Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender, Engaged Diversity, and Leadership
By Dr. Maria Martin, University of California, Merced
March 27th, 7:00-8:00 pm, Jardine Room
Refreshments will be served and it will be possible to meet Dr. Martin after the talk.
Leadership demands self-development and engaged diversity. Both of these processes have one thing in common, challenge. I learned this during my journeys throughout southwest Nigeria, the home of the Yoruba people. I traveled there to study indigenous gender relations which have been historically fluid. This is the reason why roles such as male daughters and female husbands have existed among the Yoruba. While in Nigeria, I quickly learned that residing, and conducting research, in a developing nation can be just as challenging as it is edifying, especially during an Ebola outbreak. This talk will be an interactive journey through my self-development and lessons learned by engaging with people and places that were diverse, or foreign to me, and how that has enhanced my capacity as a leader. I will also recount my takeaways about biological determinism, gender fluidity, and women’s authority. In addition I will address the reason why I believe that gender relations are so strained in the United States and how learning from an African philosophy of culture can alleviate that. We could all learn an important lesson in gender equality from African cultures.
Dr. Maria Martin, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, is currently an Assistant Professor of African History at the University of California. She holds a PhD in African American and African Studies with a concentration in history and women’s studies from Michigan State University where she is known for her hip hop teaching methods. Dr. Martin recently returned from Nigeria, teaching in gender studies, where she previously conducted research, using oral histories and archives, that centered building an intellectual history of Nigerian women’s activism in the nationalist movement.
She is a Bill and Melinda Gates Scholarship alumna and has won several Fulbright awards in addition to receiving an honorable mention from the Ford Foundation for her research. Dr. Martin has also been a volunteer grant writer, teacher trainer, and mentor for a non-profit organization serving young girls from the inner city of Detroit, Michigan for six years. This is where she learned methods of mentoring children who have faced trauma and have been affected by the culture of drug abuse.