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Consortium Lectures

Consortium Lectures are edited transcripts and video recordings from the Consortium’s International Speaker Series. Our Speaker Series brings an international roster of frontline practitioners, reflective activists and engaged scholars. 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.

  • New Economic Paradigms for Peace and the Planet: Intersectional Feminist Perspectives

    • Corinna Dengler
      Senior Lecturer, Global Political Economy and Development Master's Program, University of Kassel
    • Patricia (Ellie) Perkins
      Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, York University
    • Lebohang Liepollo Pheko
      Senior Research Fellow, Trade Collective
    • Mariama Williams
      Principal, The Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and Managing Director, FromtheInside2theOutside
    April 15, 2021

    Join the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights for the fourth panel of our Spring 2021 Speaker Series. To join the webinar, Zoom registration is required.

     
    Our Degrowth Is Intersectional: Feminist Decolonial Pathways for Sustainable Futures 
    Corinna Dengler, Senior Lecturer, Global Political Economy and Development Master's Program, University of Kassel
     
    This intervention introduces degrowth scholarship and activism and discusses how it can help us to build a new economic paradigm - a paradigm that ventures beyond what Rachel Carson has called the "war on life", a war arising from an economic system that structurally depends on the exploitation of nature, women, and people discriminated against in terms of, for example, class, race, and gender. Having its origins in an ecological critique of our economic system, this talk emphasizes that a degrowth alternative necessarily needs to embrace intersectionality in order to pave the way for socially (and also: gender-) just and ecologically sustainable futures.
     
    Envisioning the Decline of Patriarchy, Race and Capitalism
    Patricia (Ellie) Perkins, Professor, Department of Environmental Studies, York University
     
    The current pandemic heightens massive racialized, gendered, class-based, geographic and ecological inequities, with life-and-death consequences for millions.  How, at what point -- or is it even possible -- to repudiate and replace the systems behind this catastrophe, while climate chaos looms?   How to distinguish transformative actions from those which just help the current systems to reinvent themselves?  I suggest some ideas grounded in wellbeing, care, and stabilizing feedbacks.
     
    Addressing COVID-Nomics and Its Implications to Transform the World from an Afrikan Feminist Perspective
    Lebohang Liepollo Pheko, Senior Research Fellow, Trade Collective
     
    The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses of capitalism as an economy and polity and revealed the huge potential of post-capitalism. Afrikan feminist scholars, activists, researchers have collectively critiqued current market orthodox models of macro and micro economics made with ongoing forms of colonialism, including colonialisation of natural resources, of the economy, of political relations, and of health provision.
     
    Integrating Mindfulness, Social Sustainability and Just Transitions Issues into National and Global Climate and Economic Policy and Practice     
    Mariama Williams, Principal, The Integrated Policy Research Institute (IPRI) and Managing Director, FromtheInside2theOutside
     
    The current pandemic is revelatory about how deeply unequal, imbalanced and unjust our societies are. In the face of the inextricably linkage between Covid-19 and climate change, there are tremendous lessons to be learned. Where do we go? Is the ‘building-back-better’ mantra ultimately the way or can we think of ways of incorporating ‘mindfulness’ and related approaches to human provisioning and thriving, if indeed we seek to contribute to more robust and life-enhancing economic analyses and policy-relevant practices in the context of just transitions and sustainable development.   
     
    Moderated by Suzanne Bergeron, Helen M. Graves Collegiate Professor of Women's Studies and Social Sciences at University of Michigan-Dearborn
     
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    This speaker series is cosponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Anthropology Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Philosophy Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; Human Rights Minor; and the Honors College.
  • The Climate Crisis, Gender, and Prospects for Sustainable Peace

    • Kavita Naidu
      International Human Rights Lawyer and Consultant, Edith Cowan University
    • Bernadette P. Resurrección
      Associate Professor, Global Development Studies Department; Queen's National Scholar in Development in Practice, Queen's University
    April 8, 2021

    Join the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights for the third panel of our Spring 2021 Speaker Series. To join the webinar, Zoom registration is required.

     
    How Can Development Justice Tackle the Climate-COVID Crisis to Ensure Sustainable Peace? 
    Kavita Naidu, International Human Rights Lawyer
     
    Development Justice is a transformative framework that aims to reduce inequalities between countries, between rich and poor and between women and men to challenge the existing hyper-growth, profit driven extractivist model of economic development that perpetuates the climate-covid crisis. The alarming lack of political will to protect our ecosystem and eradicate inequalities of wealth, power and resources and uphold human rights is threatening sustainable peace. This global agenda is curated and influenced by mega corporations, undermining any accountability that governments may have towards people.
     
    Green and Climate-Responsive Technologies: Mismatches with Everyday Gendered Lives
    Bernadette P. Resurrección, Associate Professor, Global Development Studies Department; Queen's National Scholar in Development in Practice, Queen's University
     
    Due to the urgency of the climate and disaster crisis, science and technology are now being touted as a benign force and key to enabling green transformations. Science and technology efforts are thus being designed to make climate change and its effects more intelligible and thus, manageable. From feminist political ecology and STS perspectives, I aim to unpack how science and technology ‘lands’ in climate policy environments setting in motion ‘messy’ gender power dynamics re/producing exclusions, injustice, disquiet and hegemony. Through brief examples in Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam, I highlight how technical climate solutions may sidestep or even reproduce the same drivers that steered climate catastrophes, inequality, and unrest that dramatically prompted us to pursue such solutions in the first place.
     
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    This speaker series is cosponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Anthropology Dept; Communications Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Philosophy Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; Human Rights Minor; and the Honors College.
     
  • Gender, Race and Climate Justice: National and Global Policy Perspectives

    • Colette Pichon Battle
      Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy
    • Jacqueline Patterson
      Senior Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP
    • Osprey Orielle Lake
      Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
    • Anita Nayar and Camden Goetz
      Director and Coordinator, Regions Refocus
    April 1, 2021

    Join the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights and the University of Massachusetts Boston Sustainable Solutions Lab for the second panel of our Spring 2021 Speaker Series. To join the webinar, Zoom registration is required.

     
    The Climate Crisis and the Sacred Femine 
    Colette Pichon Battle, Executive Director, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy
     
    This talk will explore the impacts and roles around solutions that honor the sacred femine. From community organizing to investment strategies, our ability to survive and thrive in this climate reality calls for a rebalancing of global systems from individual, patriarchal, extractive methods to the collective, femine, sustainable values held by frontline communities in the Global South.
     
    [Title TBA]
    Jacqueline Patterson, Senior Director, Environmental and Climate Justice Program, NAACP 
     
     
    Feminist Actions Addressing the Climate Crisis and Systemic Change
    Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN) International
     
    Globally women and feminists are building grassroots solutions and transformative climate policy to address interlocking systems of patriarchy, colonization, racism and capitalism. From food sovereignty to forest protection, fossil fuel resistance to feminist climate policies, Indigenous rights to the rights of nature, we are imagining and building the healthy and just world we seek.
     
    Confronting Economic Imperialism: Connections with Struggles against Neo-Colonialism and Patriarchy
    Anita Nayar, Director, Regions Refocus and Camden Goetz, Coordinator, Regions Refocus  
     
    Drawing on our work to build cross-regional, cross-movement solidarity in the struggle for progressive and feminist economic policy, we will explore connections with struggles in the US against neo-colonialism, patriarchy, and global capitalism. These intersections are shaping our emerging work to confront US economic imperialism, an often unchallenged threat to people and the planet.
     
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    This speaker series is cosponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Anthropology Dept; Communications Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Philosophy Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development; and the Sustainable Solutions Lab.
  • Black Feminist Ecological Perspectives

    • Kishi Animashaun Ducre
      Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, Syracuse University
      Kishi Animashaun Ducre (PhD, 2005, Environmental Justice, University of Michigan) is the inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and former chair and Associate Professor in African American Studies (AAS) in the College of Arts & Sciences at Syracuse University. She has authored works on environmental justice, feminism, and community-based research, including 2012 book A Place We Call Home: Gender, Race, and Justice in Syracuse and 2016 co-edited volume entitled, Addressing Environmental and Food Justice Toward Dismantling the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Poisoning and Imprisoning Youth.  Her most recent scholarship on this subject has just been published in the 2018 special edition of Environmental Sociology entitled “The Black feminist spatial imagination and an intersectional environmental justice”. She has also curated photography exhibitions based upon her community-based arts research known as photovoice in New York, California, and Trinidad and Tobago.  In 2011, she was Fulbright fellow at the Institute for Gender and Development Studies at The University of the West Indies – St. Augustine.  Dr. Ducre’s first foray in environmental activism was as a toxics campaigner for Greenpeace USA in the 1990’s. She combines her experiences on the frontlines of the environmental justice movement and academic training in geography and demography for a unique and gendered perspective on economic and environmental inequality. Her latest writing project is the development of a book manuscript that expands upon her theoretical perspectives on the Black Feminist spatial imagination, featuring case studies of Harriett Tubman, Wangari Maathai, and Jamaica Kincaid.
    • Tiya Miles
      Professor, Department of History, Harvard University
      Tiya Miles is the author of three prize-winning books in the history of American slavery, including The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits and Ties That Bind: The Story of an Afro-Cherokee Family in Slavery and Freedom. She has published historical fiction set on a plantation, a travel narrative about her visits to “haunted” historic sites of the South, and various articles and op-eds in the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, and the Huffington Post on women’s history, public history, Black public culture, and Black and Indigenous interrelated experience. She taught on the faculty of the University of Michigan for sixteen years and is currently a Professor of History and Radcliffe Alumnae Professor at Harvard University. Her work has been supported by the MacArthur Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her new book, All That She Carried, The Journey of Ashley’s Sack, A Black Family Keepsake, is forthcoming from Random House in 2021. 
    • Frances Roberts-Gregory
      Future Faculty Fellow, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University
      Frances Roberts-Gregory is an ecowomanist ethnographer and feminist political ecologist. Her feminist activist research explores how Gulf Coast Black and Indigenous women navigate contradictory relationships with energy and petrochemical industries, resist environmental racism, and devise solutions for environmental, energy, and climate justice. She currently serves as a Future Faculty Fellow at Northeastern University in the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and is a proud alum of Spelman College and the University of California, Berkeley. She is likewise a proud Switzer Environmental Fellow, Ford Predoctoral Fellow, NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Gates Millennium Scholar, and former Environmental Fellow with the Environmental Grantmakers Association. Frances is a co-founding member of the Feminist Agenda for a Green New Deal, former environmental educator for the Deep South Center for Environmental Justice, and former resource developer for the New Orleans and C40 Women4Climate Mentorship Program. From 2019-2021, Frances taught courses on gender, environmental justice, digital activism, and sustainable development at Tulane University, Bard Early College New Orleans, and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Frances has also spoken at the Berkeley March for Science and at a UNFCCC COP25 press conference to promote feminist solutions for a just and equitable recovery. Finally, Frances has been interviewed by PBS Newshour, Ms. Magazine, the Ocean Conservancy, the Alliance for Affordable Energy, and many others. Reach Frances via Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @BlackngreenPhD or via her website blackngreenphd.org.
    March 11, 2021

    Join the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights for the first panel of our Spring 2021 Speaker Series. To join the webinar, Zoom registration is required.

     

     

    Harriett Tubman is DOPE
    Kishi Animashaun Ducre, Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; Associate Professor, Department of African American Studies, Syracuse University
     
    My short presentation focuses on what we can learn about the Black Feminist Spatial Imagination and fugitive geographies from the life and times of Harriett Tubman. I will highlight scholarship on Tubman that emphasizes her contributions to peace and liberation beyond her exploits on the Underground Railroad.
     
    Black Women and the Nature of Fugitivity
    Tiya Miles, Professor, Department of History, Harvard University
     
    Early thinkers in the Black feminist literary tradition worked with the materiality and symbolism of nature to imagine as well as to enact free lives. Can their form of environmental consciousness, forged in the fires of slavery, speak to today’s existential threats?
     
    Black Feminist Activist Research for Environmental, Energy, and Climate Justice
    Frances Roberts-Gregory, Future Faculty Fellow, School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, Northeastern University
     
    Drawing upon my fieldwork eco-memories, I reflect upon the potential for feminist activist research and ecowomanism to address longstanding environmental racism and racialized health disparities in the Louisiana Gulf Coast.
     
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    This webinar is part of the Consortium on Gender, Security and Human Rights’  Spring 2021 Speaker Series. It is also affiliated with the Becoming Liberated & Knowledgeable (BLK) Conference, which is organized by students at University of Massachusetts Boston and will take place on February 27, 2021.
     
    This webinar is being co-sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Boston's Africana Studies Department; Department of Anthropology; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; Department of Economics; History Department; Philosophy Department; Political Science Department; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department and Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.
  • Gendered Local Voices in Counterterrorism Policies

    • Anwar Mhajne
      Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science, Stonehill College
      Anwar Mhajne is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Stonehill College. She is a political scientist specializing in international relations and comparative politics with a focus on gender and politics. She is a cofounding member of the Center for Progressive Security. Her current research is at the intersection of gender, religion, and Middle Eastern politics. Due to her political science and interdisciplinary training in gender politics, international relations, and comparative politics, Dr. Mhajne's research strengths lie in the following areas: Feminist International Relations and Security Studies; Democratization; Governance and Institutions; Civil Society and Activism; Political Islam; Middle East; Gender Politics; Social Movements; and Regime Change. Dr.Mhajne's work has been featured in The International Feminist Journal of Politics, Political Research Quarterly, The Conversation, Times of Israel, Haaretz, Middle East Eye, +972 Magazine, Quartz, The Defense Post, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
    November 4, 2019

    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. 

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Anthropology Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept; Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development; and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

  • 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); Special Envoy and Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, 2009-17
      Ambassador Bonnie Jenkins is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women of Color Advancing Peace, Security and Conflict Transformation (WCAPS) nonprofit organization. She is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania's Schools of Nursing and Veterinary Medicine. She is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service. Previously, she was a Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania's Perry World House. She was also an ambassador at the U.S. Department of State from 2009-17, where she served as Special Envoy and Coordinator for Threat Reduction Programs in the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and as the U.S. representative to the 30-nation G-7 Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction, where she chaired the Global Partnership in 2012. She was also a leading U.S. official in the launch and implementation of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), a multi-sectoral initiative dedicated to reducing infectious disease threats around the world. She has a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, an LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center, and several other degrees of higher education. She was also a Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at the JFK School of Government, Harvard University. Jenkins is also a veteran of the U.S. Naval Reserves. 
    October 3, 2019

    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. 

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Africana Studies Dept; Anthropology Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Philosophy Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept and Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development; and the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies.

     
  • 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
      Nadje Al-Ali has recently left her long-term position at the Centre for Gender Studies at SOAS University of London to join Brown as the Robert Family Professor of International Studies and Professor of Anthropology and Middle East Studies. Her main research interests revolve around feminist activism and gendered mobilization, mainly with reference to Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey and the Kurdish political movement. Her publications include What kind of Liberation? Women and the Occupation of Iraq (2009, University of California Press, co-authored with Nicola Pratt); Women and War in the Middle East: Transnational Perspectives (Zed Books, 2009, co-edited with Nicola Pratt); Iraqi Women: Untold Stories from 1948 to the Present (2007, Zed Books), and Secularism, Gender and the State in the Middle East (Cambridge University Press 2000. Her co-edited book with Deborah al-Najjar entitled We are Iraqis: Aesthetics & Politics in a Time of War (Syracuse University Press) won the 2014 Arab-American book prize for non-fiction. Professor Al-Ali is on the advisory board of kohl: a journal of body and gender research and has been involved in several feminist organizations and campaigns transnationally.
    September 12, 2019

    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. 

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Anthropology Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept and Human Rights Minor; and the Honors College.

     

  • How Much Land Does A Woman Need? Women, Land Rights and Rural Development

    • Esther Kingston-Mann
      Professor Emerita of History, University of Massachusetts Boston
      Esther Kingston Mann is the Ford Service Professor of History Emerita and the founder of Kingston-Mann Awards for Undergraduate Student Excellence in Diversity Inclusion Scholarship 2004-2019. Her research has focused on three related areas. She has used Comparative Studies to look at the relationship between "modernizers" and the rural women and men they attempt to "modernize" (In Search of the True West: Culture, Economics and Problems of Rural Development, 1999). Her research on Female Economic Agency is found in her book, Women, Land Rights and Rural Development: How Much Land Does a Woman Need? (2018). And she has explored Claiming Property ("The Return of Pierre Proudhon: Privatization, Crime, and the Rules of Law," 2006.)
    April 18, 2019

    Credit: Georgina Smith / CIAT

    The failure to include gender in the economic history of rural development has severely limited our understanding of the colonial, privatizing and collectivist economic policies that disrupted and transformed the lives of rural women and men in the modern world. This talk will rewrite a piece of that history, exploring rural development in 20th-century Kenya through the lens of women’s labor and land claims. In the course of the 20th-century, Kikuyu women resisted efforts by husbands, fathers, brothers, tribal authorities and the state to control women-cultivated lands. Were these women seeking private land of their own, or were they advancing claims that didn't fit neatly into preconceived capitalist or pre-capitalist categories?

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Anthropology Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept and Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

  • “Crippled for Cassava”?: Gender, History, and Violence in a Mozambique Development Scheme

    • Heidi Gengenbach
      Assistant Professor of History, College of Liberal Arts, University of Massachusetts Boston
      Heidi Gengenbach is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is the author of Binding Memories: Women as Tellers and Makers of History in Magude, Mozambique (Columbia University Press, 2005), and is currently working on her second book, Recipes for Disaster: Gender, Hunger, and the Remaking of an Agrarian Food World in Central Mozambique, 1500-2000. In a multi-country collaborative study funded by the National Science Foundation, she is also investigating the food security impact of a donor-funded cassava “value chain” project in southern Mozambique, which buys this starchy food staple from poor women farmers to make Impala, the world’s first cassava-based commercial beer.
    April 2, 2019

    In this talk, Gengenbach draws on interviews, survey data, and archives to understand women’s responses to a controversial development project in Mozambique. The project, supported by USAID and the Gates Foundation, purchases women’s staple food crop for the manufacture of Impala, the world’s first cassava-based commercial beer. Modeled on the “New Green Revolution for Africa” approach to hunger-reduction, the project claims that women’s adoption of high-yield varieties and chemical inputs will enable them to earn income and improve food security through the sale of “surplus” cassava. Yet in coastal southern Mozambique, where women have grown, cooked, and traded this American root crop for 250 years, project implementers have faced angry opposition—including charges of extortion and assault—from the very farmers they purport to help. Gengenbach analyzes these charges historically, linking women’s conversion of a foreign cultigen into an edible commodity with the gendered violence of competing slave trades, and a precolonial “indigenous agricultural revolution” (Richards 1985) with women’s fight to preserve a cassava-centered food system ever since.

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Anthropology Dept; Economics Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept and Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; and the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.

  • Gender, Generations, and Guns Where the State Does Not Govern: The Political Economy of Justice and Rights in Rural South Africa

    • Sindiso Mnisi Weeks
      Assistant Professor, Public Policy of Excluded Populations, School for Global Inclusion and Social Development, University of Massachusetts Boston; and Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town 
      Sindiso Mnisi Weeks is Assistant Professor in Public Policy of Excluded Populations at UMass Boston, and Adjunct Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town. Her work has combined research, advocacy and policy work on women, property, governance, dispute management, and participation under customary law and the South African Constitution. Mnisi Weeks received her DPhil from the University of Oxford’s Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, as a Rhodes Scholar, and previously clerked for then Deputy Chief Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, Dikgang Moseneke. Mnisi Weeks has authored Access to Justice and Human Security: Cultural Contradictions in Rural South Africa (Routledge, 2018) and co-authored African Customary Law in South Africa: Post-Apartheid and Living Law Perspectives (OUPSA, 2015).
    March 18, 2019

    Dr. Mnisi Weeks will discuss the political economy of rural South Africa, drawing from the ethnographic research she conducted for her book Access to Justice and Human Security: Cultural Contradictions in Rural South Africa. Her research reveals how historical conditions and contemporary pressures grounded in severe neglect and harm by the state have resulted in a toxic mix of gender dynamics, intergenerational tensions, and easy accessibility and reliance on firearms as a means of conflict management that has strained traditional justice mechanisms’ ability to deliver the high normative ideals with which they are notionally linked. This prompts her to question what forms of justice are accessible in insecure contexts and what solutions are viable under such volatile human conditions.

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Anthropology Dept; Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance Dept; History Dept; Political Science Dept; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Dept and Human Rights Minor; the Honors College; the Sociology Club; the William Joiner Institute for the Study of War and Social Consequences; the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; and the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.

  • Gender, Patronage and Race in Modernist Agribusiness

    • Caitlin Ryan
      Consortium Fellow 2018-2019; Assistant Professor of International Security, University of Groningen
      Caitlin Ryan earned her PhD from the University of Limerick (Ireland) and has expertise in gender, security and development. Her recent research (with Helen Basini) has evaluated the implementation of the UN Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Her current research project examines the conditions that make large-scale land deals possible in Northern Sierra Leone and their effects, by considering the power relations and dynamics at all levels from households to the international system of agribusiness investment.  She is also working on a co-authored project on the relationships between women's security and women's economic empowerment in African post-conflict contexts.
    November 26, 2018

    The overwhelming gender-blindness of the early literature on large-scale land deals in the Global South is slowly being filled by research that examines the impacts of land deals for women (Arndt, et al. 2011). However, this still leaves open the question of what kinds of gendered and racialized relations of power make these deals possible in the first place and how these power relations are then augmented, or transformed, by the deals' implementation. In this talk, Ryan outlines the 'landlord'/'stranger' relations that govern land use and ownership in Northern Sierra Leone and uses community-based research to analyze how these pre-existing relations play a gendered and racialized role both in facilitating the entrance of investing companies, as 'strangers,' into communities and in shaping ensuing perceptions and negotiations. 

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Africana Studies; Department of Anthropology; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; Department of Economics; Department of History; Department of Political Science; Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies; the Honors College; the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies; and the Africa Scholars Forum.
     
     
  • (Re)colonizing Agriculture in the Name of 'Development'

    • Caitlin Ryan
      Consortium Fellow 2018-2019; Assistant Professor of International Security, University of Groningen
      Caitlin Ryan earned her PhD from the University of Limerick (Ireland) and has expertise in gender, security and development. Her recent research (with Helen Basini) has evaluated the implementation of the UN Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Her current research project examines the conditions that make large-scale land deals possible in Northern Sierra Leone and their effects, by considering the power relations and dynamics at all levels from households to the international system of agribusiness investment.  She is also working on a co-authored project on the relationships between women's security and women's economic empowerment in African post-conflict contexts. 
    October 30, 2018

    Drawing from ethnographic research in Sierra Leone, Ryan considers how the language used to encourage and justify large-scale land deals reflects coloniality in its assertion of what counts as ‘good agriculture’ and desirable ‘development.’ While most attention to the “new global land rush” focuses on explaining its relation to historical trends in using land for capital transformation, and its situatedness in global economic processes, Ryan takes a different approach. She analyzes the ways that investing companies, the World Bank, and target countries frame large-scale land deals as having potential to ‘modernize backwards agricultural practices’ and thereby to make agriculture a means of economic development. In this talk Ryan argues that these framings are situated in wider discourses and practices of coloniality, and understanding the conditions that make these investments possible necessitates critical engagement with how the global land rush is both racialized and dependent on vague references to (under)development.

    This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston CLA Dean's Office; Department of Africana Studies; Department of Anthropology; Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security and Global Governance; Department of Economics; Department of History; Department of Political Science; the Honors College; the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies; and the Africa Scholars Forum.

  • 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.
     

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