Women's Studies Research Center

WSRC Events Spring 2023

title and microphone on orange background
"You Speak, I Listen" Audio Storytelling Project, 2022-2023

Audio storytelling can be used as a tool for education and social change, and its popularity has exploded in recent years with the rise of podcasting.

Over this past academic year, the WSRC was proud to present "The Second Half: 40 Women Reveal Life After 50," a solo exhibition in the Kniznick Gallery by American photojournalist, portrait photographer and author Ellen Warner, co-sponsored by Brandeis University Press. Over the course of 15 years, Ellen Warner interviewed and photographed women from different cultures about life after age 50 — from an author and translator in Connecticut to a sacred healer in Indonesia, a doctor in Saudi Arabia, a retired cook in Antigua and the first French woman TV anchor.

To further the conversation, listen in as a team of Brandeis journalism students share recent interviews with women and non-binary people aged 50+ who speak about the wisdom, resiliency and joy of the second half of life.

One of the interviewers is Brenna Pearlstein, a third-year student at Brandeis University studying Health: Science, Society, Policy and minoring in journalism. Originally from New York, Brenna is studying abroad in Sydney, Australia. Another interviewer is Jillian Brosofsky, a 22-year-old Brandeis senior studying journalism and psychology. She was born in Rhode Island.

Annemarie's story

Past Events

"Power Lines, Men's Work, and High Voltage Women" WSRC Scholar Lecture by Resident Scholar Susan Eisenberg"You Speak, I Listen" Audio Storytelling

12 p.m. Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The power grid — how and where it’s turned on and off, extended, or destroyed — is central to notions of "progress" and assertions of political power. An almost exclusively white male workforce constructs and maintains the power grid. We'll discuss changes needed for the utility industry to become an inclusive workplace.

Susan Eisenberg is a poet, oral historian, visual artist and policy analyst who was among the first women in the country to become a licensed journey-level electrician in union construction. The shifting vantage point of history and position, and conversation across generations, including to oneself, are recurring investigations in her nonfiction and poetry.

"Taking Initiative: Addressing the Challenges Facing Young Women Leaders" with WSRC Resident Scholar Phoebe K. Schnitzer, Student Partner Thea Rose (2023), and Carissa Durfee, Assistant Dean, Dean of Students Office

12 p.m. Tuesday, April 25, 2023 — Virtual

Interviews with Brandeis undergraduate women leaders reveal the difficulties they have faced when taking initiative — obstacles imposed both externally and internally. While culturally defined gender roles create discrimination and bias against women, various forms of self-doubt emerge as more potent inhibitors. Recommendations for strengthening initiative include addressing these challenges with group and individual interventions — for both young women and men alike.

The Holocaust Research Study Group Presents: Passing On, Not Passing Over: Intergenerational Memory of Holocaust History

11 a.m.-2 p.m. April 18, 2023 — Online

An annual virtual public event for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day 

How do we engage with the memory of Holocaust history and understand its relevance for succeeding generations?  

Our panel consists of a multidisciplinary group of eight women — two writers, a public artist, a sociologist, a journalist, a fine art photographer, a documentary filmmaker and a professor of public health in Germany. This panel of "second-generation" speakers (the generation born after the Holocaust) will engage with multiple themes of intergenerational memory of Holocaust history, including a gendered viewpoint.  A "third-generation" panel of undergraduate and graduate student participants has been invited to explore and articulate, in their own words, their thoughts on the importance of sustaining Holocaust memory.

More on the Holocaust Research Study Group

This event is free and open to the public. It is co-sponsored by the WSRC.

In Iran's Streets and on the World Stage: Two Artists Talk about Women, State and Politics with Sheida Soleimani and Marjan Kamali (Hybrid Event)

5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Join Author Marjan Kamali and artist Sheida Soleimani in conversation about the Iranian Women's Revolution.

Born in Turkey to Iranian parents, Kamali spent her childhood in Turkey, Iran, Germany, Kenya, and the U.S. She is the award-winning author of "The Stationery Shop," a national bestseller, and "Together Tea," a Massachusetts Book Award finalist. She is a 2022 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship.

Soleimani is an Iranian-American artist who is specifically interested in the intersections of art and activism, as well as how social media has shaped the landscape in current socio-political affairs and uprisings. The daughter of political refugees persecuted by the Iranian government in the early 1980s, Soleimani makes work that melds sculpture, collage and photography and highlights her own critical perspective on historical and contemporary socio-political occurrences in Iran.

This event will be a hybrid format with both an in-person and virtual audience.

"Indigenous Gender, Sexuality and Dance": Presentation and Movement Class by Evangelina Anne Suncere Macias, PhD

12 p.m. Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Professor Macias will offer a presentation of her research on topics of Indigenous gender and sexuality through burlesque arts and dance. A reading of her research paper will be followed by a fancy shawl dance experience for those in attendance

WSRC "Meet Your Professor": A Conversation with Dr. Faith Smith

4:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Born and brought up in Jamaica, Professor Faith Smith came to the United States as a graduate student. She is a beloved teacher, steadfast colleague and a stellar scholar. Her new book, "Strolling in the Ruins: The Caribbean's Non-Sovereign Modern in the Early 20th Century," is being published with Duke University.

Come attend the first-ever WSRC "Meet Your Professor" event and learn more about Professor Smith's journey, her life and her work in conversation with Harleen Singh, director of the Brandeis WSRC and senior associate provost for Faculty and Global Affairs.

7th Annual Alfredo and Demitra DiLuzio Concert dedicated in loving memory to Richard DiLuzio with reception to follow

3 p.m. Sunday, March 12, 2023

The Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center invites you to the seventh annual Alfredo and Demitra DiLuzio Concert, dedicated this year to the memory of Richard DiLuzio, an early supporter of the event. Eudaimonia, A Purposeful Period Band, a vibrant and individualistic orchestra that uses its musical work to lift up social and humanitarian work, will perform music by Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre (1665-1729).

Jacquet de la Guerre, one of the leading French composers of her generation, began her musical career as a child prodigy, and made her life in music at a time when being a professional woman in any field was something of a rarity. A charismatic and highly accomplished harpsichord soloist and accompanist, as a composer she was an experimentalist and innovator, working on a leading edge aesthetically. Her music combines a fresh Italian verve and sense of drama with the elegant refinements of the French Baroque.

Curated by WSRC scholar Dana Maiben and and led by Eudaimonia co-directors Vivian Montgomery, a WSRC alumna scholar, and violinist Julia McKenzie, the concert will feature soprano Pamela Murray and instrumentalists from Eudaimonia performing a selection from the wide variety of genres in which Jacquet excelled, including some of her extraordinary music for solo harpsichord, sonatas for strings, and the remarkable dramatic cantata Judith.

The concert will be held at the Slosberg Recital Hall, 415 South Street in Waltham. A dessert reception will follow at the WSRC, Epstein Building, 515 South Street in Waltham.

A Conversation with "The 8th" Director/Producer Aideen Kane (Virtual Event)

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, 2023

"The 8th" traces Ireland's campaign to remove the 8th Amendment — a constitutional ban on abortion. It tracks the transformation from a conservative state to a more liberal secular society. "The 8th" shows a country forging a new progressive path when reproductive rights are threatened all over the world. Join us for a virtual discussion of the film with director/producer Aideen Kane and Lisa Fishbayn Joffe, director of the Hadassah-Brandeis Institute.

Links to view the documentary in the three days leading up to the discussion will be sent to all registrants. A link to the discussion will also be sent to all registered attendees closer to the event.

*This event will be held in conjunction with the Hadassah Brandeis Institute.

Becky Behar: Interlaced

January – February 2023

Becky Behar's richly choreographed portraits and still lifes investigate motherhood, the passage of time and what we carry through generations. She began photographing her three children as they became adults. The compositions reflect embellished autobiographical and fictional narratives about their transition to adulthood and Behar's shifting identity. With incandescent subject matter emerging from rich shadows, the photographs evoke Dutch oil paintings, replete with symbols of transience, family and faith. Behar punctuates the portraits with still lifes that mark the contemporary, rendering plastic bags luminous amongst cherries and figs. Here, home is an idea, not a place.

Gallery hours: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Thursday

Exhibition Events

  • Opening Reception and Artist Talk: 5:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at the WSRC | In celebration of the opening of Interlaced, Becky Behar will discuss her process, current studio practice, and the photographs on view in the Kniznick Gallery through Feb. 22, 2023.
  • Artist-Guided Tour: 12 p.m. Feb. 8 at the WSRC | Join artist Becky Behar on a guided tour of her solo exhibition, Interlaced. Behar will discuss her influences and the context and process behind the exhibited works.
  • Artist in the Gallery | Becky Behar: 3-5 p.m. Feb. 19 at the WSRC | Join artist Becky Behar in the gallery and enjoy casual conversation and refreshments as you explore her solo exhibition,Interlaced.
"Amazons, Goddesses and Wonder Women: A Fulbright Journey"

November 1, 2022

This exhibition features wood sculptures by Brandeis University WSRC Resident Scholar Donna Dodson, poems by Brandeis University WSRC Resident Scholar K. Melchor Hall, collaborative animations with Trina Baker, Lesley University Chair of Animation and Eric Keller, professional animator and CG artist, with concept art and 3D models by Lesley University interns Lexy Saunders, Paola Almonte Colon, and Sarah Clifford and posterboards by Brandeis University Student Scholar Partners Pilar Duvivier and Cyrenity Augustin. Alongside this artwork, the exhibition will feature feminist animations from Dodson‘s international colleagues, whom she met during her Fulbright U.S. Scholar Artist Residency at Q21/MQ in Vienna, Austria, with her host, Tricky Women/Tricky Realities, the world’s first and only animation festival for women artists.

Exhibition Events

  • Opening Reception with a Fulbright Award Panel: Nov. 1 at the WSRC | Fulbright Award-winning scholars K. Melchor Hall, Djounia Saint-Fleurant, Hoang Duong Thien, and Aishah Winter share their experiences and insight into the application process. .
  • On Feminist Animation: A Virtual Panel Discussion Moderated by Donna Dodson, Fulbright Scholar and Resident Scholar at the WSRC: Nov. 8 (online) | A virtual panel of feminist animators including Christine A. Banna, Sarah E. Jenkins, Atia Newman (Quadri), Shanti Thakur, and Trina Baker.
  • On Collaboration: A Panel Discussion with Donna Dodson, K. Melchor Hall, Trina Baker, Cyrenity Augustin, Pilar Duvivier and Paola Almonte Colon: Nov. 15 at the WSRC | Exhibiting artists speak about the process of working in large teams on collaborative projects.
"I, Too" Documentary Screening

Join Brandeis WSRC Resident Scholar K. Melchor Quick Hall will moderate a screening and discussion of "I, Too," a one-hour documentary film about the life and work of Gittler Prize winner Carol Anderson in a racially divided United States.

Laurie Nsiah-Jefferson, director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at University of Massachusetts, Boston, will be in conversation with Professor Anderson during this special event taking place during Anderson's three-day Gittler residency at Brandeis.

"Human Blues: A Novel" Book Reading with author Elisa Albert, Brandeis Alumni

October 18, 2022

Author and Brandeis alum Elisa Albert will read from her newest novel, "Human Blues," described as "a provocative and entertaining novel about a woman who desperately wants a child but struggles to accept the use of assisted reproductive technology — a hilarious and ferocious send-up of feminism, fame, art, commerce, and autonomy." Albert will be interviewed by author Stephen McCauley, her former Brandeis professor and current co-director of the Creative Writing Program.

Co-sponsored by the Brandeis Alumni Association and the Brandeis Creative Writing Department

Roe and the 2022 Vote

October 13, 2022

A discussion between Yasmin Radjy, executive director of Swing Left, and Heidi Sieck, co-founder and CEO of #VOTEPROCHOICE. Moderated by Professor Jill Greenlee, Brandeis associate professor in Politics and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies. The panelists will discuss particular races where the issue of reproductive freedom has great potential to mobilize voters, and other races where it does not. These leaders will also discuss the types of races that their organizations invest in (and what resources they provide) as a way of understanding which office they see as having an impact on abortion rights moving forward.

Co-sponsored by the Vic '63 and Bobbi Samuels '63 Center for Community Partnerships and Civic Transformation (COMPACT)

"Spring Awakening in a Post-Roe World, A Conversation with Writer and Lyricist Steven Sater"

October 12, 2022

A live, interactive virtual discussion with Steven Sater, Tony Award, Grammy Award and Laurence Olivier Award-winning American playwright and lyricist best known for the book and lyrics to "Spring Awakening," a rock musical criticism of oppressive moral societal attitudes. Moderated by Pascale Florestal, director of the Brandeis fall production of "Spring Awakening."

"... 'Spring Awakening' has always been a cry from the heart for fundamental human rights. A young girl asks how babies are born, but is met with only lies and deceit — and later dies of a botched backstreet abortion... when we lie to our children, when we condemn as sinful the very words of their bodies, we only lead our communities to tragedy," says Sater. At a time when reproductive rights and women's health are under attack, "Spring Awakening" is now more relevant than ever. This event will precede Brandeis Theater Arts' November 2022 student production of the show.

Presented by the WSRC with co-sponsorship from Theater Arts and the Gender and Sexuality Center.

"Music Outside the Court: Corpus Christi and Black Villancicos"

October 6, 2022

Presented by WSRC Resident Scholar Laury Gutierrez, the Corpus Christi has long offered multicultural and multiracial gatherings creating artistic expressions in literature and music. Black Villancicos were polyphonic songs written using a language imitating how African and African descendants spoke.

Ellen Warner | "The Second Half: 40 Women Reveal Life After 50"

September 29, 2022

The WSRC is proud to present "The Second Half: 40 Women Reveal Life After 50," a solo exhibition in the Kniznick Gallery by American photojournalist, portrait photographer and author Ellen Warner, co-sponsored by Brandeis University Press.

Over the course of 15 years, Ellen Warner interviewed and photographed women from different cultures about life after age 50 — from an author and translator in Connecticut to a sacred healer in Indonesia, a doctor in Saudi Arabia, a retired cook in Antigua and the first French woman TV anchor.

"The Second Half" presents Warner’s analog black-and-white photographs accompanied by excerpts of the women’s interviews. Intimate and frank, Warner’s portraits reflect the aesthetics, traditions and landscapes of their subjects’ environments — gnarled apple trees, bookshelves, gilded mirrors, stucco city blocks — and the histories they hold. Spanning decades and cultures, Warner’s portraits and interviews celebrate the wisdom, resiliency and joy of women in their second half of life.

Exhibition Events

  • Artist Talk, Opening Reception and Book Signing: Sept. 29 at the WSRC
  • On Women and Aging: A Panel Discussion: Oct. 12 at the WSRC | With Margaret M. Gullette, WSRC Resident Scholar; Sarah Lamb, Brandeis Barbara Mandel Professor of Humanistic Social Sciences and professor of anthropology and women's gender and sexuality studies at Brandeis; and sculptor Nancy Schön. Moderated by Harleen Singh, director of the Brandeis WSRC and senior associate provost for Faculty and Global Affairs.
  • In Conversation: Oct. 27 at the WSRC | Photojournalist and author Ellen Warner and Judy Norsigian, author and co-founder of Our Bodies, Ourselves. Moderated by Bernadette Brooten, Myra and Robert Kraft and Jacob Hiatt Professor Christian Studies, Emerita, Brandeis University.