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Martha Fineman Martha Fineman

Monday, April 8, 2013

7:00 pm  ::  Neilson Browsing Room, Neilson Library

Illusive Equality

In our ongoing struggle for gender equality, feminist legal theorists have been constrained by philosophical and jurisprudential concepts shaped and handed down to us by our forefathers, particularly those that valorize autonomy and constrain the ideal of equality. Ironically, perhaps the way to render equality less illusive is to move our focus as feminists beyond gender, imagining an inclusive and comprehensive framework based on an understanding of human dependency and vulnerability as universal. Martha Fineman, the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University will discuss this new theoretical approach and how it refigures the abstract autonomous legal and political subject as a vulnerable subject, a subject in need of care and entitled to a state responsive to human vulnerability. She will consider how this approach can be used to productively address privilege, as well as discrimination and disadvantage. She will also discuss how it facilitates reflection on the way benefits and resources are currently allocated through the organization of society and its institutional structures and suggests arguments for reallocation of privilege and power.

Martha Fineman is the Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Law at Emory University. She is the Founding Director of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project and the Director of the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative. An internationally recognized law and society scholar, Fineman is a leading authority on family law and feminist jurisprudence.

Presented by the Kahn Institute 2012-2013 project Mothers and Others. Free and open to the public.

 

Patricia Williams Patricia Williams, William Allan Neilson Professor

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

5:00 pm  ::  Neilson Browsing Room, Neilson Library

Pattern Recognition

This lecture will examine what it means to be a person in the eyes of the law. We will examine the rhetorical framing that infuses our conception of living subjects, legal persons, non-persons and things. The line between human and subhuman, or person and thing, is given new urgency in an era of "Citizens United"; as well as when the limits of incarceration, torture, human trafficking, medical experimentation, and the right to due process often turn on newly minted meanings of words like "enemy combatant," "IQ," "underclass," "market choice," "race," "terror" or "illegal immigration." If slavery is "unthinkable" to most people today, why? How do we keep bringing the unthinkable back into being? What connection do historical taxonomies have to the contemporary perpetuation of genocide, torture, disappearance, starvation? What disconnections? What about us is truly or essentially "inalienable"?

Patricia Williams is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University. Williams holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School. She was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and has been an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School Law School and its department of women's studies. Williams also worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles.

Free and open to the public.

 

Simone Alexander Canceled! Simone Alexander

Monday, February 11, 2013

7:00 pm  ::  Neilson Browsing Room, Neilson Library

Body Politic: Motherhood, Reproduction & Citizenship

Addressing the paradoxical relationship between mother and nation, Nira Yuval-Davis ascertains that “women produce the nation biologically, culturally and symbolically,” yet they are marginalized in the public and political spheres. Bestowed with the title “mothers of the nation,” women are expected to reproduce nationalist ideologies, but they are excluded from national discourse. When women reject these roles, refusing to reside within “the boundaries of culturally acceptable feminine conduct,” they are deemed outlaws. Simone Alexander, Professor of English at Seton Hall University will examine the politics and law of mothering and motherhood, and the associated surveillance and control of female bodies and reproduction. She will draw on M. Jacqui Alexander’s essay “Not Just (Any) Body Can be a Citizen: The Politics of Law, Sexuality, and Postcoloniality in Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas,” and will discuss the concept of “queering” the nation to demonstrate how mothers and women as a whole counter their presumed deviance with defiance.

Presented by the Kahn Institute 2012-2013 project Mothers and Others. Free and open to the public.

 

Patricia Williams Patricia Williams, William Allan Neilson Professor

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

5:00 pm  ::  Neilson Browsing Room, Neilson Library

Convergences: Incidents of Unusual Coincidence

This lecture will look at the narratives that underwrite both unity and discord in recent elections, with particular emphasis on the relation between rhetoric and outcome, against the backdrop of the First Amendment. Much of our civic identity of late is inflected by language tending to herd polities into imaginary "teams"—race! class! gender!—and embattled formations of hype. By the same token, social networking is emerging as a force that frequently fragments dominant narratives.  There will be a close reading of those repercussive and osmotic stories being told in law, in media, in public policy.

Patricia Williams is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University. Williams holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School. She was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and has been an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School Law School and its department of women's studies. Williams also worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles.

Free and open to the public.

 

Menna Elfyn Menna Elfyn

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

7:00 pm  ::  Carroll Room, Campus Center

A Reading by Menna Elfyn, Welsh Poet

Menna Elfyn (b.1952) is an award-winning poet and playwright who writes with passion of the Welsh language and identity. She is the best known and most translated of all modern Welsh-language poets. She is the author of over twenty books of poetry, including Aderyn Bach Mewn Llaw (1990), winner of a Welsh Arts Council Prize; the bilingual Eucalyptus: Detholiad o Gerddi / Selected Poems 1978-1994 from Gomer and her previous collection, Cell Angel (1996) from Bloodaxe. She has also written children’s novels and educational books, numerous stage, radio and television plays, as well as libretti for US and UK composers. In 1999, she co-wrote Garden of Light, a choral symphony for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra which was performed at the Lincoln Centre in New York. She received a Creative Arts Award in 2008 to write a book on Sleep. Menna is Director of the Masters Programme in Creative Writing at Trinity University, Carmarthen and is Literary Fellow at Swansea University. In April 2010, Sunflowers in your Eyes, an anthology of four Zimbabwean women poets edited by Elfyn, was released by Cinnamon Press. In 2009, she was awarded the International Anima Istranza Foreign Prize for Poetry in Sardinia.

Presented by the Kahn Institute short-term project Hiraeth, Saudade, and the Concept of Longing. Free and open to the public.

 

Patricia Williams Patricia Williams, William Allan Neilson Professor

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

5:00 pm  ::  Neilson Browsing Room, Neilson Library

Rites of Return: Recuperating at Home in an Age of Disaster, Disease, and Diaspora

This second lecture in a series of three by Patricia Williams will reflect upon media and political constructions of home and homelessness, longing and belonging, place and displacement.  Particular attention will be paid to how such concepts have affected repair and return in the wake of the Haitian earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy

Patricia Williams is the James L. Dohr Professor of Law at Columbia University. Williams holds a BA from Wellesley College and a JD from Harvard Law School. She was a fellow in the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth College and has been an associate professor at the University of Wisconsin School Law School and its department of women's studies. Williams also worked as a consumer advocate in the office of the City Attorney in Los Angeles.

Free and open to the public.

 

 
 

 

 

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