Bayer Named to NWHF Board – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Bayer Named to NWHF Board

Professor of Women’s Studies Betty Bayer was recently named to the Board of Directors of the National Women’s Hall of Fame, the nation’s oldest membership organization dedicated to honoring and celebrating the achievements of distinguished American women.

“Betty will be a tremendous asset because of her extensive network and her ability to link HWS, as well as the academic and women’s studies communities, with the National Women’s Hall of Fame. We are already in discussions about having interns from HWS at the Hall and she is planning to host a fundraiser to benefit the Hall,” says Board President Jill S. Tietjen, P.E., who is president and CEO of Technically Speaking, Inc. “I am delighted to have her on board.”

New members are elected to the board annually and the process is fairly rigorous. After submitting her curriculum vitae for consideration, Bayer was interviewed by the chair of the Governance Committee and two additional members. They then recommended her for election by the full Board.

“I am delighted and honored to be named to the national board of the Women’s Hall of Fame and I learned much about the board from their mindful interview process. As a board member, I look forward to working on programming and on building bridges between the Hall, Women’s Studies (locally and beyond), and our own Colleges,” says Bayer. “There is potential for a powerful synergy between the Hall (founded in 1969) and Women’s Studies as each institution, invested in education in different ways, asks: How are history and knowledge transformed when engaged critically through the lives of all women and gender more broadly? How do these transformations bear on ideas of civic learning and democratic ideals and practices? How are our lives affected by more inclusive histories and civic learning?”

The National Women’s Hall of Fame uses the stories of its inductees – 247 to date – as tools for inspiration, innovation and imagination. A not-for-profit educational institution, its programs include Induction Weekend, educational programs, and special exhibits and events. Bayer will serve a term of three years on the board.

This past year, Bayer was a senior fellow at the Martin Marty Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Chicago. She joined a handful of senior and junior fellows at The Martin Marty Center from across a number of disciplines for a year of rigorous interchange on questions of religion inside and outside the academy.

While a senior fellow, Bayer published two pieces: “Divining Grace” on Anna Deveare Smith’s new performance piece; and, “Activist Barbara Ehrenreich on ‘Living with a Wild God'” in the Marty Center online “Sightings.” Bayer’s public lecture “Endings without End: ‘When Prophecy Fails’ and the Rise of New Age Spirituality and Cognitive Dissonance” is now also online for the Marty Center web forum.

Serving the Colleges in the Women’s Studies Department, Bayer has most recently taught a seminar on revelation or revolution, and offers courses on feminist theory, the body politic, psychology of women, peace and ecofeminism, as well as core courses such as “Introduction to Women’s Studies.” Recognized for her outstanding teaching ability, Bayer received the Colleges’ prestigious Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in 2004 and the Community Service Award in 2009. She has served as the chair of the Women Studies Program since 2001 and directed the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men from 2002 to 2009. Bayer earned her Ph.D., M.A. and B.A. in psychology from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.

Her recent publications include “Enchantment in an age of occupy” (2012, Women’s Studies Quarterly), and two essays on critical history and theory of feminism and on spirituality (forthcoming, SAGE). In her tenure at the Martin Marty Center, she authored “Endings Without End: ‘When Prophecy Fails’ and the Rise of New Age Spirituality and Cognitive Dissonance.”