Southeastern celebrates 2017 Women's History Month

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
by: Rene Abadie

     HAMMOND – The Southeastern Louisiana University Department of History and Political Science will coordinate Women’s History Month throughout March with a series of free presentations.
     “Women’s History Month will feature a variety of interesting topics that focus on an interdisciplinary approach to women’s history,” said William Robison, head of the Department of History and Political Science and coordinator of the series. “We are pleased that colleagues from other institutions and departments are joining us in providing a diverse program throughout the month.”
     All of the programs are free and open to the public and will be held in the Student Union Theatre.
     Robison will open the series at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7, with a lecture that bridges Black History Month and Women’s History Month. Using audio and video examples, his talk – “Who’s Got Natural Rhythm? Racial and Gender Stereotypes in the Music World” – will shatter common stereotypes about the supposed differences in the ability of men, women and various ethnic groups to play particular kinds of music, whether it be classical, jazz, blues, gospel, country, rock or hip hop.
     The schedule for Women’s History Month also includes:
Wednesday, March 15, 2 p.m., LSU Associate Professor of History Leslie Tuttle, who teaches courses on the history of magic and witchcraft and the history of food, will speak on “Cooking with Demons.”
     “The lecture will probe the connections between the longstanding social expectation that women feed others and the fear that witches, with the aid of their demonic helpers, used food as a vehicle for harm or possession,” she said. “The logic of the connection was sustained by folk and expert knowledge about the effects of food in the body.”
     Wednesday, March 22, 2 p.m. Southeastern Professor of Political Science Margaret Gonzalez-Perez will present “Pretty Smart: Women in Science.”
     “Over the last century, enormous advances have been made in science and technology, and the women responsible for many of these achievements have gone largely unnoticed,” she explained. “Female physicians have developed treatments for cancer and revolutionary heart surgery. Women chemists have decoded molecular structures and expanded our knowledge of genetics, while female biologists have identified significant developments in our environment that impact human society. Women mathematicians are even responsible for helping develop the space program. Using the power of their intellect, these women not only overcame the scientific challenges of their disciplines, but also overcame the societal restrictions placed on women in male-dominated fields.”
     Tuesday, March 28, 12:30 p.m., Southeastern Assistant Professor of English C. Denelle Cowart will address “From Fascist to Duchess: The Tangled Relationships of the Mitford Sisters,” discussing ways in which the lives of six aristocratic British sisters, spanning the years 1904 through 2014, were interwoven with many of the most important events of the 20th century.
     “Two of the sisters were indeed Fascists and were close friends with Hitler. Another emigrated to the United States, where she first became a member of the Communist Party and later a muckraking journalist,” Cowart said. “The oldest was one of Bright Young Things of the Roaring Twenties and later a bestselling novelist, while the youngest became Duchess of Devonshire. All the Mitford sisters were gifted writers, and their published works, as well as their letters, tell a fascinating story of their interactions with each other as well as with famous figures ranging from Winston Churchill to John F. Kennedy.”
     For additional information about Southeastern’s Women’s History Month, contact the Department of History and Political Science at 985-549-2413 or

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