Amherst College Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department

Amherst College Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department Website: https://www.amherst.edu/mm/13415, Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmherstSWAGS Despite the controversy involved in admitting women as regular students in 1974, it is nonetheless the case that women have always had an important presence on campus.

Women have been at Amherst in their own right as members of the College community: in the classroom, in the library, in laboratories, in the theater as well as providing support for the men of Amherst.

Women have been at Amherst in their own right as members of the College community: in the classroom, in the library, in laboratories, in the theater as well as providing support for the men of Amherst.

Mission: Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural exploration of the creation, meaning, function, and perpetuation of sexuality and gender in human societies, both past and present. It is also an inquiry specifically into women's material, cultural, and economic productions, their self-descriptions and collective undertakings.

Operating as usual

Artist Talk with Heather AgyepongOctober 27, 2020 at 4:30-6:30 pmRegistration required: https://www.amherst.edu/news/cal...
10/23/2020
Artist Talk with Heather Agyepong | Event Calendar | Amherst College

Artist Talk with Heather Agyepong
October 27, 2020 at 4:30-6:30 pm
Registration required: https://www.amherst.edu/news/calendar/node/782237

London-based artist Heather Agyepong has worked within photographic and performance arts since 2009 and is interested in mental health and well-being, activism, invisibility, the diaspora and the archive. She uses both lens-based practices and performance to create cathartic experiences for herself and her audiences. Agyepong’s works have been published, performed and exhibited extensively within the UK and internationally. A selection of her photographs are currently on view at the Mead Art Museum.

Come learn more about Agyepong’s artistic practice, her acclaimed project "Too Many Blackamoors," and her forthcoming projects, performances and exhibitions.

This conversation will be moderated by SWAGS Professor Aneeka Henderson.

London-based artist Heather Agyepong has worked within photographic and performance arts since 2009 and is interested in mental health and well-being, activism, invisibility, the diaspora and the archive. She uses both lens-based practices and performance to create cathartic experiences for herself....

Amherst College mourns the passing of Sara Schmitter on Sept. 5, 2020. Schmitter worked at the College as a custodian st...
09/11/2020
Sara K. Schmitter

Amherst College mourns the passing of Sara Schmitter on Sept. 5, 2020. Schmitter worked at the College as a custodian starting in 2006.

Sara was the custodian for Grosvenor House, the building that houses the SWAGS Department Office. Sara was a hard worker, with a bright smile and friendly manner. She will be missed.

See her obituary for more information.

https://mccarthyfuneralhomes.com/n/3405/Sara-K-Schmitter

Florence, Massachusetts: Sara Kathleen (Hoctor) Brunner Schmitter, 44, of 548 Florence Road, died peacefully surrounded by loved ones on Saturday, September 5, 2020 at the home of her mother Kathleen

1619 and the Legacy that Built America: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-JonesPulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Ha...
07/08/2020

1619 and the Legacy that Built America: A Conversation with Nikole Hannah-Jones

Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Nikole Hannah-Jones covers racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine. She is the creator of The 1619 Project, an ongoing multimedia initiative at the Times which reframes our nation’s history by centering the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans. Amherst College Associate Professor of Black Studies and Sexuality and Women's and Gender Studies Khary Oronde Polk will moderate this discussion of the legacy of slavery in our nation’s history and in our understanding of ourselves as a nation.

More information and to register: https://www.amherst.edu/news/campus_community_events/virtual/a-conversation-with-nikole-hannah-jones

This Thursday, July 9 at 1 p.m. (EST), Khary Polk will speak with Michael Busch of the Polis Project about his new book,...
07/06/2020

This Thursday, July 9 at 1 p.m. (EST), Khary Polk will speak with Michael Busch of the Polis Project about his new book, Contagions of Empire: Scientific Racism, Sexuality, and Military Workers Abroad, 1898-1948. This virtual book salon is free, and can be streamed live (www.patreon.com/polisproject) on the day of the event.

07/03/2020

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman.” -Simone de Beauvoir

06/26/2020

“Having an opinion about transsexuality is about as useful as having an opinion on blindness. You can think whatever you like about it, but in the end, your friend it still blind and surely deserves to see.”

from "She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders" by Jennifer Finney Boylan. First edition. New York: Broadway Books, 2003.

“If you’re in doubt as to whether or not a question is inappropriate, here’s a helpful tip. Ask yourself if you would fe...
06/19/2020
The Transgender Manifesto – Ian Thomas Malone

“If you’re in doubt as to whether or not a question is inappropriate, here’s a helpful tip. Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable asking that question to a cisgender person. Generally speaking we as a society don’t go around asking people about their private parts. They’re called private for a reason.”

From "The Transgender Manifesto" by Ian Thomas Malone https://ianthomasmalone.com/the-transgender-manifesto/

The Transgender Manifesto Do you know who you are? What lies beneath the surface? Ever get the feeling that something Deep down wasn’t quite right? I did. Who are you to tell me otherwise? The birthers, who think your external Shell defines your whole identity, while Pointing to the sky to show us...

In the 1970s, Latinx queers did not feel like they had a place where they can be together and often felt racism in group...
06/17/2020

In the 1970s, Latinx queers did not feel like they had a place where they can be together and often felt racism in groups where it was primarily white (Ramirez, p. 232). GALA (Gay Latino Alliance) formed in response and in order to liberate themselves, unify, and create an identity. GALA challenged racism and homophobia simultaneously. GALA did not divorce sexual politics from its cultural roots, or its critique of white gay racism from its challenge to latino homophobia (Ramirez, p. 258).

Horacio N. Roque Ramírez. “‘That’s My Place!’: Negotiating Racial, Sexual, and Gender Politics in San Francisco’s Gay Latino Alliance, 1975-1983.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 12, no. 2, 2003, p. 224. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsjsr&AN=edsjsr.3704613&site=eds-live&scope=site. [Amherst College community members can log-in to view full article]

Photo: The GALA float in the 1976 San Francisco pride parade.
Photo Source: http://www.foundsf.org/index.php?title=Gay_Latino_Alliance:_Latinidad_and_Homosexuality_in_the_Mission_District

Laura Mulvey is a feminist film theorist, whose powerful text 'Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema' spoke about the 'm...
06/15/2020
Laura Mulvey — The Male Gaze

Laura Mulvey is a feminist film theorist, whose powerful text 'Visual Pleasures and Narrative Cinema' spoke about the 'male gaze' theory. The Male Gaze Theory states that a woman character only symbolizes “the castration threat by her real absence of a pen*s and second thereby raises her child into the symbolic.” This gaze is pleasurable to men, where reality is depicted in the viewpoint and desires of a male, and thus the woman’s image is a combination of “scopophilia” and a male’s ego. Through this gaze, men are able to dictate the story's narrative by imposing his gaze on others to carry out his desires.

Click the following link for more information: https://medium.com/engl411final-group1/laura-mulvey-the-male-gaze-51ce98b979c3

Laura Mulvey, born August 15, 1941, is a feminist film critic. Oxford-educated, Mulvey is a highly praised and credible critic known for…

"Please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or ki...
06/12/2020

"Please remember, especially in these times of group-think and the right-on chorus, that no person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow and be perceived as fully blossomed as you were intended."

Walker, Alice. "In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens: Womanist Prose." First edition. San Diego: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1983.

In 1997, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective was founded to “amplify and strengthen the collective...
06/10/2020
Centering Black Women's Issues & Leadership — Sister Song

In 1997, SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective was founded to “amplify and strengthen the collective voices of Indigenous women and women of color to ensure reproductive justice through eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.” This collective was founded by a group of black women who first articulated the Reproductive Justice (RJ) framework in 1994, which SisterSong defines as “the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities.” The projects they are recently working on include: reproductive justice training and leadership development, building southern synergy, arts and cultural projects, and centering black women’s issues and leadership.

SisterSong website: https://www.sistersong.net/centering-black-womens-issues-leadership

SisterSong created the national Trust Black Women partnership in 2010, when racist and sexist anti-abortion billboards actually accused black women of genocide for obtaining abortions – as if the oppression of black people should relegate black women to breeding machines with no right to make pers...

Simone Beauvoir is a french novelist and feminist from the 20th century. “The Second Sex”  is one of her most celebrated...
06/08/2020
Biography – Simone de Beauvoir – Writer, Philosopher - The Heroine Collective

Simone Beauvoir is a french novelist and feminist from the 20th century. “The Second Sex” is one of her most celebrated novels, which spoke about the othering of people, specifically women, where women are objectified into becoming an “other” immediately opposite as one as seen through the male gaze. Beauvoir spoke about this topic in the broader sense when she wrote, “No group ever defines itself as One without immediately setting up the Other opposite itself.” Click the following link for more information: http://www.theheroinecollective.com/simone-de-beauvoir/

“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman. No biological, psychological or economic fate determines the figure that the human female presents in society; it is civilisation as a whole that produces this creature, intermediate between male and eunuch, which is described as feminine.” – Simo...

“It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, unco...
06/05/2020

“It’s up to all of us — Black, white, everyone — no matter how well-meaning we think we might be, to do the honest, uncomfortable work of rooting it out.”

— Michelle Obama (on racism)

STATEMENT OF INDIAN FEMINISTS ON THE POLICE VIOLENCE  THAT KILLED GEORGE FLOYD We, feminists in India, strongly condemn ...
06/04/2020
Statement From Feminists in India Against The Police Violence That Killed George Floyd | Countercurrents

STATEMENT OF INDIAN FEMINISTS ON THE POLICE VIOLENCE THAT KILLED GEORGE FLOYD

We, feminists in India, strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd, an African-American, by a white officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, and express our deep solidarity with the people’s resistance against police violence presently raging in the US and many other parts of the world.

Words from George Floyd in his death throes, "I cannot breathe", speak to each one of us. Recent data has yielded clear evidence that the Black community in the US has borne the brunt of the present COVID 19 crisis, pointing to serious gaps in provisioning, including access to housing and healthcare. They also account for a disproportionately larger percentage of the prison population. These realities underline the systemic racism and structured discrimination along lines of ethnicity within the US and the explosion of public anger now on display in major cities across the country represents a moment of truth for American society.

We in India, who have long been living with a sense of outrage over the violence and discrimination perpetrated by our own police force against minorities and the most marginalized, recognize the importance of this moment. The powerful slogan, ‘Black Lives Matter’ now resonating across the US, reminds us of the targeted violence being perpetrated by the Indian state and police against specific communities, right here, right now. We are anguished that Indian society has often been complicit in such brutality. Along with the Black community in the US, and drawing strength from their struggle, we also shout out loud, ‘Muslim Lives Matter’, ‘Dalit Lives Matter’, ‘Adivasi Lives Matter’, ‘Kashmiri Lives Matter’, ‘Trans Lives Matter’. Along with them, we also cry out, ‘We cannot breathe. Get off our necks!’

END POLICE VIOLENCE NOW. END STATE COMPLICITY IN SUCH VIOLENCE NOW! END RACISM NOW! END PATRIARCHAL VIOLENCE NOW!

Issued by members of FeministsIndia, an online India-based collective comprising over 750 individuals and groups

https://countercurrents.org/2020/06/statement-from-feminists-in-india-against-the-police-violence-that-killed-george-floyd/

We, feminists in India, strongly condemn the murder of George Floyd, an African-American, by a white officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, and express our deep solidarity with the people’s resistance against police violence presently raging in the US and many other parts of the world. Word...

This week the #BlackLivesMatter protests have started after the murders of Beonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floy...
06/03/2020
‘He Could Have Been My Brother’: Women’s Voices in the Protests

This week the #BlackLivesMatter protests have started after the murders of Beonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and George Floyd. Women, the queer and trans community, and others alike have come together to protest these injustices. Please follow this link to read their stories and their experiences protesting, engaging in activism, and experiencing history being made first hand in New York City. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/us/protests-women-new-york-george-floyd.html

Other recommended literature for people who want to become more educated on the topics, deconstruct their own biases, or learn more about the movement for racial justice and equality:
"White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism" by Robin DiAngelo
"Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race" by Reni Eddo-Lodge
"For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" by Ntozake Shange
“Freedom Is A Constant Struggle” by Angela Davis

A city that lay quiet for two months is now pulsing with protesters. Here are their stories.

Audre Lorde is a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” She dedicated her life and her creative talents...
06/01/2020

Audre Lorde is a self-described “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet.” She dedicated her life and her creative talents to addressing homophobia and racial, gender, and class issues. Her work speaks about the importance of understanding the struggle for liberation among oppressed people and of organizing coalitions between different races, genders, sexual orientations, classes, and ages.

Click the following link for more information: https://poets.org/poet/audre-lorde

Photo credit: Elsa Dorfman

“Feminist politics aims to end domination, to free us to be who we are – to live lives where we love justice, where we c...
05/29/2020

“Feminist politics aims to end domination, to free us to be who we are – to live lives where we love justice, where we can live in peace. Feminism is for everybody.” - bell hooks

This New York Times article discusses phenomenal women from the past who were overlooked by cis-white-male narratives. S...
05/28/2020
Remarkable People We Overlooked in Our Obituaries

This New York Times article discusses phenomenal women from the past who were overlooked by cis-white-male narratives. Some people included are transgender pioneers and activists, feminist poets and revolutionaries, and social justice advocates. https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/obituaries/overlooked.html

The poet Sylvia Plath and the novelist Charlotte Brontë. Ida B. Wells, the anti-lynching activist. These extraordinary people — and so many others — did not have obituaries in The New York Times. Until now.

In 2015, Kimberlé Crenshaw was named “No.1 Most Inspiring Feminist” by Ms. Magazine. Crenshaw is an advocate and educato...
05/26/2020

In 2015, Kimberlé Crenshaw was named “No.1 Most Inspiring Feminist” by Ms. Magazine. Crenshaw is an advocate and educator for civil rights, race studies, constitutional law, and social inclusion. She coined the phrase “intersectionality,” which she uses as “A metaphor to understand the ways that multiple forms of inequality or disadvantage sometimes compound themselves. They create obstacles that often are not understood within conventional ways of thinking about anti-racism or feminism or whatever social justice advocacy structures we have.” She goes on to say, “Intersectionality isn’t so much a grand theory, it’s a prism for understanding certain kinds of problems.”

Click the following link for more information about Crenshaw:
https://www.law.columbia.edu/news/archive/kimberle-crenshaw-intersectionality-more-two-decades-later

Amherst College Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department's cover photo
05/06/2020

Amherst College Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department's cover photo

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE DAVID KIRP 1965 STONEWALL PRIZE!Have you written an essay, produced a film, directed a...
04/20/2020

NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS FOR THE DAVID KIRP 1965 STONEWALL PRIZE!

Have you written an essay, produced a film, directed a play, or created some other type of work that relates to the LGBTQ+ experience? Submit it for the David Kirp 1965 Stonewall Prize!

ELIGIBILITY: Amherst College students (current and class of 2020E)

TOPIC: Awarded for a work of exceptional intellectual or artistic merit pertaining to the queer, bisexual, intersex, gay, lesbian, or transgender experience.

TYPES OF SUBMISSIONS: Submissions may take a number of forms including academic essays and creative works, such as poetry, fiction, drama, videos, films, art projects, photography and performance art. (Please note that a 5-page written analysis of the project's goals, significance, and contributions must accompany creative work.)

DEADLINE: Friday, May 1, 2020

HOW TO SUBMIT: Email your submission to the Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies Department ([email protected]). If your submission cannot be emailed, please contact the SWAGS Department to make other arrangements.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: https://www.amherst.edu/mm/431835

Behind the Veil and Vow: A Q&A with Aneeka HendersonHenderson’s book takes a close look at popular fiction by authors su...
04/03/2020
Behind the Veil and Vow

Behind the Veil and Vow: A Q&A with Aneeka Henderson

Henderson’s book takes a close look at popular fiction by authors such as Terry McMillan and Sister Souljah, music by Anita Baker and films such as The Best Man, as well as legislation such as the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and the Welfare Reform Act and the role these played in fostering myths about African American families.

https://www.amherst.edu/mm/597782

Aneeka Henderson, assistant professor of sexuality, women’s and gender studies, contrasts the title character’s climactic declaration in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, “Reader, I married him,” with that of Harriet Jacobs in her 1861 autobiography Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl: “R...

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Hi! I’m writing an article for College Magazine titled “Top 10 Colleges for Women’s Studies,” and your school made the list! Would any students in this major be interested in sharing why your program stands out? Please respond in the comments or feel free to private message me.
Please donate birth control packets to my senior thesis!
CLPP is hiring a student group coordinator for the 2017-2018 academic year. Five College students are eligible to apply. Please share! https://clpp.hampshire.edu/webform/2017-2018-student-group-coordinator-application