November 2014 Archways


 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor: 2015 Hepburn Medalist



Photo courtesy of The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Photo courtesy of The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

On April 17, 2015, the Katharine Houghton Hepburn Center will present the 2015 Katharine Hepburn Medal to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor at a gala event in Goodhart Hall.

The Katharine Hepburn Medal recognizes women who change their worlds: those whose lives, work, and contributions embody the intelligence, drive, and independence of the four-time Oscar winner and her namesake mother, an early feminist. Award recipients are chosen on the basis of their commitment and contributions to the Hepburn women’s greatest passions—civic engagement and the arts.

“As the first Hispanic and third female Supreme Court justice, Justice Sotomayor is truly a trailblazer,” says Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy. “Her 20-year commitment to the federal judiciary reveals her unwavering commitment both to public service and to the importance of the legal system in our society and exemplifies the attributes deserving of the Hepburn Medal. Equally important, Justice Sotomayor’s many opinions from the bench, whether in the majority or expressing critical interests from a dissent, exhibit wisdom, an unflinching commitment to justice, and a fundamental dedication to real equality in our diverse society. In these and other ways, Justice Sotomayor truly embodies the Hepburn spirit.”

Justice Sotomayor was born in Bronx, NY, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university’s highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

She served as assistant district attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office from 1979 to 1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984 to 1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992 to 1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998 to 2009.

President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role on August 8, 2009.

Photo courtesy of The Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.


 The Year of Dissent, Violence, Justice

Happenings_Dissent copyOn October 2, a rapt Bryn Mawr audience heard from Mona Eltahawy, the award-winning journalist described by the feminist website Jezebel as “explaining Egypt to the West.”

Best known for her coverage of Tahrir Square, Eltahawy has covered the Middle East for many years. In November 2011, Egyptian riot police beat her, breaking her left arm and right hand, and sexually assaulted her; she was detained for 12 hours by the Egyptian interior ministry and Egyptian military intelligence.

Her talk, Revolution one -ism at a time: The global fight vs. sexism, racism and other –isms, kicked off the “Dissent Violence Justice” series that is bringing artists, journalists, scholars, and experts to campus during the academic year.

On October 27, a few weeks after Eltahaway’s appearance on campus, Brian K. Barber took the stage with a talk titled “Research on Youth and Political Conflict: Where Are the Politics? Where Are the Youth?” The founding director of the Center for the Study of Youth and Political Conflict, Barber is currently engaged in two studies: one on the long-term impact of conflict on Palestinian youth and another on the youth of the Egyptian revolution. On November 13, a faculty panel titled “Structural Violence: Global and Local” featured Kalala Ngalamulume (history); Marc Schulz (psychology); Agnès Peysson-Zeiss (French and Francophone studies); Cindy Sousa (Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research); and Bob Washington (sociology).

Upcoming events in the series include Creative Dissent: Arts of the Arab World Uprisings, an exhibition organized by the Arab American National Museum, with an opening lecture by exhibition curator Christiane Gruber. The exhibit, which runs from January 22 through March 6 in Canaday, explores the visual arts and other media from the recent political unrest in the Arab world.

In spring, Emel Mathlouthi, whose Kelmti Horra (“My World Is Free”) became an anthem of the Arab Spring, will be on campus as part of the Performing Arts Series.