vulnerability: The Human and the Humanities.
BCRW Acting Director Elizabeth Castelli delivers opening remarks at The Scholar & Feminist Conference 2012, Vulnerability: The Human and the Humanities.