Each spring, the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity & Gender and the Department of Women's & Gender Studies co-sponsor a distinguished lecture.

Judith Plaskow, Professor emeritus, Department of Religious Studies, Manhattan College

Thursday, March 31, 2016
7 p.m., Forum, Elaine Langone Center
FREE and open to the public

"The Gender Politics of Public Space: Bodies, Restrooms and Social Justice."

In the face of the suspicion of the body that has characterized centuries of dualistic thinking, queer and feminist scholars have written a great deal about revaluing the body and sexuality. But an aspect of embodiment that is generally passed over in celebrations of the body is elimination. The silence, embarrassment, and euphemisms surrounding this fundamental function has its social counterpart in the absence of adequate toilet provision for women, transgender people, and members of other marginalized groups (e.g. people with disabilities, black people under segregation). Focusing on the case of women and transgender people, the lecture will explore how unequal power relations are reflected in the built environment and ask what it would mean to reclaim elimination in the way that feminist and queer studies have reclaimed sexuality.

Plaskow has lectured widely on feminist theology in the United States and Europe and is co-founder of The Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and co-edited it for its first ten years. She is Past President of the American Academy of Religion.  She received a B.A. from Clark University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University.

Recent Speakers

Jeanne Marecek, Department of Psychology, Swarthmore College. "Beyond Difference: Re-imagining Gender, Sex, and Sexualities." (2015)

Anne McClintock, University of Wisconsin-Madison.  "US Empire, Paranoid Masculinity, and the Gendered Dynamics of Torture." (2014)

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, Emory University. "Disability Stories" (2013)

Gail Dines, Wheelock College. "Sex, Identity & Intimacy in a Porn Culture" (2012)

Gina Athena Ulysse, Wesleyan University. "When the Body is a Country's Archive: Some Women's Stories of Trauma, Stories of Will" (2011)

Anne Fausto-Sterling, Brown University. "Gender, Sexuality, and the Problem of Memory" (2010)

Helene Foley, Columbia University. "Classical Muses: How Nineteenth and Early Twentieth-centurey Women Re-imagined Greek Tradgedy for the U.S. Stage" (2009)


Janice Radway, Duke University. "What are Zines? And What Do Girls Do With Them?" (2008)

Michael Kimmel, sociologist/author. "Mars and Venus, or Planet Earth: Women and Men in a New Millennium" (2006)

Christine Battersby, University of Warwick. "Flesh Questions: Representational Strategies and the Cultures of Birth" (2005)

Cynthia Enloe, Clark University. "The Militarization of Us and Them: American Civilians, American Soldiers and Iraqi Women" (2004)

Shahnaz Khan, Wilfred Laurier. "Finding Space Beneath My Feet: Post September 11th Reflections of a Muslim Feminist" (2003)

Charis Thompson, Harvard. "Heterosex: The Human Embryo in the New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies" (2002)

Anila George, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, India. "Violence Against Women: International Perspectives on Local Actions – The Suryanelli Rape Case" (2001)


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