Letter from the Director

Ann Cvetkovich, Director of the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies

I’d like to welcome you to a new academic year, my first, in the Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies.  Since arriving at Carleton in January, I have been busy meeting people and learning as much as I can about feminist and interdisciplinary studies across the campus.  I became Director just as Sexuality Studies and Disability Studies joined the Institute – and I am excited to work with faculty and students in these expanding fields in order to take advantage of our combined programs.  Critiques of normative ways of living fostered by LGBTQ Studies and Disability Studies lend themselves to new understandings of social justice, and integrating these programs reflects the intersectional mission of Women’s and Gender Studies.  We have embarked on discussions of how to develop our curriculum so as to build a 21st-century Institute that is intersectional, transnational, and decolonial.  We would like to see the PJIWGS lead the way in promoting Carleton’s initiatives for diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, including providing critical approaches where necessary.

We look forward to establishing relationships across the campus that reflect our commitment to intersectional visions of transformational social justice that serve underrepresented students and communities.  We have the potential to contribute to the Indigenous Strategic Initiatives plan; the transnational vision represented, for example, by our participation in the BGInS program; and Carleton’s research priorities, such as environmental justice and health and wellness.  We are offering introduction to women’s and gender studies through the first-year seminar program and new courses in critical race studies and transgender studies, as well expanding the profile of our popular Sexuality Studies and Disability Studies minors.  We will be hiring in Critical Race Studies with the hope of enhancing our offerings in that area. As always, we seek to serve not just our majors and minors but students in all fields of study, who can benefit from critical discussions of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and other categories of social difference.

Plans are in the works for public events, including our annual Flo Bird lecture, that will reach across the campus. Our Feminist Future lecture series will focus on areas where we seek to build interdisciplinary connections, including Kahente Horn-Miller (Oct 2) on Indigenous Studies, Shireen Hassim (Nov 9) on African Studies, and Kelly Fritsch on Disability Studies (Feb 26).  Our new Joint Chair in Women’s Studies, Nadia Abu-Zahra, will be focusing on feminist pedagogy, and we are also working closely with Shireen Hassim, the Canada 150 Chair in Gender and African Studies.  I am also eager to bring my own research interests in archives, affect, and the arts into our curriculum and programming.

We have an ambitious set of goals for the coming year, and I encourage you to join us in our activities.

Ann Cvetkovich

Director, Pauline Jewett Institute of Women’s and Gender Studies

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