Fall 2016 | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh

Fall 2016

Deadline: Iris Marion Young Award Call for Nominations

September 23, 2016 (All day)


See the event flyer here

Colloquium: "The Complexities of Intersectionalities"

September 22, 2016 - 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Rostom Mesli, Hum Center and GSWS Post-doc

In this paper, Mesli starts from the contradictory claims according to which, for some, intersectionality is a radical framework of analysis that allows for a radical questioning of formation of social categories and identities (intersectionality is then viewed as anti-identity politics), whereas for others it is a liberal framework that fundamentally relies on leaving those social categorizations unquestioned (it is, in this view, inseparable from identity politics). In order to elucidate this puzzle, he argues that although using the same word "intersectionality," scholars often talk about different academic and political traditions which are unduly conflated. Mesli distinguishes between three understandings of intersectionality. They correspond to roughly three different historical moments: 1) Women of Color feminism of the late 1970s and early 1980s (the key text here is the Combahee River Collective statement); 2) Kimberle Crenshaw's texts when she coined the term "intersectionality" in late 1980s/early 1990s; 3) a de-constructionist and postmodern version of "intersectionality" to be found in contemporary queer of color critique (Ferguson, Somerville, among others).   His contention is that in their attempts to resurrect Women of Color feminism, advocates of the postmodern version of intersectionality have often claimed to derive their anti-categorical and anti-identitarian claims from that tradition: he argues that this is an undue conclusion: WOC feminism and Crenshaw are suspicious of certain homogenizing effects of categories but they are not for that reason anticategorical. A second contention is that in their rejections of identity categories, critiques of intersectionality frameworks have failed to see what, in the earlier versions of "intersectionality," could be used to fix some of the theoretical and political problems that surfaced in later versions of feminisms. In other words, he argues, against queer of color critique and with anti-intersectional scholars (Wendy Brown, Jasbir Puar), that Women of Color feminism is indeed deeply vested in identity politics and the claim that it articulates anti-identitarian positions is untenable. But he also argues, against Brown and Puar, that this is no reason to reject WOC feminism: on the contrary, one of its crucial values lies in its articulation of a form of identity politics that eschews many of the critiques postmodern scholars often make to identity politics.

With responses by Todd Reeser (Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies Program) and Melanie Hughes (Sociology) 


Lecture: "Authentic Artifice: Dolly Parton's Negotiations of Sontag's Camp"

September 15, 2016 - 4:00pm - 5:15pm
Emily Crosby, Instructor in GSWS

Often dismissed as lowbrow, simple, and tangled in rural roots, country music has been overlooked by scholars as a site of camp – full of artifice and exaggeration. Therefore, I use Susan Sontag’s famous 1964 “Notes on Camp” as a lens through which to explore how country music star Dolly Parton negotiates the limiting camp binaries of artifice/authenticity, hypersexuality/monogamy, and monstrous/virtuous in order to sustain a mass fan base of disparate audiences.

First Steering Committee Meeting of the Year

September 9, 2016 - 10:00am - 11:30am

On the docket: composition of SC, organization, GSWS and Year of Diversity, committee assignments, secondary appointments in GSWS [new and renewals], meeting frequency of SC, summer teaching policy

Faculty/Grad Student Programs' Reception and Graduate Student Orientation

September 1, 2016 (All day)
GSWS, Cultural Studies, Medieval/Ren Studies, Jewish Studies, Film Studies

Join us to celebrate the return to campus, and meet and mingle with faculty and graduate students from the interdisciplinary programs.

We will hold an information session on all the programs for grad students before the reception (3:00-4:00).

Reception will begin at 4:00 PM. 

GSWS Teaching Faculty Retreat

August 25, 2016 - 2:00pm - 5:00pm

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