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Skidmore College

Intersecting isms

March 23, 2017

This year’s Karen Levin Coburn ’63 Lecture in Gender Studies brings feminist scholar Bonnie Thornton Dill to speak on “Intersections” Thursday, March 30, at 5:30 p.m. in Gannett Auditorium. The event, free and open to the public, will be structured as a conversation between Thornton Dill and Skidmore faculty members Gwen D’Arcangelis from gender studies and Minita Sanghvi from management and business.

bonnie thornton dill
Bonnie Thornton Dill

Thornton Dill, dean of arts and humanities at the University of Maryland, helped to develop the gender-studies concept of intersectionality, the idea that gender identity and politics are always intertwined with other social identities and politics, especially race and class. Her teaching and research has focused on black and Latina women in work and family. The aim of her scholarship, she has said, is to suggest ways to transform institutions—schools, service agencies, universities—to make them more just.

A women’s studies professor at Maryland since 1991, she is the founding director of its Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity. She is also the founding director of Center for Research on Women at the University of Memphis. Her 1994 Across the Boundaries of Race and Class: An Exploration of Work and Family Among Black Female Domestic Servants was among the pioneer interview-based studies on the topic. More recently she co-edited Emerging Intersections: Race, Class, and Gender in Theory, Policy, and Practice. She has been president of the National Women’s Studies Association and chaired the advisory board of scholars for Ms. magazine. She holds a doctorate in sociology from New York University.

The lecture is named for Karen Levin Coburn, a 1963 Skidmore graduate who is co-author of the well-known book Letting Go:  A Parent’s Guide to Understanding the College Years. The lecture was established in 2005 to enrich conversations about gender studies on campus.            

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