University Libraries Present: Women’s History Month Colloquium Series

Join us for a month-long colloquium series in honor of Women’s History Month, with presentations by three Stony Brook University scholars of women’s and gender studies and a literary karaoke event.  All events will be held in the Center for Scholarly Communications on the second floor of the Central Reading Room in Melville Library.

Wednesday, March 2, 2:00: Literary Karaoke 
Read a page or two from your favorite text written by a woman, or dealing with women’s and gender studies.  Listen, learn, and get inspired!  Open to all. Register:
Monday, March 7, 12:00: Dr. Heidi Hutner, Associate Professor of English & Sustainability, Director of the Sustainability Studies Program
Ecofeminism: What’s It All About?
Wednesday, March 23, 1:00: Dr. Sophie Raynard-Leroy, Associate Professor of French, Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of European Languages, Literatures, & Cultures
French Fairy tales: When Women Took Over
When one talks about classic European fairy tales one immediately thinks of Charles Perrault, the Grimm Brothers, and Hans Christian Andersen, that male trio from whom our basic knowledge of fairy tales originates and whose versions of the stories served as models for the modern Disney productions.  But what about the constellation of women storytellers who gravitated around them and helped them revive that forgotten or lesser-praised literary genre? In France at the end of the 17th century the genre dramatically expanded thanks to the works of women such as the French conteuses: Madame d’Aulnoy, Madame de Murat, Mlle de La Force, etc., who wrote two thirds of the tales published during that time, hence creating a dazzling fairy-tale vogue from which only Perrault has passed the test of time in the large public. That vogue had some resurgences in the 18th century with further female storytellers inspiring each other, two of whom: Mme de Villeneuve and Mme Leprince de Beaumont, having brought to us the tale of “The Beauty and the Beast” as we now know it today. As part of celebrating Women’s History Month, this paper will present Perrault’s female counterparts and their significant contribution to the sophistication and the modernization of the fairy tale in 17th- and 18th-century France.
Wednesday, March 30, 1:00: Dr. Kristina Lucenko, Director of the Program in Writing & Rhetoric
“I’m ‘Wife’! Stop there!”: Mary Carleton’s “Uncivil” Union
Though modern biographers agree that Mary Carleton was likely born Mary Moders, daughter of a Canterbury fiddler, in or before 1642, she represented herself as a high-born German aristocrat named Maria de Wolway willfully deceived into marriage by a greedy John Carleton and his family.  In my talk I’ll explore Mary Carleton’s multi-generic narrative and its concern with marriage as a “civil” institution. Speaking as “wife,” Carleton articulates a refusal to be exploited by English laws, which stipulate that a woman who marries must hand over her property to a husband. Carleton’s critique of women’s inferior legal status as wives appears alongside her insistence that her marriage to John Carleton is binding. Suggesting the analogy between the marriage contract and the social contract, Carleton maintains her right to proper, reasonable, and courteous governance, and enacts this privilege via the politically oriented pamphlet form.

Image: Jean-Honoré Fragonard [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Kate Kasten-Mutkus

Kate Kasten-Mutkus

Head of Humanities & Social Sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries
Kate is Head of Humanities and Social Sciences at Stony Brook University Libraries. She is the liaison to the French & Francophone Studies program and the Russian Studies program.
Kate Kasten-Mutkus
Posted in Arts & Humanities, Cultural Analysis & Theory, Environmental Humanities, French, Women's Studies, Writing and Literature