Global Under Menu
Home > Annual Conference > Featured Speakers

Featured Speakers

Keynote Address: bell hooks
Friday, November 14, 2014 at 7 p.m.

Dr. bell hooks is a noted cultural critic, commentator, and feminist, is Distinguished Professor in Residence in Appalachian Studies at Berea College. Born Gloria Jean Watkins in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, she has chosen the lower case pen name bell hooks, based on the names of her mother and grandmother, to emphasize the importance of the substance of her writing as opposed to who she is. Prior to accepting the Distinguished Professorship at Berea College and returning to Kentucky, bell hooks has taught at Yale, Oberlin College, and City College of New York. Educated at UC- Santa Cruz, UW- Madison and Stanford, Dr. bell hooks is the author of over thirty books, many of which have focused on issues of social class, race, and gender. In 2013, she published the award-winning poetry collection Appalachian Elegy and the critical text,Writing Beyond Race. Most recently, hooks published “Dig Deep: A Response to Lean In” which appeared as a special feature for The Feminist Wire. She continues to cultivate intellectual community dialogues by hosting dynamic events through The bell hooks Institute. 


Plenary: Creating Justice: Caribbean Scholarship and Activisms
Friday, November 14, 2014

 
Ana-Maurine Lara, PhD is an national award-winning novelist and poet. Her publications include Erzulie's Skirt (RedBone Press 2006), When the Sun Once Again Sang to the People (KRK Ediciones 2011), alongside numerous short stories and poems in featured anthologies and literary magazines. Her decade-long multi-genre project, Cantos, is set to be released in Janaury 2015. She has published numerous scholarly essays on topics engaging Afro-Latin@ and Afro-Diasporic queer identities and aesthetics. Ana-Maurine is currently Founding Director of Source Writing & Editing Services.

She recently completed her PhD in African American Studies, Anthropology & Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Yale University. Her graduate research focused on LGBT citizenship and the Catholic State.

















 

Ana Irma Rivera Lassén was born in Puerto Rico. She is a feminist activist, lawyer and women’s rights advocate. The themes of her research and activism are women’s rights, racism, sexual orientation discrimination, human rights, economic social and cultural rights and gender violence. In Puerto Rico, she is co-founder and activist of various organizations that work on these issues.

She has a Juris Doctor from the University of Puerto Rico, is a lawyer in private practice and teaches in various universities in Puerto Rico. She has been a columnist in newspapers, journal editor and has published articles, essays, stories and poetry in journals, anthologies and newspapers in Puerto Rico and abroad.

She published with Dr. Elizabeth Crespo Kebler Documentos del Feminismo en Puerto Rico: Facsímiles de la Historia. This book is about the feminist movements in the decade of 1970 in Puerto Rico and is an important contribution to the study of women’s history in Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America.

The Division of Gender Affairs of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America has recognized her as an expert in human rights, gender and race. She was president of the Puerto Rico Bar Association for 2012-2014.


















 

Kamala Kempadoo is Professor in the Department of Social Science at York University, Canada,and affiliated with the graduate programs in Gender, Feminist and Women’s Studies, Social and Political Thought, Political Science, and Development Studies. She is a former director of theGraduate Program in Social and Political Thought.  Specialized in sociology, race and ethnic studies, and transnational feminist theory, her research examines the global sex trade, human trafficking, and sexual-economic relations.

Her publications include Global Sex Workers (1998); Sun, Sex and Gold: Tourism and Sex Work in the Caribbean (1999); Sexing the Caribbean: Gender Race and Sexual Labour (2004) and Trafficking and Prostitution Reconsidered (2005/ 2012), a journal issue on Caribbean feminist research methods with the Caribbean Review of Gender Studies, and the online collection From Bleeding Hearts to Critical Thinking: Exploring the Issue of Human Trafficking (2012). She serves on boards of the Caribbean Review of Gender StudiesAbout Gender: International Journal of Gender Studies, and the Anti-Trafficking Review.

Kamala has lived and worked in Britain, the Netherlands, USA, several countries in the Dutch- and English-speaking Caribbean, and, since 2002, in Canada. She was Visiting Fellow at the University of Bergen in Norway in 2011 and at the University of the West Indies in Barbadosbetween 2010 and 2014.


Plenary: The Imperial Politics of Nation-States: U.S., Israel, and Palestine
Saturday, November 15, 2014

Chair/Moderator: Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Syracuse University























 
Through her activism and scholarship over the last decades, Angela Davis has been deeply involved in our nation’s quest for social justice. Her work as an educator – both at the university level and in the larger public sphere – has always emphasized the importance of building communities of struggle for economic, racial, and gender equality. She is the author of nine books and is Professor Emerita of History of Consciousness and of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz.

In recent years a persistent theme of her work has been the range of social problems associated with incarceration and the generalized criminalization of those communities that are most affected by poverty and racial discrimination. She draws upon her own experiences in the early seventies as a person who spent eighteen months in jail and on trial, after being placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted List.”

She is a founding member Critical Resistance, a national organization dedicated to the dismantling of the prison industrial complex. Internationally, she is affiliated with Sisters Inside, an abolitionist organization based in Queensland, Australia that works in solidarity with women in prison.

Having helped to popularize the notion of a “prison industrial complex,” she now urges her audiences to think seriously about the future possibility of a world without prisons and to help forge a 21st century abolitionist movement.











 


Islah Jad is a lecturer on gender issues and politics at the Women's Studies Institute and Cultural Studies Department of Birzeit University in the West Bank. She joined Birzeit in 1983, and is a founding member of its women’s studies program. She has written books and papers on the role of women in politics, Palestinian women and the relationships among them, Islam, and NGOs.

Dr. Jad is also a consultant on gender issues to the United Nations Development Programme and is co-author of the UN's Arab Development Report on Women's Empowerment and author of two books: Palestinian Female Headed Households (MAS, Rmallah, 2002) and Women at the Crossroads: The Palestinian Women's Movement between Nationalism, Secularism and Islamism (MUWATIN-The Palestinian Institute for the Study of Democracy, Ramallah. Palestine June 2008. Second edition reprinted by Dar al Farabi, Beirut, 2013).  Dr. Jad received her Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London in 2004




 
Rebecca Vilkomerson is the Executive Director of Jewish Voice for Peace, the leading Jewish organization working for a a just peace in Israel and Palestine based on the principles of equality, human rights, and international law. Rebecca has been an active member of JVP since 2002, and lived in Israel with her family from 2006-2009. In 2010, the Forward recognized her as one of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in the U.S. and in 2014 the Forward named her one of "14 Women to Watch in 2014."