Faculty lecture highlights importance of women advocating for themselves and others
Woman: a word that holds the roles of mother, wife, friend and so much more. But while commonly fit into the mold of gentleness, obedience and submission by many in society, what happens when women push back?
Dr. Jen McClanaghan, associate professor in the Department of English, Communications and Media, aims to answer this question in an upcoming lecture entitled “Divorce in Vegas, and Other Tales of Women Making Their Way.” The event, part of McKillop Library’s faculty lecture series, will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. To register, go here.
Dr. McClanaghan spent a portion of her sabbatical in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she researched the concept of women and the stereotypes of their obedience, as well as moments of defiance of cultural norms.
It was in Las Vegas where her grandmother had traveled 70 years prior to obtain a divorce.
“She couldn’t get a divorce in New York City, because at the time you really had to hire a private investigator and have photographic proof of what your husband was doing,” Dr. McClanaghan described. “Las Vegas was a place where divorce laws were much more lenient.”
“Divorce in Vegas, and Other Tales of Women Making Their Way” will spotlight that grandmother’s story and other women in Dr. McClanaghan’s family. It will also highlight a story closer to the Salve Regina community.
“I was thinking about several generations of women in my family, my great grandmother, my grandmother, my mother, myself,” Dr. McClanaghan said. “And then Catherine McAuley, the founder of the Sisters of Mercy.”
To Dr. McClanaghan, Catherine McAuley perfectly demonstrates what it meant for a woman to exhibit disobedience and push back at a time when it was unexpected to do so. The strength it took McAuley to go against the cultural norms of society is a similar strength reflected in the lives of the women in Dr. McClanaghan’s family.
Traveling through her family’s history, Dr. McClanaghan made personal discoveries as well. Dr. McClanaghan’s lecture will focus on what the journey to Las Vegas meant to her.
This intimate lecture offers students a deeper understanding of the female experience through a conversation on the strength needed at times to rock the status quo and advocate for oneself and others.
This lecture will be held on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 4 p.m. in the east wing of McKillop Library. To register, go here.