Women's History Series

In coordinating Women's History Series (WHS), the Sarah Doyle Center staff develops a theme to build our programming around during the academic year. We concentrate our WHS programming primarily in Spring (March, specifically, for Women’s History Month), although we do occasionally plan smaller WHS events in Fall. When space permits, we often include Women’s History Month events that other centers, departments, and/or student organizations plan during March and will list the sponsoring organization in the description where appropriate.

Previous WHS themes and major speakers/events that our staff has planned from that past several years have included the following (for a digital copy of the WHS calendars, click on the themes below).

*select events from each month listed below:

"Cultivating Radical Coalition" (2019)

Mona Abo-Zena - Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education and Care at the University of Massachusetts Boston, gave a lecture "It must be that time of the month.”: Muslim girls navigating coming of age and cultural stigma around menstruation."

Alisa Bierria - Assistant Professor in Ethnic Studies at the University of California Riverside, gave a lecture "Radical Relationality and the Future of Feminist Anti-Violence Praxis."

Charlene Carruthers - author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements (2018) gave a lecture "Radical Coalition Building."

“Remixing Storytelling: Gender, Media, & Creative Expressions” (2018)

Gabby Rivera - author of Juliet Takes a Breath (2016)  gave a keynote lecture “Inspiring Radical Creativity: Empowering Young, Diverse Voices to Tell Their Own Stories,” with a book signing immediately following.

Dio Ganhdih - a Brooklyn-based Indigenous (Akwesasne-Mohawk, Cherokee) Queer MC gave a lecture/performance “Reindigenizing, Decolonizing: Indigenous Queer Artistry.”

Climbing Poe Tree - performance artists who use multimedia art to address themes of racial inequality, environmental injustice, language barriers, and carving out a sense of place for oppressed identities. They gave a public performance “Take Root to Break Through.” In collaboration with Pride Series and the LGBTQ Center.

Ruth Nicole Brown - Associate Professor in Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her lecture “Black Girl Genius” focused on her work with Saving Our Lives, Hear Our Truths, a practice based, publicly engaged, collectively organized space for Black girls to envision Black girlhood anew.

“Healing for Sustainable Resistance” (2017)

Layli Maparyan - Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women and a renowned scholar on Womanism and Black womanist thought. She gave a lecture on “Luxocracy: Womanist Architecture of a Different World and Recipe for Transformation in these Times”

Margot Lee Shetterly - author of Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race (2016), gave a keynote address followed by a book signing. In addition to this talk, we co-organized a day of screenings (3 showings) of the film Hidden Figures. In collaboration with the Science Center and the Center for the Study of Slavery and Justice.

Harriet's Apothecary - a collective of Black cis-women, queer, and trans people who are artists and healers. Several healers hosted a healing village installed in the Sarah Doyle Women's Center for a full day of healing offerings.

Waziyatawin - a Dakota scholar and Canada Research Chair in the Indigenous Governance Program at the University of Victoria. Her research focuses on indigenous women's roles in resisting colonialism, recovering indigenous knowledge, and truth-telling as part of a restorative justice process. Waziyatawin gave a public lecture.

“Imagine Resistance: Movements for a Better World” (2016)*

Virgie Tovar - author, activist, and one of the nation’s leading experts on fat discrimination and body image, gave a public lecture “#RiotDontDiet vs #LoveYourBody: Fat Feminism(s) & the Language of Anti/Assimilation.”

Joshua Allen - organizer, abolitionist, and freedom fighter, led a workshop “Organizing at the Intersections of Black Lives Matter & Gender Justice.”

Loretta J. Ross - co-founder of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and involved with coining the term “Reproductive Justice.” Ross’s public lecture focused on this intersectional framework to think beyond reproductive rights and abortion, to think critically on how to ensure the holistic wellbeing of people.

Opal Tometi  - co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the historic political project and network that launched in the wake of the murder of Trayvon Martin. Ross gave a public lecture on the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Jennicet Gutierrez - a Latina activist, organizer, and cofounder of Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement. Gutierrez gave a lecture on Trans Liberation and the physical and structural violence trans woman still face in this country, including violence in detention centers.

“Envisioning Feminist Futures” (2015)

adrienne maree brown - co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements (2015). brown gave a talk and writing workshop.

Christine Vachon ‘83 - co-founder of Killer Films Production, has produced a range of award-winning films such as Poison, Far From Heaven, Boys Don’t Cry and I Shot Andy Warhol. Vachon gave a public lecture with reception following. In collaboration with the Modern Culture and Media Department.

Activism, Action, and Advocacy: SDWC 40th Anniversary Symposium - Our symposium discussed the activist history of the Center and the different ways SDWC and Brown alumnae have put feminist theory into action. Keynote speaker: Rinku Sen ‘88.

Reina Gossett - the Activist-In-Residence at Barnard College’s Center for Research on Women, gave a lecture on “Trans Activism: Organizing and Allyship,” which spoke to her work in the LGBTQ movement, and the trans prison abolition movement. She also led a workshop on organizing in social justice movements.

Sarah Koenig - journalist, gave a talk about “Women in Radio,” speaking about her career in radio and the power of storytelling. In October 2014, Serial, a spin off podcast she hosted was released and soon became the number one podcast on iTunes.

Nora Fox ‘08 - singer and song-writer who was working on her debut album drawing from traditions of folk, soul, classical and pop music. She hosted a workshop on songwriting.

Franny Choi ‘11 - a writer, spoken word artist, & teaching artist for Project VOICE, performed a small collection of her pieces and led a workshop on spoken word.

Activism, Action, and Advocacy” (2014)*

Cristy C. Road - a Cuban-American graphic novelist and spoken word artist and author of the graphic novel Spit and Passion (2012).

Activism, Action, and Advocacy: Forty Years at the Sarah Doyle Women’s Center - An exhibition of archival objects and oral history narratives that provide a window into the past, present, & future of the SDWC. For a digital copy of the panels from the exhibition and the 40th Anniversary booklet, see this link.

Dr. Jean A. King - Professor of Psychiatry at UMass Medical School. She met with students for a conversation about her academic/career trajectory and involvement with Daybreak Resources for Women and Children of Worcester, a non-profit organization that provides support for victims of domestic violence.

Ladies DJ Workshop - The Avenue Concept, a local public art program, presented a lecture on the history of women in the typically male-dominated realm of DJing and how female DJs today navigate that space. The talk included a performance by local DJ, Sister Squid.

“Intersecting Movements” (2013)

The Brown Boi Project - who describe themselves as “community of masculine of center womyn, men, twospirit people, transmen, and allies committed to transforming our privilege of masculinity, gender, and race into tools for achieving racial and gender justice.”

Julia Serano - writer, spoken word performer, trans-bi activist, biologist, and author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity (2007) gave a public lecture on “The Intersection of Feminism, Queer, and Trans Politics”

Danielle McGuire - Assistant Professor of History at Wayne State University and author of At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance—A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power (2010). McGuire gave a public book talk.

Mimi Nguyen - Associate Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Asian American Studies at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and author of The Gift of Freedom: War, Debt, and Other Refugee Passages (2012). Nguyen gave a public lecture on this book and also a separate zine making workshop.

*Notes: The 3/21 lecture with Janet Mock (WHS 2016 calendar) and the 3/12 and 3/17 lectures with Samhita Mukhopadhyay and Katsi Cook (WHS  2014 calendar) were cancelled due to logistical issues after the physical calendars went to print.