Newsletters

Newsletter Fall 2001

Volume 7, Number 1

President’s Report

Susan Rotroff

The first weeks of the semester are always a time of organization, and no less for the AWF board. As an innovation this year, the board met for lunch at Whittemore House on the day before the beginning of classes in order to discuss in an informal way our plans and programs for the coming year. Eight of the nine members were able to attend and this served as a good way for new members to meet old ones and for everyone to exchange ideas about what the organization might undertake in the coming year.

Our activities began officially, as usual, with the Fall Tea, held this year in the Women’s Building Lounge. I confess I was too occupied with the event itself to do an official count of attendees, but I would say that about 50 women stopped by at one point or another.

We held our first board meeting on Sept. 24. This year’s board includes a mix of old and new faces. Sally Goldman continues as our secretary and also maintains the AWF website. Sally is a member of the Computer Science Department in the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, and this year is the sole member of the board who is not from Arts & Sciences. Members please note: we’d like more representation from the other Danforth schools! Vivian Pollak, past president and a member of the English Department, has graciously agreed to serve as treasurer and as chair of the Nominating Committee (despite a tradition that the past president should be allowed to rest on her laurels). If anyone is interested in serving on the board in the future, Vivian is the person to contact. Art historian Angela Miller, who was on the board last year, is on leave in the fall semester, but she will return to service on the board in the spring. Her place is being taken in the fall semester by Marilyn Friedman, of the Philosophy Department, who also serves as board liaison to the Mentoring Task Force, which is headed by former board member and president Fatemeh Keshavarz. Akiko Tsuchiya, of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has taken over as chair of the Committee on Family Responsive Policies and Child Care this year and has been soliciting new members for that committee. New board members are Elizabeth Childs, Ginger Marcus and Sunita Parikh. Liz, another member of the Department of Art History and Archaeology, is already busy organizing a series of “brown bag” events. Ginger, who teaches in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (ANELL), chairs the Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Committee. Sunita, a member of the Department of Political Science, will be chairing the Sexual Harassment Policy Monitoring Committee.

Much of the essential work that supports our organization is done by people who are not on the board. Among them are Rebecca Copeland (also in ANELL), who organizes the newsletter, and Mary Ann Dzuback (in Education), who maintains the membership lists. Important support of another kind comes from Cathy Marler, the secretary of the Classics Department and a woman who has a real understanding of how practical things get done at Washington University; she has been helping me and other board members with mailings, reservations, accounting and other administrative tasks.

Thanks to all of these women for their support of the organization and our mission, “to promote professional and social interactions among women faculty at Washington University in order to discover, support and pursue mutual goals.”

Committee Reports

Brown Bag Lunches and Round Table Discussions

Elizabeth Childs

Our first brown bag meeting of the year was convened on October 12—earlier than expected and on a topic not earlier proposed. This impromptu meeting was organized in response to the tragedies of September 11. We met to discuss the topic “Women in Muslim Society: Current Perspectives.” Remarks were offered by Sunita Parikh (Political Science) and Fatemeh Keshavarz (Persian Language and Comparative Literature). Fatemeh began with an overview of the history of the Muslim faith, with particular emphasis on the role of women in the early days of Islam. She described the politicization of some aspects of Islam in the 20th century and highlighted the current activist roles Muslim women have taken in a number of cultures. She described the emergence of a movement of women “feminist theologians” who seek to combine a feminist perspective with the tenets of their faith. Sunita spoke about the diversity of Muslim culture throughout Southern Asia and also emphasized the importance of class as well as gender in both Muslim and Hindu practice. She also summarized the Taliban regime’s repressive policies toward women and offered insights into the political history of Afghanistan that has contributed to the rise of this particular regime that claims the authority of a Muslim fundamentalism. Including the speakers, 14 persons were in attendance.

A second brown bag luncheon was held October 26th on the topic of “Women, Citizenship and Action: Where Are We Now.” Faculty considered the questions of how we can best respond to the current political situation in our classrooms and what our responsibilities are to our students. Professors Margaret Finders and Rebecca Rogers of the Department of Education began with an original analysis of documents published on the internet as “official” sources of advice to teachers regarding classroom response to the Sept. 11. These included news releases to American middle and high school students from Laura and George Bush and official recommendations to educators from the United States Department of Education. Finders and Rogers’ survey revealed that K-12 educators have been encouraged in the last month to present only “facts,” and to offer no speculation about larger political forces, nor any framework for teaching students how to evaluate the situation critically. Teachers are thus constructed as passive conveyers of established knowledge, in a society that has been encouraged to return to “normal” as quickly as possible. Sept. 11 is presented, in these documents, as a static event, not as part of any larger historical process of ongoing international relations. While we cannot yet know how much power these official recommendations have had in American classrooms, such perspectives have obvious ramifications for the formation of the critical faculties of the freshmen we will soon be teaching. Professors Finders’ and Rogers’ remarks, which took the form of a formal paper, will be published on the AWF web site this fall. http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~awf/

Margaret Garb of the History Department considered her experience teaching American history since Sept. 11, and offered a survey of student response in the classroom. She considered whether or not students’ tendency to historicize the present by drawing comparisons with past historical moments may be unproductive, as sketching such parallels may serve to trivialize the present moment or to strip us and our students of our motivation to take action in the present. While noting the importance of admitting the immediacy of these issues to our own lives, she also resisted any tendency to turn the classroom into a kind of historical group therapy session (Her comments will also be put on the website as well). Marilyn Friedman of the Philosophy Department placed trends in current American response to terrorism within a framework of “self-referential altruism,” in which individuals band together through views shared for the benefit of a limited and non-universal group. She posed the question of how vested specific American interests are within the rhetoric of a global coalition against terrorism. Discussion turned to what we, as individual scholars, should be doing to connect our classroom to this political moment. We also distributed articles from the Chronicle of Higher Education concerning the challenges to academic freedom that are occurring in some U.S. university classrooms.

Mark your calendars for our next brown bag, “Tips for Tenure in Arts & Sciences,” November 30 at 9 a.m. Room to be announced.

Four senior women faculty from Arts & Sciences will lead an informal discussion on the topic of working toward and earning tenure at research universities in general and Washington University in particular. While every department and discipline has different requirements, there are some general guidelines regarding scholarship, teaching and service that can be discussed. We hope to offer a format for friendly discussion, informal advice and reflections on the process.

Faculty who will lead the discussion include Susan Rotroff (Classics and president of AWF), Barbara Schaal (Biology), Lynne Tatlock (German) and Patty Jo Watson (Anthropology).

For members of AWF who are not in Arts & Sciences, we would be very happy to organize a similar session for the Law School, Engineering, Business, etc. Please let me know if you are a senior faculty member in one of the other divisions and would be willing to help lead such a discussion featuring your discipline/division in the spring semester.

Plans are under way to plan a brown bag gathering early next semester around the issue of elder care and strategies for coping with the inevitable work/family conflicts that arise when caring for an aging parent. Please send any ideas for topics or discussants for other Brown Bag events to ecchilds@artsci.wustl.edu .

 

Committee on Child Care and Family Responsive Policies

Akiko Tsuchiya

We are currently seeking volunteers from the membership to serve on this committee. We plan to meet approximately once a month to discuss issues of interest to women faculty with family issues and solicit recommendations to present to the administration. I feel that it is especially important for us to have at least one person from the School of Law to help us with the legal aspects of any policies or recommendations that we wish to forward to the administration. I will approach individuals; however, if anyone wishes to volunteer or has a name to recommend, please get in touch with me as soon as possible at atsuchiy@artsci.wustl.edu.

 

Graduate Student Awards

Every spring the AWF Board selects the winners of the annual Graduate Student Awards, designed to recognize scholarly excellence and leadership potential among women students in the second year of graduate school or beyond. The winners of the awards this year were:

  • Julia Hohberger, Psychology
  • Carol Hilles Ballot, University College
  • Qin Zhang, Olin Business School
  • Cheryl Long, Economics (Honorable Mention)

 

News from Women’s Studies

Linda Nicholson

Linda Nicholson, the Susan and William Stiritz Professor in Women’s Studies and Professor of History, has now begun to direct the Women’s Studies program. Sara Friedman, assistant professor with a joint appointment in Anthropology, joined the program this fall.

Women’s Studies is beginning a monthly “work in progress” seminar. Graduate students and faculty who are doing research on women, gender or sexuality are invited to present their work to the group. Those who are interested in doing a presentation should get in touch with Linda Nicholson (lnichols@artsci). All are welcome to attend. Look for announcements for specific times, dates and place.

Marilyn Friedman is organizing a conference on “Women and Citizenship” to take place April 12-14, 2002. Many prominent scholars are scheduled to speak including Alison Jaggar, Susan Moller Okin, Joan Scott, Seyla Benhabib, among others. More detailed announcements about the conference will be forthcoming later.

 

New Women Faculty

Amy Bauer is a new Assistant Professor of Music in the Music Department . She has a BM from St. Norbert College and degrees in Music Theory from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (MM) and Yale University (PhD). She has previously taught music theory and ethnomusicology at the University of Colorado-Boulder, the University of Missouri-Kansas City, West Chester University and Swarthmore College. Her current research focuses on cross-disciplinary work in contemporary music that embraces structural analysis, ethnomusicology, post-structuralism, cognitive theory and psychoanalysis. She is writing a book on the music of the renowned contemporary composer György Ligeti. Her other interests include jazz history and analysis, theory of ethnic musics, vernacular music, pedagogical applications of contemporary analytic concepts and the design of interactive teaching and research tools.

Gwen Bennett (PhD UCLA, 2001) has joined the Department of Art History and Archaeology on a one-year appointment. With a background in Chinese Neolithic period archaeology, Gwen is offering courses in the art and archaeology of Northern East Asia and in the spring will teach the Introduction to Asian Arts.

Margaret Garb has joined the Department of History as Assistant Professor. Maggie moved to St. Louis from New York after completing her doctorate at Columbia. She is working on Building the American Dream, a history of home ownership and housing reform in late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Chicago. She has so far dealt well with the particular challenges of getting intellectually housed, despite the construction project that engulfed her office for the first weeks of the semester.

Rebecca DeRoo, Assistant Professor, Art History and Archaeology comes to Washington University from the University of Chicago, where she received her PhD in 2000. Her dissertation, “Private Objects/Public Institutions: French Art and the Reinvention of the Museum 1968-1978” examines the work of artists Christain Boltanski and Annette Messager and tracks changes in French art and museums following the protests of 1968. Through a Killam Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Centre for the Study of Postwar French Art and Culture, University of British Columbia in 2000-2001, she studied women artists in the 1970s, to see how these artists engaged regional institutions, critical debates and politics of the emerging women’s movements, while striving to create international exhibition spaces and markets. She will be co-chairing a panel on this topic, “Creating Community: Feminist Art and Exhibitions of the 1970s” at the College Art Association in 2002. Her interests are interdisciplinary, and her courses include modern and contemporary art, photography and film, theory and criticism, artists’ exhibition practices and gender studies.

 

Member News

Adele Abrahamsen (Psychology) was program co-chair for the June 2001 meeting of the Society for Philosophy and Psychology and is currently a member of its Executive Committee. October 2001 is the release date for the second edition of Bechtel W. and A. Abrahamsen, Connectionism and the Mind: Parallel Processing, Dynamics, and Evolution in Networks (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002). She and Bechtel also are co-Principle Investigators of a grant beginning in November 2001 from Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education in the Department of Education. With Carl Craver (Department of Philosophy), they will develop a web-based course, “Methods of Inquiry in the Cognitive Sciences.” Its modules will be used in the PNP program here and at several partner institutions. Finally, as one of the first researchers to study “baby signing” (the practice of adding manual signs to spoken words to enhance communication with babies at ages of about 10-24 months), she occasionally is interviewed by journalists. If anyone in AWF is interested in knowing more about baby signs, she is happy to talk, to forward an email with her answers to frequently asked questions on this topic, or to send a copy of a book chapter she published in May 2000.

Jane Aiken (Law) is spending the semester in Nepal on a Fulbright lecturing and developing a clinical education partnership between the School of Law and Tribhuvan University in Katmandu, Nepal.

Lisa Baldez (Political Science), Rachel Roth and Lester Spence participated in a day-long Special Session on Women and Politics at the Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association in San Francisco, on Wednesday, August 29, 2001.

Lisa has an article coming out soon: “Coalition Politics and the Limits of State Feminism in Chile,” Women and Politics Vol. 22, no. 4, 2001. “Nonpartisanship as a Political Strategy: Women Left, Right and Center in Chile,” appears as a chapter in a new volume Radical Women in Latin America: Left and Right, edited by Victoria Gonzalez and Karen Kampwirth (Penn State University Press, 2001).

Rebecca Copeland (ANELL) spent the summer in Japan beginning a new research project on Japanese women writers and contemporary detective fiction. Father-Daughter Plots: Japanese Women and the Law of the Father, which she co-edited with Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen (University of Michigan), is now off the press (and hopefully on bookshelves everywhere). From October 10-12, she lectured at three universities in North Carolina as part of the Distinguished Lectures Series on Japan sponsored by the Association for Asian Studies. The title of her lecture was “Fashioning the Feminine: Modern Japanese Women Writers.”

Mary-Jean Cowell (Performing Arts) has an article coming out in a journal this fall. Currently, she is involved in choreographing for and co-directing the Washington University Dance Theatre (WUDT) concert to be presented Nov. 30-Dec. 2. She is also project director for a National College Choreography Initiative (NCCI) grant, which is bringing alum David Dorfman to Washington University for two weeks to teach, create new choreography for our students and conduct workshops for the School of Occupational Therapy, The Disability Project theatre group and inner city school children. The NCCI is a $10,000 matching grant that the dance program received from Dance/USA and the NEA. Mary-Jean is also coordinating Donald McKayle’s residency as Distinguished Visiting Scholar. He has also been teaching and setting choreography for WUDT.

Rebecca Dresser (Law) Professor of Law and Ethics in Medicine, will be installed as the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law on November 16, 2001, in the Bryan Cave Moot Courtroom in Anheuser-Busch Hall at 4:00 p.m.

As vice president and program chair, Mary Ann Dzuback (Education) organized the History of Education Society 2001 annual meeting, which took place at Yale University in October in conjunction with Yale’s tercentennial celebration. She also presented a paper entitled “The Vitality of Networks” as part of a symposium, “Speculating on a Synthesis for Women’s Educational History: A Discussion of Four Potential Interpretive Frameworks,” and chaired a session on Kenneth Ludmerer’s Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care.

Marilyn Friedman (Philosophy) has presented “Cultural Minorities and Women’s Rights” to two conferences: the Central States Philosophical Association meeting here at Washington University on October 12-13 and FEAST (Feminist Ethics and Social Theory group) meeting in St. Petersburg, Fla., on October 4-7. Later in December, she will present “Autonomy and Gender Hierarchy,” to the Eastern Division of the American Philosophical Association, Atlanta, Ga. She will also be involved in extended discussion of James Sterba’s book, Three Challenges to Ethics: Environmentalism, Feminism, and Multiculturalism, to the Pacific Division of the American Philosophical Association, Seattle, Wash., March 27-31, 2002.

Sally Goldman (Computer Science) will be receiving the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at an awards ceremony on December 6th in Kansas City.

Jennifer Jenkins (History) is spending the semester as a Visiting Scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University while working on her second book project, “Object Lessons: Architecture, Amnesia and Environment in Modern Germany,” a study of architecture, design, city planning and the politics of memory from 1850 to the present. Her first book, Provincial Modernity: Local Culture and Liberal Politics in Fin-de-Siecle Hamburg, will be published in 2002 by Cornell University Press. She is giving several talks this semester at Harvard University and at an international conference at Cornell University.

Emma Kafalenos (Comparative Literature) guest edited a special issue on Contemporary Narratology of the journal Narrative, published in May 2001. She has also organized and will chair a special session at the December 2001 conference of the Modern Language Association on narrative theory (on the role of readers in [re]constructing narrative worlds), featuring Susan Lanser, Ansgar Nuenning, James Phelan and Brian McHale.

JoEllen Lewis (Law) is serving as the first director of the Legal Research and Writing Program, which was recently revised to include a larger faculty and new research and mentoring components.

Rebecca Messbarger (Romance Languages and Literatures) has a book in press with University of Toronto Press, The Century of Women: Representations of Women in Eighteenth-Century Public Discourse, and a book forthcoming with University of Chicago Press, The Contest for Knowledge: Debates Over Women’s Learning in Enlightenment Italy. She also had an article published this August in the journal Configurations, “Waxing Poetic: Anna Morandi Manzolini’s Anatomical Wax Figures.”

Karen Tokarz (Law) was awarded the Law School’s Israel Treiman Faculty Fellowship for 2000-01 for work she is doing this fall on the development of clinical legal education in South Africa. She is also serving as a member of the training committee for the Global Alliance for Justice Education (GAJE) Conference to be held in Durban, South Africa, this winter.

Akiko Tsuchiya (Romance Languages and Literatures) published the following articles: “Taming the Deviant Body: Representations of the Prostitute in Nineteenth-Century Spain,” Anales Galdosianos. 36 (2001): 255-67 ; “Discourse and the Strategies of Power in Carme Riera’s En el último azul: A Cultural Analysis of the Inquisition,” Tesserae: Journal of Iberian and Latin-American Studies. 7 (2001): 77-84; and “Peripheral Subjects: Policing Deviance and Disorder in Nazarín and Halma,” Letras Peninsulares. 13 (2000): 197-208. With the support of a Faculty Research Grant, she spent the summer in Spain collecting research materials for a project entitled “Women on the Margins: Female Deviance and Criminality in Nineteenth-Century Spanish Literature.”

WU Women For Peace

Fatemeh Kesharaz & Rebecca Copeland

On Sunday, September 30th, over 250 individuals came together in the West County Mosque (517 Wiedman Road) to commemorate those who lost their lives in the September 11 tragedy and to advocate for peace and understanding between nations of people and cultures of faith. The group represented the largest interfaith effort ever to take place in the mosque. They did more than mourn the loss of the victims, they also expressed a strong desire to create lasting bonds of friendship among followers of various faiths and to support efforts promoting global peace. The event, sponsored by Washington University’s Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies and Religious Studies departments, was organized by two members of the AWF: Rebecca Copeland and Fatemeh Keshavarz (both from ANELL). Leaders from Jewish, Christian and Muslim cleric ranks participated, including Rabbis Susan Talve and Jeffrey Stiffman, Imam Nur, Reverend Terry Minchow-Proffit and Ms. Leslie Limbaugh, who is the WUSTL Baptist campus minister. The event, which was featured on the Channel 30 6:00 news and described briefly in the Post-Dispatch (October 1), has already led to the organization of similar events. For the Post-Dispatch write-up of the Interfaith Prayer Meeting, refer to: http://news-info.wustl.edu/clips/pd8_10-2-01.html

Using Technology in the Classroom

Lisa Baldez

I have been using online course software called Prometheus for my courses. It is relatively new and I wanted you all to know about it. In the classroom, I still rely primarily on talk and chalk. The website helps me organize the course material and provide all the information that students need outside of class in one central place. My course webpages include the syllabus, a day-by-day outline of topics and readings, lecture outlines, students’ grades and links to relevant websites. Prometheus provides a basic template for all these things, and it is very user-friendly. Here is the official blurb that describes the program:

“The School of Arts & Sciences has purchased a limited license for Prometheus, a course management package developed by George Washington University. Prometheus allows production of web pages for courses with an easy-to-use interface that is based on a customizable template. Prometheus allows for online course materials such as syllabi and handouts, communication resources including threaded discussion, and file sharing among students and faculty. The course management package consists of these basic tools with optional modules according to the needs of the faculty member and course requirements. The entire suite of tools accessed via web browser from any network-connected computer meeting a set of minimum requirements, and uses a fill-in-the-blanks approach for adding content.” For more information: http://artsci.wustl.edu/ASCC/facilities/tl/prometheus.html

Law and the Human Genome Project: Research, Medicine, and Commerce

Susan Appleton

Susan Appleton and Rebecca Dresser (Law) are organizing a year-long program on Law and the Human Genome Project: Research, Medicine and Commerce, sponsored by the School of Law’s Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and the School of Medicine. Key events in the program include:

November 15, 2001: Human Genome: The Fundamentals. (This lecture, by two faculty members at the School of Medicine’s Genome Sequencing Center, will acquaint nonscientists with background information; it repeats the lecture given on October 3.)

January 28-29, 2002: “The Human Genome Project: Expanding the Conversation.” This major conference is designed to bring together experts in the genomics revolution with “new voices” on the subject from other disciplines to learn their perspectives on the Human Genome Project. It will feature a wide variety of distinguished leaders and scholars: Francis Collins (Director of the National Human Genome Research Institute for the National Institutes of Health), Michael Traynor, (President of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, recognized for “research and publication on issues at the intersection of science and law”), Susan Moller Okin (Martha Sutton Weeks Professor of Ethics in Society at Stanford University), Nancy Wexler (Higgins Professor of Neuropsychology at Columbia University and president of the Hereditary Disease Foundation), Robert Waterston (Co-director of Washington University’s Genome Sequencing Center), Amy Gutmann (Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Politics at Princeton, founding director of the University Center for Human Values, and now Provost there), Justice Noelle Lenoir (currently Justice on the Administrative Supreme Court in France, previously Justice on France’s Constitutional Supreme Court, chair of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies for the European Union, and former chair of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee), Anita L. Allen (Professor of Law and Philosophy at University of Pennsylvania and visiting professor at Yale Law School), Robert Burt (Alexander M. Bickel Professor of Law at Yale), Dr. David Cox (director, Stanford Human Genome Center), Gerald Early (Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in the Departments of English and African & Afro-American Studies at Washington University and a well-known commentator on race and American society), Joel Mokyr (Chair of the Department of Economics and professor of History at Northwestern University who specializes in the economics of technological and population change), Margalit B. Mokyr (Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the University of Illinois, Chicago), and Robert Waterston (Co-director of Washington University’s Genome Sequencing Center).

Three colloquia will follow, each designed to explore more deeply questions raised at the January conference:

March 22, 2002: Colloquium on Professional, Ethical, Legal and Social Challenges for Genetic Counseling. This colloquium will include participants such as Michael Berube, Paterno Family Professor in Literature at Penn State University; Alexander Morgan Capron, Henry W. Bruce Professor, University Professor of Law & Medicine and co-director of the Pacific Center for Health Policy and Ethics, University of Southern California; Pauline Kim, Professor of Law, Washington University (and AWF member); Barbara Katz Rothman, Professor of Sociology, Baruch College and CUNY Graduate School; and Karen H. Rothenberg, dean and Marjorie Cook Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law.

April 5, 2002: Colloquium on Germ Line Interventions and Human Research Ethics. Participants will include Anne M. Bowcock, PhD, professor of Genetics, Pediatrics and Medicine, Department of Genetics, Washington University School of Medicine; Mark Frankel, director, Scientific Freedom, Responsibility and Law Program, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Nancy M.P. King, professor, Department of Social Medicine, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Pilar Ossorio, assistant professor of Law and Medical Ethics and associate director, Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Daniel B. Williams, associate professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Washington University School of Medicine.

The third colloquium, which will explore Patenting Genetic Products, is tentatively scheduled for April 12-13, 2002.

For additional information, please contact Linda McClain at 935-7988.

 

A note on the AWF News Editors

This issue of the AWF Newsletter was compiled by Rebecca Copeland (ANELL) with editorial advice and assistance from Ginger Marcus (ANELL and AWF Board member). The next issue of the AWF News will be published in the spring. Special thanks to all those who contributed articles, reports and news items to this issue. We look forward to receiving more of the same for the next issue!