Kate Drabinski, Gender and Women’s Studies, in the Indypendent Reader

Maryland – and Baltimore in particular – remains a place with a troubled relationship to the Civil War, Kate Drabinski, lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies, points out in a recent piece for the “Indypendent Reader.”

“Maryland never seceded from the Union, but its citizens leaned strongly toward the Confederacy,” she writes. “All the contradictions of this past that is still very much present are engraved in the infrastructure of the place, from street and park names to its more obvious public memorials and monuments that remind us of this war.”

Drabinski focuses her piece on Baltimore’s monuments to the Civil War (three in honor of the Confederacy and one in honor of the Union), and especially on the memorial to Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee that sits at the corner of Wyman Park near the Baltimore Art Museum.

“The struggle over the meaning of these memorials continues, and the sense of a glorious Confederate past continues to radiate from this memorial, the memory of slavery and bondage past and present, about which this war was fought, surely ghosting the place,” she writes.

The full piece, “They Were Great Generals and Christian Soldiers: Remembering Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson,” appeared online on June 3.

POSTPONED: The Fracking of Rachel Carson: “Silent Spring” in an Age of Environmental Crisis

Sandra SteingraberThe Fracking of Rachel Carson: Silent Spring in an Age of Environmental Crisis,” originally scheduled for March 6, has been rescheduled for Monday, April 29 at 4 p.m. on the 7th Floor of the Albin O. Kuhn Library.

This lecture with environmental activist Sandra Steingraber of the environmental studies and sciences department of Ithaca College is presented by the Humanities and Social Science Forums. It is the annual Korenman lecture.

A cancer survivor, Dr. Sandra Steingraber has written extensively on the intersection of the environment and public health. She will discuss what we have learned, and failed to learn, in the 50 years since Rachel Carson’s  publication of Silent Spring, and will examine the threat to public health that fracking poses.

Sandra Steingraber’s highly acclaimed book, Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment presents cancer as a human rights issue. Originally published in 1997, it was the first to bring together data on toxic releases with data from U.S. cancer registries and won praise from international media including The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, The Lancet, and The London Times.

This event is sponsored by the Department of Gender and Women Studies with support from the Department of American Studies, the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, Geography and Environmental Systems, Office of the Provost, and Women in Science and Engineering.

Amy Bhatt, Gender and Women’s Studies, Publishes New Book

Amy Bhatt, assistant professor of gender and women’s studies, is the co-author of Roots and Reflections: South Asians Map the Pacific Northwest, which will be released by the University of Washington Press early next year.

The book examines the experiences of early South Asians who settled on the Pacific coast in the early 1890s through the 1990s. Though the east coast of the U.S. has some of the largest South Asian populations in the country today, these early settlers shed light on the development of South Asian communities across the U.S. and are an important location in understanding contemporary immigration patterns. Roots and Reflections highlights the gender, race, and class aspects of this immigration and settlement.

For an overview of the book, see the book trailer below.

Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies

Join the departments of American Studies, Asian Studies, and Gender and Women’s Studies for “Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies,” a lecture by filmmaker and scholar Celine Parreñas Shimizu.

Celine Parreñas Shimizu is Professor of Asian American Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she is also affiliate faculty in Comparative Literature, Feminist and Film and Media Studies
The lecture will take place on Friday, October 12, at 1PM in the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery.
Shimizu is the author of the book Straitjacket Sexualities: Unbinding Asian American Manhoods in the Movies, which David L. Eng of the University of Pennsylvania called “an utterly original examination of Asian American masculinity on the silver screen, Straitjacket Sexualities is a critical tour-de-force that reveals cinema to be an ethical event. It offers a theory of responsibility in the face of vulnerability and persecution to encourage the emergence of new and better forms of manhood.”
David Palumbo-Liu of  Stanford University said that the book is “an exciting contribution to Asian American, film, and gender and sexuality studies, one which many will find liberatory as well. A perfect sequel to her book on Asian American female sexualities.”

UMBC Professor, Student and Alumnus in DNC News Coverage

Caitlyn Leiter-Mason and Mitch CaseUMBC’s Caitlyn Leiter-Mason ’14, GWST and political science, and Mitch Case ’11, MCS, are in Charlotte this week serving as delegates to the Democratic National Convention, reports Patch. Leiter-Mason, a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar and contributor to USDemocrazy, represents Maryland’s 6th District. Case, social media coordinator at the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts, represents Maryland’s 7th District.

Curious about how they got to Charlotte and what they hope to achieve? See their Tumblr A Tale of Two Delegates, read “Ellicott City delegate works to energize young voters” in the Baltimore Sun and listen to their interview on the Marc Steiner Show.

Donald F. Norris, professor and chairman of UMBC’s Department of Public Policy, also appeared in the Baltimore Sun, commenting on the rise of Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, who is in Charlotte this week as chair of the National Democratic County Officials. When asked if this role would boost Ulman’s chances in a gubernatorial race, Norris noted it “shows that he has some image within the Democratic Party outside of the state,” but, he concluded, “I don’t think that translates into votes or necessarily money.”

Kate Drabinski, Gender and Women’s Studies, on the Marc Steiner Show

On June 26, Kate Drabinski, lecturer in gender and women’s studies and director of UMBC’s Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL) program, was a guest on the Marc Steiner show for a discussion on the dynamics of gender in contemporary society and whether the differences between the genders are innate or socially constucted. Drabinski was joined by former American Psychological Association (APA) head Diane Halpern and Goucher College women’s studies visiting associate professor Jennifer Williams.

“In feminist theory the debate about the difference between sex and gender is an old one, sex being biological and gender being social,” Drabinski said. “But there’s no way to isolate the biological from the social because the second we ask the question we’re bringing our social world into it.”

The full conversation can be heard here.