IU Women’s and Gender Studies conference April 5

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Women and Power: Policing Gender in Public Spaces is theme of keynote, breakout sessions

Indiana University Northwest announces the 31st Annual Indiana University Intercampus Women’s and Gender Studies Undergraduate Research Conference on Friday, April 5.

The theme for the daylong conference, taking place throughout the Arts & Sciences Building, is Women and Power: Policing Gender in Public Spaces. Six IU campuses will be represented at the conference, making for many robust, inter-disciplinary sessions addressing a variety of topics that focus on gender issues. These include the birthing process and motherhood, reproductive rights, women and work, violence against women, gender and identity, women and health, and women’s autonomy and agency in patriarchal contexts.

Check-in and a continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., followed by a welcome by Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Vicki Román-Lagunas. Breakout sessions will take place throughout the morning, followed by a break for lunch at 11:30 a.m.

At 1 p.m., the conference’s keynote speaker, Dr. Sherene Razack, a distinguished professor and the Penny Kanner Endowed Chair in Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will speak on “The Racial/Spatial Politics of Banning the Muslim Woman’s Niqab.”

Razack’s teaching and research focus is on racial violence and she has written six books on the subject. Her presentation addresses the banning of Niqabi in public spaces.

“By banning Muslim women from wearing the niqab in public,” Razack says, “we deny them the right to public space, even as they are formally citizens. The ban on Niqabi secures us from the sight of the niqab, but pre-empts any recognition of the other’s humanity. This pre-emption troubles us. Our rage at niqabi women conceals the ambivalence and desire that marks the encounter.”

Following Razack’s presentation, an expert faculty panel will lead a discussion on the topic, followed by more breakout sessions at 2:30 p.m. The day will close at 5 p.m. with refreshments.

The conference, hosted by the IU Northwest Women’s and Gender Studies Program, is co-sponsored by the IU Office of Vice President for Research, and the IU Northwest Offices of the Chancellor; Academic Affairs; Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs; and the College of Arts and Sciences.

For more information, contact Tanice Foltz at tfoltz@iun.edu or 219-980-6786 or Sherri Sosh at 219-980-6714.

About Indiana University Northwest

One of eight campuses of Indiana University, IU Northwest is located in metropolitan Northwest Indiana, approximately 30 miles southeast of Chicago and 10 miles from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The campus has a diverse student population of approximately 4,000 degree-seeking students and 1,500 dual-credit students. The campus offers Associate, Baccalaureate and Master’s degrees in a variety of undergraduate, graduate and pre-professional degree options available from the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Health and Human Services, the School of Business and Economics, the School of the Arts and the School of Education. The campus is also host to IU School of Medicine-Northwest-Gary, which actively involves students in research and local healthcare needs through its four-year medical doctorate program. IU Northwest emphasizes high-quality teaching, faculty and student research and engagement on campus and in the community. As a student-centered campus, IU Northwest is committed to academic excellence characterized by a love of ideas and achievement in learning, discovery, creativity and engagement. Indiana University Northwest is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer committed to achieving excellence through diversity.

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