Five College Consortium

Five College Women's Studies Research Center

Fall 2018 Events


****For any event accessibility needs, please contact the Center at 413-538-2275 or fcwsrc@fivecolleges.edu in advance****


Friday, October 19th 

"Intersectional Inequities: Structural Constraints of Navigating Autism Services"

Public Talk by Jennifer Singh, Associate Professor of Sociology, Georgia Institute of Technology

Intersectional forms of oppression are central to understanding autism disparities, however little is known about how such disparities are situated at the intersection of race, social class and gender. Drawing on the analytic framework of intersectionality developed by Black feminist scholars, the purpose of this presentation is to offer a grounded theory qualitative analysis based on in-depth interviews with single Black women (mothers and grandmothers) who are navigating autism services within the constraints of Medicaid health insurance and other limited resources. An intersectional approach offers a framework to interrogate how race, class, gender and other social locations operate simultaneously in social life rather than working as a single category. Importantly, it examines how power is organized, distributed, maintained, and challenged based on these intersecting social categories and the impacts it has on families, and ultimately children with autism. These alternative ways of knowing have been excluded in the representations of autism disparities thus far and offer important insight to the inextricable link between autism disparities and the structural, historical, and situational contexts of Black women’s lives.

Co-sponsored by the Department of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass Amherst

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3:00-5:00pm, FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College


Wednesday, October 24th 

FCWSRC Works in Progress Faculty Seminar 

“Gender and Microfinancing: A South Asian Experience"

Shagufta Nasreen, FCWSRC Research Associate and Assistant Professor of Women's Studies, University of Karachi

This paper argues that micro-financing is embraced in developing countries as a development intervention for women's empowerment despite growing into a large global industry creating a cycle of dependency for its borrowers. Drawing on evidence from qualitative field research, this research explores the experiences of Pakistani women borrowers and intends to compare it to earlier studies in the South Asian region to analyze how their work situations are shaped by local socio-cultural norms and globalized development agendas. 

Discussants: Lisa Armstrong (Professor of the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College), Marta Calas (Professor of Management, UMass Amherst), Svati Shah (Associate Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies, UMass Amherst), and Priyanka Srivastava (Assistant Professor of History and Economics, UMass Amherst)

**Dinner Provided - RSVP requested **

6:00-8:00pm, FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College


Wednesday, November 28th 

FCWSRC Works in Progress Faculty Seminar 

“No girl ever thinks of weights or rings or miscellaneous exercises”: The Genesis of Physical Education Programming

Frances Davey, FCWSRC Research Associate and Assistant Professor of History, Florida Gulf Coast University

This is the first chapter in a manuscript titled “’Strong and Sure as Well as Fair and Soft’: Physical Education, Athletics, and the Roots of Women’s Physical Activism,” which argues that college women debated evolving ideologies of reproductive agency, vocational aspirations, and other forms of independence through fitness programming. This chapter focuses on physical education programming implemented at the founding of women’s colleges and coeducational universities. It examines the relationship between institutions’ missions and their fitness curricula. In so doing, this chapter explores the role that women’s collegiate physical education played in shoring up or diluting provincial notions of respectable womanhood and feminine weakness.

6:00-8:00pm, FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College


Thursday, December 6th 

Anti-Colonial Feminisms Faculty Reading Group 

Readings to be announced

6:00-8:00pm, FCWSRC, 83 College Street, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley