Women's Studies Offers Talks by Nation's Leading Feminists

TAMPA, Fla. (Nov. 6, 2008) – “Feminism is alive and well, despite what some might believe,” said University of South Florida Department of Women’s Studies Chair Kim Vaz. And to reinforce her declaration, she is leading an initiative to distribute the ideas and thinking of some of the nation’s leading feminist scholars – in their own words - in a series of presentations at USF on the theme: “Reclaiming Women’s Studies: Reclaiming Progressive Global Feminist Politics and Critical Thought in American Universities, A Year in Celebration.” The presentations will be made available to broadcast outlets for distribution.

Vaz said, “The aim of this series is to present recent feminist progressive politics and critical scholarship. These are leading intellectuals in the field of feminist critical pedagogy which is both anti-sexist and anti-racist, as well as age-, ability-, LGBTQ- and working-class- affirming. They will discuss their research and scholarship in a year-long reaffirmation and celebration of the academic discipline of what is Women’s Studies.”

Speakers include: bell hooks; Jennifer Baumgardner; Jacqui Alexander; Beverly Guy-Sheftall; AnaLouise Keating; Chandra Mohanty; Phyllis Chesler; Mark Anthony Neal; Amit Rai; Layli Phillips; Aimee Carrillo Rowe; Christine (Cricket) Keating; Aaronette White; and Barbara Scott Winkler.

The first event is Baumgardner’s presentation, Abortion and Life, Nov. 17, 3 p.m. in the USF TECO Room. Can the woman hailed by the Commonwealth Club of California as one of Six Visionaries of the Twenty-first Century, bridge the gap between proc-choice and anti-abortion activists?

“If anyone can, she can,” Vaz said. “She has the ability to humanize the arguments and I think people will be very interested in what she has to say about recent discussions brought to the fore during the presidential campaign.”

A regular contributor to Elle, Glamour, Allure, the Nation, Harper’s and NPR’s All Things Considered, Baumgardner is also the producer and creator of the award-winning I Had an Abortion, and is co-author with Amy Richards of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism and the Future and Grassroots: A Field Guide for Feminist Activism. Her most recent book is Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics.

For further information visit http://web3.cas.usf.edu/main/depts/WST/events/ or call (813) 974-0980.

The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of 39 community-engage, four-year public universities as designated by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded more than $360 million in research contracts and grants in FY 2007/2008. The university offers 219 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The university has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 46,000 students on campuses in Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.

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