May Feminist Friday | Dr. Kim Miller (rescheduled from April)

Dr. Kim Miller, will discuss "The Stories we See: Depictions of Female Authority in South Africa’s Public Sphere".

Date & Time:

Friday, May 1, 2015
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM


Luann Dummer Center for Women (OEC 103)

Prof. Miller will talk about the representation of women as politically active and effective subjects in post-apartheid South Africa’s commemorative landscape.  Focusing on several attempts at public memorial after apartheid, Prof. Miller will address public memory practices, how they are used to regulate gender, and the messages they convey about the perceived importance of women’s political roles during – and directly after – major political transitions.  She will consider how women’s agency and heroism is recognized, or made in/visible, in the public sphere, and what is at stake in how women are remembered.

In addition, Prof. Miller will reflect on her personal experience traveling to commemorative sites with her children, and how that experience provided new feminist perspectives and insights into her research on gender and commemorative spaces.  Prof. Miller will also invite participants to offer feedback and thoughts on the ways in which women’s participation in other freedom struggles are represented and remembered – or perhaps forgotten –  in contexts beyond South Africa.

Dr. Kim Miller is Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and African Art History at Wheaton College in Norton, MA.  She also serves as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, and as Co-Coordinator of Peace and Social Justice Studies (which she founded).  She is also a Research Associate at the Visual Identities in Art and Design Research Centre, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.  Dr. Miller’s scholarship examines the relationship between visual culture, gender, and power in African arts.  She is primarily interested in the ways in which artists use visual culture for the purposes of promoting social justice, and the ways in which women use art as a form of activism and empowerment.  Dr. Miller has published a number of book chapters in addition to articles in the South African Historical Journal, African Arts, the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture, and Feminist Studies. She also writes and teaches about the place of visual culture in relation to memory, trauma, and recovery.  Her current book project, How Did They Dare? Women’s Activism and the Work of Memory in South African Commemorative Art, explores visual representations of women political activists in South Africa both during and after the struggle against apartheid.

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