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Fisher Center April Discussions

Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014

The Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men will continue its theme of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" this April with discussions of popular video game culture and on the international trajectory of the book that inspired this year's Fisher Center theme, "Our Bodies, Ourselves."

Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow Brianne Gallagher will present "De-militarizing Game Culture and New Rehabilitation Technologies: From Virtual Iraq to U.S. Veteran Resistance through Art, Poetry and Activism" on Monday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in the Fisher Center, Demarest 212.

She will discuss how virtual therapeutic programs used by the U.S. military depoliticize the violent effects of war on soldiers' bodies within gendered formations of power. Specifically, Gallagher will examine how the virtual therapeutic gaming technology, "Virtual Iraq," reaffirms dominant ideas of masculinity by reinforcing the belief that talking about trauma is a sign of feminine weakness and that playing video games is "fun" and "virtually cool" through the militarization of entertainment culture. Gallagher explores how veterans seek alternative ways of healing from war trauma, in particular those who deviate from the masculine, militarized game culture and seek healing instead through art, poetry, activism and other creative modes.

Last fall, Gallagher's course, "Veteran Activism, Gender, and the Global War on Terror," familiarized students with how U.S. soldiers resist the current United States-led wars and how soldiers and veterans challenge dominant ideas of masculinity, femininity, and processes of militarization. This spring, she is teaching a course, "The Wounded Body of War," which explores the differential ways that wounded bodies of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars become valued as bodies worthy of grieving, rehabilitating, curing, and "fixing" within dominant U.S. military formations of power and knowledge. Her dicussions on these topics with students and colleagues at the Fisher Center and across campus have inspired her dissertation writing this year and have sparked new research questions and interests. Gallagher recently defended her dissertation with a "high pass," and will graduate with her Ph.D. from the Department of Political Science at The University of Hawai'i at Mänoa this spring.

She has also been awarded the 2014-2016 Postdoctoral Fellowship position at the Gender Research Institute at Dartmouth College (GRID). As such, she will collaborate with Professor Susan Brison, the GRID faculty seminar leader, and co-teach GRID's annual seminar during the first year. In addition, she will teach WGST 96: Advanced Research in Women's and Gender Studies, an experimental course that runs parallel to the GRID seminar for interested students. Moreover, she will turn her dissertation project into a book manuscript for publication so it can reach a broader audience and embark on new research interests.

On Wednesday, April 30, the Fisher Center will present Kathy Davis, senior research fellow at VU University, Netherlands. Her lecture, "Feminism as Traveling Theory: the Case of ‘Our Bodies, Ourselves,'" will be held in the Geneva Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library at 7:30 p.m.

Drawing upon Edward Said's concept of "traveling theory," Davis will explore the world-wide travels of "Our Bodies, Ourselves," showing how the book was transformed in the process of its many border crossings. Davis will argue that "Our Bodies, Ourselves" has not only been U.S. feminism's most successful and popular "export," but that it can provide some useful insights for scholarship within gender studies.

In addition to her current role as a research fellow, Davis has held visiting chairs and research fellowships at Wellesley College, Columbia University, and the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies at Harvard University. She has also served as the Maria Jahoda Chair for International Women's Studies at Bochum University in Germany and held visiting professorships in Frankfurt and Vienna. Her research interests include sociology of the body, intersectionality, travelling theory and transnational practices.

She is the author of many books, including "Reshaping the Female Body" (Routledge, 1995), "Embodied Practices: Feminist Perspectives on the Body" (Sage 1997), and "Dubious Equalities and Embodied Differences" (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), and co-editor of "The Handbook of Gender and Women's Studies" (Sage 2006) and "Transatlantic Conversations: Feminism as Traveling Theory" (Ashgate, 2011). Her book "The Making of Our Bodies, Ourselves: How Feminism Travels Across Borders" (Duke, 2007) was the recipient of several prizes. Her most recent book, "Dancing Tango: Passionate Encounters in a Globalizing World" will soon be published with NYU Press.

Each semester, the Fisher Center looks to bring together the HWS community through its academic conversations to cultivate understanding and social justice in contemporary society.

The photo above features Fisher Center Predoctoral Fellow Brianne Gallagher.

 


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