Faculty Highlight

Libby Nutt Williams

Dr. Libby Nutt Williams

Dr. Libby Williams has been elected the 2013 Woman of the Year for the Section for the Advancement of Women (SAW) of the Society of Counseling Psychology at the American Psychological Association. Congratulations, Libby!

Annual Colloquium - 2014

“Overworked and Underpaid:  Gendered Labor in the 21st Century”

WGSX Colloquium Poster 2014

The 15th Annual Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Colloquium

March 25-27, 2014


Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 5:00-7:00 PM--Montgomery Upper Commons

Exhibition Opening and Reception: “In Graphic Detail: WGSX Colloquia Posters, 2000-2014”

Since the first Colloquium in 2000, “Women of Science/Science of Women,” the WGSX Colloquium has become one of the premiere scholarly traditions at St. Mary’s College.  On the fifteenth anniversary of the colloquium, this exhibition of the posters created for each event  recalls the intellectual excitement generated by the event as well as recognizes the artistic contribution of James Gallagher, who has designed our posters since 2004.  Remarks will begin at 5:30.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 4:45 PM—Cole Cinema

Maliha Safri, Drew University

"Victims or Heroes? Women-led Migration, Agency, and Class"

While half the world's migrants are women, the dominant representations limit them to either 'heroes' who bring in monetary remittances, or 'victims' of a global capitalist economy. Such representations foreclose the spectrum of experiences that characterize their economic lives inside and outside the household. Drawing on a more fluid theory, their experiences can instead be seen through a lens that reveals their participation in diverse class practices. This new perspective has implications for three areas of inquiry: globalization, economic development, and a household politics


Wednesday, March 26, 2014 at 8:15 PM—Cole Cinema

Mary Hawkesworth, Rutgers University 

“Feminization, Commodification, Invisibilization: Gendered Labor in the 21stCentury”

In her plenary address to the 1995 United Nations World Conference on Women in Beijing, Noeleen Heyzer, then-Director of UNIFEM, the United Nations Development Fund for Women, pointed out that “women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours, but earn only one-tenth of the world’s income and own less than one-tenth of the world’s property.” The striking disparity between hours worked and remuneration received reflects various factors. Two-thirds of the work women do is unwaged (compared to one-quarter of men’s work). Occupational segregation by sex concentrates women in the lowest-waged and least-secure positions.  Slightly more than 20% of all economically active women are employed in the industrial sector, while 75% are employed in the far less-well paid service sector. Women are overrepresented in the subsistence and informal (unstructured and unregulated) sectors of the economy and underrepresented in the formal sector, where pay levels are higher and fringe benefits may be provided.  Women also constitute three-quarters of the part-time labor force, working for very low pay without any job security and little hope of upward mobility.  Women continue to suffer systemic pay discrimination.  Even in nations with equal pay legislation on the books, women earn less than men.  This talk will explore contemporary gendered labor practices and consider their implications for meaningful work, individual self-development, and equitable economies in the twenty-first century.


Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 4:15—Cole Cinema               

Susan F. Feiner, University of Southern Maine

“From Flintstones to Jetsons: Consumerism, Overworked Women and Economic Stagnation”

Professor Feiner will explain the connections between the commodification of household life on the one hand, and the tendency toward economic stagnation on the other. She will show how the naturalization of domestic exploitation (the production and extraction of surplus labor within families) works to naturalize an ever-expanding menu of manufactured wants. Consumption—fulfilling those wants—has become such a large share of GDP (in the OECD the average is 54.7%, with the US leading this group of nations at 70.5%) that absent bubbles (dot com, housing) economies can’t sustain decent levels of employment at decent wages. But generating full employment via bubble driven consumption does not reduce household exploitation. Feiner challenges us to think about ways to enhance social well being without driving consumption to even higher levels. The central elements of such changes are greater income equality, less work and greater democracy in our workplaces.



Roundtable: Moderator Sahar Shaqat will be joined on stage by Colloquium speakers Feiner, Hawkesworth, and Safri discuss issues raised by their presentations followed by a reception and book signing in the Aldom Lounge


Colloquium Commitee

Gail Savage (Co-chair)

Eray Duzenli (Co-chair)

Celia Rabinowitz

Barrett Emerick

Diano Borors

Hannah Felperin (student member)

Michelle DiMenna (student member)