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'Hope and Justice: Reflections on 20 Years Teaching Feminism in Women's Studies'

Monday, 07 November, 2016

Women's and Gender Studies Fall 2016 Guest Speaker is Loretta Kensinger, Ph.D., who will present “Hope and Justice: Reflections on 20 years Teaching Feminism in Women's Studies," at 4:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7, in DuBourg Hall's Pere Marquette Gallery. 

A reception will follow. Everyone is welcome.

About the talk:
Framed by an original poem, this talk embodies the notion that the personal is political by reflecting on the experience of one feminist teacher who has worked to bring feminism to academic life in the undergraduate Women’s Studies classroom. For Kensinger Women’s Studies is, at its heart, embedded in a political struggle for hope in the human potential to build communities on foundations of justice. After an introduction that reflects on her own journey towards Women’s Studies, Kensinger surveys aspects of the field after some 20 years within Women’s Studies. There are a number of trends she could cover, but in this talk, Kensinger outlines changes in the field’s approach to its subject, considers reactions to its key theory, and reflects on changes to her own pedagogical approaches over time. In the end she hopes her discussion will help the audience reflect on the unique contributions of Women’s Studies to their own learning and within higher education.

Biography: Professor Loretta Kensinger obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1996. It was at Purdue that she first learned to love Women’s Studies and began teaching in this field. From 1995-98 she directed the Women’s Center at Western Illinois University. In 1998 she was hired into a tenure-track position in Women’s Studies at California State University, Fresno; she was promoted to full professor in 2009. Kensinger has served in various leadership roles, including coordinating the Fresno State Women’s Studies Program from 2004-11. Kensinger is co-editor, with Penny Weiss, Ph.D., of Feminist Interpretations of Emma Goldman (Penn State University Press). Her articles include: "Radical Lessons: Thoughts on Emma Goldman, Chaos, Grief and Political Violence Post-9/11/01" (Feminist Teacher); "Plugged in Praxis: Thoughts on Cyber-Technology, Feminism, and Solidarity with the Women of Afghanistan" (Journal of International Women's Studies); and "(In)Quest of Liberal Feminism"(Hypatia). Kensinger’s academic passion is in the undergraduate classroom. She has taught a number of courses, including the History of Feminism, Feminist Theory, Diversity in the U.S., Women in U.S. Politics, and Representations of Women. In 2003 she was honored with the California State University, Fresno, College of Social Science Outstanding Teacher Award.