Gender, Sexuality, and Political Action Conference
To culminate the 2002/2003 Fellows Program of the Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, Vanderbilt University hosted a conference on gender, sexuality, and political action, which brought together scholars and political activists for discussion about the rich intersections between academic and activist work on issues of gender and sexuality. The conference, on October 31st to November 1st, was sponsored by the Warren Center, with additional support from the Department of History and the Program in Womens Studies.
Local as well as global issues were addressed in the conference sessions. Opening remarks were delivered by Provost and Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Nick Zeppos. Participants from the Vanderbilt and Nashville, TN, communities included Victor Anderson, Associate Professor of Christian Ethics, who represents Brothers United, an education program designed to provide HIV prevention education to gay and bisexual men of color as well as to promote self empowerment and community building; Jennifer Carlisle, a senior in the College of Arts and Science and chair of the Vanderbilt Living Wage Campaign; Pamela DeGroff, spokesperson and newsletter editor for Tennessee Vals, a support group for transgendered people; Carolyn Dever, Acting Director of Womens Studies, Associate Professor of English, and 2002/2003 Spence and Rebecca Webb Wilson Fellow of the Warren Center; José Medina, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and 2002/2003 Fellow, Warren Center; Alison Piepmeier, Associate Director of Womens Studies and Senior Lecturer in Womens Studies; Rowena Olegario, Assistant Professor of History; Abby Rubenfeld, a Nashville attorney whose practice focuses on family law, sexual orientation issues, and AIDS-related issues, who serves on the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign; John Sloop, Associate Professor of Communication Studies and 2002/2003 Jacque Voegeli Fellow of the Warren Center; Becca Stevens, Chaplain, St. Augustines Chapel at Vanderbilt, who founded Magdalene, a residential housing and recovery program for Nashville women with a criminal history of prostitution and drug abuse.
Visiting speakers included Monica J. Casper, an internationally recognized medical sociologist and biomedical ethicist, who serves as Executive Director of the Intersex Society of North America; Lillian Daniel, the Senior Minister at the Redeemer United Church of Christ, New Haven, and chair of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the economic and social well being of working families in Connecticut's urban centers; Meri Nana-Ama Danquah, author of Willow Weep for Me: A Black Womans Journey Through Depression (1998), the first book published by an African-American to address the topic of depression; Emi Koyama, a multi-issue social justice activist who synthesizes feminist, Asian, survivor, dyke, queer, sex worker, slut, intersex, genderqueer, and crip politics; Scott Marks, leader of the New Growth Outreach Ministries, who serves as the New Haven director of the Connecticut Center for a New Economy; and Minnie Bruce Pratt, a member of the Graduate Faculty of the Union Institute and author of numerous publications including S/HE and Walking Back Up Depot Street.
For more information, contact the Center's executive director, Mona C. Frederick.
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