skip to content

University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies



Professors Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi

The Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professorship was generously endowed by Carl Djerassi (Professor Emeritus, Stanford University and inventor of the contraceptive pill) in honour of his late wife Diane Middlebrook (Professor Emerita and Head of Gender Studies, Stanford University). The Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professors each give a high profile public lecture on a gender related topic.  

Previous Visiting Professorship Lecture recordings


Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professorship Lecture: Michaelmas 2023

Professor Patricia Hill Collins, Distinguished University Professor Emerita, University of Maryland gave the Diane Middlebrook and Carl Djerassi Visiting Professorship Lecture on Lethal Intersections: Race, Gender and Violence on Wednesday 1 November 2023 at St. John’s College Divinity School, Main Lecture Theatre. The lecture attracted a capacity audience and was followed by a Q&A with Professor Monica Moreno Figueroa, Department of Sociology. Our sincere thanks to Professor Hill Collins and all contributors to the event.

Visiting Professorship Lecture recording.

As a form of critical inquiry and praxis, intersectionality is well-positioned to examine violence as an important social problem. Analyzing violence offers a window into the dynamic relationship between the organization of and political resistance to intersecting power relations. Violence is especially visible at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, and similar systems of power that catalyze social inequalities. In this sense, intersectionality offers important theoretical and practical tools for understanding and resisting violence. In my presentation, I introduce the construct of lethal intersections as an analytical tool for investigating violence where systems of power intersect. Studying cases of lethal intersections reveals the multiple ways that people who are harmed by violence come to understand and resist violence that they encounter. I explore how living with pervasive threats of violence in such lethal intersections cultivates a distinctive view from below on the causes, consequences and possible strategic responses intersectional violence.