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Living Archives interview series continues its focus on sustainability

This Fall, the Living Archives interview series, sponsored by the Friends of Women's Studies, focuses on sustainability in Houston, the energy capital. The first of two panels, called Green Women: Houston Environmentalists, was held on October 18th and explored the roles of women environmentalists both in the past few decades and the current scene. Women have long had a special connection to the environment and its preservation, because women have been responsible for raising the kids who are often among those most vulnerable to environmental threats.

Panelists included both those with a substantial history in the movement and some newcomers. CLASS Communication Director Shannon Buggs moderated the discussion with environmental grants expert and advocate Ann Hamilton, green architect Karen Lantz (Enter Architecture), Bayou Preservation Association director Kathy Lord, and City of Houston Sustainability Director Laura Spanjian. Environmental historian Terry Tompkins-Walsh provided a brief history of the Houston women's environmental activism.

On November 29th, 11:30-1p.m. in the Rockwell Pavilion, the second panel will focus on women and food. Stirring the Pot: Houston Cooks and Food Activists will build on the work of Dr. Monica Perales' oral history seminar, which has focused this semester on documenting the many ingredients in Houston's food chain. Panelists will include restauranteuses Irma Galvan and Anita Jaisinghani, farmer's market organizer and author Pam Walker and food journalist Janice Schindler, and Professor Perales will moderate. This program is made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

While cooking — that most essential of sustainability tasks — has long been women's work, that has not always translated into success in the restaurant world. Our panelists include two notable exceptions. All four panelists will explore the diverse levels in which their varied kinds of culinary and food chain work feed the growing food activism movement in Houston and around the globe.

The FWS Living Archives panels are an extension of the University of Houston's Women's Archive and Research Center, which collects the oral histories of Texas women and the papers of individual Houston women who've made history, and Houston area women's organizations. If you'd like to join the mailing list for future events sponsored by the Friends of Women's Studies and by the Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, please contact

Join the Friends of Women's Studies.

—Dr. Elizabeth Gregory