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College Plans Women’s History Month Events

College Plans Women’s History Month Events


The celebration of Women’s History Month at SUNY Cortland continues through April 3 with a series of speakers, workshops and art exhibitions.

Presented by the Women’s Studies Committee, the events are free and open to the public. Highlights include:

On Tuesday, March 19, Sandy Lane, a professor of public health at Syracuse University will address “Social Justice and Racial/Ethnic Health Disparities” at 7 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge. The talk will address racial and ethnic health disparities as they affect maternal health and the status of women.

Lane, an expert in maternal health and social justice, has a Ph.D. in medical anthropology from the University of California, San Francisco and Berkley, and a M.P.H. in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. Her presentation is sponsored by the College’s Cultural and Intellectual Climate Committee in conjunction with the common read book for Spring 2013, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

Wendy Lee, a philosophy professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, will offer “The Good Ole Boy Extraction Club: Patriarchy, Patriotism and Pandering in the Era of Hydraulic Fracturing” at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20. The talk takes place in Sperry Center, Room 205.

On Thursday, March 21, a Women’s Path to Success Panel, composed of faculty and staff members and students, will hold a discussion at 3 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge.

The panel will be moderated by Jena Curtis, an associate professor in the College’s Health Department. Panelists include Donna Videto, a professor of health; senior communication studies major Khalia Brown, a Student Government Association representative; Johanna Hartnett, who directs the SUNY Cortland Child Care Center; Ellen Howard Burton, wife of SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum; and Connie Biviano, a head nurse with the Student Health Service.

A “Women of Color Celebration” will take place on Saturday, March 23, from 2:30 to 6 p.m. in Jacobus Lounge.

Lorraine Berry, who directs the College’s Web magazine NeoVox, will address “The Walking Dead: A Feminist Critique” at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, in Sperry Center, Room 105.

Based upon graphic novels with which TV writers have taken vast liberties, “The Walking Dead” is the most popular show on cable in the 18-49 demographic, Berry said.

“Millions of people watch each week, caught up in a story about how people survive in a post-apocalyptic world in which a virus has turned most of the world’s population into zombies,” she said. “Trouble is, when the writers of the TV show envisioned this new world, they came up with the re-creation of a 1950s America, where women are confined to the domestic sphere and people of color are virtually invisible.

“As someone who loves the show, and considers it appointment television, it presents a conundrum for me,” Berry said. “How can a feminist love a show blind to its own gender and racial stereotypes?

“In this talk, I will present evidence of the world the writers want to create, and the moments of active resistance to that narrative that certain moments have presented.”

Allison Best, a senior professional writing major from Fairport, N.Y., will explore “Why Pussy Riot Didn’t Empower my Russian Mother” on Wednesday, March 27. The event begins at 12:30 p.m. in the Old Main Colloquium.

“I spent two months in Russia this (past) summer staying with a host family,” Best said. “There were several protests during this time, but it wasn’t well known what they were for or why. Talking to my host family, they described protestors as ‘hooligans,’ ‘hoodlums,’ and my host father said they reminded him of the Bolsheviks.

“I will discuss why Pussy Riot’s song offended the Russian people as deeply as it did and talk about how revolution in Russia can only come from the people and not from anywhere outside the country.”

At 3 p.m. on Thursday, March 28, tune into WSUC-FM Radio, where Caroline Kaltefleiter, a professor in the Communication Studies Department, will examine “Let’s Roll Girls and Roller Derby.”

 Jeanne Theoharis, a political science professor at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, will speak and discuss her research Tuesday, April 2, in a talk titled, “The Rebellious Life of Activist Rosa Parks: Remembering Her 100th Birthday.” Theoharis’ definitive political biography of Rosa Parks examines her six decades of activism, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement. The talk will correct the popular notion of Rosa Parks as the quiet seamstress who, with a single act, birthed the modern civil rights movement. The presentation takes place from 2:50 to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, in the Corey Union Exhibition Lounge. A book signing of her 2013 work, The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks, will follow.

A gallery talk on the “Contemporary Embroidery” exhibition will take place on Wednesday, April 3, in Dowd Gallery, located temporarily on the third floor of Main Street SUNY Cortland at 9 Main St. Fibers artist Joetta Maue will discuss her work at 5 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibition runs from Tuesday, March 19, until Thursday, April 25. The opening reception for the exhibition will take place from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21.

Women’s History Month events are sponsored by the Art and Art History Department, Dowd Gallery, Center for Gender and Intercultural Studies, Campus Artist and Lecture Series, Health Department, President’s Office, Women’s Initiative Committee, Women of Color, Women’s Studies, Gas Drilling Awareness for Cortland County and NeoVox.

For more information, contact Caroline Kaltefleiter, chair of the Women’s Studies Committee, at 607-753-4203.