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Consortium Speaker Series

The Consortium's Speaker Series brings an international roster of frontline practitioners, reflective activists and engaged scholars to University of Massachusetts Boston's campus. Their talks address the complex realities of women’s and men’s lives and livelihoods in conflict-affected areas, the challenges of trying to bring feminist commitments into security policy and humanitarian practice, and the ways in which gender analysis can and must transform resolutely “gender-blind” paradigms of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Information about Upcoming Speaker Events, Events Earlier This Year, and Past Speaker Events is available here. You can find videos or transcripts of these events, when available, under Consortium Lectures.

Upcoming Speaker Events

Gender-based Violence in the Middle East: Feminist Dilemmas in Islamophobic Times

Nadje Al-Ali
Robert Family Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies, Brown University

September 12, 2019
2:00pm - 4:00pm

Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3550A, UMass Boston


The talk charts Al-Ali's trajectories as a feminist activist/academic seeking to research, write and talk about gender-based violence in relation to the Middle East. More specifically she draws on research and activism in relation to Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon to map the discursive, political and empirical challenges and complexities linked to scholarship and activism that is grounded in both feminist and anti-racist/anti-Islamophobic politics. 

Women of Color and the Global Security Challenges of the 21st Century

Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins
Founder and Executive Director of Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) and Ambassador at the U.S. Department of State from 2009-17

October 3, 2019
12:30pm - 2:30pm

Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3550C, UMass Boston


Challenges today are global in nature and are best addressed through global responses with diverse voices engaged. However, those most vulnerable, people and particularly women of color, are not adequately represented at the policy tables where decisions are being made. This discussion will examine some of those challenges, particularly infectious disease, and the impact of those challenges on the most vulnerable communities.

Gendered Local Voices in Counterterrorism Policies

Anwar Mhajne
Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow, Stonehill College

November 4, 2019
4:00pm - 6:00pm

Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston


Currently, the discourse and actions around terrorism prevention and response are strongly infused with socially-constructed images of masculinity and femininity. Women are often ignored and instrumentalized in terrorism prevention and response approaches. Such approaches have a real and direct impact on women’s rights, with consequences for the right to participation, and freedom of association, among others. This talk will address the need for context-specific security measures through ongoing engagement with local women’s groups to ensure a more effective response that improves lives and access to rights for all.

Why We Need a Feminist Roadmap for Sustainable Peace and a Sustainable Planet

Carol Cohn
Director, Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights

November 20, 2019
4:00pm - 6:00pm

Location: Campus Center, 3rd Floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston


Western peacebuilding models repeatedly fail to bring sustainable peace. And our dominant economic models, with their overwhelmingly extractive stance toward both people and the planet, have left us careening toward climate catastrophe. Major paradigm shifts are urgently needed; this talk will argue that feminist analysis can and must be a key to making those shifts. 

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