War, terror and gender stereotypes

The notion that women are war resisters is vividly expressed in playwright Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy, Lysistrata, in which women go on a sex strike to persuade their husbands to end the Peloponnesian War.

Challenges posed by feminist scholars to this longstanding assumption that women are exclusively anti-war will be discussed by Rutgers Professor Mary Hawkesworth at a lecture on March 20, 2:30-4:30pm, in the Social Science Lounge, S752 Ross Bldg., on the Keele campus.

Right: Rutgers Professor Mary Hawkesworth

Hawkesworth, a professor of women’s and gender studies and a member of Rutgers’ Graduate Faculty in Political Science, has explored how feminist analysis is impacting various commonly held beliefs in her book Feminist Inquiry.

In her York presentation, “War and Terror: Interdisciplinary Feminist Analytics", Hawkesworth will revisit this theme by examining how the common generalizations about gender roles in war and peace are being challenged by innovative feminist scholarship on the topic of war and terror. The implications of these feminist analytical strategies for issues relating to equality, race and justice will also be discussed.

As a feminist scholar, Hawkesworth wears many hats. She is an educator and author of several books, including the recently published Globalization and Feminist Activism. As well, she is the editor of the academic journal Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.

The interdisciplinary nature of her primary research specialty, feminist scholarship, has had ripple effects that have drawn her to other research interests: politics, contemporary philosophy, the philosophy of science, and social policy.

Her experience of balancing many roles within various research areas is not unique as women’s studies pertains to many academic fields, ranging from literature and art to social sciences and law. It also has cross-cultural implications.

Hawkesworth’s visit will provide an opportunity for York students in Women’s Studies to share and discuss their own experiences as students within this multi-faceted academic field at a seminar titled “The Feminist Scholar and Editor in Interdisciplinary Practice.” It will be facilitated by Hawkesworth.

The lecture is hosted by the Graduate Program in Women’s Studies and the Centre for Feminist Research.