Our featured speaker will be Rebecca Wanzo, Associate Professor of Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. Here is an abstract of her talk:
In May 2013, North Carolina’s chapter of Planned Parenthood sent women attired in 1960s garb to protest a bill that would allow employers to deny coverage of contraception for moral reasons because “ We love a good vintage look—but not when it’s running the state legislature.’” A popular protest sign that went viral in 2012 reads “I cannot believe I still have to protest this shit!” gesturing, as did other blogs, columns, and demonstration signs, to a teleological disruption. Telos has been profoundly important in political discourse in the United States. Often used rhetoric in the United States echoes this idea when inequality is described as an obstacle or misstep toward the “unfulfilled promise of America,” as opposed to endemic to the social contract. When many feminists and other progressive activists suggest that people or laws are “going against history,” they are imagining all of the entities that form the nation—“right”-thinking people, laws, spaces—as marching forward toward more egalitarianism in the nation. The temporality of freedom is or (should be) linear and inevitable. But abortion rights runs up against competing rights claims that revolve around competing ideas of progress and futurity. This talk explores the nature of the competing rights claims and how both the novel and television series adaptation of The Handmaid's Tale explore how competing temporalities is one of the essential challenges facing all conflicts about progress in the United States.
This event is open to University of Colorado and Auraria Campus faculty, students, and staff.