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Gender and transnational networks to be focus of symposium

Melissa Mitchell, News Editor
(217) 333-5491;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will host its biennial symposium Oct. 17-19. This year’s theme is "Gender and Transnational Networks."

Symposium events will be in Room 314 Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.

The symposium begins at 4 p.m. Oct. 17 with a keynote talk by Evelyn Hu-DeHart, professor of history and director of Brown University’s Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America. Hu-DeHart’s talk is co-sponsored by the Center for Advanced Study’s MillerComm program.

Gale Summerfield, director of WGGP, said this year’s event will bring together specialists from various fields – from the Illinois campus and beyond – to take a closer look at "gender issues of transnational networks in socio-politics, hybridity-identity, technology-popular culture, migration-mobility, and human security-economic policy."

"Globalization is changing immigration patterns and networks around the world and presenting new challenges for public policies," Summerfield said. "Gaps remain in our knowledge about whether women and men play different roles or utilize different social networks in promoting security, creativity and community involvement for their families." Summerfield said she hopes the symposium will be a springboard for advancing knowledge in these areas.

Panelists will consider such wide-ranging topics as quotas for women in elected legislatures to China’s Tibetan-inspired "New Age World Beat" music. Also scheduled is a rough cut of Illinois graduate student Maria Silva’s film titled "Mexican Migrant Women on the Prairies: Transnational Motherhood and Communities."

For a list of symposium speakers and presentations, visit