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College set to host feminism conference

MIDDLEBURY — The Gensler Family Symposium on Feminism in a Global Context will take place April 13-17. Supported with generous funds from the Gensler family, this annual conference is part of the Program in Gender, Sexuality & Feminist Studies and this year will be co-sponsored by the Center for the Comparative Study of Race & Ethnicity at Middlebury College. An exciting week of events with speakers and films is planned, culminating in a full-day conference on April 17. The conference is open to all.
This year’s theme is a meditation on what feminism can say about mass incarceration, the policing of poor communities, and the highly radicalized violence the state commits over and over again. Racial hierarchies have been built upon gender binaries since the birth of modernity. The hyper-masculinization of black and Latino communities and marking them as dangerous goes alongside the “racial innocence” of a white state.
Whatever response comes after Ferguson, after Trayvon Martin, after Eric Garner, after Tamir Rice, after decades of a war on the poor, they must include feminism’s intersectional analysis of how race and gender, class and nation, space and sexuality work together to punish some bodies in the name of protecting others.
The week kicks off on Monday, April 13, at 7 p.m. in the Crossroads Café, with a student event titled “Punishing Bodies at Middlebury.” On Tuesday, April 14, at 7 p.m. there will be a film screening of “The Central Park Five” in Gifford Lecture Hall. And on Wednesday, April 15, at 4:30 p.m. in the RAJ Conference Room, David Karp presents “Restorative Justice: A Framework for Campus Settings” with Dean of Students/Associate Dean for Judicial Affairs and Student Life Karen Guttentag and Commons Dean Natasha Chang.
Friday, April 17, has event scheduled throughout the day, including several panel discussions. Speakers include David Hernandez, presenting “Women and Children Last: Family Detention as Punishment”; Rebecca Tiger, presenting “Addiction, Surveillance and the Carceral State”; and Suzi Wizowaty presenting “Criminal Justice Reform in Vermont: The Changing Landscape.”
For more information and a full symposium schedule, visit sites.middlebury.edu/gensler2015.

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