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Women's program series spotlights race, reproductive politics

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The inextricable link between the history of race relations and the history of reproductive politics will be explored in a new event series at OSU that begins Thursday, Oct. 12.

Demetria Shabazz, OSU assistant professor of English, will screen and lead a discussion on the film, “Just Another Girl on the IRT,” from 5 – 7 p.m. in 303 Morrill Hall. The free event is the first of three slated this fall as part of “Race and Reproduction,” a series presented by the OSU Women’s Studies Program and OSU Women’s Programs.

Written and directed by Leslie Harris, “Just Another Girl” tells the story of a hopeful high school girl in Brooklyn whose medical school aspirations and dreams of escape from the generational poverty of the black community are confronted by pregnancy.

Shabazz, a film scholar who specializes in media and cultural criticism, joined the faculty in the OSU English department in 2005. She currently is completing a second publication on the impact of prime time television on the civil rights movement in 1968.

The Race and Reproduction series is the first collaboration between the Women’s Studies Program and Women’s Programs. Housed within the affirmative action unit of the OSU Office of Institutional Diversity, Women’s Programs was established in 2006 to provide programs that focus on gender issues relating to the scholarly and professional success of all women at OSU.

The Women’s Studies Program exists to coordinate and promote teaching and research about women and gender issues across disciplines. A minor in Women’s Studies is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences.

Both Women’s Studies and Women’s Programs seek to contribute to OSU’s recruitment and retention of women faculty, staff and students by addressing issues relevant to them. Upcoming events in the Race and Reproduction series will feature author/activist Loretta Ross and award-winning documentary filmmaker Shosh Shlam.

The series is co-sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Central Oklahoma as well as OSU’s Screen Studies Program, American Studies Program and the sociology department.     

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