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Part Three Feminist Geography at UNO

Falconer Al-Hindi’s interest in feminism and geography continued to evolve, and with her master’s degree complete, she enrolled at the University of Kentucky to begin work on her Ph.D.  By amalgamating her interests in human geography and women’s studies, Falconer Al-Hindi wrote a dissertation titled Space, Gender, and Work in the Context of Technological Change: Telecommuting Women.  With her Ph.D. completed, Falconer Al-Hindi was ready to begin her professional career as a geography instructor.  Dr. Karen Falconer Al-Hindi joined the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) faculty in 1993 as an Assistant Professor of Geography.  The first classes she taught were Introduction to Human Geography and a graduate seminar titled History and Philosophy of Geography.  She served as the Acting Department Chair for the Department of Geography and Geology during different periods.  Falconer Al-Hindi was also the Graduate Program Committee Chair from 1996-1999.

As her teaching evolved, Dr. Falconer Al-Hindi continued researching and developing within the paradigm of feminist geography.  In an interview with UNO’s student newspaper, The Gateway, Dr. Al-Hindi defined a feminist geographer as a person who examines “. . . how gender interacts with its surroundings…. How issues of gender roles and relations contribute to how the world looks and works.  Essentially, putting women in place” (Swett 2).  Falconer Al Hindi further explains that “feminists draw on fields of study within geography, not with an intention to create a feminist field of study, but rather to critique existing knowledge and contribute feminist perspectives for analysis and interpretation, as in for example, history of geography, philosophy and geography, and critical geography” (Moss and Falconer Al-Hindi 1).  Moreover, Feminist Geographers amplify “the gendered and spatialized dimensions of social, political, and economic activities, developing more precise concepts that depict a phenomenon or process that produces inequality, and drawing out masculinist claims about knowledge and science” (Moss and Falconer Al-Hindi 1).  Falconer Al-Hindi developed courses around these concepts such as a seminar titled Geography, Gender, and Work, and the course Introduction to Women’s Studies in the Social Sciences.  With the intersection of these two humanities issues, Falconer Al-Hindi’s involvement with the UNO Women’s Studies program naturally evolved.

 

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Part Four The Women's and Gender Studies Program

The Women’s Studies Program at UNO began in the early 1970s with the development of the first women’s history course.  More courses developed as issues within the field of women’s studies progressed, and the program began offering a minor by 1988.  As interest in the program grew and the number of students increased, the validity of apportioning a major in women’s studies became viable.  Professors such as Mary Ann Lamanna, Dr. Falconer Al-Hindi, and several other faculty members developed the major, with Lamanna receiving valuable time to create and implement the program.  In 2000, the University Board of Regents approved a Women’s Studies Major.  Falconer Al-Hindi cites the demand from students for such a major as well as wide community support as driving forces behind its development.  As Falconer Al-Hindi attests, “The program is designed to prepare students for graduate