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The McKelvy House Scholars will host a dinner discussion Sunday evening on the social construction of gender and “nature vs. nuture” question.

Dinner will begin 6 p.m. at McKelvy House, 200 High Street; RSVP by Saturday with McKelvy Scholar Creighton Conner ’04 (Lewisburg, Pa.) at connerr@lafayette. Led by McKelvy Scholar Briana Niblick ’04 (Hatboro, Pa.), a double major in A.B. engineering and German, the discussion will start at 6:30 p.m. and requires no reservations

Niblick will address the dominant paradigm of dualism in the Western world, in which masculinity and femininity are two extreme opposites on one scale.

“The common view is that a person is either one or the other; there is no in between,” she says. “I will argue that masculinityand femininity are actually two separate scales and each person can incorporate varying degrees of each element into his or her own personality. In other words, a person is born a certain sex, but can create his or her gender. This gender is not ‘male’ or ‘female,’ per se, but rather one of millions of possible combinations.”

Niblick is president of the German Club, secretary for Society of Women Engineers and the Association for Lafayette Women, and an active member of Questioning Established Sexual Taboos (QuEST) and the Concert Choir. She has conducted research as an EXCEL Scholar with Margarete Lamb-Faffelberger, associate professor of foreign languages and literatures, on the quest for cultural identity in East Germany along a long-disputed border with Poland.

Since 1962, the McKelvy House Scholars program has brought together Lafayette students with a wide range of majors and interests to reside in a historic off-campus house and share in intellectual and social activities. Weekly Sunday dinner discussions that engage the students in debate and exchange of ideas are the hallmark of the program. Most members also contribute to the annual McKelvy Papers, written on a topic of each person’s choice. McKelvy Scholars participate in activities together such as field trips to plays, concerts, and exhibits, and sponsor events for the campus as well.

Past discussions:
Oct. 19 — Greed as an economic force
Sept. 28 — Value

Categorized in: Academic News