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IRWG holds national search for new director

Candidates vying to lead the Institute for Research on Women and Gender (IRWG) will present a series of lectures during the Autumn and Winter quarters to introduce themselves to the campus community.

Five candidates are competing in the nationwide search for a director to lead IRWG, which was founded in 1974 to promote interdisciplinary research on women and gender issues. The half-time position is expected to be filled by the start of the next academic year, with the other half allocated to a tenured faculty position in a relevant department, said IRWG Acting Director Barbara Gelpi.

The search is part of a broader effort to raise the institute's profile, said Gelpi, English professor emerita. The successful candidate is expected to hold the position for at least five years, after which time the faculty appointment is expected to increase to a full-time position. In the past, directors were selected internally from university faculty, Gelpi said.

Furthermore, in an effort to align IRWG more closely with Feminist Studies and other academic programs, the institute became part of the School of Humanities and Sciences on Sept. 1. Previously, it was housed as a center under Professor Charles Kruger, vice provost and dean of research and graduate policy.

Gelpi is leading the IRWG search committee, which also includes linguistics Professor Penny Eckert; biological sciences Professor Pat Jones, vice provost for faculty development; Purnima Mankekar, associate professor of cultural and social anthropology; and education Professor Myra Strober.

The talks by the candidates are free and open to the public:

Oct. 14: Jacque Eccles, the McKeachie Collegiate Professor of Psychology, Women's Studies and Education at the University of Michigan, will talk about "Understanding Gender Differences in Math, Physical Science and Sports" at noon in the CERAS Building, Room 100B.

Nov. 4: Londa Schiebinger, the Edwin E. Sparks Professor of the History of Science at Pennsylvania State University, will lecture about "Exotic Abortifacients: The Gender Politics of Plants in the 18th-Century Atlantic World." Time and location to be announced.

Jan. 15: Paula England, professor of sociology at Northwestern University, will discuss "Why Are Some Academic Fields Tipping Toward Female?" Time and location to be announced.

Jan. 22: Mary Frank Fox, the NSF Advance Professor of Sociology at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Subject, time and location to be announced.

Jan. 27: Helen Longino, professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. Subject, time and location to be announced.



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