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By Selena Stevens

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The conference's keynote speaker is Geeta Patel, internationally known as a scholar of the Indian feminist social movement, Hindi and Urdu literature, Asian dispora literature, queer theory, feminist theory and women's studies..

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March 21, 2001 – (Lexington, Ky.) – The University of Kentucky's Women's Studies Program will sponsor the third annual Graduate Student Conference March 30-31 in the UK Student Center.

This year's theme is "Gendered Violence: Epistemologies and Practices," and the keynote speaker is Geeta Patel, an internationally known scholar of the Indian feminist social movement, Hindi and Urdu literature, Asian dispora literature, queer theory, feminist theory and women’s studies.

Patel, a member of the women’s studies faculty at Wellesley College, focuses her research on the conjunctions between sexuality and colonialism in South Asia. She will speak at UK at noon March 30 on “Marking ‘The Quilt:’ Veil, Harem/Home and Sexual Subversion Within Them.” Her newest book, “Lyrical Movements, Historical Huntings: On Gender, Colonialism and Desire in Miraji’s Urdu Poetry,” is due this spring from Stanford University Press.

“In recent years, researchers working with feminist theories have examined a diversity of instances and types of gendered violence occurring across the globe. This research has enhanced our understandings of myriad ways in which gendered violence occurs within different cultural milieus,” according to the conference Web site. “Our graduate student-organized conference provides a space for students, activists and faculty to discuss ongoing research and community projects related to the conference theme in a supportive and innovative environment.”

The conference will feature a wide range of presentations on topics including activism, gender assignments, nationalism, poverty, postcolonialism, discourses and representations, maternal sadism, hate crimes, women of color, prison systems and domestic violence.

A plenary session from 5 to 7 p.m. March 31 will focus on violence against young African-American men. The session, “Voices of Protest, Voices for Change: Transforming the Discourse on African-American Youth Violence,” will be held at the Phillis Wheatley Center, 647 Chestnut St. Speakers for the session will be Rosalind Harris of rural sociology at UK; Aminata Baruti, a community advocate with the East End Empowerment Project; George Moorman, director of the East End Empowerment Project; Denise Brown, poet and community activist; and Hendrick Floyd, poet and scholar activist.

For more information about the conference, contact UK Women’s Studies at (859) 257-1388 or visit the conference Web site by clicking here.

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