NEW YORK, February 20, 2013- The New School announces REACT: The Feminine Mystique at 50, a two-day symposium, and a related exhibition celebrating the anniversary of the publication of Betty Friedan's groundbreaking book. Convening leading feminist scholars, writers and activists, the conference will examine the feminist movement's past and present as well as unresolved questions about domesticity, career and family, pointing to the continuing relevance of The Feminine Mystique in 2013. The conference takes place on February 22-23.
Please note that the conference's location has been changed to accommodate high demand. Panel discussions will now take place at the Theresa Lang Student Center (55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor). The exhibition and reception remain at the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (66 Fifth Avenue).
"With The Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan transformed the national conversation about the role of women in American society," said Claire Potter, Professor of History at The New School for Public Engagement, who co-organized the symposium with Laura Auricchio, Associate Professor of Art History, Parsons The New School for Design and Chair of Humanities, The New School for Public Engagement. "From the battles over reproductive rights, to fair pay, to women's roles in the workforce and the family, the struggles and hopes articulated by Friedan in 1963 continue to reverberate today."
REACT: The Feminine Mystique at 50 features a keynote address by Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports and panel appearances by Feministing.com’s Samhita Mukhopadhyay, author Susan Brownmiller and others. The symposium is accompanied by an exhibition presented by the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center (SJDC) at Parsons of student works inspired by Friedan’s writing, curated by Parsons MA Decorative Arts and Design alumnae Natalie Balthrop and Deborah Engel. REACT, the exhibition, which runs from February 21 through March 5 in the SJDC’s Arnold and Sheila Aronson Galleries (66 Fifth Avenue) explores The Feminine Mystique from a contemporary lens in an effort to both honor the text and to provide critical analysis half a century after its publication. The exhibition features 25 works across a range of media - jewelry, fashion, photography, furniture, and video - each in response to Friedan.
Said the curators: "We selected quotations, interviews, articles, objects, and advertisements from the book that we felt reflected mid-century America and the patriarchal society Friedan was reacting against. From the ways in which students were provoked to create work, it is clear to us that 50 years later it is absolutely worth revisiting."
The full schedule of events follows:
Friday February 22, 2013
3:30 PM. "Some American Feminists" (Canada, 1980) | Film Screening and Discussion
Tracyann Williams, School of Undergraduate Studies, The New School for Public Engagement
5 PM. House/Wife: The Feminine Mystique at Home | Panel Discussion
Sarah Lichtman, Assistant Professor of Art & Design Studies, Parsons The New School for Design; Aidan O'Connor, Co-Organizer of MOMA exhibitions Counter Space: Design + The Modern Kitchen and Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900-2000; Laura Shapiro, author of Julia Child (Penguin Lives), co-curator of NYPL exhibition Lunch Hour NYC. Moderator: Laura Auricchio, Associate Professor of Art History, Parsons The New School for Design and Chair of Humanities, The New School for Public Engagement
6 PM. Keynote Address: Susan Ware, author of Game, Set, Match: Billie Jean King and the Revolution in Women's Sports (University of North Carolina Press) and other books on American women's history; Editor, American National Biography (Oxford University Press), http://www.susanware.net/
7 PM. Reception jointly honoring the symposium and the opening of REACT: The Feminine Mystique at 50, an exhibition of student work on view at the Parsons Aronson Gallery.
Saturday, February 23, 2013
1 PM. Beyond the Book: Reverberations of Women's Liberation | Panel Discussion
Susan Brownmiller, author of In Our Time: Memoir of a Revolution; Jane Gerhard, author of The Dinner Party: Judy Chicago and the Power of Popular Feminism, 1970-2007; Samhita Mukhopadhyay, Executive Editor, Feministing.com; Nona Willis Aronowitz, journalist, Roosevelt Institute fellow, co-author of Girldrive: Criss-Crossing America, Redefining Feminism. Moderator: Claire Potter, Professor of History, The New School for Public Engagement
2:30 PM. REACT: The Feminine Mystique at 50 | Exhibition Discussion
Panel discussion featuring three students with work on view in the accompanying exhibition. Chair: Gina Luria Walker, Associate Professor Women's Studies, The New School for Public Engagement. Moderators: Natalie Balthrop and Deborah Engel, exhibition co-curators.
3:30 PM. The Feminine Mystique: Past, Present, Future | Panel and Audience Discussion
Mia Herndon, former Executive Director, Third Wave Foundation; Mira Schor, Associate Teaching Professor, Parsons The New School for Design; Moderator: Susan Ware, keynote speaker.
All lectures and panels for REACT: The Feminine Mystique at 50 take place at the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue. All events are free; reservations are require at mystiqueat50.eventbrite.com. For detailed information, visit the symposium's blog at thefemininemystique50.wordpress.com/symposium/.
The symposium is co-sponsored by the Dean's Office of The New School for Public Engagement; the Dean’s Office of Parsons The New School for Design; the Humanities Department, Social Sciences Department and Food Studies Program of The New School for Public Engagement; the Gender Studies Program and History Department of Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts; the School of Art and Design History and Theory of Parsons The New School for Design; and The New School Student Activities Finance Committee.
About The New School
The New School, a leading progressive university in New York City, was founded in 1919 as a center of intellectual and artistic freedom. Today The New School is still in the vanguard of innovation and experimentation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, and the performing arts and thousands of adult learners in continuing education courses. Committed to public engagement, The New School welcomes thousands of New Yorkers yearly to its celebrated public programs and maintains a global presence through its online learning programs, research institutes, and international partnerships. Learn more at www.newschool.edu.
About the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
The Sheila C. Johnson Design Center is an award-winning campus center for Parsons The New School for Design that combines learning and public spaces with exhibition galleries to provide an important new downtown destination for art and design programming. The mission of the Center is to generate an active dialogue on the role of innovative art and design in responding to the contemporary world. Its programming encourages an interdisciplinary examination of possibility and process, linking the university to local and global debates. For more information please visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc.
SJDC General Information
Location: 2 West 13th Street and 66 Fifth Avenue, New York
Gallery hours: Open daily 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. and Thursday evenings until 8:00 p.m.; closed all major holidays and holiday eves
Info: Please contact 212.229.8919 or visit www.newschool.edu/sjdc