Campus News

Judge Jennifer Coffman Talks RBG Legacy With Gaines Center's 'Over Yonder'

Gaines Center Director Melynda Price interviews retired Judge Jennifer Coffman on a special episode of "Over Yonder" on RBG.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 22, 2020) The University of Kentucky Gaines Center for the Humanities is exploring the legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in its most recent interview with retired Judge Jennifer Coffman on “Over Yonder: Conversations with Artists and Scholars on Social Distancing.” Ginsburg is considered the "architect of the legal fight for women's rights."

This is a special episode of “Over Yonder” recorded with Coffman just days after the death of the beloved justice. Normally, the podcast series features the center’s director, Melynda Price, interviewing Kentucky artists, musicians and scholars on their quarantine experience.  

A UK alumna who holds a bachelor's degree in English, a master's degree in library science and a juris doctor, Coffman was appointed United States district judge for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky on Oct. 22,1993, and elevated to chief judge of the Eastern District of Kentucky on Oct. 15, 2007. The first female to hold either of those positions within the Commonwealth, she retired from the federal district bench on Jan. 9, 2013. Coffman was appointed in 2011 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees requests by the United States national security community for surveillance of suspected foreign intelligence agents. She retired from this position in January 2013.

The Gaines Center launched “Over Yonder” in the summer of 2020 with an interview of award-winning writer Crystal Wilkinson, associate professor in the Department of English, the Program in African American and Africana Studies and the UK Appalachian Center in the College of Arts and Sciences. Price (with technical support from her 10-year-old son James) and Associate Director Chelsea Brislin have completed 10 interviews to date. To watch the Coffman interview and other episodes of "Over Yonder" visit online here

Founded in 1984 by a generous gift from John and Joan Gaines, the Gaines Center for the Humanities functions as a laboratory for imaginative and innovative education on UK's campus. Part of the Division of Student and Academic Life, the center is devoted to cultivating an appreciation of the humanities in its students and faculty. The Gaines Center embraces varied paths of knowledge and particularly strives to integrate creative work with traditional academic learning.

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