Five College Consortium

Five College Women's Studies Research Center

Video and Audio of FCWSRC Events

Video (Spring 2014Fall 2013 | Spring 2013 | Fall 2012) / Audio


SPRING 2014    

Remembering Mothers: Family Photography and Cultural Memory                            Public Talk by Research Associate Meredith Nash (4/13/14)

meredith nash videoIn spite of a proliferation of images, the meaning and function of family photography is still remarkably undertheorised and even more under-researched in the social sciences. This presentation draws on empirical data from Tasmania, Australia to explore how family photographs of pregnancy reflect wider socio-cultural values about pregnancy, motherhood, and reproduction.  Nash also discusses how digital technology has altered the ways in which pregnant bodies are represented and remembered in family photographs.

Social Media Use and Women's Empowerment in a Hostile Environment: The Case of Egypt                                                                                                
Public Talk by Research Associate Nermeen Kassem (3/27/14)

nermeen kassem videoBetween suppressed reality and oppressed expression platforms, women are left to fight their own battle in order to claim their rights. In such a hostile environment, could social media provide an alternative means of empowerment?


Talking Gender Across Generations and Disciplines 
An International Women's Day Celebration featuring new books, blogs, and media by Five College Faculty and FCWSRC Research Associates (3/7/14)

IWD 2014Roundtable discussion with Ginetta Candelario (Smith College), Mari Castañeda (University of Massachusetts, Amherst) and Bernadine Mellis (Five Colleges)

Queer Lesbian Spaces in Contemporary Cinema: Water Lilies / She Monkeys / Blue is the Warmest Colour
Public Talk by Research Associate Clara Bradbury-Rance (3/6/14)

clara bradbury-ranceThis presentation emerges out of Clara's doctoral research which explores the contradiction surrounding the lesbian on the contemporary cinema screen who, at the threshold of the convergence of queer and feminist discourses, is marked by a paradoxical burden of visibility and invisibility. Through a series of readings of contemporary films that explore female homo-social and sexual desires, this presentation seeks to reconceptualise impressions of lesbianism that have concentrated on the lesbian 'figure', a term which in itself is no longer capable of describing desires in a cinematic context in which a queer feeling crosses cultural, national and theoretical borders.

How Literal Is This Reading? Contemporary Women Book Artists on the Reading Experience
                                                                                                                     Public Talk by Research Associate 
Lara Matta (2/6/14)

Lara MattaIn this presentation, Lara Matta approaches acts of reading from the tradition of book making and discusses aspects of the book as an artifact or an aesthetic object in order to reflect on digital poetics. 

FALL 2013

Globalization and Local Resistance in the Media: Welfare Rights Discourses in Israel and Massachusetts                                                                                                        Public Talk by Research Associate Noa Milman (11/21/13)

Noa Millman screencapStudying welfare rights movements in Massachusetts and in Israel, Noa Milman shows how welfare reforms as part of a global neoliberal policy agenda meet different types of political resistance in different national contexts. Using critical discourse analysis of newspaper articles, Milman compares welfare discourses in Israel (2003) and Massachusetts (1995). The work traces the surprising media success of the Israeli welfare movement and compares it with the limited success of their American counterparts. To explain this phenomenon, Milman explores the role of culture in shaping media and public response to social movements. The research pays particular attention to questions of race, class and gender and to the ways by which activists’ intersecting identities impact their ability to gain political influence in different cultural contexts.

Fiction Versus Fact: How Alice Walker and Nick Mwaluko Author the End of Female Genital Mutilation Public Talk by Tobe Levin and Nick Mwaluko (11/19/13)

Tobe Levin screencapThis talk discusses Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992) and Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko's WAAFRIKA (2013). Challenging traditional gender arrangements and sexual identities, these authors write to accelerate the end of FGM. Whereas Walker was the first novelist of world renown to place "the blameless vulva" at the heart of a story about genital torture, Mwaluko has written the first and possibly only drama combining transgender, queer, lesbian and gay approaches to the excision theme.

What is a Sex Museum? Bodies of Knowledge in Marginal Institutions                    Public Talk by Research Associate Katherine Sender (11/14/13)

Katherine Sender screencapThis presentation looks at how institutions that display explicitly erotic materials challenge conventional ways that museums construct knowledge and engage audiences. In contrast to a conventionally masculine, rational, detached mode of engagement, sex museums encourage participation, engage with the body, are frankly entertaining, and thus recall nineteenth-century approaches to exhibition. They still, however, privilege heterosexuality, normative gender, and racial othering through their displays.


Female Spanish Noir and Detective Fiction: From 1990s to the Present                      Public Talk by Research Associate Eva Paris-Huesca (11/7/13)

Eva París-Huesca screencapThis talk explores the neo-noir works of Pilar Miró and Patricia Ferreira and how their films subvert the ambiguous role that this genre has given to women. Whereas Miró´s postmodern project deconstructs traditional forms of female representation and reflects on the ambiguity of history and political discourse, Ferreira takes a step further as her film privileges a female gaze and subjectivity that breaks away with gender and genre dichotomies while developing a new feminist discourse to revisit the Spanish Transition to democracy. 

Writing on the Margins in Post-Colonial Zimbabwe                                                      Public Talk by Award-Winning Journalist Edna Machirori                                   Discussant, Fungai Machirori (11/5/13)

Edna Machirori screencapEdna Machirori is a freelance journalist and columnist for The Daily News in Zimbabwe. As one of the first women in Zimbabwean media and as the first black female editor of a newspaper in Zimbabwe, Machirori represents unprecedented achievement for women finding their place in a post-colonial landscape. Machirori was awarded the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013.

Also, be sure to check out Edna Machirori's Feminist Media Justice interview here!


Photographs of and by Women                                                                                        Public Talk by Sandra Matthews (10/31/13)

Sandra Matthews screencapIn her talk, Sandra Matthews presents on her six-year Timelines project - a series of photographic portraits of girls and women made over time - and about the work of women photographers in Asia, as featured in the Trans Asia Photography Review ( 

Twittering Women or Tweeting Candidates? The 2012 US Presidential Election  Public Talk by Research Associate Valentina Cardo (10/24/13)

Valentina Cardo screencapThe 2012 US presidential election campaign was unusual from a gender perspective in many ways: it saw the highest number of female candidates running for and winning Congress and Senate seats; women’s issues and policies (such as abortion, rape and birth control) became priorities for women especially in swing states; and (male) candidates, who were seen as taking a controversial stance on gender, lost votes in some cases and their seats in others. This presentation investigates this phenomenon of gendered politics. It investigates the role that social media platforms, like Twitter, played in the gendering of political communication and explores whether women officials using these platforms were able to bring different values and priorities to their political campaign that were relevant to other women. 


Feminist Technologies in the Workplace - Public Talk by Research Associate Annina Rüst (10/10/13)

Annina Rüst screencapIn her talk, artist-technologist Annina Rüst outlines how she thinks through the lack of women in tech spaces. The talk starts with an overview of how researchers from different disciplines explain the gender imbalance in the technology workplace. Based on this, she explains her approach to creating feminist technologies. Specifically, she talks about her project "A Piece of the Pie Chart", a machine that puts pie chart visualizations gender data onto (edible) pies. She concludes with an outlook on other ongoing and future projects. 

Not Your Mother's Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book - Reading and Discussion with Editors Saiya Miller and Liza Bley (9/19/13)

NYMM VideoNot Your Mother's Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book brings together a selection of comics by various artists addressing issues of sex and sexuality. The collection aims to provide a new approach to the way we teach about sexuality; a more accessible, interactive tool to help share knowledge about sex; one that demystifies the facts and speaks frankly about experiences whose lessons may fall into the grey areas. The comic format makes it possible for people to open up and talk about often embarrassing, sometimes even painful experiences in a way that is humorous and engaging. 


Public Colloquium: New Media in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism (4/19/13)

A Change is Gonna Come: Conversations Around Old and New Media at Khabar Lahariya, a Rural Feminist Media Collective in India

Disha Mullick draws from the experience of a group of rural women journalists from marginalised communities in Uttar Pradesh in northern India. This presentation looks at whether access to information and new media technology has informed the specific, situated voices of these journalists, as well as the ways reporters represent themselves and their worlds using such technology. 

When We Were Free to Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made -- A Reading by Laura Lovett (4/18/13)

If you grew up in the era of mood rings and lava lamps, you probably remember Free to Be…You and Me – the groundbreaking children’s record, book, and television special that debuted in 1972. Conceived by actress and producer Marlo Thomas and promoted by Ms. magazine, it captured the spirit of the growing women’s movement and inspired girls and boys to challenge stereotypes, value cooperation, and respect diversity. In this lively collection marking the fortieth anniversary of Free to Be…You and Me, thirty-two contributors explore the creation and legacy of this popular children’s classic. 

A Tale for the Time Being: A Book Reading by Ruth Ozeki (3/13/13)

Set in Tokyo, sixteen-year-old Nao has decided there's only one escape from her aching loneliness and her classmates' bullying. But before she ends it all, Nao first plans to document the life of her great grandmother, a Buddhist nun who's lived more than a century. A diary is Nao's only solace—and will touch lives in ways she can scarcely imagine. Across the Pacific, we meet Ruth, a novelist living on a remote island who discovers a collection of artifacts washed ashore in a Hello Kitty lunchbox—possibly debris from the devastating 2011 tsunami. As the mystery of its contents unfolds, Ruth is pulled into the past, into Nao's drama and her unknown fate, and forward into her own future.

International Women's Day Event (3/8/13)

Unruly Women: A Celebration of Writing, Filming, Blogging, and OpEds by Five College Faculty and FCWSRC Research Associates in Gender Studies and Related Fields


Readings by former FCWSRC Research Associates Sarah Skinner Kilborne (American Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner), Jacqueline Castledine (Cold War Progressives: Women's Interracial Organizing for Peace and Freedom), Carole DeSanti'sThe Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. and a presentation on Nirbhaya's Body: The Politics of Protest in the Aftermath of the Delhi Gang Rape by Krupa Shandilya (Amherst College).

Public Colloquium: New Media in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism (2/22/13)

Perfectly Transparent: Will the Promise of a "Perfect" World Render Us the Vessels for Surveillance?

Salome Kahiu's presentation looks at the fundamental change in human sovereignty that is assumed to be a main characteristic of the perceived Transhuman future. It explores the idea that technology is using us as agents through which a new Transhuman society will be birthed. In dissecting the inevitable technological evolution, Salome will look at the cultural and social ethics surrounding this aspect of futurism. Does the creation of a "perfect" society advocate for eugenics or dysgenics? The talk will discus surveillance s ways through which this agency has consequently rendered us transparent and open for and monitoring. 

Fan Video and the Queerness of Media Convergence

Julie Russo's presentation takes the production of pop culture remixes within female fan communities as one example of the stakes of new media's transformations. Today, those of us who are Internet users are also media creators, and Russo argues that we need new conceptions of labor to understand our negotiations with centralized commercial websites that profit from the data we contribute. Focusing on YouTube as a problematic platform for fan videos, her lecture explores the implications of "user-generated content" for the queer modes and messages within participatory culture.  

FALL 2012

Public Colloquium: New Media in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism (11/30/12)

Her Zimbabwe: Exploring the Heterogeneity of the Female Zimbabwean Experience through a New Women's Web-Based Platform

Fungai Machirori focuses on findings from a three-month pilot of Her Zimbabwe, a web-based platform that has encouraged Zimbabwean women to explore, celebrate and articulate the heterogeneity of their lives and identities. The platform has played an important role in fostering lateral communication between Zimbabwean women in Zimbabwe, and those in the diaspora. It will locate Her Zimbabwe within the dominant discourse of gender and linear definitions of development and empowerment prevalent in the country. Are new media-based initiatives in Zimbabwe elitist? If so, how can such elitism be overcome? Do women who are already "developed" and "empowered" (as the target audience of Her Zimbabwe is thought to be) need their own platforms for articulation, or should the focus be on "grassroots" women? 

Feminist Cloud Protesting

Sophie Toupin explores the ways in which feminist activists of the occupy phenomenon have helped shape what appear to be new social practices using online and face to face (F2F) interactions, or what Toupin terms "feminist cloud protesting." The project seeks to establish the emergence of a feminist cloud protesting approach through collected data on new media by academics and activists. Toupin's investigation includes on-line and face-to-face (F2F) interviews with feminists who have and/or are taking part in the occupy phenomenon. 

Public Colloquium: New Media in Feminist Scholarship, Teaching, and Activism (10/19/12)

Presentations by Suzon Fuks (Women, Water and Waterwheel) and Maria San Filippo (Sexual/Digital Revolution: Women Directors, Alternative Relationships, and 21st Century Independent Filmmaking). For more information click here.
Video link

Symposium on Intersex (10/5/12)

Featuring Caitlin Childs, Lynnell Stephani Long and David Rubin addressing different issues: intersex and the history and theory of gender; intersex and/as disability - thinking about eugenic logics of the medical model; and a workshop on how LGBT groups and communities can address intersex. The speakers field questions and share reflections on ways of incorporating intersex into a curriculum, the challenges involved, and how to move past "The Five Sexes." For more information, click here.
Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / Panel


Security in the Digital Age: Are Women at Risk? Building Resilience for Challenging Circumstances (11/15/12)

Presentations by Pat DrewNatalia Muñoz, and Courtney Banks Spaeth regarding the multiple ways in which questions of physical and virtual security play out for women using media for public engagement, social networking, and journalism. For more information, click here.

Audio link

Digital Materialities: New Media, Race, and Women's Activism Lecture and Conversation (9/20/12)

Presentations by Anna Everett (Race, Racism & Ways of Knowing in the Digital Era) and Jessie Daniels (Yack the Hack: Women's Activist Practices in Digital Culture) regarding new media, race and women's activism. For more information, click here.
Audio link