It’s our last Nerd Nite at Pachamama’s Alton Ballroom 🙁 On February 11, come celebrate Pachamama’s and Read Across Lawrence with presentations related to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale. Presentations will cover topics from Feminist interpretations of porn, to human trafficking, to privacy in a digital age. Doors will open for the event at 7:30 and presentations will start at 8:00. $1 cover.

Jon Peters: “Thy brother came with subtlety: Journalism and its New Privacy Problem”

In the digital world, almost everything you do leaves a trace. That’s a problem for journalists who need to protect confidential sources and information. This talk will explore how journalists are navigating a new set of privacy challenges.

Jonathan Peters, an attorney, is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Kansas, where he teaches media law. He is also a faculty affiliate at the KU Information and Telecommunication Technology Center.

Kate Gramlich: “Feminists Tackle Porn: From Handmaid’s Tale to Herself.com”

Radical feminists and staunch conservatives almost never see eye to eye… except when it comes to porn. In Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, both the pre-Gileadean feminists and the controlling religious regime stood firmly against pornography’s harmful imagery. However, the issue is even further complicated in American society today by debates within feminism on whether porn is inherently oppressive or able to be a site for empowerment.

My goal of this talk is to give a brief overview of the conflicting narratives within feminist theory, introducing key players and arguments of both “anti-pornography” and “anti-censorship”/”pro-sex” feminisms. I will draw in quotes from The Handmaid’s Tale, this year’s Read Across Lawrence book, as well as incorporating more recent discussions on the topic. It is my hope for audience members to use this information as a framework for discussing porn and feminism, as Right vs. Wrong, but more as an open-ended conversation about a complex issue.

Kate is a member of the (fantastic) Readers’ Services staff at the Lawrence Public Library and a recent Kansas transplant. She studied communication and taught women’s studies at Southern IL University Carbondale and is now thrilled to be a part of the Lawrence community. Find her in the fiction loop at the library to chat about books, feminism, cats, glitter, etc.

Corinne Schwarz: “Human Trafficking in the Heartland”

Human trafficking is a phenomenon we don’t usually encounter outside of breaking news updates and “Law and Order: SVU” marathons. But the hidden population of vulnerable, exploited, and trafficked persons does exist in our Kansas communities. Additionally, some interesting Kansas politicians have been major players in state and national-level anti-trafficking policy. This talk will establish the climate of human trafficking and anti-trafficking advocacy across the state and show how trafficking exists outside of our sensationalized media narratives.

Corinne is a graduate student in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department at KU. She is also a graduate research assistant with KU’s Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (ASHTI), an interdisciplinary working group examining vulnerability, exploitation, and trafficking. Her own research looks at anti-human trafficking interventions and health services delivery in rural and underserved communities. When she’s not researching, she’s probably eating a burrito.