Two speakers slated for fall

Kristy L. Mason

The focus of the women’s studies department at Western is to teach women to go against the odds and not limit their goals.

Director Jane Olmsted said that participation in the women’s studies program helps students develop r?sum?s, be involved outside of class and work with faculty and staff members.

“Women’s studies teaches that nothing in society is natural … but rather a reflection of the people and the institutions that create the society,” Olmsted said. “I think it’s a liberatory realization, because anything that is not fixed can be changed.”

With those goals in mind, the women’s studies program will host two speakers this semester: Winona LaDuke and Jean Kilbourne.

LaDuke, the founder and co-chair of the Indigenous Women’s Network and the founder and campaign director of the White Earth Land Recovery Project, is a Native American activist. She fights for women’s and children’s rights as well as for helping the environment.

A member of the Green Party, LaDuke was Ralph Nader’s running mate in the 2000 presidential election.

She also wrote “All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life and Last Standing Woman” and organized the “Honor the Earth” tour.

LaDuke will be speaking at the Mass Media and Technology Hall at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 17.

Kilbourne was twice named “Lecturer of the Year” by the National Association of Campus Activities. She is known for articles such as “Killing Us Softly,” “Slim Hopes” and “Pack of Lies.”

Olmsted is eager for both speakers come to Western.

“Winona LaDuke will be challenging and will share some new perspectives that a lot of us won’t have thought about,” Olmsted said. “Jean Kilbourne gives dynamic presentations, media enhanced, about the power of advertising, particularly in its representation of women. In this case, she’ll be talking about advertising and addiction.”

Louisville sophomore Rachel Sanderson plans to attend Kilbourne’s discussion on women in advertising Nov. 12 in Van Meter auditorium.

“I’ve been looking forward to listening to Dr. Kilbourne,” Sanderson said. “She has taught me that what the world hands me is not all that there is for me to achieve.”

The women’s studies department also works on different group projects.

One of them is “Girls to Women in Science,” which focuses on gender, race and class. Throughout the semester a series of videos will be shown for students.

“Some are very controversial, people keep talking about them even after they’re over,” Olmsted said. “Our films this semester are really powerful: wrestling and manhood, disability and sexuality, rape and prosecution.”

Future events for the spring semester include a film series about abortion and reproductive rights as well as speaker Cynthia Enloe, author of “Bananas, Beaches, and Bases,” who will discuss women and military engagement.

Reach Kristy L. Mason at [email protected]