Women's Studies 2009-2010 Annual Report

From the Director's Report:

Patil, Dawn Addy, Maya Boutaghou, Dean Suzanna Rose, our graduate assistant Christi Navarro, and I traveled to Morocco to participate in a conference at the University of Fes. The conference was organized by our Gender and Women’s Studies Across Cultures International Consortium partners, Professors Fatima Sadiqi and Souad Slaoui. Our consortium partners from Colombia and Spain attended, as well as WS scholars from around Morocco, the European Union, United States, and other countries. Several from our group presented papers about their scholarship, and we all attended several days of sessions covering topics ranging from marriage law reform to women and colonial history. We also traveled to a nearby university, Al Akhawayn in Ifrane, where we presented a panel to a group of students on Gender and Women’s Studies in the United States.

In the Spring of 2010, Professor Boutaghou traveled back to Fes and presented an invited paper in a conference focusing on the plight of socially marginalized women, and Professor Morcillo traveled to Fes to present an invited paper in a conference honoring the work of Professor Sadiqi. This October 2010, FIU’s Women’s Studies Center will host the 4th annual meeting of our International Consortium in Miami. We look forward to involving our students, colleagues, alumni, and friends in our endeavors to foster global Women’s Studies research and education.

In Fall 2009, we co‐sponsored a panel on Gender Bias in the Media with the Florida Commission on the Status of Women. This provided our faculty and students an opportunity to learn about the work of the Commission, and to meet many of the Commissioners. We will continue to work with the Commission to organize similar events around the state.

We have started planning for a Women’s Studies M.A. degree focusing on international gender studies. We are also exploring a certificate program that will focus on sexual orientation and identity research. Last year, our curriculum committee updated all of the course requirements for our Women’s Studies B.A., and our undergraduate and graduate certificates. We are grateful for the support of the College of Arts and Sciences and the wonderful staff in our Dean’s office, who provide ongoing support for our degree programs. We are very fortunate to have active Women’s Studies student organizations that sponsor events throughout the academic year. Two of the majorhighlights of our year are the annual performance of the Vagina Monologues (WSSA) and the graduate student conference (WSGSA). Hundreds of students attend these events and learn about challenges women face around the world. Lupe Juarez and Christi Navarro both deserve recognition for their exceptional leadership of these events and organizations over the past year.

Paula Powell is the person we all rely on, daily and weekly, to provide administrative support for all the activities and programs of the center. She now knows more about the administrative processes and systems at FIU than any of us, and we are thankful for her great sense of humor and her compassion.

We have added two members to our Advisory Board, Katy Sorenson and Lourdes Castillo de la Peňa, and a new friend to the Board, Margaret McCaffery. Margaret led the planning and organization for the production and performance of Body and Sold in January 2009, which was co‐sponsored with our Theater Department. I look forward to working with the Board this year, as we work to raise funds to support our students. I also hope to meet more of our alumni from past years, and hope those of you reading this report will stay in touch and involved with our Center.

Leah Blumenfeld, a WS graduate assistant and academic advisor for the past two years completed her Ph.D in the spring. Dr. Blumenfeld has accepted a teaching position at Barry University and will start there this fall. We will miss her very much, but we are glad that she will still be in Miami. We are fortunate to have Sarah Otero (graduate student, History) as a GA in our Center this summer, who is helping us collect and organize much of the information that yo u will see in this report.

This past year, our center hosted many visiting scholars from the EU, through an EU‐funded exchange program for professors and graduate students in Gender and Women’s Studies (GEMMA). Their visits have provided our faculty and students an opportunity to learn about the research and teaching interests and projects of scholars from England, Poland, Slovenia, Hungary, the Netherlands, and Spain. Prof. Morcillo will be traveling to Spain on a GEMMA scholarship next year.

As you look through the pages of this report, you will see the many accomplishments and projects of our faculty and students. Our faculty members continue to conduct and publish research in many fields, which enriches the education of our students and contributes to the intellectual life of our campus and our wider communities. We awarded three scholarships for next year, and recognized a number of students for their academic excellence and their service. We sponsored more than two dozen public lectures and events. It is a privilege to work with so many talented, productive, and devoted colleagues and students.