Fisher Center Announces Spring Lineup – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Fisher Center Announces Spring Lineup

This spring, the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men will continue to discuss the topic of Gender, Isolation and Imprisonment with its popular speaker series and roundtable discussions.

During the course of the fall semester, speakers Loïc Wacquant, Juanlta Diaz-Cotto, and Jasmine Alinder provided their perspectives on the concept of imprisonment.  Through examination of the penal system and the history of internment in the United States, the social implications and gender dynamics of isolation and discrimination were brought into a meaningful dialogue.

The lineup of speakers this spring includes a wide variety of perspectives on the concept of confinement, and promises to create thoughtful discussion and challenge preconceived notions of imprisonment.  The lineup is as follows:

Michael Leo Owens, Apparitions of Full Citizens: When Should the Civic Imprisonment of Felons End?” Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room, Warren Hunting Smith Library

Owens is an associate professor of political science and religion and a research partner for the Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative at Emory University. He is also the co-organizer of the Atlanta Reentry Mapping Network for the Urban Institute, a research initiative by scholars and community stakeholders to study the spatial distribution and social dynamics of ex-prisoner reentry in metropolitan Atlanta. The author of “God & Government in the Ghetto: The Politics of Church-State Collaboration in Black America,” Owens’s current projects include Prisoners of Democracy, a multi-method study of punitive public policies and attitudes in the United States that impede the reintegration of ex-felons as democratic citizens.

“Letters from the Dead,” a one-woman show featuring Carol Lawes, Wednesday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m. at The Headless Sullivan’s Theater, located at 427 Exchange Street

“Letters from the Dead” began as a collectively-created image event commemorating the murder of thousands of youth killed in inner city violence in Toronto’s Caribbean diaspora. The event comprises a silent funeral procession in the street. Bringing together the messages from the dead and media reports on violence, and the losses of living, the performance traces one woman’s attempt to bury her grandson and convey his demands for justice in the present.

Honor Ford-Smith, “Memory, Urban Violence and Performance,” a rountable discussion, Thursday, March 10 at 9 a.m. in The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men (Demarest 212)

Ford-Smith is a scholar, theatre worker and poet. She was educated in Jamaica at St. Andrew High School and after studying theatre began teaching at the Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. She became co-founder and artistic director of Sistren (Sisters), a theatre collective of mainly working-class Jamaican women that works in community theatre and popular education. Ford-Smith was also a member of the Groundwork Theatre Company, created in 1980 as the repertory arm of the Jamaica School of Drama; it became an autonomous company in 1987. Ford-Smith moved to Toronto, Canada in 1991, receiving her doctorate in education from the University of Toronto in 2004. She continues to write, to work in performance and to teach at York University in Toronto where she is an associate professor in the Community Arts Practice program under the Faculty of Environmental Studies.

CANCELLED: Regina Kunzel,Criminal Intimancy: Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality,” Wednesday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room, Warren Hunting Smith Library

Kunzel is the Paul R. Frenzel Land Grant Chair in Liberal Arts and Professor in the Departments of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies and History at the University of Minnesota.  Kunzel earned her Ph.D. at Yale University.  An historian of the 20th-century U.S., Kunzel focuses on gender and sexuality and the intertwined histories of deviance and normalcy. Her book, “Criminal Intimacy: Sex in Prison and the Uneven History of Modern American Sexuality,” was awarded the American Historical Association’s John Boswell Prize, the Modern Language Association’s Alan Bray Memorial Book Award, the Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Award, the Lambda Literary Award for LGBT Studies, and was a finalist for the American Studies Association’s John Hope Franklin Prize. Kunzel is also the author of “Fallen Women, Problem Girls: Unmarried Mothers and the Professionalization of Social Work, 1890 to 1945,” as well as articles on the history of prison sexual culture, single pregnancy, and gender and professionalization.

Khalilah L. Brown-Dean, “Once Convicted, Forever Doomed: The Politics of Punishment in the U.S.” Wednesday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Geneva Room, Warren Hunting Smith Library

Brown-Dean’s lecture will serve as this year’s Leo Srole Lecture and is jointly sponsored by the Fisher Center and the Urban Studies Program.


Brown-Dean is the Peter Strauss Family Assistant Professor of Political Science and African American Studies at Yale University. She is a resident fellow of the Institute for Social and Policy Studies and a research fellow at the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale. Brown-Dean received her Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University in 2003 and a B.A. in government from The University of Virginia in 1998. Brown-Dean’s current research agenda focuses on the political dynamics surrounding the American criminal justice system. Her book manuscript, “Once Convicted, Forever Doomed: Race, Ex-Felon Disenfranchisement, and Fractured Citizenship,” explores the tension between crime control policies and notions of citizenship.  Brown-Dean is completing a second book manuscript, “Diversity and Democracy,” that evaluates the quest for democratic inclusion through the lens of ethno-racial identity. Brown-Dean has served as a political analyst, adviser, and commentator for CNN, PBS, NPR, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Crisis Magazine, the Comcast Network, and several governmental agencies, community organizations, and international media outlets.