Geneva, NY — Hobart and William Smith Colleges will inaugurate the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men with an opening celebration, “Engendering the Future: Educating Women, Educating Men, Educating Women and Men,” on October 16 and 17. The event kicks off an agenda-setting year for the Center, recently endowed with a $1 million gift from Emily and Richard Fisher. The public is invited to participate in the various presentations and discussions that will take place.
The celebration will include a presentation from 4 until 6 p.m. on Friday, October 16, in Albright Auditorium, featuring two well-known scholars in the area of gender-related studies — Carol Gilligan, professor of psychology and the Patricia Albjerg Graham Chair in Gender Studies at Harvard University, and author of the influential book, In A Different Voice (1993); and Michael Kimmel, who has written and edited many books on the topic of masculinity, the most recent being Manhood in America: A Cultural History (1996). Ms. Fisher will also be introduced.
Saturday's program offers two symposia in which scholars from a variety of disciplines will convene to help define the most important and immediate issues that face men and women at the millennium. The first session will run from 9 until 11:45 a.m.; the second from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., both in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library on campus. Both panels will feature three scholars and will be followed by group discussion.
Many of the books and articles written by the panel participants have been part of the Colleges' curriculum over the years. Bringing these people together in one place for discussions about what it means to be a man or a woman in our time, and what it means to understand our humanity through the lens of gender, will help the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men at Hobart and William Smith Colleges map the terrain of personal and interpersonal relations, both political and cultural, into the 21st century. The participants will take up a range of concerns including science and cyberculture, race and class, education and human development, and law and democracy.
” (Higher education demands a) fully inclusive, fully integrated approach to understanding how our gendered nature — being a woman or being a man — informs all aspects of life,” says Hobart and William Smith Colleges President Richard H. Hersh. “The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men will be a headquarters for such an approach — an umbrella under which course development, faculty research, student instruction and activities, public education, and other types of activities function. We expect the Fisher Center to play an important role in how our own students and, ultimately, the public come to understand women, men, and their world.”
Participants in the panel discussions will include Thomas Dumm, who will take up concerns associated with both liberal education and Bill Clinton's political/personal crisis; A. Lynn Bolles, who will address issues having to do with diversity among women by focusing on Caribbean women; Wahneema Lubiano, who will draw from several recent films to link concerns about race and gender; Steven Jones, who will offer discussion about the nature of citizenship within cyberculture; Patricia Williams, who will examine issues of race, law and education; and Sandra Harding, who will ask “Is science multicultural?”
Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women share a distinctive and historic coordinate relationship. The two private, liberal arts institutions share faculty, facilities, and curriculum, but maintain separate dean's offices, athletic programs, student governments, and traditions, and award separate degrees. Located in Geneva, N.Y., the Colleges have a combined enrollment of 1,800.