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Women's Studies: Pioneering in Scholarship, Activism, and Internationalization since 1970

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Feminist Research Colloquia

The department hosts a monthly Feminist Research Colloquium that provides a platform for discussion of ongoing research in Women's Studies scholarship. Offered each semester, the Colloquia bring together scholars from SDSU and visiting faculty from across the US and abroad. Each academic year a theme is selected, and the invited scholars present their expertise on subjects within this area. In addition, each semester we invite SDSU and Women's Studies faculty to present their conference papers to highlight their research and encourage our students.

Department of Women’s Studies and Center for Bread and Roses
2014-15 Colloquium Series:  Women, Politics and Activism

Spring 2015

Feminist Research Justice Symposium

In keeping with its mission to promote feminist creativity, scholarship, and community engagement in support of the women's movement, the Bread and Roses Center will host a one-day symposium on Feminist Research Justice on February 27, 2015.

The symposium will bring together faculty, graduate students and representatives from local women’s organizations and foundations to discuss and explore the opportunities for collaborative, applied research. Graduate students seeking to do applied research are especially encouraged to attend.

Register for this event | View the event flyer (.pdf)


International Women’s Day- Elizabeth Maier, "Mexico’s Culture War On Abortion: disputing women’s rights, personhood, citizenship, and religion’s place in government in our globalized, postmodern times"

Tuesday, March 10, 7-9pm SHW011

Dr. Elizabeth Maier is a professor in the Department of Cultural Studies, Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. She is a specialist in culture wars over women’s sexual and reproductive rights; gender identity politics in Mexico and Latin America; women’s public policy in Mexico; gender, ethnicity, and migration in Mexico; women’s human rights and gender theory.

Her most recent publications include: Women’s Activism in Latin America and the Caribbean, co-editor; From Private to Public: 30 years of women’s citizenship in Latin America (De Lo Privado a Lo Público: 30 Años de Lucha Por La Ciudadanía de las Mujeres en América Latina) co-editor; and Are the Mothers of the Disappeared a New Mother Myth in Latin America? (Las Madres de Desaparecidos: ¿un nuevo mito materno en América Latina?)

View the event flyer (.pdf)

Lillian Faderman, "The Rise and Fall of Lesbian Nation: A Brief History
of Radical Lesbian-Feminism and What it Accomplished"

Wednesday, March 18, noon-2pm SH127

Lillian Faderman is an award-winning scholar of lesbian history. Her books include Surpassing the Love of Men, Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers, and To Believe in Women. Her latest book, The Gay Revolution: The Story of the Struggle, will be published by Simon and Schuster in September 2015.

View the event flyer (.pdf)

Harriette Williams Bright, "Engendering Peace, Empowering Women in Africa"

Monday, April 6, 4-6:40pm Peterson Gym 242

Ms. Williams Bright is Executive Director of Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS), an organization created in 1996 by African women leaders to empower African women to assume a leadership role in conflict prevention, management and resolution on the African continent. FAS aims to enable women to play a full and equal part in building the foundations for enduring peace. To further its aims, FAS makes active use of international instruments, such as UN Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.

This event is co-sponsored with the Charles Hostler Institute on World Affairs.

Zenzele Izoke "Blackness and the Eternal Memorial: The New/Ark of Resistance."

Wednesday, April 8, noon-2pm, SH127

Zenzele Isoke is Associate Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. She studies black women’s community politics and activisms in urban spaces. She teaches courses in feminist theory and methods, black feminist geographies, hip hop feminism, and women of color social movements.  Her first book entitled, Urban Black Women and the Politics of Resistance was published in Palgrave-MacMillan Press 2013.   Her work has been published in Transforming Anthropology: A Journal of Black Anthropology, Gender, Place, and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, and Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society. Her second book project called “Unheard Voices at the Bottom of Empire: Translocal Sites of Black Feminist Resistance” is a qualitative examination of black women’s resistance politics across multiple sites in the black/African diaspora including the UAE, Twin Cities, Harlem and Brooklyn.

Lecture Luz Calvo and Catrióna Rueda Esquibel, "Decolonizing Food"

Tuesday, April 14 12:30 – 2pm, Aztec Union Theater– Common Experience

Join Professors Luz Calvo and Catriona Esquibel as they discuss their project that is rooted in their personal and familial experience with cancer, diabetes, and other diseases associated with the Standard American Diet (SAD). Their goal is to highlight the wealth of Mexican and Chicano/a culture in regards to traditional foods, herbs, and remedios, and to teach the next generation of students how to reclaim their heritage and eat healthy.

As Ethnic Studies professors, they bring a critical analysis of the legacies of colonization, cultural resilience, and feminism to thier study of the daily practice of preparing and eating healthy, ancestral food. They advocate a ‘liberation of the kitchen,’ so that people of all genders can reclaim cooking as a site of creative resistance to white supremacy and patriarchy."

For more information, please visit the Common Experience website.

Scholarship Awards and Lecture, Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez

Thursday, April 23, 7 pm AL 201


Jacqueline Pitanguy from Cepia in Brazil

Thursday, April 30, 5pm, 5:00 pm in SHW-011 - the J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Auditorium

Dr. Jacqueline Pitanguy, one of the 1,000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, Jacqueline is Brazil’s best-known feminist activist.

She was strong in opposing the military junta in Brazil and went to jail for her resistance against her country’s military dictatorship. When the dictatorship was overthrown in 1985, she helped to incorporate gender issues into the constitution. She held a cabinet position as President of the National Council for Women’s Rights (1986-89), designing and implementing public policies to improve women’s condition in Brazil. She is a recipient of the Medal of Rio Branco, the highest decoration of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Jacqueline, a sociologist and political scientist, is the Founder and Director of Cidadania, Estudo, Pesquisa, Informação e Ação (CEPIA), a non-governmental organization based in Rio de Janeiro. At CEPIA she coordinates research on gender issues and facilitates advocacy and educational programs relating to violence against women and reproductive health. She has been a Professor at the Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Rio de Janeiro and at Rutgers University, where she held the Laurie New Jersey Chair in Women’s Studies from 1991-92.

This event is co-sponsored with the Center for Latin American Studies.



Fall 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 12-2
Arts and Letters 204

Brown Bag Talk with Doreen Mattingly, Ph.D.

Midge Costanza: An Unwilling Token in the White House

poster for midge costamza event
View the event flyer

For the turbulent first twenty months of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, aide Margaret "Midge"Costanza was a central character in the demise of the hopeful relationship between feminists and the Carter administration. Given the job of Assistant for Public Liaison, Costanza was tasked with linking the president to all special interest groups, the women’s movement and the LBGT rights movement.

Costanza refused to quietly accept a token role and used her position to advocate for feminist policy goals and the rights of marginalized people, including gays and lesbians. While Costanza struggled to have an impact in the White House, Americans were increasingly divided on the very issues she championed: the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), abortion, and gay rights. The emergence of the "pro-family" movement lent unexpected urgency and notoriety to Costanza’s actions. An Unwilling Token uses Midge Costanza’s story to provide a close look at women’s issues and cultural politics in Washington in the late 1970s.

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Wednesday, October 15, 5:30-7:30pm
Storm Hall West 011

The Human Relations Commission of the City of San Diego will hold their October meeting at SDSU.  The mission of the Commission is to promote activities which foster mutual respect and understanding, protect basic human and civil rights, and create an atmosphere that promotes peaceful and harmonious relations among all members of the San Diego community.  In addition to conducting their regular business, the Commission will be holding a hearing on campus sexual assault. 

For more information contact Dr. Doreen Mattingly, 619-594-8033,


Friday, October 17, 9 am-12 pm
Templo Mayor (Aztec Center)

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Gender Justice in the 2014 Election

Join the Departments of Political Science and Women's Studies for an exciting and interactive panel discussion of the pressing issues of sex, power, and politics in the 2014 elections.

Speaker list: 

  • Ronnee Schreiber, SDSU, What’s at stake for women in the 2014 elections?

  • Kim Price, SDSU -- Reproductive Justice in the Voting Booth

  • Nina Flores – UCLA, Grassroots and Media Activism

  • Caroline Heldman, Occidental College, Campus Sexual Assault and Title IX

  • Barbara Bry, Run Women Run, Electing Pro-Choice Women in San Diego

  • Center for Policy Initiatives -- The Minimum Wage and Low-Income Women 

Wednesday, October 29, 12-2pm
Storm Hall 123

Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change

With Barbara Winslow

A staunch proponent of breaking down racial and gender barriers, Shirley Chisholm had the esteemed privilege of being a pioneer in many aspects of her life. She was the first African American woman from Brooklyn elected to the New York State legislature and the first African American woman elected to Congress in 1968. She also made a run for the Democratic Party nomination for president in 1972. Focusing on Chisholm’s lifelong advocacy for fair treatment, access to education, and equal pay for all American minority groups, this talk explores the life of a remarkable woman in the context of twentieth-century urban America and the tremendous social upheaval that occurred after World War II.

In addition to her new book, Shirley Chisholm: Catalyst for Change, Barbara Winslow has authored two memoirs, numerous articles about women's suffrage, the women's liberation movement, women's political activism. She just completed a book chapter, "Amreekah: The depiction of Arab Americans in the US History Curriculum."  She is the founder and Director of the Shirley Chisholm Project of Brooklyn Women's Activism, 1945 to the Present (


Tuesday, November 25, 2-4pm
Love Library 430

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Fleshing the Spirit: Spirituality and Activism in Chicana, Latina, and Indigenous Women’s Lives

This colloquium marks the release of this book (University of Arizona Press, 2014). Through the work of 21 writers, the anthology stimulates the reader to engage spirituality in a critical, personal, and creative way. Incorporating poetry, testimonials, critical essays, and historical analysis this interdisciplinary work theorizes the interconnections between women of color, spirituality, and social activism. Building from their cultural-social locations and beyond, the writers collectively argue that spirituality can heal the mind/body split and decolonize one's sense of self across systems of oppression.

The event features readings by contributors: Co-editors Professors Irene Lara (SDSU) and Elisa Facio (Eastern Washington University); SDSU Professor Emerita Oliva Espín; UC Berkeley Professor Laura E. Pérez; CSU Northridge Professor Lara Medina; MiraCosta College Professor Maria Figueroa; and high school counselor Cinthya Martinez.

Co-sponsored with the Departments of Chicana and Chicano Studies, American Indian Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, and Religious Studies, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Association of Chicana Activists (AChA).

For all events, please arrive early due to parking and limited seating.

Throughout the year the Department will hold smaller events including brown bag talks, workshops,  and other presentations.  If you are interested in attending, please contact Women’s Studies at


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