News & Events

Gender, Health, and Marginalization Events

The Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies welcomes you to two public events hosted in conjunction with our Fall 2014 course Gender, Health, and Marginalization, taught by the GCWS faculty team Norma Meras Swenson, Chris Bobel, and Silvia DomĂ­nguez.

Reproductive Justice and the Abortion Wars

A Public Lecture by Loretta Ross

Wednesday, October 8, 7 pm
MIT Campus, Building 6 Room 120 

About Loretta Ross

Loretta J. Ross was a co-founder and the National Coordinator of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective from 2005-2012, a network founded in 1997 of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. Ms. Ross is an expert on women’s issues, hate groups, racism and intolerance, human rights, and violence against women. Her work focuses on the intersectionality of social justice issues and how this affects social change and service delivery in all movements.

For more on Loretta Ross, visit

Co-sponsored by the Women, Gender, and Health interdisciplinary concentration at the Harvard School of Public Health, Suffolk University's Center for Women's Health and Human Rights, and the Boston Doula Project.

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A Film Screening of Anita (2013) followed by Panel Discussion featuring:

Dr. Evelynn Hammonds, Professor of the History of Science and African and African American Studies at Harvard University, Former Dean of Harvard College, and Leena Akhtar, Doctoral Candidate, History of Science, Harvard University

Wednesday November 5, 7 pm
MIT Campus, Building 4 Room 370 

About Anita (2013)
"Anita Hill's graphic testimony was a turning point for gender equality in the U.S. and ignited a political firestorm about sexual misconduct and power in the workplace that resonates still today. She has become an American icon, empowering millions of women and men around the world to stand up for equality and justice.

Against a backdrop of sex, politics, and race, ANITA reveals the intimate story of a woman who spoke truth to power. Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Freida Mock, the film is both a celebration of Anita Hill's legacy and a rare glimpse into her private life with friends and family, many of whom were by her side that fateful day 22 years ago. Anita Hill courageously speaks openly and intimately for the first time about her experiences that led her to testify before the Senate and the obstacles she faced in simply telling the truth. She also candidly discusses what happened to her life and work in the 22 years since." - Read more on the film website.


Professor Evelynn Hammonds is currently the Barbara Gutmann Rosenkrantz Professor of History of Science and Professor of African and American Studies at Harvard University. Her scholarly interests include the history of scientific, medical, and sociopolitical concepts of race and sexuality, the history of disease and public health, gender in science and medicine, and African-American history. She is the author of “Childhood's Deadly Scourge: The Campaign to Control Diphtheria in New York City, 1880-1930”, many scholarly articles and the co-editor of a book published this past fall entitled, “The Nature of Difference: Sciences of Race in the United States from Jefferson to Genomics.” In 2005, Professor Hammonds was named senior Vice Provost for the Faculty Development and Diversity at Harvard University, and in March 2008, Professor Hammonds was named Dean of Harvard College. Professor Hammonds was also the founding director of the Center for the Study of Diversity in Science, Technology, and Medicine. Currently she is an associate member of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT while also serving on a number of boards including the Social Science Research Council, the Board of Overseers of the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She holds an honorary doctorate of humane letters from her alma mater, Spelman College. In February 2008, she was named a fellow of the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) and earlier this year, named to the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering.


Leena Mehreen Akhtar is a PhD candidate in the History of Science at Harvard University. Prior to this, she received an MA in Cultural History from the University of London and an advanced certificate in Trauma and Violence Transdisciplinary Studies from New York University.

Her scholarly interests focus on the history of medicine and mid to late 20th century psychiatry, particularly trauma psychiatry. Her dissertation is about the impact of Second Wave feminist activism on understandings of rape survivors, and trauma survivors more broadly, in the 1970s-- work that has been influenced and informed by her years as a rape crisis counselor and emergency room advocate in Pittsburgh and New York City.

In addition to a longstanding interest in the history of psychiatry, she is actively interested in historical and cultural changes in ideas about gender-based violence, as well as in issues of harassment and discrimination in the workplace during the 20th century.

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All events are free and open to the public.  These events are sponsored by the Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies at MIT.


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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