Newsletters

Newsletter Spring 2002

Volume 7, Number 2

President’s Report

Susan Rotroff

It has become harder and harder to find a single time when all eight members of the board are free to meet, but we did manage to do so twice (February 8 and March 15) during the spring semester. Among our more important actions was approving two documents, each of which aims to improve the situation of women on our campus. The first was a letter to deans and department chairs, urging them to avoid scheduling events at times that present problems for families. We also approved a draft of a proposed policy covering the appointments of non-tenure-track faculty, a group which makes up a substantial proportion of the faculty at Washington University, and which is largely comprised of women. As usual, the real work took place within the committees, in this case the Committee on Childcare and Family Responsive Policies and the Committee on Non-tenure Track Faculty of our organization, and they are to be congratulated for taking the initiative and following through on these projects. Other tasks included the planning of the Spring Potluck Supper (April 23) and selection of recipients of the annual AWF awards to women graduate students.

Along with the Mentoring Task Force, AWF sponsored the visit of Kelly Ward from the School of Educational Studies at Oklahoma State University. Kelly offered a well-attended brown-bag lunch in which she moderated a lively discussion of the challenge of the combined demands of parenthood and a tenure-track position. Later in the day, she offered a more formal presentation on mentoring. That lecture, aimed at mentors and particularly at departmental chairs, was not nearly as well-attended as the Brown Bag session; we still have a way to go in alerting those in control to the importance of mentoring for the well-being of the faculty.

The American Association of University Women has invited Washington University to participate in a pilot program in Empowerment Training. This program, centered on a day-long training session, is part of the AAUW’s initiative to improve the position of women in higher education. Mentoring is one of the issues to be addressed, as well as salary negotiation, navigating committee assignments and the like. With the support of the chancellor, and in cooperation with our sister organization at the School of Medicine, AWN, we are involved in discussions with AAUW to determine whether or not we will participate in this developmental phase of the project.

As the academic year comes to a close, I would like to thank the board members, committee chairmen and other women who have volunteered their time and talents to make the work of the Association of Women Faculty possible. And I would like to urge members to become actively involved if they have not been so in the past. The health and vigor of the organization depends on the willingness of its members to contribute their ideas, abilities, and that most precious commodity: time.

Women and Citizenship Conference

Citizenship covers a number of urgent contemporary concerns: multicultural diversity, immigration, ethnic strife, human rights, social responsibilities, patriotism, cosmopolitanism, the international economy and challenges to liberalism and democracy. Recent years have witnessed an explosion of interest among social and political theorists on the topic of citizenship. A dynamic conference was held on the Washington University campus, April 12-13, 2002, to explore the way that these concerns intersect with issues of women’s roles and participation in public and political life.

Dr. Marilyn Friedman, professor of Philosophy, organized the conference with extensive help from Women and Gender Studies administrator, Kathy McCabe, and many others. It was sponsored by the Women and Gender Studies Program with assistance from the Women’s Society, Arts & Sciences, the Office of Development, the Social Thought and Analysis Program, and the departments of Philosophy, Political Science and History. The majority of funding for this conference was drawn from the generous challenge grant Susan and William Stiritz initiated for the Women & Gender Studies Program.

Speakers and Commentators 

Iris Marion Young, University of Chicago, “Masculinist Protection and Feminist Citizenship: A Critique of the Security Regime” (Commentator: Linda Nicholson, Washington University)

Joan Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, “The Political Representation of Sexual Difference: Le Mouvement pour la Parite in Late 20th Century France” (Commentator: Lisa Baldez, Washington University)

Alison Jaggar, University of Colorado, “Arenas of Citizenship: Civil Society and State in Global Context” (Commentator: James Bohman, St. Louis University)

Joan Tronto, Hunter College/CUNY, “Caring as the Work of Citizens: A Modest Proposal” (Commentator: Sonya Michel, University of Illinois-Chicago)

Martha Nussbaum, University of Chicago, “Women’s Education: An International Challenge” (Commentator: Mary Ann Dzuback, Washington University)

Susan Moller Okin, Stanford University, “One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Women’s Human Rights, Culture, and International Economics in the Late Twentieth Century” (Commentator: Sandra Bartky, University of Illinois-Chicago)

Amina Wadud, Virginia Commonwealth University, “Muslim Women Between Citizenship and Faith-Based Agency” (Commentator: Fatemeh Keshavarz, Washington University)

Suad Joseph, University of California-Davis, “The Gender of the Subject: Women and Citizenship in the Middle East” (Commentator: Sara Friedman, Washington University)

Margaret Bush-Wilson, Washington University alumna and Emerita Trustee, delivered the keynote address “Take a Picture in Your Imagination” Saturday evening. Bush-Wilson is a senior partner at Wilson & Associates, Attorneys, a St. Louis-based firm. Her quest for racial justice and equal opportunity has spanned nearly 60 years. She has been a leader of the NAACP at the local, state and national levels, serving nine terms as chair of its national board of directors.

Martha Ackelsberg of Smith College and Aida Hurtado of University of California-Santa Cruz were scheduled to appear but not able to attend due to illness.

The conference audience was estimated at over 150 people and included individuals from Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado and others from as far as Canada and Israel.

The conference drew national attention to our Women & Gender Studies Program, formerly coordinated by Helen Power and now under the direction of Linda Nicholson, the Susan and William Stiritz Professor in Women’s Studies and professor of History.

Plans are underway to publish a conference proceedings volume. For more information:http://artsci.wustl.edu/~women/conference/

Awards

Rebecca Copeland

Lynne Tatlock was installed as the Hortense & Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professor in the Humanities on February 5, 2002. This chair is designated by its donors for award to a Washington University professor in the Humanities who has shown excellence in the fields of scholarship and teaching.

Professor Tatlock earned her AB, MA and PhD in Germanic Languages from Indiana University. She joined the faculty of Arts & Sciences in 1981 as an assistant professor, was named associate professor in 1987 and full professor in 1994. She presently serves as chair of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures.

Professor Tatlock’s work is devoted largely to 17th- and 19th-century German literature and culture, with an emphasis on prose fiction. She was among the first scholars of 17th-century German literature to publish on gender. The Graph of Sex and the German Text: Gendered Culture in Early Modern German 1500‒1700, which she edited, has stimulated pathbreaking research in this area.

The Hortense & Tobias Lewin Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities was established in 1987 by a gift from the late Tobias Lewin to honor his wife Hortense.

Rebecca Dresser, JD, was installed as the Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law on November 16, 2001. Dresser also holds an appointment in the School of Medicine where she serves as a Professor of Ethics in Medicine. She earned her AB and MA from Indiana University and her JD from Harvard Law School. Dresser is the author of When Science Offers Salvation: Patient Advocacy and Research Ethics (Oxford University Press), published this year, and the co-author of The Human Use of Animals: Case Studies in Ethical Choice.

The chair is named for Kirby, who was a School of Law and university alumnus, member of the Washington University Corporation, lecturer in the Law Department at the university and prominent St. Louis lawyer.

Barbara Abraham-Shrauner, professor of Electrical Engineering, has been elected to the grade of senior member of the IEEE. Only about 7% of the IEEE membership are senior members.

Patty Jo Watson, Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished Professor of Anthroplogy, was one of four awarded Outstanding Faculty Mentor Awards for this year by the Graduate Student Senate of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.

Watson’s areas of interest include prehistoric subsistence, technology, economy, environment and processualist archaeology  as well as the variety of postprocessualist challenges currently being voiced.

Other AWF members who have received Recognition for Excellence in Mentoring:

Cindy A. Brantmeier, Romance Languages and Literatures
Mary Ann Dzuback, Education
Dolores Pesce, Music
Vivian R. Pollak, English*
Rebecca Rogers, Education
Elzbieta Sklodowska, Romance Languages and Literatures
Lynne Tatlock, Germanic Languages and Literatures*
Gerhild Scholz Williams, Germanic Languages and Literatures*

*Faculty who have previously been recognized by the awards committee

Member News

Rebecca Copeland (ANELL) presented the paper “Woman Uncovered: Pornography and Power in the Detective Fiction of Kirino Natsuo” at the annual conference of the Association of Asian Studies in Washington, D.C., on April 5, 2002. She will deliver “Inquiring Minds: Kirino Natsuo and Mysterious Masculinities” at the Asian Studies Association of Australia conference in Hobart, Tasmania, this July.

Heather Corcoran (Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art) has launched a graphic design firm called Plum Studio. Among her projects are two posters for Women’s History Month which appeared in local buses and Metro Link trains in March. Clients include Arts in Transit, Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, Saint Louis Zoo and Washington University. Her article “Journey by Design” will appear in InForm, a graphic design journal, in the late summer.

Mary-Jean Cowell (Performing Arts) had an article “Michio Ito in Hollywood: Modes and Ironies of Ethnicity” in Dance Chronicle in December 2001. In January, she performed at the SLU Museum of Contemporary Religious Art. She and colleagues David Marchant, Cecil Slaughter and local dancer/ choreographer Gwi Janet Park, designed and performed dances set in the installation of Andy Warhol’s floating “Silver Clouds.”

Ginger Marcus (ANELL) presented a paper “The Relationship of Program Goals and Assessment” as part of an all day workshop titled “Performance-oriented Oral Assessment: Beyond Information Gap” at the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in New York in April. During the summer, she will train teachers of Japanese at Bryn Mawr College and Ohio State University.

Rebecca Messbarger (Romance Languages and Literatures) will have an article in the spring issue of the MMLA Journal: “Double-Crossing: Female Impersonation in Gasparo Gozzi’s Gazzetta Veneta.” Her book, The Century of Women: Representations Of Women in Eighteenth-Century Italian Public Discourse, will be out in September. She gave an invited lecture at UCLA’s Center for 17th- and 18th-Century Studies titled: “Body of Evidence: Reconstructing the Lifework of Anatomist Anna Morandi Manzolini.”

Angela Miller (Art History and Archaeology) delivered a lecture at the British Tate Museum in London in late April, on the occasion of the first major exhibition of American landscape painting ever held in England. She also lectured at the University of North Carolina and the Saint Louis Art Museum and participated in a roundtable discussion on Environmental History and American Studies at the American Society of Environmental Historians in Denver. This summer, she will spend two weeks at the Terra Museum of American Art in Giverny, France, as scholar in residence. She has an editorial in the Smithsonian journal, American Art, on writing a survey of American art for the twenty-first century (summer /fall 2002).

Vivian Pollak (English) is editing a historical guide to Emily Dickinson for Oxford University Press. She presented a talk at the University of New Hampshire-Durhamon March 6, 2002, called “Negotiating Abortion Rights Behind Bars” and gave the opening talk at a conference on “Maternal-State Conflicts: Claims of Fetal Rights and the Well-Being of Women and Families” on January 26, 2002, in New York.

Rachel Roth (Political Science and Women’s Studies) will be on sabbatical at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington next year. She will work on a project entitled “Under Lock and Key: Women’s Reproductive Rights in U.S. Jails and Prisons.” The American Council of Learned Societies is also supporting this project.

SUMMER READING? Lynne Breakstone recommends The Cultural Creatives: How 50 million people are Changing the World by Paul Ray & Sherry Ruth Anderson (Three Rivers Press, 2000). Ray and Ruth discuss a quiet revolution of values and claim that 20% of Americans share the values of “cultural creatives,” categorized in four ways: political activism, environmental awareness, spiritual searching and recognition of the importance of women in society.

Committee Reports

Family Responsive Policies Committee

Akiko Tsuchiya

Childcare continues to be a central concern of the FRP committee. The university has developed a partnership with the University City Childcare Center to build a new facility near campus and is committed to funding this project.

In addition, the FRP committee investigated the possibility of a drop-off center on campus for school-age children of faculty, staff and graduate students, but decided not to pursue it. In addition to liability issues, there was concern that the usage would be too low to maintain it.

For those looking for babysitters, the Career Center maintains a binder of part-time job listings. Faculty seeking sitters may find this a valuable resource. Job listings can be faxed to Elizabeth Lukas at 935-5309 or careers@artsci.wustl.edu. We also recommend that faculty members encourage appropriate students needing work to visit the binder.

In an effort to support faculty with childcare and other family responsibilities, the FRP committee, with the endorsement of the AWF board, sent letters to department and program chairs and upper-level administrators to urge them to avoid scheduling lectures and other professional events during evening and weekend hours whenever possible. We drafted our recommendations to conform to the “AAUP Statement of Principles on Family Responsibilities and Academic Work.” This is a part of our effort to raise campus awareness of this issue. If anyone would like a copy of the statement, please contact Akiko Tsuchiya, atsuchiy@artsci.wustl.edu .

Other issues currently under discussion include eldercare leave (under the leadership of Liz Childs) and the AAUP’s recommendation to grant faculty members who are primary or coequal caregivers of a newborn or newly adopted child extra time on the tenure clock even if they choose not to take a family leave.

We will post federal, state and university policies pertaining to women in the workforce along with links to relevant resources for the AWF membership on the AWF website. We will create the following three category headings:

  • Federal and state policies
  • University policies and statements
  • National resources (AAUP, AAUW, Chronicle of Higher Education,etc.)

Send any additional information that you would like to have posted on our website to: Sally Goldman, Box 1045 (sg@cs.wustl.edu ). You can either send her a url for links or a hard copy of statements and policies for her to scan into the website. She plans to have the website updated with this information by the end of May. We hope that the website will serve as a valuable resource. Any suggestions will be welcome—feel free to contact me or Sally Goldman.

 

Non-Tenure-Track Faculty Committee

Virginia Marcus

After the spring 2001 semester, members of the committee met with a group of chairs from departments in which there are a significant number of non-research-track, non-tenure-track faculty. All welcomed the idea of a college-wide policy that would support the work and professional development of non-tenure-eligible faculty, and they agreed that consistent policies and procedures would facilitate their work as chairs in charge of monitoring the work of this group.

With the assistance of the chairs, the committee drafted a request for a formal document governing full-time non-tenure track appointments that would define and clarify these appointments and establish practices that would support their work and careers. In December of 2001, the draft proposal was distributed to all full-time non-tenure-track faculty on the Danforth Campus. By large majority, those who responded expressed strong support for it. The committee is currently revising the draft to reflect the feedback it received.

 

Women and Gender Studies

AWF to Lose a Stalwart Member

Rebecca Copeland

María Inés Lagos, Professor of Spanish, will leave Washington University at the end of the spring semester to accept a professorship at the University of Virginia. As Helen Power of Women & Gender Studies observes, the program “will lose one of its most faithful faculty members.” In addition to her own research and teaching in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, where she specialized in the contemporary Latin-American novel, women writers and feminist criticism, Mané has been active in all aspects of the Women’s Studies program.

“She has been a member of the program’s Executive Committee since its inception,” Power notes. “Her teaching has bolstered the program. She is one of the few full-time faculty to have taught Introduction to Women’s Studies early in the program’s expansion. Her classes in gender and Latin American women have been a popular addition to the academic experience of many students.”

Mary Ann Dzuback, associate professor of Education, worked with Mané on the creation of AWF and states of Mané’s influence in helping to develop the association:

“She served as president of AWF and chaired the Sexual Harassment Policy Monitoring and the Child Care and Responsive Family Policy committees.” Nancy Berg, associate professor of Modern Hebrew Language and Literature, served with Mané on the latter of these committees and remarks: “Under her leadership, the committee raised the administration’s level of awareness concerning child care issues.”

Berg adds, “Mané has shown her support of junior colleagues and graduate students in many ways, not least of which is her loyal presence at lectures and colloquia.” Mané also chaired the Feminist Reading Group from its inception which, as Berg observes, “provides a wonderful opportunity for faculty and graduate students to come together to discuss issues in feminist studies.”

Mané joins her husband and daughter on the east coast. She will be deeply missed.

Program News

Linda Nicholson

The Women’s Studies program has undergone a name change and will henceforth be known as the “Women & Gender Studies Program.”

This spring the program initiated a “Works in Process Seminar Series” which met about once a month. Faculty and graduate students presented works in progress on issues of women, gender and sexuality. Presenters included Celia Cain, visiting lecturer, Music; Shanti Parikh, assistant professor, Anthropology and African and Afro-American Studies; and Fatemeh Keshavarz, associate professor, Asian and Near Eastern Languages and Literatures.

For more information, contact Linda Nicholson at lnichols@artsci.wustl.edu  or visit http://artsci.wustl.edu/~women.

On April 2, 2002, the Women & Gender Studies program sponsored a panel discussion on Women and Globalization. Four panelists discussed why and how globalization is a feminist issue: faculty members Sara Friedman and Shanti Parikh; graduate student Celeste Montoya; and undergraduate Gretchen Widmer. The panel was well attended.

Women’s and Gender Historians of the Midwest, formerly known as Women Historians of the Midwest (WHOM), has recently reconvened as a regional scholarly organization devoted to gender and/or women’s history. Its goal is to have a regional conference that will move throughout the Midwest, the first tentatively scheduled for summer 2004 at Loyola University in Chicago. Interested scholars should contact Stacy Cordery at stacy@monm.edu .

Corrections and Apologies

Maria Hunter received AWF’s University College award in 2001. Carroll Hilles Balot, Assistant Dean of Graduate Programs, University College, was incorrectly identified as the recipient in the October issue of this newsletter.

 

Women Graduate Student Awards

Susan Rotroff

The awards for women graduate students given annually by AWF are intended to acknowledge students of exceptional academic achievement and leadership potential. Nominations are solicited from members of the faculty for the three awards: one in Arts & Sciences, one in the professional schools of the Danforth Campus (Art, Architecture, Business, Engineering, Law and Social Work) and one in University College. This year the nominees constituted a particularly large and talented group: seven in Arts & Sciences, five from the professional schools and three in University College. Because it was extraordinarily difficult to choose just a single recipient from each group, we added two Honorable Mentions to the three award winners.

April Seager, a PhD candidate in German, expects to complete her degree next year. She is the recipient of an Olin Fellowship, two DAAD research grants for study in Germany and the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. April has taken a leadership role at the university, serving as chair of the Coordinating Committee for the German Graduate Student Symposium this past February, as senior TA mentor and as co-editor of the Olin Newsletter. In the words of Professor Lynne Tatlock, who nominated her, April “embodies all those things the profession honors: excellence in teaching and scholarship, commitment, leadership ability and willingness to serve.”

Honorable Mention goes to Andrea Easley, a doctoral candidate in Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. Professor Elzbieta Sklodowska describes Andrea as “a compelling intellectual interlocutor, a devoted teacher, a passionate and rigorous scholar and an utmost example of collegiality and professionalism.” Her honors include the Helen Fe Jones Award for Teaching, a Washington University Dissertation Fellowship and a Markovitz Award for Study Abroad. She has used her talents in the service of the community by working with Mexican, Honduran, Nicaraguan and Cuban immigrants, helping them in such diverse areas as income tax filing, visits to the doctor and English instruction.

Michele Owens,who will receive her MFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Art in May, is a ceramicist with an impressive record of exhibitions and awards, including three All Star Communicator Awards for graphic design from the United Way. Recently her submission to the University City Public Art Program was displayed at the City Hall of University City and subsequently purchased by the city. She has headed the student committee responsible for the MFA exhibition of first-year students and has represented the school at Webster University and UMSL during their MFA Day programs. Professor Denise Ward-Brown describes Michele as a talented artist who “has incorporated the ancient media of ceramics into her artwork in such a way as to make the field of ceramics broader and more relevant in today’s world.”

Honorable Mention among students in the professional schools goes to Portia Adams, a third-year doctoral student in the Brown School and recipient of a Chancellor’s Fellowship. Portia has guided and managed the Black Rural and Urban Caregiver’s Project and has a commitment to the empowerment of the disenfranchised members of our society, particularly girls and women of color. She already has an impressive record, and Professor Letha Chadiha, who has worked closely with her, predicts that she will be an “outstanding future leader.”

Katherine Tillery is working towards an MA in International Affairs at University College, while continuing to practice law. She has impressed her professors with her love of learning and the elegance and sophistication of her writing. Professor Marvin Marcus characterizes her work as “nothing short of brilliant.” Her vita gives a long list of activities, including, most recently, pro-bono legal work for a local non-profit group, board member of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Southwestern Illinois and of the Friends of the St. Louis Art Museum, and co-chair of the Illinois Musicale Committee of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Association.

We offer our congratulations to these remarkable women, and also our thanks to all who sent nominations.