Women's Activism: Gender, Literacy and Human Rights

Wednesdays, 5:30 - 8:30 PM  /  2.3.10 – 5.12.10

This course explores education, literacy, and human rights as sites of women’s activism. It seeks to build deepened understandings of gender and intersectionality as we use different lenses to focus on these sites; we will consider how gender, race, class, nationality, ethnicity, sexuality, age, location, literacy, and ideologies impact upon activism.

Women throughout the world have engaged in collective and individual actions both to resist oppression but also sometimes to further their own privileges.  This activism has taken place in formal educational institutions, at the community and grassroots level, and through national and international organizations and movements.  This course will examine the meaning of women’s activism around education and human rights both globally and locally.


Lorna Rivera is Associate Professor of Sociology and Community Planning at the University of Massachusetts-Boston.  She is also a Research Associate at the Mauricio Gaston Institute for Latino Public Policy at UMass-Boston.  Dr. Rivera’s work focuses on women’s literacy, Latino Studies, and social inequalities in public education.

Kathleen Weiler is Professor of Education at Tufts University.  She is the author of a number of works on women and education exploring the possibilities and parameters of education for women, including ethnographic studies of classroom teaching, feminist theory and pedagogy, and historical studies of women educators in the American West.

A sociologist and activist, Loretta J. Williams directs the Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights, a 24 year old national network with a hub office at Simmons College, that, among other things, publishes /Multidiversity: Myers Book Commentary/ and the annual /Sheroes Womyn Warriors/ Calendar series. She consults locally and nationally on multicultural organizational development with particular attention to anti-oppression strategies.

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Consortium for Graduate Studies in Gender, Culture, Women, and Sexuality
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085