Spring 2013 Social Justice Policy Practitioner-in-Residence Events

N.B. Sarojini is the founder and director of the Sama Resource Group for Women and Health, a New Delhi-based nonprofit that conducts action research and promotes appropriate health policies around issues ranging from population growth to malaria treatment during pregnancy. Sarojini has been advocating for women’s rights and their health care for more than 18 years. As Sama’s director, she has coordinated national research studies concerning the potential impacts on women of reproductive and medical technologies, the implications of the two-child norm for marginalized communities, and alternative systems of medicine. In her role as activist, she has campaigned against population control policies and the unethical implementation of HPV vaccine “demonstration projects” in tribal areas of Andhra Pradesh. Sarojini also serves on the steering committee for India’s Health Care Planning Commission, is a joint convener of India’s chapter of the People’s Health Movement, and is an organizing committee member of India’s National Bioethics Conference. She consults with numerous national and international organizations, including the Save the Children Fund (UK). Sarojini is the co-author of the book Touch Me, Touch Me Not: Women, Plants and Healing.

The Social Justice Policy Practitioner-in-Residence program gives Five College students and faculty unique opportunities to engage with and learn from individuals who have hands-on policymaking experience. By offering occasions to interact with those who have chosen lives of service, the residency program will help students imagine careers of their own that might advance the common good.

N.B. Sarojini is the spring 2013 Five College Social Justice Practitioner-in-Residence. During Sarojini’s residency in April, she will participate in the following events, which are meant to educate and inspire the Five College community.

METHODS AND PRACTICES IN FEMINIST SCHOLARSHIP CLASS VISIT

date | Tuesday, April 9
time | 8:30 to 9:50 a.m.
location | Five College Women’s Studies Research Center, 83 College St., South Hadley MA

description | How do scholars produce knowledge? What can we learn from differences and similarities in the research process of a novelist, a biologist, an historian, a sociologist, and a film critic? Who decides what counts as knowledge? We will examine a range of methods from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, including visual analysis, archival exploration, interviewing, and ethnography, as we consider the specific advantages (and potential limitations) of diverse disciplinary approaches for feminist inquiry. We will take up numerous practical questions as well as larger methodological and ethical debates.

FEMINISM, SCIENCE & RELIGION: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS CLASS VISIT

date | Wednesday, April 10
time | 3:35 to 6:05 p.m.
location | Bartlett Hall 202, University of Massachusetts Amherst

description | Science and religion represent two powerful institutions, their histories intertwined and inextricably interconnected. Patriarchal institutions, often hostile to women and gender, feminists have challenged both with great vigor. This course examines these contestations using a comparative analysis of the United States and India.

more details | If you would like to sit in on this class, please contact Professor Banu Subramaniam.

SYSTEMIC VIOLENCE OR INFORMED CONSENT? THE FEMINIST POLITICS OF NEW REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND MEDICAL EXPERIMENTATION IN INDIA

date | Wednesday, April 10
time | 7 to 9 p.m.
location | Campus Center Reading Room, University of Massachusetts Amherst

description | What does the outsourcing of both reproductive labor and medical research mean for contemporary feminist theory and practice? Where is the line between exploitation and the freedom to sell one’s labor in a neoliberal market exchange? Must feminists re-examine fundamental notions of bodily rights and motherhood? Drawing from her work with the Indian women’s health group Sama, Sarojini will explore the ethics, economics and politics of surrogacy, the international trade in reproductive tissues, and pharmaceutical trials targeting poor women.

RETHINKING THE POPULATION PROBLEM CLASS VISIT

date | Thursday, April 11
time | 2 to 3:20 p.m.
location | Franklin Patterson Hall 107, Hampshire College

description | In the last century the world experienced a rapid increase in population growth, giving rise to fears of ‘overpopulation.’ Today, these fears persist even as birth rates decline around the globe. Population remains a controversial issue, the subject of theoretical and political debates which cut across traditional categories of Right and Left. How one understands the population problem has profound consequences for social policy.

more details | If you would like to sit in on this class, please contact Professor Elizabeth Hartmann.

INTERNATIONAL ROUNDTABLE: FEMINISM AND REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

date | Saturday, April 13
time | 1:15 to 2:45 p.m.
location | Franklin Patterson Hall 108, Hampshire College

description | Researchers and activists from around the world will share their diverse experiences redefining feminism and promoting reproductive and sexual health, rights, and justice.They will reflect on their successes in different political and cultural contexts, and discuss strategies for transnational organizing. Other panelists include Medea Benjamin (co-founder of Code Pink); Zeinab Eyega (Sauti Yetu Center for African Women and Families); and Sylvia Estrada Claudio (University of the Philippines).

NEW HORIZONS IN REPRODUCTIVE POLITICS

date | Saturday, April 13
time | 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.
location | Franklin Patterson Hall 106, Hampshire College

description | Sarojini will speak on a panel with Sylvia Estrada Claudio (University of the Philippines) and Betsy Hartmann (director of the Population and Development Program, Hampshire College). This panel will look at the changing terrain of reproductive politics and what it means for feminist organizing across borders. How do new reproductive technologies, sex selection and the commercialization of surrogacy, and the resurgence of population control challenge us to rethink the role of government regulation and medical ethics? How does the internationalization of the anti-abortion movement influence national struggles for reproductive rights? Panelists will discuss how we can make space in our movements to think through and take action on these critical developments.

GENDER IN THE CHANGING GLOBAL ECONOMY CLASS VISIT

date | Tuesday, April 16
time | 9 to 10:20 a.m.
location | Franklin Patterson Hall 104, Hampshire College

description | Recent decades have seen unprecedented changes in the economic landscape of most developing nations. This course examines the gendered sites, processes and consequences of some of these changes: the spread of neoliberalism, the increased hold of globalization, the growing rampancy of economic and political crises, war and humanitarian disasters, and increasing disillusionment with the erstwhile promises of development. Using the entry point of gender, we will not only revisit age-old issues such as the international and intra-household division of labor, unequal access to resources, the impact of welfare cuts, economic crisis, and the feminization of migration, but also expand our analysis to new sites of upheaval such as the milieu of globalization, post-conflict and post-socialist transitions, environmental change, and popular movements for change/resistance.

more details | If you would like to sit in on this class, please contact Professor Smita Ramnarain.

FEMINISM, GENDER AND SCIENCE CLASS VISIT

date | Tuesday, April 16
time | 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
location | Chapin Hall 119, Amherst College

description | How should we theorize the relationship between race, gender, sexuality and the sciences? How has science grown to be the center of our cultural visions and imaginations and what does that mean for our futures? This course examines some of the foundational theories pertaining to feminism, gender and science, then looks at the way science and technology are embedded within a social and historical context. Finally, the course examines a series of modern debates and case studies relating to claims about biological differences of gender, race and sexuality, genetic technologies, reproductive biology and technologies, eugenics, environmental feminism, alternate energy, climate change, and women’s health.

more details | If you would like to sit in on this class, please contact Professor Banu Subramaniam.

CAN WE SEE THE BABY BUMP PLEASE? EXPERIENCES OF SURROGACY IN MUMBAI, INDIA

date | Wednesday, April 17
time | 7 to 9 p.m.
location | West Lecture Hall, Hampshire College

description | Sarojini will present this documentary film that looks at commercial surrogacy in India and explores questions and concerns through the experiences of surrogate women. The film’s narrative traces the ethical challenges, medical malpractice, and potential exploitation that can occur when surrogacy is practiced in a legal vacuum, while also highlighting and understanding the interplay of surrogate women's choices, contexts and compulsions. Produced by Sama Resource Group for Women and Health.

more details | Discussion to follow.

GLOBAL HEALTH AND HUMANITARIANISM CLASS VISIT

date | Thursday, April 18
time | 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
location | Skinner Hall 202, Mount Holyoke College

description | This course examines global health disparities and the unequal distribution of disease, focusing on the health consequences of poverty, structural violence, and globalization. In addition, we critically examine the foundations of global humanitarianism and the complexities, constraints, and prospects for working collaboratively across borders to resolve global health problems.

more details | If you would like to sit in on this class, please contact Professor Lynn Morgan.



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