In the ‘Feminisms Today’ speaker series, we have enjoyed the company of groups and individuals that are renowned for their contribution to local, national and international groups.

Recent Speakers

Eli Clare on campus March 1, 2016. The infamous U.S. Supreme Court case Buck v. Bell, which declared involuntary sterilization laws constitutional in 1927, was built upon the body of Carrie Buck, a poor white woman from Virginia.  Using history, poetry, images, and imagination, Eli Clare explores how disability, class, gender, and whiteness often collide and asks questions about the relationship between bodies on one hand and law, history, and metaphor on the other.  This talk illuminated an important, and not well known, dimension of history that engages issues of eugenics, institutionalization, sterilization, and is based in a critical analysis of the intersections of race, disability, gender, and class.

Miranda Joseph; Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Arizona, was  on campus February 14. Her presentation examined how ideas about gender participate in public debates about finance, especially in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis.  Images from popular culture, marketing research, and legitimate social science allow Joseph to analyze the production and circulation of knowledge about finance.  Engaged with scholarship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and related fields, the talk addressed a nexus of two central features of neoliberalism: governmentality and financialization. Tracing a culture that portrays women to be, on the one hand, impulsive shopaholics and, on the other, paralyzed non-investors, Joseph points to the tensions that have emerged in a longstanding cultural commitment to entrepreneurship.  Her current book project, A Debt to Society, explores modes of accounting (financial, juridical, and managerial) as performative attributions of credits and debts that sustain or transform social relations.

Banu Subramaniam; Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  Drawing on the literature on evolution, ecology, science and ethnic studies, this talk explores the historical, political and cultural specificity of our fear and anxiety surrounding immigration, of plants, animals and humans. Drawing on the scholarship in feminist science studies, I trace the dense traffic between our conceptions of nature and culture. This talk explores the relationship of women/gender, race and science by analyzing the case of invasive biology.

Dean Spade; Prior to joining the faculty of Seattle University, Dean was a Williams Institute Law Teaching Fellow at UCLA Law School and Harvard Law School, teaching classes related to sexual orientation and gender identity law, and law and social movements. In 2002, Dean founded the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (, a non-profit law collective that provides free legal services to transgender, intersex and gender non-conforming people who are low-income and/or people of color. While working at SRLP, Dean taught classes focusing on sexual orientation, gender identity and law at Columbia and Harvard Law Schools. Dean’s most recent book is Normal Life.

David Zirin; named UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Who are Changing our World. He writes about politics of sports for the Nation Magazine. He is also host of Sirius XM Radio’s popular weekly show, Edge of Sports Radio. Zirin has been called the “best sportwriter in the United States.” In addition, he is a columnist for SLAM Magazine and Los Angeles Times. His latest book is “A People’s History of Sports in the United States.”

Winona LaDuke; internationally respected Native American and environmental activist, founding director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, and the co-chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network. Presentation entitled “Environmental Justice Locally, Nationally and Globally.” Cosponsored with the Department of Multicultural Life.

Janice Haaken; Professor of Psychology at Portland State University, clinical psychologist, and documentary filmmaker; presented the documentary Moving to the Beat, in which an African American hip hop group, Rebel Soulz from Portland, Oregon journeys to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to discover a spiritual homeland and resurrect Chuck D’s notion of hip hop as the “black CNN.”

Ibtisam Barakat; writer and educator, presented her memoir, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood.

Kulvinder Arora; Visiting Assistant Professor of WGSS in 2007-08, presented “The Mythology of Female Sexuality : Transnational Receptions.”

David Román; Professor of English and of American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, presented his research on the role of dance in lesbian, gay, and queer cultures in the United States immediately before and after the Stonewall Riots of 1969.

Martin F. Manalansan IV; Associate Professor of Anthropology and of Criticism and Interpretive Theory at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, presented his book Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora.

Rosemarie Garland-Thomson; Associate Professor of Women’s Studies (feminist theory, American Literature, and disability studies) at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, analyzed the ways we see disability using images from popular photography.

Joanna Kadi; Arab-American writer and activist

MADRE; international women’s human rights organization

The East Timor Action Network

WGSS Affiliated Faculty Panels featuring: Susanna Drake (Religious Studies), Katrinka Somdahl-Sands (Geography), Ayse Celikkol (English), Andrea Cremer (History), Lara Nielsen (Theater and Dance), Lynn Hudson (History), Teresa Mesa (Hispanic and Latin American Studies), and Joanna Inglot (Art). Macalester faculty talked about their work related to various Women’s History Month themes such as art, identity, and social change.