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Gender & Sexuality Studies

The Edith Kreeger Wolf Endowment

Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professorships in Weinberg College

The Edith Kreeger Wolf Endowment brings to Northwestern's campus scholars, professionals, and public figures, with the goal of deepening students' familiarity with accomplishments women have brought to their fields of scholarship, the arts, public service, and the professions.

Poet, essayist, and activist Adrienne Rich visited in October, 2006. Other recent Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professors have included gender and sexuality theorist Judith Butler, critic Hazel V. Carby, biologist Ann Fausto Sterling, writer Maxine Hong Kingston, historian Joan Scott, constitutional law scholar Kathleen Sullivan, and many others.

Periodically, Gender Studies at Northwestern hosts a Kreeger Wolf Conference, bringing to campus an array of speakers on a given theme - most recently "The Ends of Sexuality" in 2003. Information on select recent events and conferences appears below.

History of the Kreeger Wolf Endowment in Weinberg College

In the early 1970s, Edith Kreeger Wolf, a Chicago philanthropist, looked at the world around her and observed that female students had few role models among the faculty of American universities. Discussing these thoughts with her daughters, Carol Kreeger Davidson (WCAS '50) and Margery Kreeger Fridstein (School of Communications '46), she decided to make a gift to a Chicago institution that had been influential in her lifetime. She chose Northwestern, which had educated both daughters and enabled them to develop into successful women.

The Edith Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professorship took form in consultation with Hanna Gray, then dean of Northwestern's College of Arts and Sciences. The Kreeger Wolf Endowment, established in 1973, has had the goal of deepening students' familiarity with fields of study fostered largely by women, and with the insights into many realms of knowledge that emerge when the role and treatment of women is included. The visiting professorships are an invaluable complement to the teaching of our own faculty.

Fall 2010 Kreeger Wolf Event: "Roses from the South: Gender Theory on a World Scale." lecture by Raewyn Connell, Univeristy Chair, University of Sydney. view event flyer

Spring 2010 Kreeger Wolf Event: "Cultures of Flirtation: Sexual Work & Moral Boundaries of Filipina Migrant Hostesses in Tokyo." lecture by Rhacel Parrenas, Professor of Sociology & American Civilization, Brown University. view event flyer

Winter 2010 Kreeger Wolf Event: "Transforming (Gendered) Governance: Prisons, Punishment, & Social Policy" lecture by Lynne Haney, Professor of Sociology, New York University. view event flyer

Fall 2008 Kreeger Wolf Event: "Going to the Dogs?" ... It's a Howl! lecture by Holly Hughes
Hughes describes her transition from member of the notorious "NEA Four," to LGB activist, to tenured professor.
view event flyer

Fall 2007 Kreeger Wolf Event: "The Consolidation of Democracy in South Africa: What Prospects?" lecture by Amanda Gouws

Amanda Gouws is Professor of Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. She is the co-author of Overcoming Political Intolerance in South Africa, and the editor of (Un)Thinking Citizenship: Contemporary Feminist Debates in South Africa. view event flyer

Fall 2006 Kreeger Wolf Event: Adrienne Rich

Adrienne Rich visited Northwestern as a Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor on October 11, 2006. Rich, the award-winning poet and essayist whose work has been extraordinarily important to feminists over several decades, met with 25 undergraduate and graduate students for an invigorating morning discussion. At an even poetry reading attended by more than 250 students, faculty, staff, and members of the greater Chicago-Evanston community, Rich read from poems written from the late 1960s to the present. The event was followed by a reception and book signing. View event photos

2005 Kreeger Wolf Conference

Ceniza Choy
Catherine Ceniza Choy

Catherine Ceniza Choy
University of California, Berkeley
"Towards Trans-Pacific Social Justice: Women and Protest in Filipino American History"
View event flyer
April 18, 2005
Harris Hall 108
5-7 p.m.

Catherine Ceniza Choy is an associate professor of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of the award-winning book, Empire of Care: Nursing and Migration in Filipino American History (co-published by Duke University Press and Ateneo de Manila University Press, 2003), which explored how and why the Philippines became the world's leading exporter of nurses in the late twentieth century. She is beginning a second book project that will focus on the history of the international adoption of Asian children in the United States.

For a full article on the 2005 Kreeger Wolf lecture, please see the 2005 Newsletter.

2004 Kreeger Wolf Event

Kim F. Hall
Fordham University
"Object into Object?: Feminist Readings on the African Presence in Renaissance Art"
View event poster
April 23, 2004
4 - 7 p.m., Univ. Hall 201
Hagstrum Room

Kim F. Hall is the Thomas F.X. Mullarkey Chair in Literature at Fordham University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania . Her book, Things of Darkness (Cornell University Press, 1995), was named an Outstanding Academic Book by Choice magazine and was the first to use a black feminist methodology to read early modern culture. She is working on two books, Othello: Texts and Contexts (contracted with Bedford/St.Martin's Press) and The Sweet Taste of Empire: Gender and Material Culture in Seventeenth Century England . She lectures nationally and internationally on Shakespeare, race theory, Renaissance women writers, slavery, visual arts, and pedagogy.

2003 Kreeger Wolf Conference

"The Ends of Sexuality: Pleasure and Danger in the New Millennium"
April 4 and 5, 2003

This conference brought together a distinguished group of leading scholars to explore new directions for the study and theorization of sexuality. We took as our theme the complex connections between pleasure and danger--the, at times, contradictory relations between risk, excitement, and gratification (often constituted through transgression and the breaking of boundaries) and the equally present wish for physical and psychic assurances set within the capacity to return to sociality and intimacies. One crucial touchstone for our conversation was a re-examination of the problematization of the same theme two decades ago at the Ninth Scholar and Feminist Conference held at Barnard College in April 1982. Although controversial in its time, most notably for the opposition of conference organizers and speakers to Anti-Pornography ordinances, the conference was a generative moment announcing new scholarship and activism around issues of sexuality and politics of pleasure.

In the spirit of the Barnard inquiries, we asked where were the current and future alignments between sexual practice, liberatory politics, and discourses of danger? Some themes we considered included the changing boundaries of the abject, revisiting fantasy and pleasure in psychoanalysis, conceptualizations of sexuality after Foucault.

Invited Speakers included:

  • Leo Bersani, University of California , Berkeley
  • Cathy J. Cohen, University of Chicago
  • Lisa Duggan, New York University
  • David M. Halperin, University of Michigan
  • Cora Kaplan, University of Southampton
  • Dorinne Kondo, University of Southern California
  • Valerie Traub, University of Michigan
  • Michael Warner, Rutgers University

2000 Kreeger Wolf Conference

"Gender, Race and Reproduction: Bodies, Ideas, Cultures"
November 2-4, 2000

Distinguished Participants included Maxine Hong Kingston, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Martha K. McClintock, Rey Chow, Patricia Zavella, Constance Penley, Hazel V. Carby, and Judith Butler.