Marian Miner Cook

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Monday, November 05, 2018 - Evening Program
Are Women’s Rights Human Rights?
Valerie Sperling

Women in Russia and Turkey face pervasive discrimination. Only a small percentage dare to challenge their mistreatment in court. Facing domestic police and judges who often refuse to recognize discrimination, a tiny minority of activists have exhausted their domestic appeals and then turned to their last hope: the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). Valerie Sperling, professor political science at Clark University, will explore the obstacles that confront those who try to use domestic and international law to fight gender discrimination in Russia and Turkey, and will shed light on the factors that make legal victories possible both at home and abroad.

Valerie Sperling teaches a variety of courses in comparative politics, including Russian politics; revolution and political violence; mass murder and genocide under communism; transitions to democracy; globalization and democracy; and introduction to women’s studies. Her research interests include globalization and accountability, social movements, gender politics, patriotism and militarism, and state-building in the post-communist region.

Among several other publications, Sperling's most recent book, Sex, Politics, and Putin: Political Legitimacy in Russia (Oxford University Press) won the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies' Davis Center Book Prize for the "outstanding monograph on Russia, Eurasia, or Eastern Europe in anthropology, political science, sociology or geography," as well as the Association for Women in Slavic Studies' Heldt Prize for the "Best book in Slavic/Eastern European/Eurasian Women's Studies." Sex, Politics and Putin was also included in Top 10 books on Russia for 2014.

Sperling is a graduate of Yale College; she subsequently received her M.A. from Georgetown, and her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1997

Professor Sperling’s Athenaeum presentation is co-sponsored by the Mgrublian Center for Human Rights at CMC.