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WSU Hosts Lecture to Spark Interest in International Politics

WESTFIELD — As part of its annual Month Celebrating Women calendar of events, Westfield State University will host British South Asian scholar Dr. Alka Kurian, who will present her lecture, “Women as Militarized Bodies: Subject or Objects?” today at 5 p.m. in Wilson Savignano Auditorium C.

For nearly 30 years, Westfield State has held events dedicated to awareness and celebration of women’s rights and issues involving women globally. What started off as a week-long celebration organized around International Women’s Day (March 8) is now a month-long tribute complete with guest speakers, concerts, and art exhibits. The month is organized by faculty and staff and the department of Diversity, Inclusion, and Student Activities, and is led by Ron’na Lytle, administrative assistant of the Ethnic and Gender Studies and World Language Studies departments.

Kurian is a lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell, where she teaches courses in film studies, literature, women’s studies, and human rights. She is the author of Narratives of Gendered Dissent in South Asian Cinemas and served as the co-director of the ninth Seattle South Asian Film Festival. She holds a Ph.D. in film and cultural studies from the University of Sunderland in the U.K.

During her lecture, Kurian will focus on women’s participation in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), the armed wing of the Tamil resistance movement in the post-colonial Sri Lankan civil war. She will draw a comparison between Sri Lanka women’s participation in suicide missions with several geopolitical locations in the Middle East and initiate a conversation on the transformative potential of revolutionary violence for the gendered subaltern.

The lecture was organized by Shoba Sharad Rajgopal, associate professor of Ethnic and Gender Studies, who met Kurian at the National Women’s Studies Assoc. “I hope audience members develop more of an interest in international politics through attending this lecture,” Rajgopal said. The lecture is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Lytle at (413) 572-5573.

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