Dr. Marguerite Rivage-Seul
Associate Professor of Women’s Studies; Director of Women’s Studies
Phelps Stokes, Room 206
Office Hours: TBA
At Berea College since 1987
- B.A., Central Michigan University, 1972
- M.I.A., School of International Training, 1973
- Ed.D., University of Kentucky, 1984
- Never Again a World without Us- Short Term 2003
- Education and Democracy- University of Zimbabwe 1998
- Knocking on Debt’s Door- Short Term 1997
Papers and Publications
- Roundtable Discussion on September 11th
- Remembering Oscar Romero and the Mothers of the Disappeared
- A Kinder and Gentler Tyranny: Illusions of the New World Order
I came to women’s studies through my activist scholarship about Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. One day I was visiting a settlement school in Eastern Kentucky with my education students, and while listening to teachers describe the economic reality of the region, I understood the connection between feminism and Freire’s philosophy and pedagogy. From that experience I was able to “perceive a previous perception” of women’s studies at Berea College, and decided to put my energy into building an intellectually exciting program. I took a brown bag lunch program (Peanut Butter and Gender) ,and turned it into a popular invited speakers series with a reputation for the best lunch in town. Students began to create independent majors, and over a three year period, we had more women’s studies “majors” than many other departments. In May 2001, the faculty voted to accept women’s studies as a new major in the curriculum. With the institutionalization of the major, we have added two new courses to our core requirements, and look forward to increasing the size of the women’s studies faculty in the near future.
The courses I currently teach in women’s studies are WST 124, Introduction to Women’s Studies, WST 458, Senior Seminar in Women’s Studies, and WST 315, Classic Texts in Women’s Studies. In addition, I also teach a first year required general studies course, GSTR 100 Stories: Journeys in Personal Courage, and an upper level and GSTR 355, World Issues Seminar, “A High Price to Pay: Women in the Global Economy.” Some of my most rewarding teaching experiences have taken place outside the United States. In 1995, I worked with CoCampion Communities to lead a group of college students to El Salvador to help rebuild a school. In 1997, I taught a course, “Knocking on Debt’s Door,” in Nicaragua, with Witness for Peace. I received a senior fulbright lectureship, and taught a graduate seminar on the thought of Paulo Freire in the faculty of Education at the University of Zimbabwe.
In addition to the classroom teaching, I have organized faculty development programs for colleagues. In 1998, Rosemary Radford Ruether and I co-led a travel seminar, “Gender and Revolution,” throughout Nicaragua, to study the effects of the Sandanista revolution on women. In 2000, I co-led another faculty travel seminar, “Globalization and the Environment, “to the US/Mexican border, southern Mexico, and Costa Rica.
My research interests have focused on the pedagogy of Paulo Freire in Brazil, El Salvador, and Zimbabwe, using the concept of “moral imagination” to see beyond the US borders to include the perspectives of Freire’s marginalized others, or what are now referred to as the “excluded.” More recently, my study has shifted to the thought of economist Franz Hinkelammert (Department of Ecumenical Investigations in San Jose, Costa Rica).Using Hinkelammert’s critique of western civilization and present trends in globalization, I co-authored a book, A Kinder and Gentler Tyranny: Illusions of the New World Order, with Michael Rivage-Seul in 1995.Currently, I am interested in sustainable community projects led by women in various third world locations.