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Stephanie Coontz Stephanie Coontz

Monday, December 3, 2012

7:00 pm  ::  Carroll Room, Campus Center

The Feminine Mystique Revisited: The Impact of Feminism on Marriage and Family Life 1963-2013

The year 2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan's international best-seller, The Feminine Mystique. Friedan's book has been credited with (or blamed for) igniting the feminist movement and pulling wives out of the home and into the workplace.

There are few people who have had as much impact on feminism as Betty Friedan, who graduated from Smith summa cum laude in 1942. An independent thinker and trailblazing women's rights advocate, she was instrumental in founding the National Organization for Women, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws—now known as Naral Pro-Choice America—and the National Women’s Political Caucus. In The Feminine Mystique, Friedan examined the life of the typical college-aged woman in the 1950s, whose future promised limited career options and focused primarily on traditional family life and domesticity. It was a work that broke new ground by examining the idea of women finding fulfillment outside of their traditional roles. In it, Friedan began to assert, "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty, 'Who am I, and what do I want out of life?' She mustn't feel selfish and neurotic if she wants goals of her own, outside of husband and children.”

In this lecture, award-winner author and scholar Stephanie Coontz, a member of the faculty in History and Women's Studies at The Evergreen State College in Washington state and Director of Research and Public Education for the Council on Contemporary Families, discusses why Friedan's book provoked such controversy as she traces the changes—for better and for worse—in men's and women's lives and in the institution of marriage itself, since the 1960s. She explores whether life was really better when men and women didn't have to (and often weren't allowed to) juggle work and family. Her talk will also examine current debates about "the end of men," the future of the family, and whether feminism has outlived its usefulness.

A former Woodrow Wilson Fellow, Coontz has taught at Kobe University in Japan and the University of Hawaii at Hilo. In 2004, she received the Council on Contemporary Families first-ever "Visionary Leadership" Award. In 1995 she accepted the Dale Richmond Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for her "outstanding contributions to the field of child development." She has testified about her research before the House Select Committee on Children, Youth and Families in Washington, DC, and addressed audiences across America, Japan, and Europe. She has been a featured speaker at the Renaissance Weekend, PopTech, and Chautauqua and appeared on The Colbert Report, the Today Show, PBS News Hour with Ray Suarez, Oprah Winfrey, Crossfire, 20/20, NPR, CNN's Talk Back Live, CBS This Morning, CSPAN, the O-Reilly Factor and MSNBC with Brian Williams, as well as in several prime-time television documentaries, including ones hosted by Walter Cronkite and Barbara Walters.

A highly acclaimed writer and sought-after commentator, she is the author of "A Strange Stirring": The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s (Basic Books, 2011) and the award-winning Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage (Viking Press, 2005). She also wrote The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap (1992 and 2000, Basic Books), The Way We Really Are: Coming to Terms with America's Changing Families (Basic Books, 1997), and The Social Origins of Private Life: A History of American Families. She edited American Families: A Multicultural Reader (Routledge, 2008). She has published articles in the New York Times, The Observer/Guardian, The Times of London, Wall Street Journal, Salon, Washington Post, Newsweek, Harper's, Vogue, LIFE, Time-LIFE Books, and Mirabella, as well as in such professional journals as Annals, Family Therapy Magazine, Chronicle of Higher Education, National Forum, and Journal of Marriage and Family. She has contributed chapters to more than 25 academic books. She frequently conducts media training workshops for academics, teaching them how to write op eds, work more effectively with the media, and explain their research more clearly.

After the lecture, Coontz will sign copies of "A Strange Stirring": The Feminine Mystique and American Women at the Dawn of the 1960s. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the signing.

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


Sarah Blaffer Hrdy Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Monday, November 26, 2012

4:30 pm  ::  Stoddard Auditorium, Stoddard Hall

Mothers and Others: What it Means to Develop and Evolve as a Cooperatively Breeding Ape

A lecture by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy.

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

Amie K. Miller Amie Miller

Monday, November 5, 2012

7:00 pm  ::  Carroll Room, Campus Center

Talking Family: Queer Parents, Playground Seminars and the Minnesota Vote No Campaign

One of the most frequent questions asked of prospective LGBT parents is:  But what will you call yourselves? In a world where the standard bearer of “family” continues to be the married heterosexual couple with children, queer parents and parents-to-be recognize quickly that we need to find language to explain our families to the rest of the world.  The language we use and the stories we tell – from what we call ourselves to how we articulate who is in our families – not only shapes other people’s understandings of our families,  but also shapes our own.  How we talk about family is tremendously important to our kids, who often find themselves on the frontlines of explaining our families to others.  All of this will be put to the test on Election Day in Minnesota where the effort to defeat a “one man, one woman” marriage amendment is built on a strategy of talking about our families in 1,000,000 conversations across the state.   

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

  Debates in the Digital Humanities

Thursday, October 25, 2012

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

Opening Panel Discussion

The advent of digital humanities has begun to transform the ways in which research, teaching and thinking about the humanities can be done. In part, information once accessed through arduous detective work in archives and libraries is more readily available; but no less importantly, the ways in which we capture and share knowledge is also shifting. Beyond this, though, new questions about what constitutes knowledge and authorship, and the boundaries of humanistic inquiry are also being posed.

This public panel disucssion brings together three key scholars in the field to describe their work and discuss intellectual questions that have shaped their approach to digital humanities. Jeffrey Schnapp is a Professor of Romance Languages & Literature and Director of the metaLAB at Harvard University; Tara McPherson is an Associate Professor of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California; and Joan Saab is an Associate Professor of Art History and Visual and Cultural Studies and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Rochester. All of these scholars engage with materials across the full spectrum of digital humanities technologies, using images and texts, and working with literature, objects, and mapsódominant sites where digital humanities work has already been vibrant.


Alison Field

Alison Field

Thursday, October 18, 2012

12:00 pm  ::  Carroll Room, Campus Center

Determining the Causes and Consequences of Eating Disorders among Adolescents and Young Adults

For the past 2 decades, Alison E. Field, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Boston Children's Hospital, Division of Adolescent Medicine, has researched the causes and consequences of overweight, excessive weight gain, weight concerns, weight control behaviors, and eating disorders among the 16,882 adolescents in the ongoing Growing Up Today Study (GUTS). GUTS is a prospective cohort study Field helped to established in 1996 to assess the predictors of dietary intake, activity, and weight gain during a four year period. It is the largest study with repeated measurements among adolescent males and females. In this lecture, Field will discuss what GUTS has revealed about differences between male and female attitudes about having toned muscles and about being thinner, the influence of the media, the use of extreme methods to control weight and shape, the role of family in the development of weight concerns and disordered eating, and the correlates and consequences of eating disorders among adolescent and young adult males and females in GUTS.

Presented by the Kahn Institute 2012-2013 project Altering Bodies & Minds. Free and open to the public.

Pizza will be served for the first 50 attendees.

For more information on the Altering Bodies & Minds project:

Nancy Campbell Nancy Campbell

Thursday, September 27, 2012

12:00 pm  ::  Carroll Room, Campus Center

"That Graham Cracker Stuff:" Human Subjects Research on Hallucinogens in the U.S. Public Health Service

From the 1940s through the 1960s, U.S. Public Health Service researchers studied the mechanisms and processes underlying drug addiction at the Addiction Research Center of "The Narcotic Farm," a combined prison and drug research and treatment center in Lexington, Kentucky. In 1947, director Harris Isbell brought LSD to the laboratory for study in both animal and human subjects to determine its usefulness as a temporary or "model" psychosis and to explore what secrets its effects held for understanding the brain. Nancy Campbell, Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will discuss those studies and their relationship to the CIA-funded MK-ULTRA mind-control tests (1953-1963).

Presented by the Kahn Institute 2012-2013 project Altering Bodies & Minds. Free and open to the public.

Pizza will be served for the first 50 attendees.

For more information on the Altering Bodies & Minds project:




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