The Institute for Research on Women's growth and accomplishments since its founding in 1987 offer a solid foundation on which Associate Director Lillian Williams and I plan to build. Led by founding Director Chris Bose and subsequently Director Iris Berger, IROW has brought the best international and U.S. scholarship on women to the University at Albany community. The Institute has worked to facilitate linkages and interdisciplinary collaboration within the University's large and active community of women's studies scholars, including more than sixty faculty members who are IROW Faculty Associates.
Lillian and I are enthusiastic about leading IROW on this path for the next three years. We will expand IROW's focus on global women's issues, while also addressing multicultural gender scholarship and public policy issues in the United States. Several recent IROW activities have worked toward our goals of nurturing, producing, and publicizing important scholarship on women and gender. Building on past work in international gender scholarship, IROW, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities have received funding from the Ford Foundation for a three year project "Internationalizing Women's Studies: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Gender Research and Teaching." This exciting project will extend IROW's international contacts and bring together women's studies and area scholars from the University at Albany with scholars from Eastern Europe and Russia, Africa, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Co-directed by Edna Acosta-Belen, Iris Berger, Francine Frank, and myself, the project will include workshops and seminars in which faculty from the U.S. and the three other regions address issues in gender research and teaching.
Contributing further to the development of cross-cultural perspectives on women and gender, Iris Berger has edited a set of syllabi from several disciplines for courses on global perspectives on women's issues. (See adjacent column for ordering information.)
Other IROW activities have focused on research on women and gender at the University. From a number of excellent proposals to IROW's small grant program last spring, two were selected for funding. Gail Landsman f the Anthropology Department received support for her project "Analysis of Data From a Pilot Study of Mothers of Disabled Infants and Toddlers," and June Hahner (History, Women's Studies, and Latin American and Caribbean Studies Departments) was awarded a grant for her research "Women in Latin America: Documents and Sources."
Other recent events include a brown bag lunch series to discuss IROW Associates' work in progress in an informal setting. Sarah Cohen of the Art Department launched the series with her talk "Gender, Masquerade, and the Provocative Origins of Ballet." Also, Gail Landsman gave a lecture on her work, "Reconstructing Motherhood in the Age of "Perfect" Babies: A Study of Mothers of Young Children With Disabilities." In addition, Kathy Turek, Assistant Director of the University's Center for Teaching and Learning, conducted two workshops for IROW Associates on the use of he Internet for research and teaching on women and girls.
To increase funds for IROW's grantmaking and other activities, the fund for contributions, "Friends of IROW," was recently established. All contributions to this fund are most welcome and will be acknowledged in the newsletter. Additional information is below.