Gender Studies Announces Lecture Series Lineup

Linda Roberts

Dr. Linda Roberts, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will speak Feb. 20 as part of the Gender Studies Lecture Series.

How people cope with a partner or spouse who is suffering from a terminal illness may vary based on gender, says UT Dallas’ Dr. Karen Prager.

That idea is at the heart of a topic to be explored by the guest speaker in this year's Gender Studies Lecture Series’ spring lecture. Dr. Linda Roberts, an expert on couple relationships, will present “Individual and Dyadic Coping in Mortal Time: Couple Relationships and Terminal Illness,” on Feb. 20.

“We already know women outlive men by seven years,” said Prager, head of the Gender Studies program in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of psychology. “Possibly, men and women cope with loss differently, especially losing a spouse. Men cope with widowhood by remarrying, while women pull together with other women and establish close relationships. Anybody who studies coping and loss should talk about gender.”

Roberts is a professor in the human development and family studies department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work includes research on family and relationship issues in the context of cancer and end-of-life for couples.

Prager said she has known Roberts, a fellow psychologist, for many years and calls her “an excellent scholar and teacher.” Prager said Roberts recently began studying illness and its effects on relationships. She said the lecture will appeal to both genders.

About the Series

The Gender Studies Lecture Series has run for more than a decade in its current format, but it originated around the early 1990s, at a time when UT Dallas didn’t have many courses related to gender, Prager said. The Carolyn Lipshy Galerstein Women’s Center and the Gender Studies program collaborated to develop the series.

Gender Studies Lecture

Topic: “Individual and Dyadic Coping in Mortal Time: Couple Relationships and Terminal Illness”

Speaker: Dr. Linda Roberts, professor of human development, University of Wisconsin-Madison

5:30-7 p.m., Feb. 20
McDermott Suite

The events are designed to be high-level, lay presentations, in which audience members don’t have to work in the fields to understand the topics.

“The goal is to educate people about the latest thinking in the field of gender studies,” Prager said, “and expose students, staff and faculty to a wide range of scholarship and applied efforts going into the field. … I think a lot of people who don’t know about gender studies think they know what’s out there, but there’s so much more.”

The series has featured presentations by sociologists, economists, literary critics, writers, filmmakers, performers, photographers and religious leaders. The focus of their work, whether creative or academic, centers on issues related to gender.

Coming Up

The series’ first fall 2014 event, slated for Sept. 18, will feature documentary filmmaker Jennifer Lee, who will talk about the making of Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation. The film won "Best of the Festival" for a documentary at the Los Angeles Women's International Film Festival.

Dr. Shayla Holub, a UT Dallas associate professor of psychological sciences, was originally scheduled to speak in January and will reschedule for later in 2014, Prager said. Holub specializes in attitudes and behaviors related to body size, feeding and nutrition.

The lectures begin at 5:30 p.m. in the McDermott Suite, on the fourth floor of the McDermott Library. The events are free and open to the public. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The closest parking lots to the library are lots C and D.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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