2015 Spring Colloquium Series

Painting Women: Gender, Representation, and Artistic Identity

Alexandra Wettlaufer, Professor of French and Comparative Literature, University of Texas at Austin
Thursday, January 22
5:00PM, Bailey Library, 229 Andrews Hall

In this talk Wettlaufer will bring to light a rich and nearly forgotten culture of women’s artistic production, allowing us to understand the nineteenth-century in more complex and nuanced ways across the borders of gender, genre, and nation. We invite you to join us for a presentation and question and answer session with reception to follow.

Professor Wettlaufer is a core faculty member of the Comparative Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies and European Studies departments. She is the author of Portraits of the Artist as a Young Woman: Painting and the Novel in France and Britain,1800-1860.

This talk is sponsored by the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures.

Foundations and Women’s Empowerment

Patrice McMahon, Associate Professor, Political Science, UNL
Thursday, February 26
3:30-5:00PM, Nebraska Union, Room Posted

Patrice McMahon, Associate Professor of Political Science at UNL, will examine the role of American foundations in advancing and women’s empowerment with a specific focus on gender initiatives in conflict and post-conflict regions.

Women Survival and Subversive Strategies under Socialism

Brenda Flanagan, Edward Armfield Professor of English, Davidson College
Thursday, March 19
6:30-8:00PM, Nebraska Union (Room Posted)

While exploring the landscape of the unknown womanhood of women under socialism, she discovered numerous interesting women personalities who developed diverse gendered survival and subversive strategies. One of them, is remarkable Eva Svankmajerova, the godmother of Czech surrealism, painter, and filmmaker, and a self-made feminist (though many deny the existence of feminism in former "socialist paradise"), who has been recently recognized as a prolific artist, though hardly recognized at the Czech Republic due to the stagnant gendered discourse and low recognition of women.

Brenda Flanagan is a writer, poet, performer, scholar and US cultural ambassador to many world places. Born in Trinidad, and having strong transnational consciousness, she conducts her research on women under socialism.

This talk is sponsored by Department of Modern Languages and Literatures Czech Program and the Komensky Club.

The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

Linda Przbyszewski, Associate Professor of History, University of Notre Dame
Monday, April 20
5:00PM Nebraska Union Auditorium

Dr. Przybyszewski’s book The Lost Art of Dress explains how Americans learned—and forgot—how to dress in the modern age. It tells the story of the women Przybyszewski called “the Dress Doctors”, a group of academics who, over the course of the first half of the twentieth century, taught Americans what to wear. These included two names with UNL ties. Ruth O’Brien held a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Nebraska and became chief of the Division of Textiles and Clothing at the USDA’s Bureau of Home Economics in 1923. Grace Margaret Morton served on the faculty at UNL and was the author of The Arts of Costume and Personal Appearance. Originally published in 1943, it became at midcentury the standard textbook in departments of clothing and apparel throughout the U.S. Morton served as an associate professor of home economics and head of the textiles and clothing division at the University of Nebraska, the area that is today the Department of Textiles, Merchandising & Fashion Design.

Dr. Przybyszewski’s talk is being presented in conjunction with the exhibition Modernism and Romanticism: an American Design Approach featuring the work of fashion designers Bill Blass, Geoffrey Beene and Oscar de la Renta, opening on April 20 in the Robert Hillestad Textiles Gallery.

Przybyszewski’s book, The Lost Art of Dress, which explains how Americans learned—and forgot—how to dress in the modern age, was released in April 2014 with Basic Books. Professor Przybyszewski has held several national fellowships, most recently from the American Council of Learned Societies.