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Women’s History Month observed in March

Posted 02/26/16

Fitchburg State University observes Women’s History Month in March with a series of film screenings, talks and exhibitions. The programming complements its ongoing Community Read of Nobel prize-winner Malala Yousafzai’s memoir I Am Malala. The events are free and open to the public.

The commemoration starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 1 with a screening and discussion of the film Bhutto in the Falcon Hub in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. The real life story of the first woman in history to lead a Muslim nation, Bhutto chronicles the trials and tribulations of Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.  Taking an unprecedented position as an Islamic woman, she rose to populist power not once or twice, but three times. Surviving years of exile and/or imprisonment as well as accusations of corruption, she never relinquished Pakistan as her homeland and a place she wanted to fight for. Admission is free.

Malala’s story is shared in the documentary film He Named Me Malala, which will be presented at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, March 3 at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall, 160 Pearl St. The film presents an intimate portrait of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Malala Yousafzai, who was targeted by the Taliban and severely wounded by a gunshot when returning home on her school bus in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. The then 15-year-old was singled out, along with her father, for advocating for girls’ education, and the attack on her sparked an outcry from supporters around the world. She miraculously survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund.

The centerpiece of the University’s celebration of Women’s History Month is the Nancy Kelly Memorial Lecture “Girl Meets World: What Malala Yousafzai’s Story Can Tell Us about the Times We Live In,” which will be delivered by Saadia Toor, PhD, associate professor of sociology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island, CUNY. The talk will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday, March 7 in the Randall Lecture Hall in the Antonucci Science Complex, 333 North St. Admission is free.

Toor’s talk looks at the complexity of Malala’s story and its lessons that go beyond those popularly read into it. Both her life in Swat, and her more cosmopolitan life since the 2012 attack are embedded within structures and circuits of power that are both local and global. The “story of her story” – the ways in which it has been framed, circulated and consumed in different parts of the world – similarly highlights the complex working of power in our contemporary world. In this talk, Professor Toor will outline some of these complexities with a view to the implications for understanding and addressing the status of women in the world today.

The University's events will close at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 with "Women in the Arts: Celebrating Women's History Month," in the lobby of Hammond Hall. Honor women artists at Fitchburg State and beyond. Enjoy exceptional local talent in the visual arts, literature, music, and dance. Featuring the Fitchburg State Dance Club; Harmonic Velocity; writer DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld; artists Helen Obermeyer-Simmons, Sally Moore, Coelynn McIninch and Jessica Robey; and other special guests. Refreshments will be provided. 

Women’s History Month at Fitchburg State is sponsored by the Amelia V. Gallucci-Cirio Library, Women in Today’s Society, Fitchburg State’s Office of Academic Affairs, and the department of Economics, History and Political Science.

The planning committee includes faculty members Viera Lorencova, Patricia Arend, Aruna Krishnamurthy, Joseph Moser and DeMisty Bellinger-Delfeld.

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