The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men will begin its 2014-15 season with a series of performances, lectures and dialogue sessions addressing strategies and tactics for combatting rape culture.
Throughout September, HWS faculty and students, along with guest speakers, will facilitate and partake in weekly events “to let us think about how campus culture contributes to an environment where not everyone is respected and valued,” says Jodi Dean, professor of political science and director of the Fisher Center. “With its mission to study relationships between women and men, the Fisher Center has a responsibility to look at the ways that sexual violence manifests itself on our campus. The variety of events — which include dance and conscious-raising as well as lecture and discussion — are designed to incite us to move beyond being passive bystanders and toward active change.”
The September Series, “Strategies and Tactics for Combatting Rape Culture,” will begin Wednesday, Sept. 3, with “Sexual Consent and Bystander Activation,” a performance by and discussion with the theatre company MOSAIC NY, scheduled from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Bartlett Theatre. Written and produced by HWS students, the MOSAIC NY theater event is being used as part of the orientation program for first-year students in an effort to reduce sexual violence on campus. The Fisher Center is making it available to other students.
On Monday, Sept. 8, Carly Petroski ’15, the Fisher Center Woodworth Fellow, will host “Getting Hot: Establishing a Sexual Violence Hotline at HWS” from 12 to 1:20 p.m. in the Fisher Center. Petroski will discuss her efforts — and the challenges she faced — to create a rape hotline for HWS students.
On Wednesday, Sept. 10, a consciousness-raising session, “Rape Happens Here,” will be held in the Fisher Center from 4:30 to 6 p.m., facilitated by Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies Michelle Martin-Baron and Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Maggie Werner.
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Associate Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier will facilitate a movement choir, “Unpacking Bystanders: from Spectator to Activist,” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Fisher Center.
On Tuesday, Sept. 23, author and educational consultant Kimberly Williams, Ph.D. will lead a lecture and discussion, “Campus Rape Culture: drugs, class, and relationships,” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Geneva Room. Williams is a nationally regarded educational consultant who used to teach at HWS. Her talk comes from close interviews with 73 college age women, as well as her own experiences. She confronts in ways that few are willing to do how we sometimes lack empathy for other people, even those close to us, and can even think that they deserve to be raped.
On Wednesday, Sept. 24, Assistant Professor of Women’s Studies Jessica Hayes-Conroy will facilitate a dialogue, “Campus Mapping: Visualizing Power, Space, and Control,” from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Fisher Center. This visualization exercise will ask participants to look at the ways that power is manifest physically on campus. What makes a safe space? Who rules which spaces? How are differences in power manifest in who feels comfortable where?
Finally, on Tuesday, Sept. 30, “Dismantling the Machine: Institutions and Activism” will be held from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Fisher Center, with the discussion facilitated by HWS students and faculty, including Lucia Cardone ’16, Aly McKnight ’15, Visiting Instructor of LGBTQ Studies Tallie Ben Daniel, Associate Professor of Political Science Paul Passavant, Assistant Professor of Writing and Rhetoric Maggie Werner, Assistant Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth and others.
The September Series kicks off the Fisher Center’s 2014-15 calendar, the theme of which, “Campus War Machine: Sex and Debt,” considers the ways gender figures into the wars being waged on, by, or in the name of higher education.
The Fisher Center brings together faculty, students, and experts in gender-related fields in the arts, humanities, and social and natural sciences to foster mutual understanding and social justice in contemporary society. Building upon their long-held commitment to interdisciplinary liberal arts education for men and women, both separately and together, Hobart and William Smith Colleges established (in 1998) the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men to support curricular, programmatic, and scholarly projects which address the question: How do we more nearly realize, through our educational program, scholarship, and presence in the larger community, our democratic ideals of equity, mutual respect, and common interest in relations between men and women?