giovedì 18 aprile 2013

Breast cancer out of Italian university

This post is for my Anglophone readers. It is for all the people who read this blog outside Italy. I need your help. A couple of weeks ago I got a terrible news. The module of Gender Studies taught by Dr. Laura Corradi at the University of Calabria will no longer be available to students. Dr. Laura Corradi is a sociologist. She obtained her PhD from the University of California Santa Cruz. Her dissertation focused on the debate on genetics and environmental causes of cancer. To date, her book Nuove Amazzoni (New Amazons) is the only book on the breast cancer activism available in Italian. Officially the module was shut down because of a government decree urging Universities to cut costs, but Laura was teaching for free. She wasn't getting a single euro to teach that module. What's the reason then? Maybe someone doesn't like Laura's research topic or her approach?
I would be really grateful if you could sign this petition and send the following email to the vice-chancellor's address:

"Dear Giovanni Latorre,

The course of Gender Studies at the University of Calabria, taught in Rende at the Department of Sociology by Laura Corradi won’t exist anymore because they have decided to close it down.
The success of the last ten years notwithstanding, the course, attended by hundreds of students, has been made smaller and smaller despite the students’ determination to attend it and the professor’s determination to teach it for free. Students denounce that the course has been placed at the same time of other important and compulsory activities. Made difficult to be attended, the course has been reduced this year to 15 students. This way, it became very easy to frame it as superfluous teaching and to close it down. The course has been an important site of empowerment for many girls, young feminist doctoral students, migrant researchers, precarious subjects engaged in feminist thought and practice, many people who in fact refuse to passively accept this decision. Moreover, the course constitutes in the context of the region Calabria a great opportunity for women and men who want to acquire the critical skills to interpret their own reality. This course should remain an opportunity for those who chose it or better, we even think that gender studies must be valorized and that the University could establish them as basic courses in the first year, as example of interdisciplinary theoretical and practical knowledge, as a critical vision so needed in the face of a culture that fixes gender roles, pathologizes and inferiorizes differences, imposes hetero-normativity. Therefore, we demand the course of Gender Studies to be reintegrated, with adequate economic resources, in the curriculum offered by the University of Calabria.

 Thanks a lot!

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