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Consortium Lectures

  • Exploring the Continuum: Gendered Violence in Post-Conflict Landscapes

    • Smita Ramnarain
      Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island
      Smita Ramnarain is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Rhode Island. She obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research focuses on the political economy of development in South Asia. She is especially interested in examining development issues using the lens of gender. She has worked on post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding and development, feminization of poverty and female headship, microfinance, and more recently, environmental adaptation and resource conflicts. She has carried out field-based research in Nepal and India for these projects. Her work has been published in diverse and interdisciplinary fora such as Feminist Economics, Gender Place & Culture, and the Community Development Journal, and in edited volumes. Smita is also interested in mixed methods research in economics, and has recently contributed to an edited collection, the Handbook of Research Methods in Heterodox Economics.
    April 19, 2018

    In societies impacted by war or civil conflict, women experience violence as a continuum across domestic and societal spheres. However, studies of violence treat micro and macro violence as theoretically distinct. The lecture will illustrate how the separation of violence into micro or macro violence is problematic for understanding gender-based violence in post-crisis contexts. Using examples from field research in Nepal, it is shown that this separation obscures structural forms of exclusion in post-conflict societies. The neglect of post-conflict reconstruction frameworks of the different forms of gender-based violence leads, therefore, to new and persistent forms of discrimination and marginalization.

    This event is being cosponsored by the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; and the Honors College.
  • Putin, Erdoğan and Politicized Masculinity in a Global Context

    • Elizabeth Wood
      Professor of Russian and Soviet History at MIT
      Elizabeth A. Wood is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at MIT, where she also directs the Russian Studies Program.  Her books include The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (1997); Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2005); and Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (coauthored) (Woodrow Wilson Center/Columbia University Press, 2016). Recently she has been working on Vladimir Putin’s scenarios of power.  
    March 27, 2018

    Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have both developed extensive playbooks of performed, political masculinity. These combinations of speech acts, visual photo-ops, and interpersonal dramas have served to show them as simultaneously democratic (because they look like the average man) and autocratic (because they seem to dominate all other men). In this talk I will explore some of the ways that politicized masculinity serves as a kind of glue that holds together their popular appeal and their authoritarianism.

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Department of Political Science; Department of History; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Honors College; and Department of Anthropology.

  • Securing Rights & Unleashing the Potential of African Women and Girls: Lessons from the Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa

    • Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda
      Chief Executive for Rozaria Memorial Trust; African Union’s Goodwill Ambassador for the Campaign to End Child Marriage
      Originally from Zimbabwe, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has, over two decades, been working on issues of women and children’s human rights, with a special focus on crisis countries. Active in the women’s movement, she has more specifically focused on issues of violence against women, peace with justice, property rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights and HIV and AIDS.
    March 22, 2018

    This event is the UMass Boston Human Rights Minor Spring Keynote Address and is co-hosted by the Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. It is cosponsored by the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights; the Graduate Consortium in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality; the Department of Political Science; the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.

  • What Do the #MeToo Revelations Tell Us about Women and Wars?

    • Cynthia Enloe
      Research Professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University
      Cynthia Enloe is a research professor in the Department of International Development, Community, and Environment at Clark University. Her feminist teaching and research have focused on the interplay of gendered politics in the national and international arenas. Her many books include: Bananas, Beaches and Bases; Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War; The Curious Feminist; Globalization and Militarism; Seriously! Investigating Crashes and Crises as if Women Mattered; and the newly published The Big Push: Exposing and Challenging Persistence of Patriarchy
    February 8, 2018

    The deluge of exposés about diverse men harassing and assaulting women in the workplace has galvanized women worldwide. But those revelations have been treated as if they have nothing to do with international politics. That is a serious missed opportunity.

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; Human Rights Minor; Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Department of Political Science; Department of History; and Honors College. 

  • US Military Band of Brothers Culture and the Combat Exclusion for Women in a Trump Era

    • Megan MacKenzie
      Senior Lecturer, University of Sydney
      Megan MacKenzie is a senior lecturer in the Department of Government and International Relations at the University of Sydney. Her research centers on gender and security. Her book, Beyond the Band of Brothers: the US Military and the Myth that Women Can't Fight was published with Cambridge University Press in 2015. Previous work includes her book Female Soldiers in Sierra Leone: Sex, Security and Post-Conflict Development (2012).
    February 28, 2017

    This presentation examines the band of brothers myth and how it informs US military policy. It also asks what a Trump presidency means for US military culture and for recent policy changes such as removing the combat exclusion for women and opening the military to transgender service members.

  • Gender Justice, Remedy and Reparation

    • Dyan Mazurana
      Research Director, Feinstein International Center; Associate Research Professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University
      Dyan Mazurana’s areas of specialty include women, children and armed conflict, documenting serious crimes committed during conflict, and accountability, remedy and reparation. Her most recent book is Research Methods in Conflict Settings: A View From Below (Cambridge University Press, 2013) with Karen Jacobsen and Lacey Gale. She has published more than 80 scholarly and policy books, articles, and international reports in numerous languages.  She serves as an advisor to a number of governments, UN agencies and NGOs regarding protection of children and women during armed conflict and remedy and reparation in the aftermath of violence. She has worked in Afghanistan, the Balkans, Nepal and southern, west and east Africa. 
    April 27, 2016
    Dyan Mazurana will discuss her research on the intersection of gender and women’s and children’s rights with processes of justice, remedy and reparation for serious crimes committed during armed conflict and under authoritarian regimes.  She’ll share findings from interviews with several hundred women and girl victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity and explore how their insights inform justice, remedy and reparation priorities and processes.
  • Demilitarizing Masculinities and Femininities: Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia

    • Roxanne Krystalli
      Humanitarian Evidence Program Manager, Feinstein International Center; Researcher on Gender, Violence and Transitional Justice
      Roxanne Krystalli is the Humanitarian Evidence Program Manager at Feinstein International Center. She has worked as a researcher and practitioner at the intersection of gender and armed conflict, with a particular focus on understanding the needs of victims of violence and the experiences of former combatants. She has collaborated with various UN agencies and international organizations, including the UN Bureau of Crisis Response and Prevention, UNDP, UN Women, UNICEF, IOM, and the Norwegian Refugee Council. Roxanne has worked with community-based groups in Egypt, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and other areas. For her work, Roxanne has been recognized as a P.E.O. International Peace Scholar, Ogunte Featured Social Innovator, TEDx speaker, and as a recipient of the Presidential Award for Citizenship and Service at Tufts University. Roxanne holds a BA from Harvard College, an MA from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and is pursuing a PhD on the politics of victimhood in armed conflict at The Fletcher School.
    April 6, 2016
    While the ongoing Colombian peace talks are in the headlines, questions remain regarding the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former combatants. How can these processes better take into account the gendered experiences of militants during the conflict? In the political economy of conflict and peace-making, why might some of these fighters not want to demobilize and what makes some of them more vulnerable to recruitment by other armed groups?
  • Negotiating and Building Peace: What are the Consequences of Gendered Exclusions?

    • Claire Duncanson
      Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh
      Claire Duncanson has been a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh since 2009. Prior to her academic career, she worked for a variety of human rights and international development NGOs, including Amnesty International, Jubilee 2000 and Global Perspective. Duncanson's research interests lie at the intersection of international security, IR theory and gender politics. Her work applies new theoretical insights about feminism, gender, and, in particular, masculinities, to current international issues, such as military interventions, military transformations, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and nuclear proliferation. Her first book, Forces for Good? Military Masculinities and Peacebuilding in Afghanistan and Iraq was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2013, and her second, Gender and Peacebuilding, is forthcoming in early 2016 with Polity Press. She has also published widely in academic journals, including, most recently, on feminist debates over women's military participation (with Rachel Woodward) in Security Dialogue.  
    March 23, 2016
    Given the ways in which war is gendered - in its impacts and its drivers - it is unsurprising that the challenge of building peace also has many gendered aspects. Peace talks almost uniformly exclude the meaningful participation of women. And post-conflict reconstruction tends to be based on a set of economic prescriptions which are assumed to be gender-neutral but are anything but. Does it matter? This lecture will explore the causes and consequences of these gendered exclusions, examining their detrimental effects on both gender equality and sustainable peace.
  • Sexual Violence in the Context of Armed Conflict’s Criminal, Corrupt and Violent Economies

    • Meredeth Turshen
      Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University
      Meredeth Turshen is a Professor in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. She has written five books, The Political Ecology of Disease in Tanzania (1984), The Politics of Public Health (1989), and Privatizing Health Services in Africa (1999), all published by Rutgers University Press; Women's Health Movements: A Global Force For Change (2007) published by Palgrave Macmillan; and Gender and the Political Economy of Conflict in Africa: The Persistence of Violence (2016) published by Routledge.  Her edited books include: Women and Health in Africa (Africa World Press, 1991), Women's Lives and Public Policy: The International Experience (Greenwood, 1993), What Women Do In Wartime: Gender and Conflict In Africa (Zed Books, 1998), The Aftermath: Women in Postconflict Transformation (Zed Books, 2002), and African Women: A Political Economy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). She has served on the boards of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, the Committee for Health in Southern Africa, and the Review of African Political Economy, and is on the editorial board of the Journal of Public Health Policy.
    February 24, 2016
    Too often the literature on wartime violence against women emphasizes individualized violence in interpersonal contexts, neglecting the economic and political facts of the conflicts in which the attacks occur. Women's roles change in war zones; the informalisation of war economies offers women new opportunities but also exposes them to new dangers, repeated flight and relocation, capture and coerced labor. This talk reframes sexual violence using case studies of the extractive industries of Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo, which funded the regional conflicts.
  • Towards an Anti-Heroic History of Fiji Women Soldiers

    • Teresia Teaiwa
      Consortium Senior Fellow 2015-2016; Senior Lecturer, Victoria University of Wellington
      Teresia Teaiwa teaches in the Pacific Studies Programme in Va'aomanū Pasifika, at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW). She completed her PhD in History of Consciousness at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2001 on the topic of "Militarism, Tourism and the Native: Articulations in Oceania,"  Her research interests include militarization and gender in the Pacific Islands, history and politics of Fiji, Pacific women's history and activism, and theory and pedagogy in Pacific Studies. She is also a published poet and spoken word artist. Teresia is currently working on a book manuscript on Fiji women soldiers, based on research that was supported by the Royal Society of New Zealand's Marsden Fund and the VUW Research and Study Leave Committee.
    September 21, 2015

    Fiji women have been enlisting in modern military forces since at least 1961; they first served in a colonial context with the British Army, and subsequently were admitted to the Fiji Military Forces in 1988. To date they have served in international operations in Sinai, Timor Leste, Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. While Fiji women still constitute a very small minority in both the Fiji and British forces, Teresia Teaiwa’s research with them points to both the possibility and necessity of developing an anti-heroic account of their histories and experiences.  


  • Soap, Jeans, and Feminist Futures: “Corporate Social Responsibility” and Women’s Empowerment

    • Elisabeth Prügl
      Consortium Senior Fellow 2014-2015; Professor of IR, Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies, Geneva
      Elisabeth Prügl is Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva where she directs the Institute’s Programme on Gender and Global Change. Her research focuses on gender politics in global governance, in particular in the areas of labor, agriculture and development. Recent publications include Transforming Masculine Rule (Michigan 2011), “If Lehman Brothers had Been Lehman Sisters ...” International Political Sociology (March 2012), and Feminist Strategies in International Governance, co-edited with Gülay Caglar and Susanne Zwingel (Routledge 2013). She is spending the 2014/15 academic year as a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, and as a Senior Fellow with the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights.
    April 6, 2015

    Over the last few years there has been a proliferation of women’s empowerment projects run by transnational consumer products companies, typically in partnership with public development actors. In this talk Elisabeth Prügl will argue that these projects are part of a broader process of neoliberalizing feminism. Under the label of ‘corporate social responsibility’ companies such as Unilever and Levi-Strauss invest in women in their supply and marketing chains, seeking to empower them within a neoliberal rationality of government, and finding benefits for both the women and the companies. Rather than dismissing such efforts as the cooptation of feminism, Prügl will propose that it is necessary to examine, in concrete contexts, the way in which select feminist movement ideas are being integrated into neoliberal rationales and logics, and to ask what is lost in the process and what is perhaps gained.

  • Women on the Front Line: The Political Economy of Ebola in Postwar West Africa

    • Kade Finnoff
      Assistant Professor of Economics, UMass Boston
      Kade Finnoff is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is a development economist whose work focuses primarily on countries emerging from violent conflict and gendered violence. In particular, her work looks at the way in which the reconstitution of society is exclusionary or inclusive of particularly vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as female-headed households, children and people with disabilities. She has spent a number of years working on issues of inequality and violence-in particular sexual violence-in countries in Central Africa. She has also worked on the economic integration of people with disabilities with various local and international NGO’s in South Asia, Central America and Africa. Dr. Finnoff has also been a technical consultant for UNDP, UNIFEM and UNWomen on a range of issues from pro-poor macroeconomic policy to gender budgeting of post-conflict development assistance.
    February 25, 2015

    The current Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the most dangerous outbreak of an infectious disease since HIV in the early 1980s. In this talk, Kade Finnoff will use World Health Organization data to examine the gendered impact of Ebola and will argue that the disease epidemiology can only be understood through gendered analysis. Further, Finnoff will explore some of the gendered effects of postwar international financial assistance which prioritized the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of male combatants while failing to invest in rebuilding a resilient health sector of Liberia and Sierra Leone.

  • Imagined Peace, Gender Relations and Post­Conflict Transformation: Anti­Colonial and Post­Cold War Conflicts

    • Jane L. Parpart
      Research Professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance, McCormack Graduate School, UMass Boston
    February 4, 2015

    The gap between promises of a more gender equal future and realities on the ground during and after conflicts has become a critical concern of feminist security scholars and many policy makers. In this talk, Jane Parpart will argue that gendered experiences and understandings of war, as well as gendered imaginings of peace, both influence the gendered nature of postconflict transformations after anti-colonial and post-Cold War conflicts.

  • “You Cannot Hold Two Watermelons in One Hand”: Securitizing Gender in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    • Bina D’Costa
      Peace and Conflict Specialist, Australian National University
    November 10, 2014

    In conflict zones, women's security becomes a highly politicized issue, often in counter-productive ways.  The roles and religious rights of women are highly contested and unsettled issues.  Based on recent fieldwork, this presentation analyses some of these debates within the context of Pakistan and Afghanistan’s security dynamics.  D’Costa will argue that a deliberate focus on the exclusion and limitation of women in Muslim and traditional societies sustains and reinforces the stereotypes of women as silent and silenced actors.  However, while the control of women within and beyond the nexus of patriarchal family-society-state is central to extremist ideologies, women’s vulnerability and insecurity increase in times of conflicts not only from the actions of the religious forces but also from “progressive,” “secular” international “humanitarian” interventions.

  • Gender Knowledge in the World Bank: Revisiting Cooptation

    • Elisabeth Prügl
      Consortium Senior Fellow 2014-2015; Professor of IR, Graduate Institute of International & Development Studies, Geneva
      Elisabeth Prügl is Professor of International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva where she directs the Institute’s Programme on Gender and Global Change. Her research focuses on gender politics in global governance, in particular in the areas of labor, agriculture and development. Recent publications include Transforming Masculine Rule (Michigan 2011), “If Lehman Brothers had Been Lehman Sisters ...” International Political Sociology (March 2012), and Feminist Strategies in International Governance, co-edited with Gülay Caglar and Susanne Zwingel (Routledge 2013). She is spending the 2014/15 academic year as a Fellow at the Women and Public Policy Program of the Harvard Kennedy School, and as a Senior Fellow with the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights.
    October 27, 2014

    When feminist knowledge enters development institutions it is translated in ways that scholars and activists have described as "cooptation." In this presentation Prügl will interrogate "cooptation" in two ways. First, she will identify the kinds of cooptations that characterize gender knowledge in the World Bank today, taking into consideration changes that have followed the post-Washington consensus and the financial crisis. Second, she will explore the processes of cooptation, i.e. what are the mechanisms through which cooptation happen and what are the effects they produce?

  • Why Is It So Hard to Get Women to the Peace Table? And Why Is That Not Even the Right Question?

    • Carol Cohn
      Director, Consortium on Gender, Security & Human Rights
    October 22, 2014

    The current "Women, Peace and Security" agenda in international policy and activist communities tends to focus on conflict-related sexual violence and women's political representation. In this talk, Cohn will explore the genesis of this severely constricted agenda, and argue that as the 15 year anniversary of UNSCR 1325 approaches, we need to rethink the kinds of research, knowledge and activism required for a truly transformative gender, peace and security praxis.  This talk will frame this year's Consortium focus on gendered political economies of war and peacebuilding.

  • "Women, Peace and Security" Policy's Skewed Focus on Sexual Violence: The Failure of a "Successful" Feminist Intervention?

    • Sam Cook
      Lawyer and Women's Rights Activist
      Sam Cook is a lawyer from South Africa whose academic and activist work has long focused on policy responses to sexual and gender-based violence. She spent five years working on United Nations policy on women, peace and security as Director of the PeaceWomen Project of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom. She then worked on LGBT rights research and policy at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She is now a PhD candidate at the University of California Santa Cruz; her dissertation explores how the practices of Security Council policymaking shape feminist policy interventions.
    April 24, 2014

    In recent years a plethora of UN Security Council resolutions on women, peace and security have been adopted, most of which focus on sexual violence in conflict. A view has emerged that this focus has undermined - and even been antithetical to - the intent of feminists who initially lobbied for Security Council resolution 1325.  Are there ways of thinking about how such "failures" or crises of feminist policy interventions emerge that go beyond claims of cooptation or "lack of political will"?  Is there something that can be learned from looking at the micro-practices of policymaking?


  • Why Civil Resistance Works and Women's Catalytic Role: The Case of Syria and Beyond

    • Maria Stephan
      Senior Policy Fellow at the United States Institute of Peace; Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council
    March 12, 2014

    Dr. Maria Stephan will discuss key findings from her co-authored book, Why Civil Resistance Works, while focusing on the unique and often seminal roles women play in nonviolent struggles.  She will share observations from her work with the Syrian opposition and facilitate a conversation about the role women can play in transforming violent conflicts – including the challenges they face, and the tactics and strategies they have used with varying results.

  • Rule of Law and Democracy in Russia

    • Sergey Golubok
      Human Rights Lawyer, Russia
      Sergey Golubok is an attorney with Semenyako, Grib & Partners in St. Petersburg, Russia. In that capacity he has defended political activists and NGO's in high-profile human rights cases and argued extradition. He also served with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France from 2008 to 2011. Dr. Golubok received his PhD in International and European Law from the St. Petersburg State University Law School.
    • Anton Burkov
      Human Rights Lawyer, Russia
      Anton Burkov serves as the chair of the European and Comparative Law Department at the University of Humanities in Yekaterinburg, Russia. He has worked with the Urals Centre of Constitutional and International Human Rights Protection of the NGO Sutyajnik, and is currently serving as a legal representative in a number of cases before the European Court of Human Rights and national courts.  He is currently a Galina Starovoitova fellow at the Wilson Center for International Scholars', Kennan Institute in Washington, DC.
    March 10, 2014

    Two courageous and prominent Russian human rights lawyers, Sergei Golubok and Anton Burkov, will be discussing their complementary strategies for transforming human rights practice and law in Russia. Mr. Golubok and Mr. Burkov will be sharing their experiences as front line human rights advocates in the currently deteriorating situation in Russia.

    Cosponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development

  • Paternalism & Women's Political Participation in Sri Lanka

    • Malathi de Alwis
      Consultant Socio-Cultural Anthropologist, Colombo, Sri Lanka
    March 5, 2014

    Feminist activism with regard to women's political participation in Sri Lanka has primarily focused on quotas to increase their numerical strength within political institutions. This emphasis on “bodies” has however precluded a deeper discussion on the lack of “voice.”

    Photo Credit: AP/Eranga Jayawardena


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