The Complexities of Putting Ideals into Practice: Interview with Margaret Randall by Linda Ruutu

Films and feminists inspire. A University of Connecticut undergrad viewed The Unapologetic Life of Margaret Randall in a recent WGSS course at UConn and was moved to contact this amazing feminist activist to find out answers to some important questions. The result is this fine interview published in the Monthly Review.


Margaret Randall

Here is just a snippet in reply to a question about Margaret’s ability to transform personal injustices into broader social understanding. This question involved her struggle to regain her U.S. citizenship in the face of a denial because of the 1952 McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act.

So I felt an obligation to fight for those people as well as for myself. I knew it would be important to use my case to try to change immigration law in general. This intimate knowledge played itself out for me in a number of concrete ways. For example, throughout the years of my immigration case I was constantly made to feel that if I just said I was sorry, that I “would never write those things again,” it might help me win. I won’t say I wasn’t tempted from time to time. But I knew that I must stick to my conviction that I had a right to have written what I had written, to have expressed the opinions I had expressed — even when twenty years after the fact I might express them differently. I would wake every morning and recommit myself to defending the ideals in which I believed.

Here’s the link to the interview:


Lunafest 2012, Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Wednesday, March 28, 2012 6pm – 9pm


Lunafest 2012

Storrs Campus Trachten-Zachs Hillel House Admission Fee:Pre-sale $5 (students) & $7 (staff, faculty, and community members). At the door $7 and $10.

LUNAFEST is a moving film festival comprised of a series of short films made for and by women. The main goal is to promote women filmmakers, help raise awareness for women’s issues, and support for the Breast Cancer Fund and local non-profit organizations. This year celebrates the 40th anniversary of The University of Connecticut Women’s Center, which is also this year’s local LUNAFEST beneficiary. The Women’s Center’s mission is to educate, advocate, support and promote gender equity amongst the women of the university community. The highlighted films for LUNAFEST are filled with stories of reflection and whimsy, hope and humor, grace and perseverance. Collectively, LUNAFEST films captivate audiences, compel dialogue and arm those who participate with both the knowledge and the motivation to make a difference in their communities. For more information about the films, please visit Tickets for the filmfest are pre-sale $5 for students and $7 for staff, faculty, and community members.  Tickets at the door will be $7 for students and $10 for staff, faculty, and community members. Tickets may be purchased on-line at Beginning the week of March 19th tickets will be available at the LUNAFEST table in the SU Lobby Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Outside of those days and times, they will be available at the Women’s Center during our regular hours of operation (M – Th 8 a.m. – 9 pm and F 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) Sponsorship opportunities are available.  For more information contact More information available at:

Contact Information

For further information regarding this event, please contact:

11-14-2011 Transgender Day of Remembrance at UConn Rainbow Center

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Monday, November 14, 2011

Come join us at the Rainbow Center (Rm 403 of the Student Union) to celebrate Trans-awareness and honor those who have been lost to violence aimed at the Transgender community.

12:00-1:30PM Trans People’s Perspectives Panel (Pizza and Salad lunch served)

The transgender community is often a target of violence and hate crimes because of society’s prejudicial views. Over the years, many have been lost to the prejudiced violence surrounding the transgender community. Transgender Day of Remembrance allows us to honor those who have been killed and raise awareness of the prevalence of this targeted violence. In honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance at UConn, a panel of transgender people will offer their perspective on current issues and aspects of their personal lives.

2:00-3:30PM : Clocked Film Showing (Light refreshments served)

Clocked is a film that tells the story of transgender activism based on personal stories and reflections. There will be a brief discussion following the movie, in which we will talk about the messages the movie conveys as well as what we can do as a community to be allies to the transgender community and help to stop injustice.

Sponsored by the Rainbow Center, Health Education & Women’s Center

Dr. Sandra Harding speaking at UConn, 9/21/2011 at 4 p.m.

Dr. Sandra Harding to speak at Konover Auditorium

A talk by Dr. Sandra Harding

  • Scholar in feminist and postcolonial theory, epistemology, research methodology and philosophy of science.
  • Professor, Social Sciences & Comparative Education University of California – Los Angeles

Wednesday, September 21, 2011
4:00 – 5:30 PM
Konover Auditorium, Dodd Center, UConn – Storrs

Here is a passage from Dr. Harding’s 2009 article Postcolonial and feminist philosophies of science and technology: convergences and dissonances.
Postcolonial Studies, 12:4, 401-421.

Gender and science themes

From its beginnings, gender and science projects in the West pursued five main research trajectories. These were often initiated by groups with different kinds of disciplinary, political, or institutional interests in scientific and technological research. (1) Where are (and have been) women in the social structures of modern Western sciences, and why have there been so few of them in the arenas of the design and management of scientific and technological research? (2) How and why have ‘sexist sciences’ taken on projects of providing empirical support for the claimed inferiority of women? (3) How have technologies and the applications of the results of scientific research been used against women’s equality? Women’s health, reproductive, and environmental concerns were among the earliest such focuses. (4) How do scientific and technological education*pedagogy and curricula*restrict women’s development as scientists and engineers? (5) What is problematic about the epistemologies, methodologies, and philosophies of science that produce and support such sexist and androcentric practices?

These issues all remain important almost four decades later*unfortunately. In some areas significant progress has been made*for example, in increasing access for women to scientific educations, publications, organizations, lab and classroom jobs, and at least token presences in policy contexts. Moreover, significant changes in health and reproductive policies have occurred for women in already advantaged groups. Yet the changes have been mostly for the worse for women in Africa, South Asia, and other places around the globe. Today it is widely recognized that Western and especially US economic and political policies have greatly contributed to the increased threats to environments, health, and life itself experienced by the vast majority of the world’s citizens who are women, and their dependants (as well as adult men), around the globe. An important achievement of feminisms has been their development of epistemological and methodological approaches that deeply transform ‘the logic of scientific inquiry’ and its familiar regulative ideals. These approaches have been widely adopted in the social sciences and some fields of biology and medical research. Nevertheless, such feminist work has been largely marginalized in the mainstream science studies movements in the North. If they are not ‘studying women,’ these researchers seem to think that gender issues are irrelevant to both the worlds they examine and the assumptions guiding their own work.

A book signing and reception will take place in the Dodd Center Lobby immediately following Dr. Harding’s presentation. The Coop Bookstore will have copies of Dr. Harding’s books available for sale at the book signing.

These events are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by the Women’s Studies Program; the CLAS Fund for Innovation in Interdisciplinary Race, Eth-nicity, and Gender Studies; the Human Rights Institute; University of Connecticut Research Foundation; the Department of Philosophy; the Department of Sociology; and the Honors Program

For more information, please contact us at 860-486-3970 or

Link to the full text of this article (for UConn affiliates).

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