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Release: Oct. 2, 2000

UI women's studies department hosts lectures on motherhood, women's health

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A year-long lecture series on "Reproduction, Motherhood, and Women's Health: Issues for the 21st Century," begins with two presentations in October. The series is sponsored by the University of Iowa department of women's studies. Both lectures will be held from 4-6 p.m. in Room 204, Jefferson Building.

Molly Ladd-Taylor, an associate professor of history at York University, will kick off the lecture series with her presentation, "Eugenics and the Baby Boom: From Coercion to Therapy," on Thursday, Oct. 12. Ladd-Taylor has written extensively on motherhood and child welfare and pursues research interests in women and eugenics as well as U.S. welfare policy. Her presentation is co-sponsored by the UI history department.

The series will continue Friday, Oct. 27 with "The Social Meanings of Ritalin: Mothers' Perspectives on Attention Deficit Disorder," presented by Jacqueline Litt, assistant professor of sociology and women's studies at Iowa State University and author of "Medicalized Motherhood: Views From the Lives of African-American and Jewish Women." Much of Litt's scholarship focuses on mothers' care-giving practices in relation to systems of expertise. Her latest research explores the mothering practices and experiences of women whose children have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Her presentation is co-sponsored by the UI sociology department.

The department has planned three additional lectures in this series during the Spring 2001 semester. They are: "Black Women and the Politics of Reproduction," by Dorothy Roberts, professor of law at Northwestern University, March 23; "Bringing Human Rights Home," by Loretta Ross, executive director of the National Center for Human Rights Education April 6; and "Women and Global Power," by Rosalind Petchesky, professor of women's studies and political science at Hunter College and the City University of New York Graduate Center, April 27. Locations will be announced closer to the presentation dates.

"From these five speakers, community members have an opportunity to learn firsthand how feminist scholars and activists are addressing questions of crucial importance to women and men throughout our society," said Ellen Lewin, women's studies chair. "Their reports on ongoing struggles for social justice will highlight some critical intersections between science, policy, and gender as these are unfolding in an increasingly fluid global context."