Women and Leadership

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Two Sections Available to Choose From:

Course DatesMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRNRegistration
June 15, 2020 - June 26, 20206/15 - 6/26M-F 9A-3POpenAsabe Poloma
June 29, 2020 - July 10, 20206/29 - 7/10M-F 9A-3POpenAndrea Wright

Course Description

Despite the advancement of women in society over the past century, in recent years, local, national and global movements and activists have courageously stepped forward to expose the pervasive challenges and unique barriers women continue to face in educational, career, social and political arenas.

In this course, students will:

(1) analyze the historical and social constructions of gender in order to understand the connections between leadership gaps and gender-based exclusion,

(2) explore intersectional, intercultural, and global factors that influence women’s leadership styles in order to reimagine more expansive and inclusive forms of leadership,

(3) examine emerging and transformative girls’ and women’s movements that have galvanized a new wave of female activism, and

(4) propose strategies to facilitate inclusion and social justice for women.

Through an interdisciplinary focus on readings, case studies and guest speakers, this course provides a broad introduction to the study of women in leadership. Students will explore concepts of gender, feminism, intersectionality and inclusive leadership in the US and around the world. Over the course of two weeks, we will ask and begin to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be a woman and a leader in the U.S. and around the world? What are the particular social, political, and intercultural dilemmas and challenges women in leadership, or aspiring to leadership, face? What are emerging movements in inclusive leadership and how do they fit into the historical conversation about gender and leadership? What are some successful strategies enacted by women in leadership?

Students will engage in guided discussions, interactive and collaborative teamwork, presentations and frequent writing that provide them with the opportunity to improve their analytical, presentation, critical thinking and inclusive leadership skills. Finally, students will apply course concepts to the development of a capstone Action Plan project.

This course is part of the Leadership Institute, a two-week academic program that helps students cultivate the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with effective and socially responsible leadership. This unique program consists of three integrated elements: academic content, leadership development, and the Action Plan. Our students are thoughtful and compassionate youth who are interested in social issues and creating positive change. Enrollment in this program requires several hours of online engagement prior to campus arrival. This online participation can be completed at any time where internet access is available. Once on campus, participants can look forward to full days in a community of engaged and curious learners.

Additional programmatic information may be found here.

Prerequisites: None required.

Instructor Biographies

Asabe Poloma, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean of the College for International Students at Brown University. She also serves as Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program. She has worked at Phillips Academy-Andover, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Hampton Roads Refugee and Immigration Services. She has taught at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and Phillips Academy-Andover Brace Center for Gender Studies’ Summer Institute. Asabe received her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Boston; she earned her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University, a master’s degree from both Old Dominion University and Columbia University. Asabe is passionate about student success, intercultural competency, and global education. As a student, she studied abroad in Russia, Niger, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania. She enjoys most meeting new people and engaging with new cultures.

Dr. Andrea (Andi) Wright is the Allston Burr Resident Dean of Eliot House and a Lecturer of Anthropology at Harvard University. Trained as a Feminist Anthropologist, Wright received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Brown University in addition to an M.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in Development Studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, India where she was a Rotary Ambassadorial scholar. For her dissertation research she conducted over 24 months of multi-sited ethnographic research between the city of Bangalore in South India and the states of Manipur and Nagaland in the Northeast region of India. Andi's research examines the experiences of vulnerable female migrants from the Northeast region, particularly those employed as laborers in local salons and spas. At Harvard, Andi works closely with the 400+ residents of Eliot House and teaches courses on migration, labor, and gender. Prior to starting her PhD, Andi was a visiting lecturer at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in Ulsan, South Korea where she taught courses on Leadership and Social Activism to undergraduate students. Andi is passionate about teaching and advising, particularly courses that inspire students to think more critically about the world around them and their role in facilitating change.

Course Information

  • Course Code: CESO0906
  • Length: 2 weeks

Program Information

Leadership Institute

Two-week non-credit residential program focused on socially responsible leadership and creating positive change. For students completing grades 9-12 by June 2020.

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