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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Jocelyn Olcott
The Geopolitics of Feminism: International Women’s Year, the United Nations, and the Globalization of Social Policy
Thursday, February 02, 2017, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

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Jocelyn Olcott

Jocelyn Olcott is a scholar on the feminist history of modern Mexico. Her first book, Revolutionary Women in Postrevolutionary Mexico, explores questions of gender and citizenship in the 1930s. She is currently working on two book-length projects:  a history of the 1975 UN International Women's Year Conference in Mexico City (under contract with Oxford University Press), and a biography of the activist and folksinger Concha Michel. She is also developing a long-term project on the labor, political, and conceptual history of motherhood in 20th century Mexico.

Olcott received her Ph.D. from Yale University.


This talk considers the case of the 1975 UN International Women’s Year Conference in Mexico City to discuss the ways that 1970s feminism and the explosion of women’s organizing around the world reoriented global policies around a host of issues ranging from population and food security to labor policies and environmental accords. These debates were refracted through 1970s geopolitics — détente, decolonization, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Sino-Soviet split — but also created vehicles through with feminist movements and women’s organizations shaped international policies and practices.



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