News and notes from the WGS program @ Fairfield

Archive for March, 2012

Women’s Day Friday!

Friday, March 30th from 9-4pm

Lower Level of BCC

GSS Event! This year’s theme of Empowerment will explore the different ways our campus, community, culture, and world empowers women and girls to overcome adversity and to make a difference. The event will focus on a variety of issues women and girls face around topics of gender, sexuality, workplace inequality, political involvement, and economic disadvantages.  The day will explore this theme through artwork, music, performances, displays, fundraisers, and of course, food!

This Friday is Women’s Day.

I contacted organizer Marissa Tota who gave me an insider look at putting on this exciting event!

Q. Tell me about planning Women’s Day:

A. Planning Women’s Day has always been an initiative of a few students with the support of Departments such as Women Studies, Diversity and Peace and Justice (this year they were joined by Students for Justice Residential College and Dean of Students).

In the past, these students were seniors from a group called Project Peg, but when this disbanded earlier this year, Rachel and I took it upon ourselves to take the organizing reigns.  Both Rachel and I felt that we wanted to make this year’s Women’s Day bigger than ever before by bringing in other student leaders and students groups on campus to help from the beginning planning stages. By bringing in a diverse group of students we felt we could attract a larger population of students to the event, as well as come up with new ideas that enabled students to interact with these different clubs and initiatives.

Q. Why the theme Empowerment?

A. The theme we chose this year was Empowerment because we felt that it was something all students could relate to and plays a central role in the reason why most of the student leaders do what they do- they want to empower others to do the same.

Q. What was planning like?

A.  To plan the event we met multiple times as a group to brainstorm ideas, delegate tasks, and ensure we reached out to as many clubs as we could think, as well as come up with creative ways to get students to participate in the different activities at the event.  This year, we were also especially interested in involving more men in the planning process as well as attracting them to the event itself.

Q. How do you hope to incorporate men into the event?

A.  We hope that through displays that ask men to post what women in their lives inspire them (led by Josh Robichaud and Men to Men), as well as having men sign certificates promising to prevent sexual assault, we can better include them in the event.

Q. What was the inspiration for the slogan?

A. The slogan “She Loves You”, which derives from the Beatles song, is also reminder to both men and women that there are women in all of our lives that love us, and Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and honor those women.

Q. Is there an aspect of the event you are particularly interested in?

A. We are very excited for the performances organized by Jasmine Fernandez which features inspirational women throughout history, in a timeline fashion, from Betty Friedan, and Abigail Adams, to Eve Ensler, and personal pieces written by Performing for Change, that will be performed throughout the day.

Bookmark and Share

Remembering Pioneering Feminist Poet Adrienne Rich

“Adrienne Rich, a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work — distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity — brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century, died on Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif. She was 82.

Widely read, widely anthologized, widely interviewed and widely taught, Ms. Rich was for decades among the most influential writers of the feminist movement and one of the best-known American public intellectuals. She wrote two dozen volumes of poetry and more than a half-dozen of prose; the poetry alone has sold nearly 800,000 copies, according to W. W. Norton & Company, her publisher since the mid-1960s.

Her constellation of honors includes a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant in 1994 and a National Book Award for poetry in 1974 for “Diving Into the Wreck.” That volume, published in 1973, is considered her masterwork.

In the title poem, Ms. Rich uses the metaphor of a dive into dark, unfathomable waters to plumb the depths of women’s experience:

I am here, the mermaid whose dark hair
streams black, the merman in his armored body
We circle silently about the wreck
we dive into the hold. …
We are, I am, you are
by cowardice or courage
the one who find our way
back to the scene
carrying a knife, a camera
a book of myths
in which
our names do not appear.”

-Courtesy of The New York Times

Read Full Obituary

 

Bookmark and Share

Firsts at Fairfield

Trailblazers and Troublemakers: Fairfield Firsts

Join us this Thursday (3/22) at 7 PM in the Kelley Center Presentation Room for refreshments and a lively panel discussion on Firsts at Fairfield to mark Women’s History Month.  Hear from some trailblazers around campus and celebrate with faculty and students.

Share in a freewheeling discussion among history makers in our midst: Karen Donohue, 1st Female FUSA President; Dr. Patricia Behre,  First Female Managing Editor of the Yale Daily News; David Gudelunas, First Male Director of the Women’s Studies Program; Alexa Mullady, Alumna of First Co-ed (all 4 years) Fairfield Class.
All are welcome! Refreshments served.

Bookmark and Share

Celebrate International Women’s Day

2012 Theme: CONNECTING GIRLS, INSPIRING FUTURES

If every International Women’s Day event held in 2012 includes girls in some way, then thousands of minds will be inspired globally.

Each year around the world, International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur not just on this day but throughout March to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Organizations, governments, charities and women’s groups around the world choose different themes each year that reflect global and local gender issues.

“Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures” is the 2012 theme of the internationalwomensday.com website and this has been widely used by hundreds of organizations including schools, universities, governments, women’s groups and the private sector. Each year the United Nations declares an overall International Women’s Day theme. Their 2012 theme is “Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty”. Many organisations develop their own themes that are more relevant to their local contexts

United Nation International Women’s Day themes:

- 2012: Empower Rural Women – End Hunger and Poverty

Various IWD themes around the world

- Global, United Nations: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
- Canada, Status of Women (Federal Gov): Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality
- Australia, UNIFEM: Unite to End Violence Against Women
- Australia, Queensland Government Office for Women: Our Women, Our State
- Australia, WA Department for Communities: Sharing the Caring for the Future
- UK, Doncaster Council: Women’s Voices and Influence
- UK, Welsh Assembly Government: Bridging the Generational Gap
- UK, Accenture: Stretch Yourself: Achieving 50:50 in the boardroom by 2020
- USA, IBM: Women@IBM: Success in the Globally Integrated Enterprise

What would your theme for Fairfield Univeristy be?

Here is one of the many interesting videos featured on their website:

Visit their page for more: http://www.internationalwomensday.com/resources.asp

Bookmark and Share

Fall 2012 Courses in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Bookmark and Share

Design our Logo!

The new program name needs a new logo, and the winner gets a $75.00 Gift card.  Entries are due by April 15th to dgudelunas@fairfield.edu.   Good luck!

Bookmark and Share

Film Screening: Miss Representation

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Center Event

Monday, March 5th,  7:00PM,  BCC LL

Written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Miss Representation explores how mainstream media contributes to the negative and under-representation of influential women in positions of power.  The film challenges the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, which make it difficult for women to achieve leadership positions and average women to feel powerful.  The documentary includes perspectives and interviews of teenage girls, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Gloria Steinem, and numerous journalists, entertainers and academics.

Bookmark and Share

Library Women’s History Month Exhibit

Check out this rather fierce Women’s History Month display at the library.  Thanks to our pals in the Library!

Bookmark and Share

Staged Reading at Fairfield explores Homosexuality during the Holocaust

Fairfield University’s Bennett Center for Judaic Studies presents a staged reading of the play, “The Red Box,” a love story exploring the rarely discussed subject of homosexual persecution during the Holocaust, on Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. Free and open to the public, the event will take place at the Wien Experimental Theater, located in the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. You can read more about the production here.  To reserve a seat, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2066.  You can find out full details at the Bennett Center for Judaic Studies site.

 

Bookmark and Share

Meet Eve: The Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Graduate Assistant

Eve Liptak

Name: Eve Liptak

Q. What are you studying at Fairfield?

A.  I am completing my final semester in the Communication MA program. Something that attracted me to this program was how versatile the course options are so that I could approach the subject from a variety of  angles.

Q. What was your undergraduate experience?

A.  I attended SUNY Purchase College for my undergraduate degree. A liberal arts school located outside of New York City, this location exposed me to both a diverse curriculum as well as student population. I started as a journalism major, but felt I wanted to learn more than just how to contribute to the media but also the “behind-the-scenes”. I received my B.A in Media Studies, a mix of hands-on media training, advertising, and sociology. Through this coursework we often touched upon the areas of women, gender, and sexuality. I would say two of my most influential courses were “Media Representations & Identity” and “Introduction to Women’s Studies”.

Q. Why did you want to work as a graduate assistant in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies?

A.  I wanted to work as a GA in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies because the areas have always been an interest of mine. When I was in high school I attended a class trip to see a one woman show of Eve Ensler’s “The Good Body”.  I recall how I’d never really considered these subjects before and how revealing that experience was.  I think it’s important that we explore the areas of women, gender, and sexuality because they are so influential and interdisciplinary.

These topics are not just areas that continuously reappear in my academic studies but are a part of our everyday lives. They are fields that are regularly influencing, changing, and expanding and I think the program name change reflects that.

I’m proud to see Fairfield University is part of the conversation on women, gender, and sexuality and to be able to contribute to this program as their graduate assistant.

Q. What is the best part of the job?

A. Sending out emails…Just kidding!

My favorite part of the job would have to be seeing all of the great work that not only the faculty and staff are completing, but also the students. I have been very impressed at what an active student community there is and the creativity and scope of these events and projects! I’m happy to be able to assist with these programs and also act as a resource to students interested in learning more about WGSS. Feel free to stop by DMH 115 to say hello!

Q. What do you do when not on campus?

A. I’m also very interested in the arts, so when I’m not on campus I’m often helping with a local gallery event. Aside from that I like to spend most of my time doing “normal” things like hanging out with friends, seeing live music or movies, visiting NYC, and walking around my neighborhood with my adorable Bichon “Orion”.
Q. What is something you would tell undergraduate students as they prepare to graduate?

A. Focus on what you’re most passionate about and it will make any task seem less like work.

And back-up all your important assignments! You don’t want to learn that lesson the hard way.

 

 

Bookmark and Share

Marthe Cohn event in Madison, CT

The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven and Shoreline will be hosting Marthe Cohn, author of “Behind Enemy Lines: The True Story of a French Jewish Spy in Nazi Germany” on May 20th.  This inspiring story of a holocaust survivor will surely be worth attending.  Details here.

Bookmark and Share