Visiting Professor to Discuss ‘Challenging the Myth of Disposable Women’ Feb. 12

Visiting Cal Poly Professor Jody Lisberger will deliver a presentation titled “Teaching to Disrupt Gender: Challenging the Myth of Disposable Women” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, in Philips Hall in the Performing Arts Center on campus. 

Lisberger is the recipient of Cal Poly’s 2013-14 Susan Currier Visiting Professorship for Teaching Excellence Award. Her talk will explore her thoughts on the function of mainstream understandings of gender in historical and contemporary contexts.

She will discuss the “myth of disposable women,” including the gendered division of labor and the assumptions and practices that support it. Lisberger contends that students who are encouraged to question the pervasiveness of this myth and explore its consequences are better prepared to respond to 21st century challenges and to work, collaborate and interact more responsibly and effectively in an increasingly diverse and transnational workplace and world. 

Lisberger will also offer suggestions for how teachers and educational institutions can better challenge the myth of disposable women.  

An associate professor and director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program at the University of Rhode Island, Lisberger has been at Cal Poly since fall 2013 and will remain through the end of winter quarter.

Her academic interests include researching how gendered and racially biased norms get perpetuated through institutions and societal practices. She has recently published essays and given talks on “The Politics of Data,” “Feminist Co-Mentoring as a Model for Changing Institutional Behavior,” and “Pharmaceutical Marketing Choices: Why Women Should Take Heed.”

Lisberger is a prize-winning fiction writer and faculty member at Kentucky’s Spalding University’s brief-residency MFA in Writing Program. Her collection of short stories, titled “Remember Love,” received nominations for a National Book Award, Hemingway Foundation Award, and Winship/PEN New England Award.

She received the 2011 University of Rhode Island Faculty Excellence Award in Diversity Leadership and Scholarship. She earned her doctorate in English from Boston University, a Master of Fine Arts in writing from Vermont College, and a Master of Arts in English with distinction from Boston College.

The Susan Currier Visiting Professorship for Teaching Excellence is a residential teaching professorship that recognizes superior teaching in the liberal arts, emphasizing the intersection between gender/women's issues and global justice/humanitarian concerns.

The professorship honors and sustains the late Susan Currier’s commitment to education. Currier served as an associate dean of Cal Poly’s College of Liberal Arts and as a professor of English. The professorship is made possible through contributions by the Currier family, including husband Max Wills, and private donors.

The event is free and open to the public.

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