#SayHerName: Examining Perceptions and Representations of Black Women -- talk by Kristin Nicole Dukes


Thursday, February 18, 2016, 5:00pm to 7:00pm


Plimpton Room, Barker Center 133, 12 Quincy St.

In recent years scholars and policymakers have become more invested in understanding how and why youth of color are prematurely and disproportionately incarcerated in the United States. The rate of girls entering the juvenile justice system is on the rise, with Black girls shouldering the brunt of this increase. This talk will examine how portrayals of Black female adolescents as aggressive and criminal influence perceptions of these young women, and by extension, their treatment in the criminal justice system.

Kristin Nicole Dukes, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Simmons College. She is the director of the Simmons College Social Cognition Lab (SC2) which conducts research examining the social cognitive aspects of stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination. The lab's primary goal is to understand how people perceive others and how we form impressions of others. Current research topics include determining the types of features used when forming impressions of others from skin tone to attire, and representations and perceptions of women as a function of their race/ethnicity and gender.

Arresting Violence | Reconceptualizing Justice

In this time of militarized policing, racially targeted state violence, and mass incarceration how do we envision queer and feminist justice?

This year’s Gender and Sexuality Seminar will pursue this question through a variety of lenses: scholarly, archival, legal, and activist. We will examine how race, gender, and sexuality intersect in the criminal legal system, and discuss how they shape the possibilities for—and the risks involved in—intervention and dissent.

Given social media’s vital role in enabling unprecedented forms of political organization, and news media’s often problematic role in perpetuating the biases at hand, we hope the seminar series will be a forum for thinking strategically about cultural engagement in the academy, the classroom, and on local and national levels.

A day-long Symposium on April 1, 2016 will bring all four seminar speakers back for a culminating panel and will feature a keynote speaker.

Sponsored by the Committee on Degrees in Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard, the Open Gate Foundation, the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research, Black and Pink, The Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Harvard College Office of BGLTQ Student Life, Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Program, the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition and the Sexuality, Gender and the Human Rights Program, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard Kennedy School.