Wednesday, February 22, 2017

You are invited: Unbound Visual Arts Exhibition at Boston City Hall, supported by WGS!

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), a UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate, has been invited to present the Exhibition Earned: Women in Business & Labor at Boston City Hall from 8 March to 6 April 2017. The Opening Reception will be in the Scollay Square Gallery on Thursday March 16th from 5 to 7 pm. Earlier that afternoon, the Hubert H. Humphrey Program at Boston University is holding a Panel Discussion with presentations by Humphrey Fellows and BU Faculty on gender equality in the workforce around the globe (Piedmonte Room fifth floor). These events will be in celebration of both International Women's Day-8 March and Women's History Month-March 2017. Boston University's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program is a cosponsor of the UVA Exhibition.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Drawn from the UVA Exhibition website:
Unbound Visual Arts
Ruth Rieffanaugh, President
Martin J. Walsh, Mayor and Julie Burros, Chief of Arts and Culture
Earned: Women in Business and Labor 
March 8 - April 6, 2017
An exhibition about the roles of women in business and labor and their sacrifices, challenges, leadership, and innovation
Exhibition Design by Alexandra Kontsevaia Peterson and
Graphic Design by Cait Stuff
Scollay Square Gallery, Boston City Hall, Boston, MA 02108

UVA artists: Nancer Ballard, Nancy Hall Brooks, Linda Clave, Anita Helen Cohen, Jennifer Jean Costello, Lynda Goldberg, Sarah Iwany, Nhung Mackey, Aline Martini, Brenda Gael McSweeney, Diane Sheridan, Maria Termini, Andrea Zampitella, Ellen Zellner

with support from the Mayor's Office for Women's Advancement, the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at Boston University, the Boston Women's Heritage Trail, the Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program (WGS) at Boston University, and Gender & International Development Initiatives of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (GaIDI/WSRC)

Opening Reception with live music and short artist talks - Thursday, March 16th 5-7 pm preceded by Panel Discussion & Presentation by the BU Humphrey Fellowship Program on Gender Equality in the Workforce 4-5 pm in the Piedmonte Room (fifth floor)

There is also a special website related to Worker's Rights & Equality here
More about Women's History Month here
And about United Nations International Women's Day 2017 here

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is organizing an exhibition related to the historic theme of “women in business and labor” at Boston City Hall’s Scollay Square Gallery, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201. This exhibition is under the supervision and jurisdiction of the City of Boston's Arts and Culture Office. Learn more about UVA's thematic curated exhibitions here.

The purpose of the exhibition, through art created by today’s artists as well as other relevant components (documents, books, music, videos, artifacts, poetry etc.) is to provide the exhibition audience with an opportunity to learn and experience this important historical topic and its relevancy to modern times.

The exhibition coincides with Women’s History Month in the United States and International Women’s Day on March 8th, which has a 2017 theme of “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50:50 by 2030.” The exhibition will run from March 8 - April 6, 2017. The opening reception on Thursday March 16th, 2017 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm with live music, refreshments, and short artist talks is free and open to the public.

Cover: Brighton-Allston Historical Society

Statement prepared by the Curator, John Quatrale, for this exhibition:

"The United States has a long history of women in the paid workforce and in business. But, full inclusion ‘in the world of work’ and participation has taken almost three centuries for improvements to occur and for women to begin to achieve gender equality in participation and benefits. Those successes and achievements have included higher pay, job appreciation, better working conditions, more opportunities, and increased value to their local, state and national economies. Those changes were often the result of severe hardships and sacrifices by women of all races, nationalities, backgrounds, education, and regions. They challenged laws and regulations as well as social standards and stereotypes and organized women to change public opinion. As a result of that hard work and commitment, organizations and businesses began to slowly change all across the United States and in many nations and eventually they were codified progressive measures by governments. More women have now become empowered to contribute to their personal, family and community well-beings in the United States and throughout the world. These improvements are manifested in many areas of today’s society such as the family, corporations, education, sports, healthcare, arts and culture, and the military. Despite these changes, however, the rights and health of women continue to be threatened in the United States and internationally. ”

Save the Date: WGS Cosponsoring GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) Event on 8 March 2017!

GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) Presents
An International Women’s Day event at 
The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center:

Readings from Black Anthology: Adult Adoptees Claim Their Space, by the An-Ya Project, then Performance by Susan Harris O’Connor

Introduction to the An-Ya Project and Brief Readings by Dr. Mei-Mei Ellerman, WSRC Resident Scholar-Chair of GaIDI, and Janet M. Price, PSYD, contributor to the Black Anthology (co-edited by Diane R. Christian, Susan Harris O’Connor and Mei-Mei Ellerman)

Performance by Susan Harris O’Connor, MSW, award-winning writer- of a monologue on “Identity” from the Harris Narratives: An Introspective Study of a Transracial Adoptee (Sue is African-American, Seminole)

Closing Remarks by Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, WSRC Resident Scholar and UNESCO/UNITWIN Director, Boston University’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program 

Q&A Session and Book Signing

Date:  March 8, 2017
Time: 12:30-2:30 pm
Place: Liberman-Miller Lecture Hall, The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC), 515 South Street, Waltham, MA 02453 [contact:]

Sponsor:  GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) / WSRC
Co-sponsors:  The Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center; Brandeis Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program; UNESCO/UNITWIN Network on Gender, Culture & Development at BU’s Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program; Unbound Visual Arts, Inc.                         

OPEN to the PUBLIC! Parking behind WSRC. 
Accessible via Commuter rail (Brandeis/Roberts stop)

                                                              Flyer: Mei-Mei, Brenda, Nicole Rizzo

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Unbound Visual Arts (UVA) hosting Annual Celebration of the Arts on Mardi Gras!

5th Annual Mardi Gras & Celebration of the Arts
When: Fat Tuesday February 28, 2017 6:00 - 10:00 pm

Design & Photo by Aline Martini for Unbound Visual Arts

Where: The Green Briar Restaurant & Pub, Kinvara Room, 
304 Washington St., Brighton, MA 02135 (617) 789-4100 

Art Show & Sale, Light Hors d'oeuvres, Dancing, Silent Auction, Raffle, Slide Show, and lots of free decorations - beads, masks and feathers for everyone! 

featuring Live Music by A Confederacy of Dumpsters

More information here:

Highlights Reel 2015/2016!

Our UNESCO/UNITWIN Highlights Reel for June 2015-Dec. 2016 puts an accent on inter-country and inter-university collaboration. Hope you will enjoy this visual depiction of some of the remarkable achievements of the Network Partners and Affiliates in India, West Africa, and here in Greater Boston, ranging from earning awards to preparing publications and hosting special events.

View the Reel at:

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Carrie Preston Presents in Barcelona at the International Yeats Society Symposium!

The Barcelona Symposium 2016 of the International Yeats Society focused on "Yeats & Asia: Imagining Asia through Yeats, Imagining Yeats through Asia." Dr. Carrie Preston, Director of BU's WGS Program, gave a keynote entitled "Theater in the ‘Deep’: W. B. Yeats’s At the Hawk’s Well and Japanese Noh." Here is how Carrie described her presentation:

My keynote considered how Yeats’s dancing ghosts became teachers in dramas intended to produce a desired Irish national subject. In 1916, precisely a century ago, Yeats called for an “unreal theatre” that fights reality itself: “Now the art I long for is also a battle but it takes place in the depths of the soul, and one of the antagonists does not wear a shape known to the world or speak a mortal tongue. It is the struggle of a dream with the world.” This could be a description of the ancient Japanese noh theater, in which ghosts or celestial beings reenact a conflict or outright battle onstage but are actually trying to relinquish their own struggle with the world and find peace. Soon after he began to work with Ezra Pound on draft translations of noh, Yeats was convinced that he had discovered the dramatic form he had been seeking, one that was not bound to realism but taught audiences to reach into the “deeper” and for Yeats, more “Irish,” parts of the mind. Yeats understood that noh is a didactic and nationalist theater, offering teachers in the form of ghosts of noble warriors and great lovers from Japanese legend and history. He hoped to adapt noh to stage his country’s legends and teach Irish audiences to revive their own national art that had been suppressed by British colonialism.

Photo courtesy: Carrie Preston

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Dr. Margaret 'Peg' Snyder (our Affiliate-Member) celebrated by distinguished journalist Barbara Crossette!

Many of us from the United Nations were delighted during a recent meet-up in Santa Fe to learn that our colleague Margaret 'Peg' Snyder was showcased in a feature by journalist Barbara Crossette, former UN Bureau Chief for The New York Times. Crossette, calling Peg the UN's first feminist, recalls her contributions over the decades from the time period she was posted in Kenya with the UN Training and Research Centre for Africa, to when she was the Founding Director of UNIFEM (now UN Women), and concluding with Peg's contributions that indeed "never stop."

Photo credit: Dulcie Leimbach
Crossette's feature includes Peg's initiatives "in her own words" such as those making visible women's workloads in developing countries, countless innovative activities boosting women's equality and empowerment, and combating violence against women --- all pioneering at the time.

Read the full tribute and Peg's story here:

Congratulations Peg!

Humphrey Fellows Presenting Perspectives on Women in the Workforce Around the Globe!

Our UNESCO/UNITWIN Affiliate, The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Program at BU, will be hosting an exiting event on 'Women in the Workforce: Perspectives of Emerging Global Leaders' on Friday, November 18th, 2016. The Humphrey Fellows hailing from: Bolivia, Cameroon, Fiji, Iran, Mauritania, Laos, Pakistan, Panama, Turkey, and Zambia will be sharing their insights on women's participation in the labor force in their countries, followed by interactions on gender equality globally. More details in the flyer below!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

You are invited: 10th Anniversary Celebration of Beyond the Book!

Be sure not to miss the Reception at the BPL's Faneuil Branch, Saturday November 12th from 11 am - 1 pm: details below! Boston University's Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program and the Gender and International Development Initiatives of Brandeis University's Women's Studies Research Program are delighted to be cosponsors! This Exhibition is coordinated by Ronni Komarow, Secretary of the Brighton-Allston Historical Society, our UNESCO/UNITWIN Network Affiliate, and Board Member of the Friends of the Faneuil Branch. 

We are excited to present

the 10th annual "Beyond the Book" juried exhibition
of artist's books and book-related art.

On view November 12, 2016 — January 28, 2017
at both Brighton & Faneuil Branches, Boston Public Library

Opening Reception and 10th Anniversary Celebration
Sat., November 12, 11 am. — 1 pm.


The event is at the FANEUIL BRANCH LIBRARY,
Oak Square, Brighton MA (directions at link below)


Visitors may use the Presentation School Foundation parking lot diagonally across Oak Square from the library (enter from Tremont St. at rear of building). 

Ms. Laura Montgomery, Director
Bunker Hill Community College Gallery

Many thanks to our supporters! Friends of the Faneuil Branch Library, Friends of the Brighton Branch Library, Women’s Caucus for Art, Boston University's Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, Gender & International Development Initiatives (GaIDI) of the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Presentation School Foundation.

We are proud to be promoting jointly with Allston Open Studios,
which is also next weekend:

Image above, "Farenheit 451 Revised," mixed-media assemblage with books
and other found objects by Ruth Segaloff

Poster above courtesy: 2016 Beyond the Book

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

You are invited: Worlds of The Tale of Genji!

Message from our WGS colleague J. Keith Vincent,
Chair, BU's Dept. of World Languages & Literatures
Associate Professor of Japanese and Comparative Literature and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies:

"Please join us at Boston University for an interdisciplinary symposium celebrating a new English translation of the world’s first novel written by a woman: Lady Murasaki’s 11th century masterpiece, The Tale of Genji. The day will begin with a keynote by the translator, Dartmouth Professor Dennis Washburn, and will include guest talks by art historians Melissa McCormick (Harvard) and Timon Screech (SOAS/School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London), as well as talks by BU faculty from WLL, Art & Architecture, English, and Romance Studies, and a panel of BU and Harvard students currently reading the Washburn translation."

Flyer Courtesy WLL

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Report back on WGS's Inaugural Lunch Multimedia Presentations!

WGS/BU's inaugural Lunch Discussion of the 2016-17 academic year featured multi-media presentations by Vrinda Varma, Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research Fellow, and Diana Garvin, Visiting Scholar. This event was hosted at The Center for Gender, Sexuality & Activism of BU and co-sponsored by GaIDI (Gender & International Development Initiatives) of the Women's Studies Research Center at Brandeis. 

Vrinda Varma's work on food narratives from Kerala informed her lunch discussion presentation on September 21st. By situating the emergence of food and cooking narratives in print media, Vrinda deciphered the politics of textually creating a “woman’s place,” in the Kerala of the early 20th century. The late 19th and early 20th centuries are largely seen as periods of ‘modernism’ and ‘renaissance’ in Kerala Society. However, as is the case with history from across the world, this project of modernism and reformation seems to, by and large, ignore women. Vrinda says that at a time when Kerala society was transforming itself and ridding itself of ancient practices of caste, untouchability and problematic land-lease arrangements along with certain practices of marriage and conjugality, women’s needs and wants took a back seat. In the void created between the demands for a better society (for men) and the largely silent/silenced voices of women, emerged a new textuality— that of domesticity. This new domesticity sought to define the ideal mother, ideal wife and textualized ideals of femininity and womanliness within the private space of the home. Vrinda elaborated on how this new domesticity, hitherto alien to a majority in Kerala, was established through food narratives, recipes and other allied discussions on food as love, care and motherhood.

Diana Garvin's presentation on East African women's domestic labor in Fascist-period Italy was complemented by dramatic photographs illustrating the themes in her talk entitled: Black Milk: Colonial Foodways and Intimate Imperialism. Diana shared the following summary of her talk's main points:

This talk uses original Italian and Ethiopian sources to examine breastfeeding in the colonial marketplace as a key plank in the social construction of race and racism.  Specifically, I will examine the Italian Fascist regime’s propagandistic newsreels and unpublished photographs of Ethiopian markets in Addis Ababa, Harrar, QuĆ³rum, and Asmara in relation with postcolonial oral histories and architectural studies of these spaces.  While breastfeeding represented a significant arena of political struggle over the care and nourishment of future generations in the colonies, contemporary historical studies rarely examine this practice as a primary component of imperial foodways.   This stance builds on Kyla Wazana Tompkins’ assertion that food confuses physical borders between the self and racial others.  My talk contributes an intersectional approach to the discipline by using breastfeeding in the marketplace to investigate the Fascist regime’s twinned seizure of food and women’s bodies, a mode of cultural erasure that bell hooks refers to as “eating the other.”   Interweaving the voices of vendors, customers, architects, and government officials in this image-based study of Ethiopian marketplaces not only helps to untangle the filmic decisions and techniques that directors used to construct race and racism through mass media, but also offers a more cohesive portrait of women’s daily lives in Italian East Africa under Fascism.  Ultimately, I contend that the marketplace provided a powerful symbolic arena for forming, shaping, and perpetuating the racial thinking that defined Ethiopian and Italian people, markets, and foodways in terms of black and white. 

Why Breastfeeding Matters to the Study of the History of Gender and Race:
Breastmilk is almost every human being’s first food, and it is certainly mankind’s oldest. No time, space, or additional actors stand between the food producer and the food consumer. The mother feeds as the infant eats – because these actions are simultaneous, breastfeeding simplifies and essentializes all other foodways.  Although we rarely think of breastmilk as a food or breastfeeding as a foodchain, they most certainly are. Investigating breastfeeding as a foodway – or, to coin a term, as milkways, distills the complexity of local, regional, and national foodways down to the most elemental form: a one-to-one exchange of nutrients, fats, and proteins. Just as breastfeeding provides a key to unlock the meaning of foodways, milkways can also be used to denaturalize breastfeeding as a cozy, domestic act insulated from political meaning. Economic, social, and political concerns do not stop at the transom of the home, but rather intensify as they are enacted through cooking, feeding, and eating. This talk provides a historical case study analyzing breastfeeding as a foodway, an approach that demonstrates how public and the private spheres of life merge at the level of the everyday.  

Italian Breastfeeding Photography as a Case Study for the Creation, Dissemination, Use, and Afterlife of Racist Tropes:
Italian portrayals of both Black wetnursing and breastfeeding speak to larger issues of how race and racism are constructed and consumed.   Eroticism and anthropology constitute two planks of this racist platform.  But I believe that there is one more element in these images that helps to explain how these images shaped and propagated racism: these images are, ultimately, about intimate forms of feeding.  Their focus on the nutritive capacity of the Black female body points to both a fear, and a desire to ‘eat the other.’ In her essay of the same title, bell hooks figures this concept as the modern-day equivalent of ancient religious practices, wherein one person could embody the spirit and traits of another by consuming her heart.  Applying this concept to Italian representations of Black and White, I argue that nourishing and feeding across racial lines unravels all bodily essentialisms, and ultimately reveals the constructed nature of race.  French gastronome Brillat-Savarin said, and Italian epicure Artusi repeated, “Tell me what you eat, and I’ll tell you who you are.”  And therein lies the root of the Fascist regime’s fear:  how different were the colonizers from the colonized, if white bodies drank black milk?

L to R: WGS's Dr. Diane Balser, Humphrey Fellow Mahmoud Mohammadi, Dr. Ellen Rovner of the Brandeis WSRC, and WGS Visiting Scholar Dr. Diana Garvin; standing, Fulbright-Nehru Research Fellow, Vrinda Varma
The speakers were introduced by Dr. Brenda Gael McSweeney, UNITWIN Director at WGS/BU, and the talks were followed by lively interactions with Fellows of the Hubert H. Humphrey Program at BU hailing from six countries, Resident Scholars of the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center (WSRC), WGS Faculty, interested BU students, and greater Boston community members.