Helene Moglen Conference

January 25, 2021


Writing for Living:

Helene Moglen Conference in Feminism and the Humanities

February 19-20, 2021
Please register for Zoom connections
Friday, 3:30-5 PST:
 For questions or accommodations, contact Special Events via email at specialevents@ucsc.edu.
Sponsored by the Humanities Division and the Siegfried B. and Elisabeth Mignon Puknat Literary Studies Endowment

An Endowment Fund

Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities

Thanks to generous support from Sheila Namir and Eben Moglen for an endowed lecture, in coming years the Center for Cultural Studies will host The Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities as a biennial event. We encourage you to honor Helene’s legacy for years to come by lending your support to this endowment.
If you would like to make a payment or gift online, please go to https://culturalstudies.ucsc.edu/helene-moglen/ and click on this link, https://secure.ucsc.edu/s/1069/bp18/interior.aspx?sid=1069&gid=1001&pgid=780&cid=1749&dids=934.1008&bledit=1&sort=1
If you wish to contribute by check please make it out to UC Santa Cruz Foundation and write "Helene Moglen Lecture in Humanities". Please mail to:
UCSC University Relations
attn:  Gift Admin
1156 High Street 
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
For more information on the Endowment Fund and Helene Moglen’s legacy, please go to the end of this webpage.

The Conference: Writing for Living


Emphasizing her relationship to writing as a practice that makes living possible, this conference honors the work of Distinguished Professor Emerita Helene Moglen (1936-2018). She contributed richly to feminist and psychoanalytic theory in literature, feminist institution building, teaching and mentoring graduate and undergraduate students, and teaching writing in and out of the university. Her generative vitality and creative critical thinking touched everyone who knew her.

Writing grounded Helene’s deep optimism and vitality. She wrote every morning—by hand, in notebooks. She encouraged writers, whether in poetry, scholarship, cultural and political analysis, or fiction; and she responded in detail and with immense generosity to the drafts of her colleagues, whether they were in her field or not, into her last summer.

Professor Moglen’s academic home was the Literature Department. Her monographs include The Trauma of Gender (2001), Sexual and Gender Harassment in the Academy (1981), The Philosophical Irony of Laurence Sterne (1976), and Charlotte Bronte: The Self Conceived (1975). She also co-edited five collections that explored the intersection of literature, psychoanalysis, race, and feminism, including (with Elizabeth Abel and Barbara Christian), Female Subjects in Black and White: Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism (1997) and (with Nancy Chen and in conjunction with the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research) Bodies in the Making (2006).

At the time of her death, Helene Moglen was working on the effects of social media on the formation of subjects and the possibilities for face-to-face democracy. She probed the intimate and public consequences of personal data harvesting, surveillance practices, business models, and the allure of screens over embodied presence. She would have appreciated the irony of holding this conference on Zoom!

Conference Schedule 

Several conference participants have pre-recorded their papers, but all the participants will be present and live for the sessions. There will be generous time for Q&A in the Saturday sessions.

Friday, February 19, 2021 3:30-5 pm

Donna Haraway, History of Consciousness, UCSC, Introduction and information about Endowment Fund for the Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and the Humanities
Seth Moglen, English, American Studies and Africana Studies, Lehigh University, Précis of Helene Moglen’s work
Bettina Aptheker, Feminist Studies, UCSC, “Establishing Women’s Studies, the Early Years”
Sheila Namir, Psychoanalyst and Independent Scholar, Santa Cruz, "Writing to Live"
Brenda Shaughnessy, English, Rutgers University, Poetry Written for Helene Moglen

Registration link:

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Session 1, 11:00-12:30 pm PST
Moderator, Carla Freccero, Literature and History of Consciousness, UCSC
Leslie Bow, English and Asian American Studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison
“Racist Love, Asian Americans and the Fantasy of Race”
Christopher Chen, Literature, UCSC
Amy Mihyang Ginther, Theater Arts, UCSC

Open Discussion
BREAK, 20 minutes, 12:30-12:50 pm PST
Two 5-minute Chairman Mao YouTube exercises will be available to play during the break. Food, break for dogs and humans, all good.
Here is the original Chairman Mao footage, very revolutionary, patriarchal, and militaristic, plus satire, 5 minutes. 
This one is more fun, full of feminist twists. 
Session 2, 12:50-2:20 pm PST
Moderator Jennifer González, History of Art and Visual Culture, UCSC
Susan Derwin, German and Comparative Literature, UCSB
“Writing with Veterans”
Dee Hibbert-Jones, Art, Film and Digital Media, UCSC
Brenda Sanfilippo, Writing Program, UCSC
Open Discussion
Donna Haraway, “Re-writing, not an ending,” Conclusion. 

Registration link:

Conference Participants 

Conference Participants
bettina-helene-conference.jpegBettina Aptheker


Distinguished Professor of Feminist Studies at UCSC, Bettina Aptheker is the author of numerous influential books, including Tapestries of Life, The Morning Breaks, and Intimate Politics. Her activism, teaching, and scholarship have shaped feminist studies at UCSC for over 4 decades. Earning her PhD in History of Consciousness, Professor Aptheker worked closely with Helene Moglen especially in the years of founding of the Women’s Studies Program. In 2012, with Karen Yamashita, she was appointed to the UC Presidential Chair in Feminist Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Professor Aptheker’s work encompasses critical race theory, queer theory, sexual violence, reproductive freedom, African American feminist history, Jewish women's culture, and African American and women's history in the late 19th century through the present.

leslie-bow-helene.jpegLeslie Bow


Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of English and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Helene’s former graduate student (PhD 1993. Her books include Betrayal and Other Acts of Subversion: Feminism, Sexual Politics, and Asian American Literature (2001), ‘Partly Colored’: Asian Americans and Racial Anomaly in the Segregated South (2010), and in-progress work on "Racist Love: Asian Americans and the Fantasy of Race."

chen-helene.jpegChristopher Chen


Christopher Chen is Associate Professor in the Literature Department and the Creative Writing Program, and affiliated faculty in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies at UCSC. His research interests encompass 20th and 21st century African American literature; Asian American literature; comparative ethnic literary studies; modern and contemporary US poetry and poetics; contemporary avant-gardes and experimental writing; racial capitalism and theories of comparative racialization. He has published poetry, essays, interviews, and reviews in boundary 2, The South Atlantic Quarterly, Crayon, 1913: A Journal of Forms, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

susan-derwin-helene.jpegSusan Derwin


Director of the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and Professor of German, Slavic, and Semitic Studies at UC Santa Barbara, Susan Derwin knew Helene Moglen and Sheila Namir through the UC Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium. Like them, she has taught creative writing with military veterans. Professor Derwin is founding director of the University of California Veterans Summer Writing Workshop and of Foundations in the Humanities, a correspondence program for incarcerated individuals operating in multiple California prisons. She is the author of The Ambivalence of Form: Lukács, Freud, and the Novel (1992) and Rage Is the Subtext: Readings in Holocaust Literature and Film (2012), as well as essays on trauma and psychoanalytic theory and literature, moral injury, and narrative healing.

carla-helene.jpegCarla Freccero


Carla Freccero is Distinguished Professor of Literature and History of Consciousness, and Affiliated Faculty in Feminist Studies at UCSC, where she has taught since 1991. Her books include Father Figures (1991); Popular Culture (1999); and Queer/Early/Modern (2006). She co-edited Premodern Sexualities (1996); Species/Race/Sex, a special issue of American Quarterly 65.3 (2013); and Animots, a special issue of Yale French Studies 127 (2015). Her current book project, on nonhuman animals and figuration, is Animate Figures. Her fields include early modern European literature and history; critical theory; feminist and queer theories; popular culture and cultural studies; psychoanalysis and animal studies.

amy-helene.jpegAmy Mihyang Ginther


Amy Ginther is an Assistant Professor of Theater Arts at UCSC. She focuses on the relationship between voice, identity and power structures within actor training environments. Her edited volume, Dynamic Bodies, Emerging Voices: Racializing and Decolonizing Actor Training, is forthcoming in 2021 from Routledge. Ginther has coached productions at Aurora Theatre (Berkeley) and Jewel Theatre (Santa Cruz). In Seoul, she has collaborated with Probationary and Seoul Players, Seoul Shakespeare Company, Seoul City Improv, and International Filmmakers of Korea. She has performed in New York, Seoul, London, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Her solo show, Homeful (2017), was performed at the American Adoption Congress Conference as a keynote performance, as well as in San Francisco, NYC, and London.

jennifer-helene.jpegJennifer González


Professor in the History of Art and Visual Culture at UCSC, Jennifer González writes about contemporary art with an emphasis on installation, digital and activist art. She is interested in understanding the strategic use of space (exhibition space, public space, virtual space) by contemporary artists and by cultural institutions such as museums. She has focused on the representation of the human body and its relation to discourses of race and gender. She is the author of Subject to Display: Reframing Race in Contemporary Installation Art (2008). Pepón Osorio (2013) extends her analysis of this prolific Puerto Rican installation artist whose social justice, collaborative art practice examines how communities of color grapple with difficult issues from AIDS, to mass incarceration, to foster care.

donna-melene.jpegDonna Haraway

Donna Haraway is Distinguished Professor Emerita in the History of Consciousness Department at UCSC. Attending to the implosions of biology, culture, and politics, her books include Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016) and When Species Meet (2008). With Adele Clarke she co-edited Making Kin Not Population (Prickly Paradigm Press, 2018), which addresses questions of human numbers, feminist anti-racist reproductive and environmental justice, and multispecies flourishing.

dee-helene-jpegDee Hibbert-Jones


Dee Hibbert-Jones is Professor in the Art Department and Affiliate faculty in Film and Digital Media, Digital Arts and New Media, and Legal Studies at UCSC. She co-produced and co-directed the short-documentary, Last Day of Freedom, for which she and Nomi Talisman received an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) nomination, an Emmy Award (Northern CA), and the IDA Best Short Documentary Award. Professor Hibbert-Jones’s work incorporates animation, installation, public art and documentary film examining power and politics: how people manage and who gets heard. She explores diverse subjects from land use and wasted resources to criminal justice and indigent rights, examining what is considered valuable and who is dismissed as valueless.

seth-helene.jpegSeth Moglen


The youngest son of Helene Moglen, Seth Moglen is Professor of English, American Studies, and Africana Studies at Lehigh University. He is the author of Mourning Modernity: Literary Modernism and the Injuries of American Capitalism (2007) and has published widely on modern U.S. literary and political movements.   He is currently at work on Bethlehem: American Utopia, American Tragedy, which employs modernist literary techniques to explore the 270-year history of one iconic American city.  His first play, Hidden Seed, was produced in 2019.

brenda-helene.jpegBrenda Shaughnessy


An Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, Brenda Shaughnessy was a double major in Literature and Women’s Studies and Helene Moglen’s undergraduate student in the early 1990s. A finalist for the prestigious international Griffin Poetry Prize and recipient of a Guggenheim award, Brenda Shaughnessy is an accomplished poet, with poems in major literary magazines and several books, including Human Dark with Sugar (2008), Interior with Sudden Joy (1999), Our Andromeda 92012), and The Octopus Museum (2019).

 sheila_2.jpgSheila Namir


Sheila Namir earned a PhD in clinical psychology from the UC Berkeley and a PhD in psychoanalysis from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute in Los Angeles. She has extensive experience working with patients with life-threatening illnesses and chronic illnesses, early trauma, PTSD, and mood disorders, among other areas. Sheila Namir co-taught writing for veterans in Santa Cruz with her wife, Helene Moglen. She is the author of scholarly articles in Women and Therapy, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, and the International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies. Papers co-authored by Sheila Namir and Helene Moglen include “Embodiments and Disembodiments: Relation of Body Modifications to Two Psychoanalytic Treatments,” “War and the Dis-eases of Othering,” and “Leaving Analysis and Moving Beyond Pain.”




Brenda Sanfilippo

 Brenda Sanfilippo is a Lecturer in the UCSC Writing Program, Stevenson College, and Porter College. Before completing her PhD, Brenda was an Army spouse. Her experiences with the military community have shaped her research, teaching, and service at UCSC. Her publications in Modern Fiction Studies and the Journal of Veterans Studies analyze contemporary representations of war, with particular emphasis on the intersection of gender and disability. At UCSC, Brenda is committed to improving student veterans' access, inclusion, and learning. As a result of her military experiences and academic research, she teaches a course on war and the arts and offers cultural competency trainings on working with and teaching student veterans. Brenda's current efforts to bridge the military-civilian gap were partly shaped by Helene Moglen.

  An Endowment Fund

Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities

 Thanks to generous support from Sheila Namir and Eben Moglen for an endowed lecture, in coming years the Center for Cultural Studies will host The Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities as a biennial event. We encourage you to honor Helene’s legacy for years to come by lending your support to this endowment.

 If you would like to make a payment or gift online, please go to https://culturalstudies.ucsc.edu/helene-moglen/ and click on this link, https://secure.ucsc.edu/s/1069/bp18/interior.aspx?sid=1069&gid=1001&pgid=780&cid=1749&dids=934.1008&bledit=1&sort=1

 If you wish to contribute by check please make it out to UC Santa Cruz Foundation and write "Helene Moglen Lecture in Humanities". Please mail to:

UCSC University Relations
attn:  Gift Admin
1156 High Street 
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

Helene’s Legacy in Feminism and Humanities

Dr. Helene Moglen arrived at UC Santa Cruz in 1978 as a professor of literature, provost of Kresge College, and dean of the Humanities -- the first woman dean in the University of California system. She was a transformative force on campus. In her dual role as dean and provost, she made the Humanities Division a home for several notable academic departments, including the American Studies program -- one of the first of its kind -- and the remarkable History of Consciousness program. Helene was also committed to feminist institution building in order to make feminism and feminist theory flourish on the campus. She guided, first, the establishment of Women’s Studies as a program, serving as chair from 1984 to 1989, and then its reconstitution as the Feminist Studies Department. She also worked tirelessly to combat sexual harassment on campus and beyond.

In 2002, Helene founded the Institute for Advanced Feminist Research (IAFR), a cross-disciplinary, trans-generational collaboration dedicatd to bridging academic and political divides, with an emphasis on transnational justice. In 2002, she was appointed to the prestigious Presidential Chair in Literature and directed the chair’s funds towards the IAFR, enabling it to sponsor reading groups, conferences, publication projects, graduate student research, and campus outreach.

Helene was also a vibrant presence in the Center for Cultural Studies and almost every Wednesday, right up until her death, she could be found at the Cultural Studies Colloquium. Indeed, it was her wish that people making posthumous contributions in her name send them to the Center for Cultural Studies. Helene had a major impact on the intellectual and political life of Santa Cruz, and we honor and extend that wish through the Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and Humanities.