A-to-Z Index

 

Dominion Lectures

   

The Dominion Lecture is an annual address sponsored by the James Madison University’s Madison Caucus for Gender Equality. Every year, the Caucus brings to campus a notable person to speak to students, faculty and staff about issues vital, challenging and of primary importance to the JMU community.

Initiated in November 1975, the series has consistently given the campus a rich diversity of leaders whose voices have energized the spirit and activism of women and men concerned and committed to consciousness raising and progressive action. The event is sponsored by the Madison Caucus for Gender Equality, The Office of the Provost, and various other units at James Madison University.

Upcoming Lecture

"Changing Agents: Inclusive Excellence as Path to Innovation"
Presented by Dr. Leah Hollis
Monday, September 22, 2014, 7:00pm
Transitions, Warren Hall

Leah Hollis

With shifting demographics in staff, students and community, any university needs inclusive practices in leadership. Such inclusive leadership practices that embrace diversity and civility maintain a healthy environment. The keynote speech will reflect on diversity and innovation that emerge from a culture of inclusion.

Dr. Leah P. Hollis is the Founder and President of Patricia Berkly, LLC, a diversity training and consulting group. Dr. Hollis is a noted trainer, educator, and researcher. She has an exemplary career in higher education administration where she has held senior leadership and faculty posts. Dr. Hollis has taught at Northeastern University, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rutgers University. She received her Doctorate of Education in Administration, Training and Policy Studies from Boston University as a Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellow and earned certifications in EEO Law/Affirmative Action and Conflict Resolution and Investigation from the American Association for Affirmative Action. She has served as a diversity trainer for Northeastern University and speaks regionally and nationally as a diversity trainer and consultant on topics such as race, gender, ethinicity, equality and access. She has authored two books: Unequal Opportunity: Fired without cause? Filing with the EEOC... and Bully in the Ivory Tower: How Aggression and Incivility Erode American Higher Education.

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Past Lectures

"Debunking the Myth: The Hierarchy of Oppression"
Presented by Rev. Irene Monroe
September 16, 2013

Irene Monroe

 

 

How can we improve gender climate at JMU? Many of us experience gendered microaggressions in our work world but we aren’t sure how to respond. Perhaps we can begin by thinking about what it means to experience oppression. The hierarchy of oppression is the false belief that one oppression - and it's usually the one a person identifies with - is greater than other oppressions. This talk worked toward the goal of community by examining the intersection of race, gender, class and sexuality, and how they impact identity, identification, and community building on college campuses. 

Rev. Irene Monroe is a religion columnist, public theologian and motivational speaker. As an African American feminist theologian, she speaks for a sector of society that is frequently invisible. Rev. Monroe lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and is the former coordinator of the African American Roundtable of the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry (CLGS) at the Pacific School of Religion, a Huffington Post blogger, and a syndicated religion columnist. A native of Brooklyn, Monroe is a graduate of Wellesley College and Union Theological Seminary at Columbia University, and served as a pastor at an African American church before coming to Harvard Divinity School for her doctorate as a Ford Fellow. As a syndicated queer religion columnist, Monroe’s columns appear in 43 states across the country and in the UK.

View the lecture here.

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"Successful Career Tips from Savvy Career Women: The Four Patterns of Gender Bias"
Presented by Joan C. Williams
September 3, 2012

Joan Williams

Why can’t a woman be more like a man? Thirty-five years of social science show that women may encounter pushback when they do the same things men do. This talk both described the patterns of bias documented by social science, and shared strategies successful women have used to navigate the unique challenges professional women often face.

Joan C. Williams is Distinguished Professor of Law, UC Hastings Foundation Chair, Founding Director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women’s advancement for the quarter century. According to The New York Times, “she has something approaching rock-star status” among work/life advocates. She won the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award for Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It (Oxford University Press, 2000). She has authored or co-authored seventy academic articles and chapters and five books, most recently Reshaping The Work-Family Debate: Men and Class Matter (Harvard Univ. Press, 2010). Williams' lecture was introduced by JMU President Jonathan Alger.

View the lecture here.

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"From Girl Power to Girls Gone Wild:
The Rise of Enlightened Sexism in the Middle"

Presented by Dr. Susan Douglas
April 6, 2011

Susan Douglas

Douglas’ most recent book, Enlightened Sexism, examines mixed messages about women presented in the media and questions the myth that complete equality for women has been achieved. She will discuss this critique and call to action in her address entitled “From Girl Power to Girls Gone Wild: The Rise of Enlightened Sexism in the Middle.” Best selling author of Kiss My Tiara, Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress, and Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven, Susan Jane Gilman writes of Douglas’ Enlightened Sexism: "A must-read: Whip-smart, witty, and scathingly insightful. Susan Douglas has penned a brilliant -- and often funny -- critique of the myths about equality, ambition, and femininity that are currently being served up as 'reality' in our media-crazed culture. She challenges those who insist that feminism is outmoded, that strong women are scary and
unlovable, and that 'real' girl power comes from Botox, a bustier, and the ability to poledance in a pair of size-two hot pants. Best yet, Enlightened Sexism offers an antidote to the contradictory messages and predicaments many women experience today. It’s a call to action and an inspiration." Douglas is also author of Listening In, Where the Girls Are and co-author of the The Mommy Myth. Audience members will have an opportunity to peak with Douglas at the book signing and reception to follow the lecture.

Dr. Susan Douglas is the Catherine Neafie Kellogg Professor of Communication Studies at The University of Michigan

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Jill Ker Conway
April 2, 2008

Jill Ker Conway

Jill Ker Conway was born in Hillston, New South Wales.  The story of her early life is known to those who have read her best-selling memoir The Road from Coorain.  She is a graduate of the University of Sydney in History and English, and earned her Ph.D. in history at Harvard in 1969.  Ms. Conway served as Vice President for Internal Affairs at the University of Toronto from 1973 to 1975.  In 1975 she became the first woman president of Smith College and served ten years in that post. 

Since 1985 she has been a Visiting Scholar and Professor in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's program in Science, Technology and Society.  She holds thirty-eight honorary degrees from North American and Australian Colleges and Universities. Ms. Conway is a director of a number of major American companies, including Merrill Lynch and Co., Inc., Colgate-Palmolive Co., and Nike, Inc. She also served as director of Lend Lease Corporation from 1992 to 2003 and Chairman from 2000-2003.

Ms. Conway is the author of several best-selling books: The Road from Coorain, published in 1989; Written By Herself, an anthology of American women's autobiography published in 1992; True North, the second installment of her memoirs, spanning her life from 1960 when she left her native Australia to 1975 when she accepted the presidency of Smith College; and When Memory Speaks - Reflections on Autobiography.

Ms. Conway has also edited three anthologies of women’s autobiography from around the world, the most recent being In Her Own Words, published by Vintage Books. Her latest books include a mystery novel written in collaboration with Elizabeth Kennan under the pseudonym, Clare Munnings, titled Overnight Float, Norton, 2000, and A Woman’s Education, Knopf, 2001, the third installment of her memoir picking up in 1975 when she began as the first woman president of Smith College.

Ms. Conway was married to the late John J. Conway, Canadian war hero and Professor of British History at Harvard. She makes her home in Boston, Massachusetts.

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"How Much Difference Can One Voice Make?”
Presented by Catie Curtis
April 19-20, 2007

Catie Curtis

Catie Curtis, born and raised in Saco, Maine, began playing guitar and writing songs at the age of 15.  After graduating from Brown University with a B.A. in social work, Catie moved to San Francisco. A year later, Catie succumbed to the pull of her New England roots, finding a home in the thriving Boston acoustic music scene. She was employed for six years as a social worker, during which time she became deeply involved in social issues. Throughout her career as a nationally known folk singer and acoustic guitarist, she has written, sung, and spoken about social injustices with a particular concern on women’s issues.

She tours steadily, headlining clubs, theaters and acoustic listening rooms, building and nurturing a strong and loyal fan base around the US and Europe. She released two records on Rykodisc Records, "A Crash Course in Roses" (1999) and "My Shirt Looks Good on You" (2001-from which the single "Kiss that Counted" won a Boston Music Award). Catie released "Acoustic Valentine" on her own Sam the Pug Records in 2003. "Dreaming in Romance Languages" was released on Vanguard in 2004, and Catie has recently recorded a new CD, entitled "Long Night Moon," which was released in August of 2006. She was recently awarded the 2005 International Songwriting Competition's Grand Prize for a song from the upcoming CD, which she co-wrote with Mark Erelli. The song, "People Look Around," is about social issues and Hurricane Katrina. It took top honors among 15,000 songs from 82 countries.

Some of the better known songs Catie has written include:  The Wolf and Walk Along the Highway   (about the abuse of women):  Hole in the Bucket (how the poor fall through the cracks of society):  Sugar Cane (dealing with the effects of industrial pollution):  Love Takes the Best of You (about the love involved in raising children): and Forgiveness (the importance of forgiving others).

Catie performed songs and discussed her work, her politics and the effect that musician-singers can have on social justice issues.

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“Exploding Stereotypes: Beyond the Myth”
Presented by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
March 22, 2004

Best-selling author of The Dirty Girls Social Club, Playing with Boys, Make Him Look Good, and Hater, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez has been named by Time Magazine as one of the 25 most influential Hispanics in America.

Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez invited the audience to think beyond fixed categories and assumptions about groups of people.  Specifically, she discussed the challenges, obstacles and joys of realizing one’s dreams as she had to break through stereotypes and labels, motivating audiences to see parallels in their own lives.

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“The Legacy of Matthew Shepard”
Presented by Judy Shepard
March 14, 2003

Judy Shepard

Founder of the Matthew Shepard foundation, Judy Shepard is an anti-hate crime activist and educator.

In a personal narrative style, Judy Shepard reflected on the tragic consequences of hate in our culture. Shepard’s address encouraged audience members to consider strategies for making our schools and community safer places for everyone, regardless of race, gender and sexual identity, and religion.

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“Civil Liberties in a Time of Terror”
Presented by Nadine Strossen
March 19, 2002

Nadine Strossen

Current and first-female President of the American Civil Liberties Union, Nadine Strossen is author of Defending Pornography: Free Speech, Sex, and the Fight for Women's Rights and Speaking of Race, Speaking of Sex: Hate Speech, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.

In a early discussion of civil liberties in a post-9/11 society, Nadine Strossen offer a critical assessment of infringements on civil liberties as response to the U.S. “War on Terrorism.”  Strossen offered insights and assessments of the direction of civil liberties in the U.S. from her position as the President of the A.C.L.U.

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“Some Leaders are Born Women”
Presented by Sarah Weddington
February 20, 2001

Sarah Weddington

Sarah Weddington, feminist activist and lawyer, is the winning attorney in U.S. Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade.  She is also author of A Question of Choice, a book that chronicles the history of the decision through 1992.  During President Carter’s administration, Weddington acted as Assistant to the President.  She continues to give lectures and write, while teaching at the University of Texas, Austin.

In this inspirational talk, Sarah Weddington explored the historical features of the women’s movements, the obstacles that women have faced and continue to face, and motivations for ways for women to enhance their leadership roles.  In this talk, she argued that women are indeed leaders and should see themselves as such.