Anita Hill to Deliver Sojourner Truth Lecture

Posted: February 9, 2011 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: February 8, 2011 at 9:17 pm

The following information was provided by Women and Gender Studies

Anita Hill, professor of law, public policy and women’s studies at Brandeis University, will speak at Mason on Thursday, March 3 at 1:30 p.m. in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall on the Fairfax Campus.

Hill’s talk is part of the Sojourner Truth Lecture Series sponsored by Women and Gender Studies and African and African American Studies. The title of Hill’s talk is “Re-imagining Equality: Gender, Race and Home in America.”

Hill was thrust into the public spotlight in 1991 when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee during the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Her testimony and the response to her appearance at the hearing reinvigorated the national conversation about race, gender and sexual harassment in the workplace. Considered a heroine by some and vilified by others, Hill gave a full account of her experience in her memoir “Speaking Truth to Power” (Anchor, 1998).

“We are honored to host this dynamic speaker on our campus this year and to hear how her experiences have informed her understandings of race, gender and sexual politics,” says Suzanne Scott, director of Women and Gender Studies.

The Sojourner Truth Lecture Series was established to preserve the legacy of Sojourner Truth, the African American anti-slavery leader who championed the importance of political and social equality for all women.

“It is one of the most important events our two programs co-host each year,” says Wendi Manuel-Scott, director of African and African American Studies.

“In the past, invited presenters have explored [topics such as] the kitchen as a place of resistance, the black female body, and poetry and a variety of other genres focusing on the intersections of race, class and gender.”

As a preview to the Sojourner Truth Lecture, Women and Gender Studies will host a short documentary, “Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas: The Untold Story,” on Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 2 p.m. in the Johnson Center Cinema, followed by an intergenerational panel discussion and question-and-answer period moderated by Yevette Richards Jordan, associate professor of women and gender studies.

The preview event will provide opportunities for students to interact with faculty members from various departments and disciplines and discuss the importance of this Sojourner Lecture event.

“Many of Mason’s undergraduates were babies or unborn at that time of Anita Hill’s riveting testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee,” says Richards Jordan. “Her coming to Mason gives them the unique opportunity to hear from someone whose experiences forced the nation for the first time to look seriously at the issue of sexual harassment.”

Both events are free and open to everyone.

Preview Event to the Anita Hill Lecture

Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2 p.m., Johnson Center Cinema

Documentary: “Anita Hill vs. Clarence Thomas: The Untold Story”

Panel discussion immediately following, moderated by Yevette Richards Jordan

Sojourner Truth Lecture: Anita Hill

Thursday, March 3, 1:30 p.m., Center for the Arts Concert Hall

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