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2020 Spring

April 7, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom
May 13, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom
May 27, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom

Due to the pandemic, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group transitioned to Zoom meetings. We also used teach-in videos about gender, sexuality, and the spectrum of difference as connected to the pandemic. We will use Theory and Praxis: Women’s and Gender Studies at Community Colleges, edited by Heather Rellihan and Genevieve Carminati when we meet again in person.

At first meeting, we discussed Angela Davis’ and Naomi Klein’s conversation, Movement Build in the Time of the Coronavirus. We focused on the connections between “disaster capitalism,” the prison industrial complex, and transatlantic solidarity. In particular, we talked much about women of color in prison, health and economic disparities, and state violence as well as intimate partner violence and patriarchal households.

At the second meeting, we discussed Arundhati Roy’s The Pandemic Is a Portal. We talked generally about the pandemic as a condition that makes structural inequality, such as sexism, racism, cissexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism, among others, hypervisible. We shared that times can get better or worse, that we do not know where the portal is taking us. We also focused mainly on talking about healthcare and the virus impacting more BIPOC folks globally because of intersecting identities and oppressions, and tied it to her points about India’s response. We spent some time discussing CUNY’s portal and how it would affect interdisciplinary work in Women’s and Gender Studies.


At the third meeting, we discussed Ruthie Wilson Gilmore’s COVID 19, Decarceration and Abolition, which is three parts:  1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyTOspzD1ZQ 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk3K3xLWL_o and 3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toYvNnhojhM  We discussed the reality of prisoners and their health, with almost 70% of them having the virus without basic human rights to adequate healthcare. We focused on the plight of women of color, including trans folks, and the promise of prison abolition as a corrective to racism and sexism under capitalist policing that does not give resources, homes, jobs, education, and healthcare to at risk communities. We also spent some time talking about funding for WGS at Kingsborough and what we want to do next year.