campus News

Michelle Telléz to speak at the Gloria Kaufman Lecture Series

By: Kate Luce


Michelle Tellèz will highlight intersections of research of activism and the U.S.-Mexico border at this year’s Gloria Kaufman Lecture Series. Due to COVID-19, this year’s lecture will be hosted through Zoom for the first time.

Telléz’s work centers around transnational community formation, Chicana mothering and gendered migration. She is a well-known scholar and public intellectual, visiting from the University of Arizona.

This lecture is relevant to anyone interested in learning more about the communities of the U.S.-Mexico border. Tellèz has done a lot of ethnographic research and has many stories relating to the daily struggles of the people affected by the border. Her talk will also include discussions of resistance and activism.

“Immigration has been an important and controversial topic for many years. On his first day in office, President Biden reversed several Trump-era immigration policies and has recently introduced his own immigration agenda,” Christina Gerken, director of Women and Gender Studies department, said.

The Gloria Kaufman Lecture Series honors the late professor, who founded the Women and Gender Studies department at IU South Bend. She has pushed the campus forward for women, not only for IU South Bend but for IU as whole.

“Kaufman was a trailblazing advocate for women’s rights: she not only developed the first Women’s Studies minor on any IU campus right here in 1979, she was also our first Affirmative Action officer and founded the campus’s Women’s Resource Center. The entire IU community has benefited from Kaufman’s inspiring work,” Gerken said.

Thanks to community donations to the Kaufman Fund, the lecture series kicked off in 2005. The Women and Gender’s Studies department has invited a speaker each year since.

While this is the first time the lecture series will be hosted through Zoom, in previous years, the lecture series offered speakers from research fellows of the Kinsey Institute to researchers in intersections of feminism and disability studies.

“Last year’s lecture was one of the last events that we were able to hold in-person before the campus shut down. We are excited about the opportunity to reach a wider audience, including people who might not be able to attend an in-person event. The event is free and open to anyone,” Gerken said.

The lecture will begin on March 3 at 6:30 p.m. Registration is required for the lecture via Zoom at The talk will take about 45 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A session.

In addition to the lecture, the Honors Program will be hosting a Coffee and Conversation event with Tellèz on March 3 at noon. She will discuss race, gender and belonging in her work at the US-Mexico border and give examples of how she negotiates research with community engagement.

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