From the community

UMaine hosts expert on role of women in war

Posted Sept. 02, 2014, at 9:17 a.m.

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Location: University of Maine, Minsky Recital Hall, Orono

ORONO, Maine — An award-winning scholar specializing in feminism, politics and global affairs will talk about the role of women in war at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in Minsky Recital Hall at the University of Maine.
Clark University political scientist Cynthia Enloe will discuss “Where are Women in Violent Conflicts? Finding out will Make us Smarter!” She plans to address situations in Syria, Ukraine, Gaza and Israel during the free, public lecture.

“I think it’s important to learn where the women are in war and where the men are in war,” she says. “They are quite different experiences.”

In 2011 in Syria, women were active in open pro-democracy protests against the Assad regime, Enloe says. Today, she says, women are absent from media coverage in Syria except in photographs of displaced people.

Enloe also will talk with students, staff and community members during a meet-and-greet reception at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 16, in the FFA Room in Memorial Union.

Her interest in global affairs was cultivated by reading the New York Herald Tribune and The New York Times delivered to her parents’ doorstep in Long Island, New York.

“I think that really had an effect on me — both in the sense of keeping up with what is going on in the world and wanting to become part of the world,” Enloe says.

She has done both. Her career has included Fulbrights in Malaysia and Guyana; guest professorships in Japan, Britain and Canada; and lectures in Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Germany, Korea and Turkey. She also has authored more than a dozen books.

Enloe says she was drawn to books about foreign policy when she worked at a publishing company in New York after earning an undergraduate degree at Connecticut College for Women. At the University of California, Berkeley, where she earned her master’s and doctorate degrees, Enloe says a seminar on Southeast Asia further piqued her interest.

“I was off and running,” she says.

Stefano Tijerina, Libra Professor of International Relations at UMaine, invited Enloe to share her expertise with UMaine and the surrounding community.

He credits her with opening his eyes and mind to comparative politics and to issues of social justice during his undergraduate classes at Clark, where Enloe has three times received the Outstanding Teacher Award. Tijerina, who grew up in Colombia and Texas, says Enloe promotes examining topics from a variety of angles and perspectives — including culture, race, gender and class — to gain deeper appreciation and understanding.

Enloe’s honors include the International Studies Association’s Susan Strange Award, the Susan B. Northcutt Award and the Peace and Justice Studies Association’s Howard Zinn Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lecture sponsors are the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education; Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program; School of Policy and International Affairs; and UMaine’s History and Political Science departments.

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