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Lecture Addresses Women’s Experiences of Violence


An Indian-born academic, Himika Bhattacharya, will discuss issues of violence, women and resistance in India, on Wednesday, March 10, at SUNY Cortland.

Bhattacharya, an assistant professor of women’s studies at Syracuse University, will present her lecture at 4:30 p.m. in Moffett Center, Room 2127.

Her talk, titled “Field Memories: Re-Remembering Resistance – Victimhood, Agency and Affect in Women’s Experiences of Violence,” is free and open to the public.

A reception to welcome Bhattacharya precedes the lecture at 4 p.m. in the Rozanne M. Brooks Museum, located in Moffett Center, Room 2126.

Her talk is one of the College’s events to celebrate Women’s History Month and part of the Rozanne M. Brooks Lecture Series at SUNY Cortland for the 2009-10 academic year, encompassing the theme of “Women’s Worlds.”

Bhattacharya’s lecture is based on her fieldwork experiences in Lahaul, India.

“My discussion focuses on personal and collective memories of everyday, mundane acts of defiance in which women engage to break from feministic ideals of ‘pure’ resistance and medical definitions of violence on their bodies,” she said.

Bhattacharya, who joined Syracuse University in 2009, received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in 2008. 

Her dissertation focused on women’s narratives of marriage, violence and culture. Bhattacharya has been awarded several grants and fellowships and presents her work transnationally at conferences and universities.

“My goal is to create an archive of women’s personal experiences of violence juxtaposed against the traditional medical and legal definitions of violence,” Bhattacharya said. “I document their own narrative in their own voice, then find what implications that has for political action.”

The lecture series honors the late Rozanne M. Brooks, a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor and SUNY Cortland professor emerita of sociology/anthropology. A SUNY Cortland faculty member for 36 years, Brooks died in 1997.

The series is sponsored by a grant from Auxiliary Services Corporation (ASC). For more information, contact organizer Sharon R. Steadman, SUNY Cortland associate professor of sociology and anthropology and coordinator of the International Studies Program, at (607) 753-2726.