Moving Forward by Looking Back: Professor Shimizu Discusses Issues Faced by Women in Academia

Friday, March 16, 2018
Photo of Women's March featuring sign addressing #MeToo movement

MS. -- In looking back, we find ways to express solidarity with Seo-Young Chu — including amplifying the demand for Stanford to apologize to her and for the larger academy to recognize the need to change the environment for learning that women experience. In the era of #MeToo and #TimesUp, the burden of responsibility for implementing change in the academy must not fall on women faculty alone.

We are Magdalena Barrera, associate professor of Mexican American studies at San Jose State University; Shelley Lee, associate professor of history and chair of comparative American studies at Oberlin College; and Celine Parreñas Shimizu, professor of Cinema at San Francisco State University.

“For me, Chu’s work awakens attention to that time we shared at Stanford, reflection on where we are since then and the importance of what she is calling for in terms of a future agenda we must set now,” Shimizu says.

“ ... As a full professor at [the] SFSU School of Cinema today, the news of Harvey Weinstein rocking our industry, compelled me to speak to my students,” Shimizu adds. “I told them that based on the experiences shared by numerous women in the entertainment industry, that assault and harassment is clearly rampant.

“And at the same time, as long as men and people in power have perpetrated this violence, there is a long history of women and people who have fought against this problem. How will you choose to be in the industry? As the door has opened for these bold and courageous women and some men choose to speak, how will the industry and academia listen so as to change our culture?”

Photo by Meredith Nutting