UNH Sidore Series Focusing On Violence Against Women Begins Sept. 13
Contact:  Erika Mantz
(603) 862-1567
UNH Media Relations
September 6, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- For more than 40 years the Saul O Sidore Memorial Lecture Series has made it possible for the university to offer both its community and the people of the state of New Hampshire a series of lectures around a critical and sometimes controversial issue facing society. This year’s series will focus on violence against women, beginning from a discussion of the theoretical, legal and social impact of the work of Andrea Dworkin Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006, at 4 p.m.

Dworkin, who died just over a year ago, was one of the first to name the issue of violence against women in the 1970s and to make clear it was not a personal, individual matter, but a societal, systemic issue that needed to be discussed publicly. A talented writer, she partnered with legal scholar Catherine MacKinnon to develop local legislation that was then incorporated into national legislation in Canada that recognized the relationship of pornography in violence against women.

Thirty years later, it is still an issue in need of discussion.

“Andrea Dworkin’s central contribution was to challenge America on the issue of violence against women,” said Marla Brettschneider, associate professor of political science and women’s studies at UNH and coordinator of the series. “She bequeathed a tremendous legacy to the movement – her life and her writing – but there are still many issues that she wasn’t able to get to and that’s what we’ll explore over this next year. We’ll explore her legacy by addressing its power and limitations.”

“After an opening lecture examining Dworkin’s life work, we will present a series of programs designed to continue the discussion regarding violence against women to which Dworkin so centrally contributed,” she continued. “The lectures will address fissures and new arenas of exploration in light of her contributions.”

All lectures are Wednesdays at 4 p.m. in the Memorial Union Building’s Theatre II. Lectures will be followed by facilitated dialogues run by and for men, women, and all people.

The series opens Wednesday, Sept. 13, with the keynote speaker, Judith Grant. Grant is a professor of political science and women’s studies at Ohio University. Her lecture, Complicating the Legacy of Andrea Dworkin, will present and analyze the theoretical, legal and social impact of Dworkin’s work as a whole. Grant is author of the forthcoming D/M: Dworkin, MacKinnon and Contemporary Feminist Thought and Fundamental Feminism: Contesting the Core Concepts of Feminist Theory.

Two weeks later on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Uma Narayan will discuss violence against women from a global perspective. Her lecture, The Politics of Rescue and the Politics of Forgetting: Expanding Feminist Notions on Imperialism and Violence, will challenge assumptions by Americans that women everywhere are the same and that violence against women in the Third World is a cultural problem. Narayan is a professor of philosophy at Vassar College. She works in the area of feminist social and political philosophy, with a focus on issues affecting Third world women, including the connections between culture and violence. Her books include Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions and Third World Feminism, and Decentering the Center: Philosophy for a Multicultural, Postcolonial and Feminist World (co-edited with Sandra Harding).

The series continues Wednesday, Oct. 11, when Beth Richie, a sociologist and head of the Department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, explores violence against women with respect to race, class or other social designations. Richie’s work addresses the ways that race/ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence, focusing on the experiences of African American battered women and sexual assault survivors and prisons. Her books include Compelled to Crime: The Gender Entrapment of Black Battered Women and Black Women, Male Violence, and the Build-Up of a Prison Nation.

On Wednesday, Oct. 25, Kim Fountain, director of community organizing and public advocacy at the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, will lecture on Queer Encounters with a Violence Against Women Movement. The popular belief that violence against women only means men rape women marginalizes the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender populations as survivors. Fountain is also an adjunct associate professor at Pace University in the Criminology and Sociology Department.

The series will conclude Wednesday, Nov. 8, with Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, who has taught all over the U.S. and Canada and is currently at Queens College-CUNY. A widely published scholar, writer, and activist whose work focuses on women, Jews, violence, resistance, racialization and anti-racism, Kaye/Kantrowitz will talk about how different groups of men, at different times in history, become demonized as sexual threats to females, and how groups of women become legitimized as potential victims. Kaye/Kantrowitz’s books include The Issue Is Power: Essays on Women, Jews, Violence and Resistance and The Colors of Jews: Racial Politics and Radical Diasporism.

For more information on the Sidore lectures or to learn about related programs and courses, visit http://www.unh.edu/humanities-center/sidore/sidore.htm.