'In this socio-political climate, it's important to restate women's value'

FEB. 7: On the heels of historic women’s marches, CUPFA hosts a panel with 12 leading Concordia gender scholars
February 1, 2017
By Cecilia Keating

Photo by Mathias Wasik (Flickr Creative Commons) Photo by Mathias Wasik (Flickr Creative Commons)

Twelve speakers from different walks of Concordia’s academic life are getting ready to share the floor at an upcoming feminism-focused event in the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts (EV) Integrated Complex.

The February 7 CUPFA MicroTalk, “Feminism Matters,” is the latest in a successful series organized by the association dating back to 2013. Its aim is to spotlight the research of part-time faculty at Concordia.

For Lorraine Oades, vice-president of professional development for the Concordia University Part-time Faculty Association (CUPFA), the panel could not be more timely.

“It’s really important to restate the value of women in the current socio-political climate,” says the chief organizer.

For the first time, the event will also feature full-time faculty and students. On top of inspiring fresh discussions outside of the classroom and forging new connections, the organizing team felt the important subject matter could benefit from a wider range of perspectives.

Maria Peluso, former president of CUPFA, suggested the topic last summer — back when there was still hope of a female president in the United States.

“It’s a great narrative to start the new year,” she says. “The event offers a unique view of feminism through different professors and students and through the intersections of race, class, sexuality, age and mobility.”

Speakers will each have six minutes to present the issues they believe are important to feminism today. Later, the floor will be opened for discussion.

The rapid-fire format is taken from previous events in the series. Oades says it forces speakers to get to their salient point right away, and lends to a dynamic discussion.


Showcasing part-time faculty

Oades also believes the MicroTalks will continue to fulfil their initial aim of giving part-time faculty a chance to showcase their research.

“It’s very important to remind the university of our value because we are much more vulnerable,” she says.

Concordia’s part-time faculty do not have tenure, nor do they enjoy the stability of their full-time counterparts.

Speakers billed for the event are:

  • Linda Kay, director of the Graduate Diploma in Journalism whose research looks at pioneering female journalists
  • Kimberley Manning, principal of the Simone de Beauvoir Institute who is currently promoting the idea of a feminist university
  • Alex Antonopoulos, part-time faculty member in the Simone de Beauvoir Institute, whose research focuses on addiction and transmasculine embodiment
  • Katerina Symes, communications PhD candidate whose work engages with feminist and queer theories, sexuality and gender
  • Beatriz Bartolomé Herrera, PhD candidate in Film and Moving Image Studies
  • Colleen Gray, part-time faculty member in the Department of History
  • Emilee Gilpin, student in the Graduate Diploma in Journalism program
  • Valérie Lamontagne, part-time faculty member in the Department of Design and Computation Arts
  • pk langshaw, professor and chair in the Department of Design and Computation Arts
  • Alison Reiko Loader, part-time faculty member in the Department of Design and Computation Arts
  • Dayna McLeod, assistant professor in the Department of Communication Studies
  • Geneviève Rail, professor in the Simone de Beauvoir Institute

For Symes, the event is particularly relevant, given the women’s marches that took place on January 21 throughout the United States and beyond, following President Donald Trump’s inauguration.

Her presentation will ask the following questions: Why does feminism matter? How does it matter? And how is it being talked about in public in a way that’s different from conversations in class?

The CUPFA MicroTalk, “Feminism Matters,”  takes place Tuesday, February 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Room EV-6.720 of the Engineering, Computer Science and Visual Arts (EV) Integrated Complex (1515 Ste. Catherine W).


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