News & Events

Each year at the GCWS is packed with events, curriculum development opportunities, and conferences.

Titles and details are added as the events are finalized.

2014-2015 Events

Power and (In)Visibility

This is a symposium organized by GCWS graduate students that will feature graduate student work in the field of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. This symposium, on Saturday, March 28, 2015, is an interdisciplinary inquiry rooted in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies that explores the simultaneous nature of hyper visibility and invisibility. As intelligibility is relative to (in)visibility, how/why are certain identities (un)intelligible and made invisible or hypervisible? How do the intersections that individuals inhabit become legible through systems of power?   more »

Feminisms Unbound

This Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies (GCWS) initiative, Feminisms Unbound, is an event series featuring debates that focus on feminist concerns, theories, and practices in our contemporary moment.  It is intended to foster conversations and community among Boston-area feminist intellectuals and activists. The series, in its open configuration, endeavors to allow the greatest measure of engagement across multiple disciplinary trajectories, and a full array of feminist investments.    more »

Next in Series:

Sexualities, States, Governance
Wednesday, November 12, 2014: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Location: The Moore Room, Building 6 Room 321, MIT Campus more »

Gender, Health, and Marginalization

Reproductive Justice and the Abortion Wars: Public Lecture by Loretta Ross

Wednesday, October 8, 2014 @ 7:00 PM more »

Anita: Speaking Truth to Power (2013) Film Screening

w/ Discussion by Dr. Evelynn Hammonds

Wednesday, November 5 @ 7 PM more »


2013-2014 Events

Public Talks by GCWS Dissertation Workshop Participants: Women's and Gender Studies Dissertation Works in Progress

Join the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies Workshop for Dissertation Writers in Women's and Gender Studies participants on the first and second Wednesday in May as these students formally present their dissertation works in progress! Over the course of two workshop sessions which are open to the public, each student participant will give a formal talk on her research and subject matter.

Wednesday, May 7th & Wednesday, May 14th, 2014
5:00 - 8:00 PM
Building 56 Room 167
MIT Campus


Being Feminist Faculty: Advantages, Strategies, Challenges

Few disciplines are as interdisciplinary or as rooted in activism as Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. What specific conditions does that create for feminist faculty situated in institutions often struggling for gender equity, frequently "loaned" from other departments, and often compelled to educate colleagues about the most basic issues animating our enterprise? How does an intersectional lens and our shared political commitments give us an edge and an advantage? This panel will address these issues from a historical perspective, followed by pragmatic and strategic break-out discussions focusing on pre- and post-tenure particularities. 

Wednesday, April 2, 5:30 - 8:30 PM
Building E51 Room 095
MIT Campus more »


Feminist Pedagogies

A half-day symposium and workshop is for graduate students developing a professional teaching profile in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and for faculty wishing to explore teaching and syllabus development strategies with colleagues.

Saturday, April 12th, 12 – 6:30 PM
Asean Auditorium, Cabot Hall and Olin Hall
Tufts University

Join us to:

· Workshop a syllabus that you are developing or revising;
·  Participate in discussions on how to incorporate Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies concepts and topics into your teaching from experienced and award-winning feminist faculty;
· Discuss the state of WGSS and explore critiques and reflections on the state of the university and feminist teaching;
· Engage with feminist theoretical perspectives on the practice and objectives of university teaching;
· Network with students and faculty in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the Boston area. more »


Women Take the Reel:
A Film Festival Celebrating Women’s History Month

FThis annual film festival is a collaborative effort among Women's and Gender Studies departments involved in the Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies (as well as select institutions/universities aligned with its mission) that features films directed by women and about issues relating to gender, race, sexuality, class and/or feminism.

The focus is on intellectual investigation of these issues as well as visibility for female directors, and so every film is accompanied by a Q&A and discussion with either the film director, producer, or a faculty member from the film screening's host institution host institution. more »


Progressive Porn: What Women and Other People Want from Dirty Movies

A lecture by Carol Queen, Ph.D.

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 6:30 PM
Stata Center, MIT
Building 32 Room 155
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

Pornography is a medium of entertainment and spectacle, not education -- though many people, especially youth, may use it to supplement lax sex education. This is one of porn's most controversial aspects: What's it teaching us about sexuality, gender roles, and norms? Sexologist Carol Queen, PhD, author of Exhibitionism for the Shy, founding director of San Francisco's Center for Sex & Culture and longtime staffer at Good Vibrations, unpacks some of pornography's messages and considers its impact through both a sex-positive feminist and media literacy lens. What do we want from our smut? Is that what we're getting? more »


2012-2013 Events

Clash Zones: Identities in (R)evolution
April 5th and 6th, 2013
Stata Center, MIT
32 Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA

The borders and boundaries where political, ethnic, religious, racial, national, and other factions meet are hotbeds for ideological and psychological tensions that affect marginalized gender and sexual identities. Within these "clash zones," anything from eruptive transformations (revolutions) to gradual modifications (evolutions) might occur. This interdisciplinary Women's and Gender studies conference will investigate how frictions produced in these "clash zones" impact individual and communal bodies and alter the identity categories by which we define those bodies. more »


Gender Identity in Children: Formulating a Dynamic, Developmental Model
A lecture by Anne Fausto Sterling
Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University

7:00 PM
April 4th, 2013
Building 6 Room 120, MIT Campus
Campus map

Professor Anne Fausto Sterling will speak about her recent research on gender identity in children. A great divide exists between people who accept biological explanations of human difference and those who reject biology in favor of social explanations. This research project is part of her larger ambitious body of work that attempts to restructure dichotomous conversations--inside the academy, in public discourse, and ultimately in the framing of social policy--in order to enable an understanding of the inseparability of nature/nurture.


Women Take the Reel Film Festival
Screening throughout March
*dates and times vary by location

An annual film festival taking place at colleges and universities across the Boston metro area that features films directed by women and about issues relating to gender, race, sexuality, class and/or feminism. more »


Next Steps

Contact Us

The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085