"Workshop Highlights Women in Global History"
--Wendy Urban-Mead

"Women's Studies Faculty Expand International Perspectives"
--Bonnie Spanier

Graduate Student Research On Women And Gender


Publication News

Director's Notes...

Iris Berger

Covering nationalist movements in China and Nigeria, feminism in Brazil, and cultural authenticity in Egypt and Zaire, the Workshop on Global Women's History fostered reflection on a wide range of comparative topics. Sponsored by IROW with support from the Ford Foundation, the workshop brought together a distinguished group of scholars to assess major questions and trends in the history of African, Asian, Latin American, and Middle Eastern women. An introductory appraisal of gender and European imperialism helped to link the presentations. By the end of the day, many common issues had emerged as speakers engaged in a lively exchange of questions and comments with each other and with members of the audience, who included faculty and students from colleges throughout the Capital District and visitors from China and South Africa. (See article above.) Future activities will include publication of the workshop papers, preparation of a book of readings on women in global history, and joint work on an international conference.

As the last major IROW project this year, the workshop was a wonderful and appropriate conclusion to my four-year term as Director. Former Associate Director Sucheta Mazumdar and I had often discussed our concern with bringing greater historical awareness to discussions of global women's issues. Funds remaining form last year's Ford grant allowed us to organize the workshop and to bring Sucheta to campus once again as an honorary IROW Associate. Although she has been at Duke University for nearly two years, she deserves enormous thanks for continuing to work on the projects we had planned together before her departure.

The final events of the years were lectures by Cameroonian writer Calixthe Beyala and IROW Associate Jan Hagen. Beyala's talk on "The Woman Writer in West Africa Today: Giving Voice to the Subaltern," co-sponsored by the Department of French Studies, the New York State Writers' Institute, and IROW gave the University community the opportunity to hear one of the strongest new voices in Francophone African literature. Hagen's presentation explored the timely topic, "Women, Work, and Welfare: Insights from Research." As Co-Principal Investigator of the JOBS Implementation Study and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Social Workers, her expertise provided critical information on a vital feminist issue.

As the Institute for Research on Women completes its eighth year, I am delighted to announce formally that Gwen Moore of the Sociology Department has agreed to become Director for a three-year term beginning in the fall. Adding new continents to our international focus, Gwen brings to the position research experience in Europe and Australia. She is currently part of an international group studying elite women in comparative perspective. Working with her as Associate Director will be Lillian Williams, Women's Studies, whose interest in the history of African American women will strengthen our attention to multicultural issues in the United States.

Many people deserve thanks for IROW's successes during the past four years. They include some of the usual suspects such as Kathy Trent, who has compiled news of Associates on a regular basis; Bob Frost, always willing to turn his Macintosh loose on IROW flyers; and Jan Hagen, who was an exemplary Acting Director when I was on leave in the fall of 1993. Linda Schroll, the Women's Studies/IROW secretary since last fall has managed to find time for IROW work, despite great demands on her energy, and Harriet Temps, Donna LaHue, and Debbie Neuls kept IROW work flowing last spring in the absence of a secretary. In addition, Sheila Lintott, my assistant during the past year, continues to amaze me with her resourcefulness and calm efficiency. For the unfailing sense of design that she has brought to IROW publications, Judy Bedian deserves enormous thanks as does everyone who has written articles for IROW News. Finally, the members of the IROW Executive Board have provided a muchappreciated source of advice and ideas. They include: Luz Acevedo del Alba, Edna Acosta-Belen, Judith Baskin, Chris Bose, Eloise Briere, Deborah Curry, Jan Hagen, Gwen Moore, Michelle van Ryn, Lillian Williams, and ex-officio members Judith Johnson and Bonnie Spanier.

Volume VII, No. 1
May 1995

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