American photojournalist, portrait photographer, and author Ellen Warner will discuss her project, “The Second Half,” the basis for her book, The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty, published by the Brandeis University Press. Portraits from the book will be on view in Kniznick Gallery from Sept. 29 - Oct. 29, 2022.
An opening reception for the exhibition will follow, with copies of Warner’s book available for purchase and signing.
The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty (Brandeis University Press, 2022) explores, in photographic portraits and interviews, how the second half of life is experienced by women from many different cultures. From a French actress to a British novelist, from an Algerian nomad to a Saudi Arabian doctor, and an American politician, Ellen Warner traveled all over the world to interview women about their lives. She asked them what they learned in the first half that was helpful in the second, and what advice they would give to younger women.
Three members of the Brandeis community join acclaimed sculptor Nancy Schön in a conversation about women and aging across contexts and cultures, with Margaret M. Gullette, Resident Scholar at the WSRC, Sarah Lamb, Chair of the Anthropology Department, and Harleen Singh, Director of the WSRC and Senior Associate Provost for Faculty and Global Affairs.
Margaret M. Gullette currently works as a Resident Scholar at the Women's Studies Research Center, Brandeis University. Her latest award-winning book is Ending Ageism, or How Not to Shoot Old People (2017), which won the Modern Language Association Prize for Independent Scholars and the Florence Denmark Award from Division 35 of the American Psychological Association for contributions to women and aging. She is the first non-psychologist to earn this award. Her other award-winning books include Declining to Decline and Agewise. Her essays are often cited as notable in Best American Essays, most recently in 2021, 2018, 2016, and 2015. She is currently writing a book-length manuscript titled American Eldercide.
Sarah Lamb is Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and Professor of Anthropology and Women’s. Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University. After undergraduate training in religious studies at Brown University and graduate training in anthropology at the University of Chicago, she became a postdoctoral fellow in medical anthropology and sociocultural gerontology at the University of California at San Francisco. Her research focuses on ageing, gender, families, ethical strivings, and understandings of personhood in India and the United States. Her books include: White Saris and Sweet Mangoes: Aging, Gender and Body in North India; Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad; and (as editor) Successful Aging as a Contemporary Obsession: Global Perspectives. Her latest book, Being Single in India: Stories of Gender, Exclusion, and Possibility, was published in June. Lamb is the editor of the Rutgers University Press book series Global Perspectives on Aging. Lamb is the recipient of several major grants and awards, including a 2019 to 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellowship.
Nancy Schön is a Boston-based sculptor known for her warm, evocative representations of human and animal figures. Her first public art commission brought her deserved acclaim. In 1987, the Friends of the Boston Public Garden commissioned Make Way for Ducklings, her sculpture based on Robert McCloskey’s classic of children’s literature. In 1991, as part of the START Treaty Summit ceremonies, First Lady Barbara Bush presented Raisa Gorbachev with a replica of her ducklings which is now in Novodevichy Park in Moscow and was given “on behalf of the children of the United States to the children of the Soviet Union.” Schön’s career as a bronze sculptor began long before the ducklings. She has received dozens of sculpture commissions, public and private, and has exhibited throughout the United States and abroad, including 21 one-woman shows. The grants, awards, medals, board memberships, honorary chairs, appointments, acquisitions, and exhibitions Schön has earned, attest to her accomplishments.
Along with her artistic career over the years, Schön has also been a community activist. She is known as the “Grandmother” of a 40,000-square-foot world-class skate park that opened under the Zakim Bridge in 2016. In addition, she has raised large sums of money for non-profit groups by designing zipper pulls, pins, pendants, small sculptures, and large bronze murals as “Donor Opportunities.”
Nancy married Donald Schön in 1952, and has four children, eleven grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren, with one on the way.
Harleen Singh is Senior Associate Provost for Faculty and Global Affairs, Director of the Women’s Studies Research Center, and Associate Professor of South Asian Literature and Women's Studies at Brandeis University. She and Sarah Lamb founded the South Asian Studies Program at Brandeis and Singh served as its Chair from 2007-2016. She is the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees at Brandeis. Her writing on novels from India and Pakistan, on Indian film, and book reviews on Hip-Hop music, sexuality, and feminism have been published in various leading journals. Her chapters on women warriors and South Asian women writers are included in seminal book collections. Her monograph, The Rani of Jhansi: Gender, History, and Fable in India (Cambridge, 2014), interprets the conflicting, mutable images of an historical icon as they change over time in literature, film, history, and popular culture. The book is in its second reprint and has been reviewed in The Telegraph, Economic and Political Weekly, The Book Review, BIBLIO, and South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies. Her interdisciplinary work in English, Hindi, Urdu, and Punjabi is focused on women, history, politics, and identity in literature and film. Her next book, Contemporary Debates in Postcolonial Feminism, is being published by Routledge in 2021. Her current book projects include a critical translation of Amrita Pritam's seminal partition novel Pinjar and a monograph titled Half an Independence: Women, Violence, and Modern Lives in India. Professor Singh is a recipient of the ACLS Burkhardt fellowship and was a resident fellow at the National Humanities Center.
Ellen Warner, photojournalist, portrait photographer, and author of The Second Half: Forty Women Reveal Life After Fifty, and Judy Norsigian, author and co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves, join in a conversation moderated by Bernadette Brooten, Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, Emerita, Brandeis University.
Bernadette J. Brooten, Kraft-Hiatt Professor of Christian Studies, of Women's and Gender Studies, of Classical Studies, and of Religious Studies at Brandeis University, is founder and director of the Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project. This project aims to create Jewish, Christian, and Muslim sexual ethics rooted in freedom, mutuality, meaningful consent, responsibility, and female (as well as male) pleasure, untainted by slave-holding values. Brooten heads a team of scholars, activists, artists, and policy analysts who are disentangling the nexus of slavery, religion, women, and sexuality. They aim to help religious and other people complete the abolition of slavery and move beyond harmful racial and sexual stereotypes.
Brooten was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for 2011–2012 to write a book on early Christian women who were enslaved or who owned enslaved laborers. She has written Women Leaders in The Ancient Synagogue: Inscriptional Evidence and Background Issues (1982), Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism (1996), for which she received three awards, and she has edited Beyond Slavery: Overcoming Its Religious and Sexual Legacies (2010). She has also published on various topics in ancient Jewish and early Christian history. In addition to a MacArthur Fellowship, she has held fellowships from the Harvard Law School, the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and many other agencies. Brooten studied at the University of Portland (B.A. 1971), the University of Tübingen, Hebrew University, and Harvard University (Ph.D. 1982).
Judy Norsigian is a co-founder of Our Bodies Ourselves who served as executive director of the organization from 2001 to 2015. She is currently chair of the OBOS board of directors. An internationally renowned speaker and author on a range of women’s health concerns, her areas of focus include women and health care reform, abortion and contraception, childbirth (especially the role of midwifery), genetics and reproductive technologies, and drug and device safety. She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including NBC Nightly News, Al Jazeera, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Oprah, Fox News and The Current. Judy has been an author and editor for each of the nine editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves, the organization’s landmark book on sexuality and reproductive health. Personal recognitions include an honorary doctorate from Boston University (2007). Additional honors include: being named one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s eNews; Public Service Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association; Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Annual Recognition Award; Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers; and the Massachusetts Health Council Award. Judy graduated from Radcliffe College in 1970. She lives in Newton, Massachusetts.
Ellen Warner began her career as a photojournalist in 1969 and has photographed all over the world since then, except for fifteen years when her children were young. In 1997 she started writing travel articles to accompany her photographs. Warner’s travel articles have been published in The New York Times, Travel and Leisure, and The Traveller. Over the years Warner also developed a specialty in author portraits and has worked for most publishing houses in New York and London. Since 2006, she has worked on “The Second Half.”