Women’s and Gender Studies sponsors an annual lecture that features local and national scholars who present their research on cutting edge themes in women, gender, and sexuality. In addition, we cooperate with other UNL departments, programs, and centers to co-sponsor speakers, workshops, films, panel discussions, and other creative work. These events are free and open to students, faculty, alumni, and the Lincoln community.
“Objects in Mirror are Closer than They Appear”
Dr. Tomi-Ann Roberts
September 26, 2019
In October 2017, Tomi-Ann Roberts was launched into the public limelight when she came out in the New York Times as a victim of sexual harassment by Harvey Weinstein when she was a college student. She has since been featured in countless news stories describing the connection between that experience, and many others, and her scholarly work. In 1997 she and her co-author proposed a theoretical perspective to guide research and advocacy in the psychology of sexual objectification, arguing that it is a form of sexism wherein women and girls are treated as collections of body parts, valued predominantly for their consumption by others, and the pernicious ways this treatment gets internalized as self-objectification. This talk will explore some of the academic and public policy work that has sprung from objectification theory over the past 20+ years, providing a feminist scholarly frame for the #MeToo movement.
Tomi-Ann Roberts earned her BA from Smith College and her PhD from Stanford University. She is professor of psychology at Colorado College. Her research interests include the sexual objectification of girls and women, self-objectification, and the consequences of these for their physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being. The first paper she co-authored on this topic, “Objectification Theory,” is the most cited article in the over 40-year history of the journal, Psychology of Women Quarterly. In addition to her scholarly publications, she served on the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, the Task Force on Educating Through Feminist Research, and as president of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research from 2017-2019. She leverages psychological science as an expert witness and consultant in cases involving objectification as a form of sexism and gender discrimination.
Past guests include Lara Freidenfelds, Shireen Ghorbani, Deirdre Cooper Owens, Roxane Gay, Jaclyn Friedman, Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Sarah Deer, Karma R. Chávez, Janet Kourany, Londa Schiebinger, Lise Eliot, Sarah Schulman, Obioma Nnaemeka, tatiana de la tierra, Patricia Hill Collins, Janice Gould, Jean Fagin Yellen, Mahnaz Afkhami, Toi Derricotte, Darlene Clark Hine, Beth Brant, Manjira Datta, Gloria Steinem, Minnie Bruce Pratt, Nomy Lamm, Leslie Feinberg, Barbara Smith, bell hooks, the Guerrilla Girls, and others.