Past Events

Mimi Kim and Xhercis Méndez
Transformative Justice Visions and Praxis
Mimi Kim and Xhercis Méndez

In the era of #MeToo, police brutality, global anti-blackness, and the overt targeting of queer, gender non-binary, and trans lives by the state, there has been a growing need to build out options that do not rely on the state or their institutions for protections. Given the role of the state and its institutions in producing and being complicit in systemic violence against marginalized communities, and how communities are often left without any other options, communities of color have consistently sought to develop alternatives to address the carceral, colonial, and settler colonial logics and conditions that impact our lives, both locally and globally. Rather than continue to rely on state systems, this panel departs from the transformative (justice) approaches, specifically the accountability and community organizing strategies of variously situated racialized women, as well as queer, gender non-binary, and trans communities of color.

Mimi Kim, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, Cal State University Long Beach. Dr. Mimi Kim provides an overview of transformative justice, its history over the past 20 years, and the promise and limitations of transformative justice in the era of #MeToo and Defund the Police.

Xhercis Méndez, Associate Professor, Women and Gender Studies, Cal State University, Fullerton. Dr. Xhercis Méndez discusses her recently published piece for Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies entitled “Beyond Nassar: A Transformative Justice and Decolonial Feminist Approach to Campus Sexual Assault.”

Full event listing

Jane Ward
The Tragedy of Heterosexuality
Jane Ward

In her new book, “The Tragedy of Heterosexuality”, Jane Ward interrogates one of the basic premises of the current LGBT rights movement: that heterosexuality is easier than queerness. Ward asks: for whom, and under what conditions, is straightness easier? Drawing on 20th and 21st century examples of the failure and dysfunction of heterosexuality, she illuminates the seemingly obvious but unrelentingly ignored possibility that while being straight is largely beneficial for men, the same is often not true for women, especially women of color, for whom the institution of heterosexuality has been a site of violence, control, diminishment, and disappointment.

Jane Ward is professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies at University of California Riverside, where she teaches courses in feminist, queer, and heterosexuality studies.

Full event listing


Jennifer Doyle
Et Tu: Truth Telling Between Women

In his lectures on truth-telling and government, Michel Foucault uses the term alethurgy to name “the set of verbal procedures by which one brings to light that which is laid down as true as opposed to the false, hidden, inexpressible, unforeseen or forgotten”. He offers the following axiom: “there is no exercise of power without something like an alethurgy.” In this talk, centered on truth-telling between women in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels, I take up alethurgy’s shadows — those zones marked by the systems which reproduce power and authority as hidden, inexpressible and forgotten.

Jennifer Doyle is an English professor at UC Riverside. Currently, Jennifer Doyle is working on a collection of essays on art and sport. She is also writing about paranoia, harassment and the workplace.

Full event listing

Jennifer Hirsch
Intersections of Power: Sexual Assault, Public Health, and the Making of Sexual Citizens

The fear of campus sexual assault has become an inextricable part of the college experience. Research has shown that by the time they graduate, as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will have been sexually assaulted. But why is sexual assault such a common feature of college life? And what can be done to prevent it? Drawing on the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) at Columbia University, the most comprehensive study of sexual assault on a campus to date, Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan present an entirely new framework that emphasizes sexual assault’s social roots― transcending current debates about consent, predators in a “hunting ground,” and the dangers of hooking up.

Jennifer Hirsch is Professor, Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, at Columbia University. Hirsch’s research spans five intertwined domains: the anthropology of love; gender, sexuality and migration; sexual, reproductive and HIV risk practices; social scientific research on sexual assault and undergraduate well-being, and the intersections between anthropology and public health.

Full event listing

Melinda Cooper
Capitalism and the Question of Geneaology

In this talk, Melinda Cooper asks why periods of capitalist breakdown are so often experienced as crises of reproduction and why the imagined solutions to such crises so predictably involve a return to reproductive order, with its attendant hierarchies of gender and race. The paper casts a critical eye on the role played by “reproduction” in Marxist feminist and anti-racist thought, arguing that the concept too often performs foundational and restorative work of its own. Professor Cooper begins by problematizing the role of ‘reproduction’ in Marx’s theory of capitalism, arguing that while Marx in volume 1 of Capital appeared to neglect or marginalize the role of women’s reproductive labour, he in fact made it foundational to the labour theory of value.

Melinda Cooper is Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney. Cooper’s research focuses on the broad areas of social studies of finance, neoliberalism and new social conservatisms. Her monograph ‘Family Values: Between Neoliberalism and the New Social Conservatism’, was published in Zone Book’s Near Futures series in 2017. She is currently working on two research projects. The first is an ARC-funded investigation into the politics of public debt with a particular focus on Virginia school public choice theory and supply-side economics. The second project focuses on the economic politics of the far-right.

Full event listing