Women's Studies Program hosts lecture, film on environmental activism
HUNTINGTON -- The Marshall University Women's Studies Program will have its annual Schmidlapp Distinguished Lectureship in Women's Studies on Thursday April 10.
This year the lecture will be hosted by Dr. Shannon Elizabeth Bell. Bell is assistant professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky and the author of the book "Our Roots Run Deep as Ironweed: Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice" which was published in 2013.
The lecture is entitled "Appalachian Women and the Fight for Environmental Justice." The event is free to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. at the MU Foundation Hall, home of the Erickson Alumni Center and will be followed by a reception.
"Dr. Bell has a book on Appalachian women who are activists regarding clean air, clean water, mountain top removal, and a host of issues," said Greta Resenbrink, director of Women's Studies. "It was a book that won a lot of awards and had a very big impact. Once the water crisis occurred in Charleston there was an even greater emphasis on these issues in the area. So the timing of this event is really fabulous."
Current events have brought the topic to the forefront.
"There have been some environmental disasters lately and simply being in West Virginia makes the environment a huge concern," said Laura Michelle Diener, an assistant professor of history at Mashall. "Even before the chemical spill in Charleston, the environment was on my mind, and I wanted to find someone who did women's history that spoke about local issues. I came across Shannon Bell's book which was local, about the environment, and on women's history and it all came together. I knew she was absolutely the right person for us."
Bell is the recipient of multiple awards including the 2013 Practice and Outreach Award and the Robert Boguslaw Award for Technology and Humanism, both from the Environment & Technology Section of the American Sociological Association as well as the University of Kentucky College of Arts & Sciences Outstanding Teaching Award in 2013 and the Best Article Award from the Rural Sociological Society in 2011.
The issues will also be explored in a special screening of "The Last Mountain" at 5 p.m. Tuesday, April 8 in room 402 of the Drinko Library. Like the lecture the film is free and open to the public. "The Last Mountain" is a 2011 documentary on the struggle to preserve Coal River Mountain.
For more information on the Schmidlapp Leactureship and Marshall's Women's Studies program, visit www.marshall.edu/womenstu/.
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