On November 13, 2012 more than 30 people filled the Meese Conference Room in Mason Hall for the Women and Gender Studies’ Annual Scholar’s Lecture with featured guest speaker Ricardo Vivancos-Perez, PhD, from Modern and Classical Languages
Every year the elegant evening event consists of a lecture by a guest scholar, dinner, and award presentations. The Scholar’s Lecture is one of the most prestigious annual events hosted by the program, and it “provides an opportunity to highlight scholarship within our own program,” said Women and Gender Studies Director, Suzanne Scott.
The Scholar’s Lecture continues its legacy of showcasing a Women and Gender Studies affiliate whose scholarship and creative work make a substantial contribution toward emphasizing and increasing awareness of women’s and gender issues locally and globally.
Vivancos–Perez’s presentation, “The Juarez Murders: Femicide, Human Rights, and an Aesthetic Education,” provided an overview of the Juarez murders and their perpetuation due to indifference, government corruption, introduction of Maquilladoras, implementation of NAFTA, as well as the slippery slope of the brutal drug trade. Vivancos-Perez continued to discuss how past individuals have tried to assist and let their voices be heard in hopes of putting a stop to the Juarez Murders, but who have been forced into silence by drastic means such as threats and murder. He discussed the power of the media that could be used in order to help decrease the forgotten deaths of women and the paradoxical fear of the media due to heavy negative consequences if that power is utilized. Though many in the past have cited the power of the media, the reality of the situation is that media tend to expose and then essentially forget. Therefore, Vivancos-Perez brings attention to the transformative power and effectiveness and heightened awareness of art in addressing serious social issues.
Vivancos-Perez posits in his research that creativity can often stop the deaths of these women from falling into obscurity and can assist with its hyperrealism of gaining the necessary attention it needs to urge others to care instead of simply tolerating the destruction of human life.
The Scholar’s Lecture also included the presentation of the Hattery Family Foundation- Franki Rutherford Memorial Scholarships.
Towards the conclusion of the soiree the room was filled with dinner conversation. A warm atmosphere was created by the coming together of faculty, students, and administrators with appreciation for the support of each other’s academic endeavors as well as the support of upcoming generations of Women and Gender Studies scholars.
November 16, 2012