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  • NYS Writers Institute

EVENT: Contemporary Feminist Voices: Melissa Febos on Thursday, Nov. 18

"Intellectual and erotic, engaging and empowering, Girlhood lays bare the process of unlearning the most deeply ingrained lesson of female adolescence—that we ourselves are not masters of our own domain—and offers us exquisite, ferocious language for embracing self-pleasure and self-love.”

Oprah Magazine

Girlhood by Melissa Febos


Conversation/Q&A — 7:30 p.m.

Campus Center West Auditorium, University at Albany

1400 Washington Avenue

Albany 12222

Moderators: Judith Fetterley & Judith Barlow

Melissa Febos, feminist writer and scholar, is the author of the new essay collection, Girlhood (2021), which examines the forces that shape girls and the adults they become.

The New York Times reviewer said Girlhood belongs “in a feminist canon that includes Febos’s idol, Adrienne Rich, and Maggie Nelson’s theory-minded masterpieces....” Her bestselling memoir, Whip Smart (2010) recounted her work as a professional dominatrix, a job that supported her studies at the New School in New York City. Her first essay collection, Abandon Me (2017), a meditation on the need for physical and personal connection, received the Lambda Literary Jeanne Cordova Prize for Lesbian/Queer Nonfiction.

Funding provided by UAlbany Professors Emerita in English, Judith Barlow and Judith Fetterley.

Photo by Beowulf Sheehan

Melissa Febos received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is an associate professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program.

Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Tin House, Granta, Prairie Schooner, Glamour, Salon, New York Times, Guernica, Dissent, Poets & Writers, Lenny Letter, Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York, and her essays have won prizes from Prairie Schooner, Story Quarterly, and The Center for Women Writers.

Copies of Girlhood will be available for purchase at the event. You may also shop for her books in advance at the local, independent Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza.

Melissa Febos online



All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask or other face covering while inside any UAlbany owned, operated or leased building.

Unvaccinated individuals are also required to wear face coverings in all outdoor settings. This revised mask requirement will remain in place until the University removes the requirement upon the recommendations of the CDC or other public health officials. Individuals should not attend our in-person events if they — or anyone in their household — are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.


Courtesy parking for Writers Institute events on the Uptown Campus will be available in the State Quad Student Parking Lot one hour prior to and one hour after events.

Visitor parking lots are also available for $5 per vehicle, though parking spaces are very limited.

For a map of the UAlbany campuses including parking lots, visit


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