Society, Culture, and Thought Colloquium Series

The Society, Culture, and Thought Colloquium invites you to explore social questions and problems at the heart of contemporary debates. For Spring 2018, the Colloquium brings to campus a series of distinguished scholars whose work engages the complexities of diverging gender formations across time, space and culture.

Spring 2018 Beyond the Binaries : Gender Formations Across Space and Time

Susan Stryker

Ruth D. Ewing Lecture Presents: Susan Stryker

Thursday, May 3 2018

Ruth D. Ewing Lecture presents Susan Stryker, an award-winning scholar and filmmaker whose historical research, theoretical writing, and creative works have helped shape the cultural conversation on transgender topics since the early 1990s.

Gregory C. Mitchell

Gregory C. Mitchell

Monday, Apr 23 2018

Gregory C. Mitchell is an Assistant Professor at Williams College in Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies. He gave a lecture on "Tourist Attractions: Performing Race and Masculinity in Brazil’s Sexual Economy."

Sahar Sadjadi

Sahar Sadjadi

Monday, April 16, 2018

Sahar Sadjadi is Assistant Professor of Sexuality, Women's and Gender Studies at Amherst College and a trained medical doctor. She gave a lecture titled "From Domineering Mom to True Gender Self: The Clinical Management of Gender in Children."

Ann Marie Leshkowich

Ann Marie Leshkowich

Monday, April 2, 2018

Ann Marie Leshkowich is Professor of Anthropology and Director of Asian Studies at College of the Holy Cross. She gave a lecture titled "Affective Expertise: Gender, Class, and the Labor of Social Work in Ho Chi Minh City."

Verónica Yáñez

Verónica Yáñez

Monday, March 19, 2018

Verónica Zebadúa Yáñez currently works on the concept of freedom as lived experience in the political theories of Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvoir. She gave a lecture titled "Thinking Feminist Freedom with Hannah Arendt and Simone de Beauvoir."

Eileen Zurbriggen

Eileen Zurbriggen

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Eileen Zurbriggen is a Professor of Psychology at UCSC and the Chair of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Young Girls. She gave a lecture titled "The Sexualization of Girls: Feminist Reflections on Objectification and Empowerment."

Past Event Series

Fall 2017 | Neoliberalism and Its Discontents  

Through engagement with a series of talks by distinguished scholars, the campus community explored what is Neoliberalism and what are its effects using economic, political, cultural, and psychological perspectives. 


Vamsi VakulabharanamMonday, September 18, 2017
"Class Inequalities in India and China in Neoliberal Times"
A lecture by Vamsi Vakulabharanam

In his research, Vakulabharanam argues for a theoretical framework that incorporates two levels of political economic processes. First, global capitalist crises lead to the creation of an institutional structure or a regime in the capitalist centers that influences inequality in these core countries and in the periphery. Second, the class configuration in the non-core countries set institutional arrangements that play a key role in determining inequality outcomes. Watch the video


Laina Bay-ChengMonday, September 25, 2017
"Sexuality, Choice and Power in a Neoliberal Age"
A lecture by Laina Bay-Cheng

Laina Bay-Cheng, Associate Professor and PhD Program Director, School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo. Since the beginning of her career, she has concentrated on the social determinants of young women’s sexual well-being. In contrast to the dominant equation of youth sexuality with risk, Bay-Cheng contends that young women’s vulnerability to negative sexual experiences stems from unjust social norms and material conditions. Reflecting her interdisciplinary background and perspective, she is pursuing two lines of questioning in her current research projects: 1) how young women’s sexual experiences, including of unwanted sex, vary at intersections of gender, class, and race; and 2) the impact of neoliberal ideology on constructions of young women’s sexuality. 


Lisa DugganOctober 12, 2017
"Up Against 'The Wall': Intersectional Organizing Against the Global Right
A lecture by Lisa Duggan

Lisa Duggan is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University. Journalist, activist, ambivalent academic, and a leading Queer Theorist. Author of Twilight of Equality?: Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics, and the Attack on Democracy (Beacon, 2003) and Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Violence, and American Modernity (Duke, 2000). Co-author with Nan Hunter of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture (Routledge, 1995; 10th anniversary edition 2006), and co-editor with Lauren Berlant of Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest (NYU Press, 2001). Watch the video


Fred BlockOctober 16, 2017
"Capitalism: The Future of an Illusion"
A lecture by Fred Block

Fred Block is a political and economic sociologist at UC Davis. Block’s work has helped debunk the widespread claims that the "free market" alone will drive the innovation process. On this score, his work is critical for a number of different constituents, in the U.S. and around the globe: scientists, creative workers, university administrators, and a host of other researchers. For the last seven years Block has been researching the activities of the U.S. government in support of the commercialization of new technologies. He has published an edited book on these programs called the State of Innovation: The U.S. Government's Role in Technology Development. His earlier books include The Power of Market Fundamentalism: Karl Polanyi’s Critique written with Margaret R. Somers, The Origins of International Economic Disorder (1977), Postindustrial Possibilities (1990), and The Vampire State (1996). Watch the video

Spring 2017 | Solidarity and the Self 

In this Spring speaker series, the campus explored how a individual's sense of self-becomes tied to political movements and solidarity activism. We examined this questions using queer theory, psychological, political science, environmental studies, and women of color feminist perspectives. 

Giovanna di chiroMonday, May 8, 2017
"Embodied Ecologies: Whose Stories? Whose Anthropocene?"
A lecture by Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro

Dr. Giovanna Di Chiro is the Lang Professor for Issues of Social Change at Swarthmore College. She has published widely on the intersections of race, class, gender, and environmental justice with a focus on activism and policy change addressing environmental health disparities in lower-income communities. Watch the video

Ronnie Janoff-BulmanMonday, May 1, 2017
"Morality: A Dual System Perspective"
A lecture by Ronnie Janoff-Bulman

Dr. Janoff-Bulman is a world-renowned political psychologist and the head of the graduate psychology program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Janoff-Bulman’s research on victimization and trauma led to the groundbreaking book Shattered Assumptions: Towards a New Psychology of Trauma (1992). Watch the video

Sarah SchulmanThursday, March 9, 2017
"Conflict is Not Abuse"
A lecture by Sarah Schulman 

Novelist, essayist, playwright, queer activist, and Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at the College of Staten Island, Sarah Schulman offers an eye-opening and original perspective on the cultural phenomenon of blame and scapegoating, as explored in her acclaimed work, Conflict Is Not Abuse: Overstating Harm, Community Responsibility, and the Duty of Repair. Watch the video