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Panel Discussion at Dickinson College Addresses Feminism Within Sororities

Feminist Sorority Women

by Linh Nguyen '20

Dickinson College will host a panel of experts to discuss the history of white, black and multicultural sororities and the possibility for activism within them. The discussion, “Feminist Sorority Women,” will take place Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Anita Tuvin Schlechter (ATS) Auditorium. 

The panel includes Brontè Burleigh-Jones, vice president for finance and administration at Dickinson; Deborah Whaley, artist, writer and professor of American studies and African American studies at the University of Iowa; and Diana Turk, director of teacher education and associate professor of social studies education at New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Donna Bickford, director of the Women’s & Gender Resource Center at Dickinson, will serve as moderator.

Burleigh-Jones oversees all areas of finance and campus operations at Dickinson. In 1989, she joined the Nu Alpha chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority at American University. She has continued her active involvement with the organization and played a key role in reactivating the sorority at Dickinson.

Whaley teaches and has research experience in institutional history, theories and methods of American and cultural studies, 19th and 20th century American cultural history, comparative ethnic studies, black cultural studies, the digital humanities, popular culture and the visual arts. In Disciplining Women: Alpha Kappa Alpha, Black Counterpublics, and the Cultural Politics of Black Sororities, she examines the cultural practices and politics of the oldest historically black sorority.

Turk is passionate about preparing highly effective teachers for under-served settings. She is co-author of the Teaching Recent Global History and Teaching U.S. History: Dialogues Between Teachers and Historians and author of Bound by a Mighty Vow: Sisterhood and Women’s Fraternities, 1870-1920.

Bickford teaches in women’s, gender and sexuality studies and serves as co-chair of the President’s Commission on Women, Gender and Sexuality. Her research focuses on contemporary U.S. women writers and the connection between literature and social change.

The event is sponsored by the Clarke Forum for Contemporary Issues and co-sponsored by the departments of English, American studies, philosophy, sociology and women’s gender & sexuality studies; the First-Year Seminar Program; the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity; Kappa Delta Pi; and the Churchill Fund. Clarke Forum student project managers initiated this program. It is also part of the Clarke Forum’s Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty Series.

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Published November 2, 2018