Black feminist speaker series to debut at the UO Oct. 19

The Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies is hosting a new speaker series, New Directions in Black Feminist Studies, this year at the University of Oregon.

The series brings four black feminist scholars from universities around the country to discuss their research on race, culture, sexuality, slavery, intersectionality and more. Speakers will be on campus in October, December, February and April.

“Given the UO’s efforts to make campus more inclusive — from the hiring of black faculty to considering renaming particular buildings — this is a crucial time to engage with black feminist work,” said Shoniqua Roach, assistant professor of black feminist theory.

Roach said she worked to find engaging scholars to share their progressive research on social justice, feminism and culture.

Mireille Miller-Young, associate professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the first presenter in the series. She will be in Gerlinger Lounge on Friday, Oct. 19, to discuss her work on black feminism, labor and sex work.

Next in the series is Emily Owens, assistant professor of history at Brown University. Her current book, “Fantasies of Consent: Sex, Affect, and Commerce in 19th Century New Orleans,” focuses on the cultural and legal history of sex trafficking in New Orleans.

Owens will discuss her research on sexuality, slavery and affect in the Crater Lake South room at the Erb Memorial Union on Dec. 6 at 12 p.m.

Concepts of black feminism and social justice are becoming a more integral part of coursework at the UO, Roach said. Last year, the Teaching Engagement Program identified black feminist concepts of intersectionality as a central concept in a proposed multicultural requirement.

Erica Edwards, an associate professor of English from Rutgers University, will be discussing her work on feminism, internationalism and state power in the Crater Lake South room at noon Feb. 7.

Jennifer Nash will close out the speaker series Thursday, April 18. Nash is an associate professor of African-American studies and gender and sexuality studies at Northwestern University. Attendees can expect to learn about black feminism, intersectionality and contemporary feminist politics at Nash’s presentation, also in the Crater Lake South room.

“Students, staff and faculty alike can look forward to engaging dialogues about how we can embrace and mine the radical potential of black feminism in the work that we do on campus and in our everyday lives,” Roach said. “The black feminist scholars I invited are doing work on some of the most pressing issues in the contemporary U.S.”

The speaker series is sponsored by various campus departments including the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of English and the Office of the President.

To learn more about the New Directions in Black Feminist Studies speaker series see the online calendar event listing.

—By Bryan Dorn, University Communications