Anita Hill to Visit OSU for 2-Day Symposium
In 1991, Anita Hill, then a law professor and a former attorney-adviser to Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, unwittingly became synonymous with one of the biggest political scandals of the last century.
That year, President George H.W. Bush nominated Clarence Thomas, who was a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, to serve as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Hill, reluctantly, came forward with allegations that Thomas had sexually harassed her while he was her supervisor at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the story quickly blew up. To this day, her name evokes widespread, latent tensions over race and gender in politics and the law.
Hill, who currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Provost and Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, lived a relatively quiet life for two decades, but has re-emerged into the public spotlight after becoming the subject of a 2013 documentary film, ANITA: Speaking Truth to Power, by director Frieda Lee Mock.
The Ohio State community will have the opportunity to hear Hill’s story during a two-day symposium, “From Anita Hill to the White House Task Force on Sexual Assault (1991 to Today),” Nov. 6 and 7.
On Thursday, Nov. 6, Hill and filmmaker Mock will be present for a film screening, followed by a Q&A, at 7 p.m. in Mershon Auditorium. The event is free and open to all (no ticket required), and Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Wendy Smooth will moderate the Q&A.
On Friday, Nov. 7, Hill will participate in a panel discussion, “Responding to Gendered Violence in Society, Law and on College Campuses,” from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Saxbe auditorium, followed by a student resource fair on sexual assault and harassment from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Katherine Marino, Assistant Professor of History and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, will moderate the panel, which also includes Martha Chamallas, Robert J. Lynn Chair in Law at Moritz College of Law; Katie Hanna, Executive Director of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence; and Gisell Jeter-Bennett, Graduate Associate at the No Place for Hate Commission. Lawyer and community leader Brenda Drake will introduce Hill at the event, which is free and open to the public (no RSVP required).