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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

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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

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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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