George Mason University
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George Mason University

Feminist Scholar Cynthia Enloe Delivers Keynote Address at Gender and Conflict Conference

March 24, 2015

By Buzz McClain

Cynthia Enloe. Photo provided.

Cynthia Enloe. Photo provided.

Cynthia Enloe is a pioneering feminist scholar who has inspired a generation of fellow scholars and students to take a serious look at the crucial intersections of conflict, gender and power.

Her ground-breaking research in such books as “Maneuvers: The International Politics of Militarizing Women’s Lives” (2000) illuminates the interactions of war and militarized societies in the world, extending what she calls a “feminist curiosity” to map the gendered workings of global politics.

Enloe makes her first visit to George Mason University as the keynote speaker at Mason’s School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict’s annual research conference at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 2, at Founders Hall Auditorium on the university’s Arlington Campus.

It may be Enloe’s first visit to George Mason, but the school and its conflict programs are very familiar to her.

Alice Peck, program officer at the center and a master’s student at Mason, is looking forward to meeting Enloe, who she’s admired and read for years.

“Looking at conflict through a gender lens reveals the ways in which gender shapes violence and dictates response,” Peck says. “Enloe’s work also inspires my constant curiosity regarding the stories that remain untold, or those that are taken for granted in our analysis of conflict, war and violence.”

Lisa McLean, a Dean’s Fellow at the center, says Enloe encourages readers to be curious, ask questions that might have been off-limits, and even examine spaces previously assumed to be unworthy of academic inquiry.

“Readers are encouraged to reject analyses that frame women as powerless victims, or those that suggest empowerment is something that can be given,” McLean says.

The two-day research conference, called “Critical Intersections: Conflict, Gender and Power,” is the center’s third and will feature presenters from around the world on April 2-3. Topics of seminars and talks include “Gender, Activism, and Social Change”; “Critical Approaches to Gender, Vulnerability and Identity”; “New Directions in Gender Justice”; “Theorizing Sexual Violence” and others. A panel discussion on April 3 on “Violence and LGBTI Communities” caps the event.

For details on registration, see this link.

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