Upcoming Events

Nadia Celis, Book Presentation: "The Rebellion of the Girls. The Caribbean and 'Corporeal Conscience'"

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April 28, 2015 4:30 PM  – 6:00 PM
Massachusetts Hall, Faculty Room

Join Nadia Celis, associate professor of Spanish, for the celebration of her book La Rebelion de las ninas: El Caribe y la 'conciencia
corporal' 
(The Rebellion of Girls: The Caribbean and 'Corporeal
Consciousness') 
Madrid, Frankfurt: Iberoamericana Vervuert, 2015).

A study of the representation of girlhood in the work of Hispanic Caribbean women writers, The Rebellion is also a critique of the multifaceted relation of power and gendered bodies in Caribbean cultures. Combining feminist theory with Caribbean and cultural studies, Celis contextualizes the struggle for "a body of one's own" engaged by the protagonists of novels from the 1940's to the turn of the 21st century. 

Challenging dominant associations of childhood narratives with nostalgia or lost innocence, Celis sets the spotlight on the desire, anger, and the bodily expressions girls deploy to contest the patriarchal appropriation of their sexuality. These girls' embodied subjectivities inspire the coining of "corporeal consciousness" to name the force at the core of liberatory practices preceding and coexisting with the sanctioned performances of femininity faced by fictional and real girls. 

"A powerful and innovative work. Celis selected a precise and persuasive corpus that exposes how patriarchal politics work on girls' bodies and sexualities both in the ways girls incorporate and reproduce the logics of male desire in their bodies and gestures, and in the ways they subvert these parameters. A magnificent book that makes substantial contributions not only to the field of Caribbean studies but also to the study of Latin American gender culture." (Beatriz Gonzalez-Stephen, Rice University).

Students and colleagues will lead an open conversation about the book, and light refreshments will be served. 

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Panel Discussion: "What is Boko Haram? Why Should We Care?"

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April 30, 2015 7:00 PM  – 8:30 PM
Hubbard Hall, Room 208 Thomas F. Shannon Room

Boko Haram is a radical Sunni Islamic sect, originally calling itself Jama'atu Ahlis Sunnar Lidda'awati Wal-Jihad, "people committed to the propagation of the Prophet's teachings and jihad." The group's more widely known name of Boko Haram means "Western education is sin." While initially non-violent and preaching a doctrine of withdrawal from what they perceived as a corrupt Nigerian state, they now increasingly engage in confrontation and deadly attacks on a wide range of targets.

Join us for an informative panel discussion among professors with professors from Bowdoin and University of Massachusetts, Boston. 

  • Ericka Albaugh, Assistant Professor of Government (Bowdoin). She teaches courses on Africa, language politics, development and state-building. She has researched in Cameroon, Senegal, and Ghana, and her more recent explorations focus on violence and language spread in West Africa more broadly.

  • Daren Kew, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance in the McCormack Graduate School, and Executive Director of the Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. He has researched and consulted on the prevention of conflicts in Nigeria and elsewhere, highlighting in particular the role of religious civil society groups in promoting peace and democratization.

  • Scott MacEachern, Professor of Anthropology (Bowdoin). He has directed archaeological research projects in different countries in Africa and North America, but much of his research since the mid-1980s has taken place around the Mandara Mountains of northern Cameroon and Nigeria. His main research interests are in state formation processes in Africa, the archaeological studty of ethnicity and social boundaries, and African and global historical genetics.

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Bishop Yvette Flunder: "Reconciling Spirituality and Sexuality - Growing the Radically Inclusive Church"

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May 1, 2015 12:30 PM  – 2:00 PM
Visual Arts Center, Kresge Auditorium

Bishop Yvette Flunder discusses the idea that trying to establish a relationship with a God that barely tolerates you but cannot truly accept and certainly will never celebrate you can do incredible damage to ones self esteem. She examines the tortured historical and theological view that suggests that some people are just flawed or born to be the underclass and should never expect to be on God's 'A list', and how that has been the convenient method used to hold women, immigrants, the poor and LGBT people in chains of self-depreciation. 

Flunder is Founder and pastor of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ in Oakland, California, and presiding bishop of the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries. She is also an ordained minister of the United Church of Christ and a graduate of the Ministry Studies and Master of Arts programs at the Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California. She received a Doctor of Ministry degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Her Doctor of Ministry project provided a framework for her work in the AIDS and transgender communities and for her activism in marriage equality.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Africana Studies, Gay & Lesbian Studies, the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life, the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, and the department of Religion.

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