Located in a geographic area with one of the largest concentrations of scholars dedicated to feminist scholarship and teaching in the world, the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center encourages engaged, critical feminist scholarship from diverse perspectives. To support this work, the Center established its Associates Program more than 25 years ago.
Research Associates 2020-2022
Certified Clinical Criminal Justice Specialist
Balkan West Route Research
I have noted with the Bosnian women war crimes and war survivors' absence in research and in media which portrays the women as victims to sensationalize their readership. The same issues are present for Syrian women war survivors-refugees. During the past five years, the influx of Syrian refugees-mostly young males 19-25 years of age migrated across former Yugoslavia. A smaller number are Afghans fleeing the war along with a small number of African refugees that are becoming one of the ten highest global refugee populations. In the past ten years, the global refugee census is registered at 67% that involves only five countries. Yet, I noted that of that 67% of total records well over 25% are Syrian refugees. What is glaringly absent? The life psycho-social support to have adjustments and thriving skills set to their reality of being a refugee in temporary housing venues that do not offer safety, health and well-being.
For over two decades, Dr. Danica Anderson’s clinical psychology and social science trauma fieldwork and research range from war crimes and war, natural disasters, to starvation survivors. Due to her fieldwork and research, her observation indicated women victims, survivors are the point from which to heal trauma for themselves, families thus, communities. This resulted in Dr. Anderson’s clinical research developing a crisis response protocol, especially significant for women trauma survivors. Working with a population experiencing transgenerational trauma compromised of the majority of women and children refugees, Dr. Anderson has accumulated a small archive of information from her global fieldwork regarding the Balkan East-West Route refugees. Continuing her research on the Balkan East-West Route will expand international feminist studies.
PhD Candidate, Department of Teacher Education And Curriculum Studies
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Decolonizing Mindfulness Education: Toward An Embodied Liberatory Pedagogy
This research situates the field of mindfulness education within a broader critique of neoliberalism and corporate mindfulness, highlighting concerns about the ways mindfulness is marketed as a tool to increase standardized test scores and manage student behavior in PK-12 schools. The racialized discourse prevalent in mindfulness education is carefully examined, along with the ideology of white supremacy. Using a foundation of antiracist scholarship, decolonial theory and women of color feminism(s), this dissertation proposes an embodied liberatory pedagogy for mindfulness educators. Bridging pedagogical traditions, this engagement promotes integration between critical and contemplative epistemologies.
Jennifer Cannon is a PhD candidate in the Department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a graduate certificate in Social Justice Education from the same institution. Her areas of scholarship include critical mindfulness studies, critical pedagogy, women of color feminism(s), decolonial theory, and contemplative pedagogy. She has been teaching in the field of social justice education for 30 years and currently works as an educational consultant. Jennifer is a UCLA certified mindfulness facilitator and is committed to integrating antiracism education and training with contemplative practices.
Phd Candidate, Education Policy and Leadership, International Education Specialization University of Massachusetts Amherst
The School and My Health- (Re)Centering Young Women’s Voices in Peer-Led Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Education in Machakos, Kenya
My dissertation challenges research findings that reduce African young women’s reproductive health and education challenges to the dualistic relationship between the individual and their society’s ‘backward’ culture and traditions. That approach ignores wider macro-level factors such as colonial history, global inequality, the oppressive nature of neo-liberal capitalism and unequal global power relations. In this study, I explore young women’s experiences with a reproductive health peer-led education program at a non-formal school in Kenya. I examine their narratives with a post-colonial feminist lens, while connecting them with the multiple dimensions of global inequality that continue to impact women and girls’ lives.
Nyaradzai Changamire is a Ph.D. candidate in the International Education program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is from Zimbabwe where she worked in the non-profit development sector for several years prior to pursuing a Ph.D. in the United States. Nyari successfully defended her dissertation at the end of Summer 2020. Nyaradzai’s research broadly focuses on development projects and their racial and gendered dimensions. She examines colonial and neo-colonial representations of African women and the global south majority population in, by and for the development aid machinery. She is currently developing a few post-dissertation projects. During her Ph.D. studies while working as an instructional technology designer, she grew an interest in the nexus between technology and gender issues. Together with a few colleagues, she developed and facilitated a workshop series on “feminist technologies” at UMass Amherst, as a space for conversations around tools used in international activist spaces and lessons for higher education classrooms. She plans to expand this scholarship by exploring connections between sexual and reproductive health rights, technology, education, access, and safety. Her other research areas include education in emergencies, the governance of women’s bodies, and gender, migration, and immigration.
PhD Student, Education Leadership And Policy: International Education Specialization
University Of Massachusetts Amherst
Schoolgirl pregnancy, dropout or pushout?: The conflict of pregnancy, policy and culture on school readmission in Malawi
Pempho Chinkondenji is a Ph.D. Student in Education Policy and Leadership (International Education concentration) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her doctoral research focuses on women and girls’ education, particularly on school reintegration for student mothers, in-school pregnancies among adolescents, pregnancy-related policies and the relationship between gender, education, and development in African contexts. Pempho also looks at the power and gender dynamics in higher education. She recently published a media review in the Comparative Education Review on Sex for Grades: Undercover in West African Universities that was produced by the BBC Africa Eye in 2019. Pempho is a co-founder of Loving Arms Malawi, a nonprofit that supports rural girls’ education and raises awareness about sexual violence in Malawi. She also serves as the Youth Delegate to the United Nations for Pan-Pacific and South-East Asian Women’s Association, USA.
Although in-school pregnancy and child marriage alone count for 40% of school dropout among girls in Malawian primary schools, pregnancy-related policies and stigmatization in schools make it difficult for young mothers to easily access education. Through a postcolonial feminist lens, this study analyzes the complexities and marginalizing discourse surrounding in-school pregnancy and student motherhood. The study also examines the forces that support young mothers to return/stay in school and the forces that restrain them from returning to school after pregnancy. The study emphasizes the need for schools to implement interventions that ensure the retention of young mothers, safe learning spaces and gender-responsive pedagogy.
Poet, Editor, Teacher
During my fellowship I will revise drafts, write new poems, and shape the ordering of finished poems for my fourth collection of poetry, Mobius. The poems in Mobius respond to my experience unwinding legacies of fallacy, tyranny, and assault within my family. Mythologies, gas lighting, and imposed silence and blindness create the structural floor of this work. The ongoing themes are identity, grief, love, and the mirrors of family tyranny in the world around us.
Jan Freeman is the author of three collections of poetry, most recently Blue Structure (Calypso Editions, 2016), nominated for a Kingsley Tufts Award. Her poems have recently appeared in "North American Review," "Plume," "Nine Mile," "POETRY", and the anthology "Welcome to the Resistance: Poetry as Protest." Poems are forthcoming in "Barrow Street" and the anthology, "Keystone Poets." She has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the VCCA, Moulin a Nef, and the Wurlitzer Foundation. She has been a visiting poet, offering readings and lectures at universities and organizations, including Mount Holyoke College, Vassar College, Emory University, University of Pittsburgh, the Mass Poetry Festival and the Dodge Poetry Festival. She is the founder and former director of Paris Press (1995-2018), a nonprofit press publishing groundbreaking yet overlooked literature by women writers such as Muriel Rukeyser's "The Life of Poetry, Virginia Woolf's On Being Ill with Notes from Sick Rooms," Ruth Stone's NBCC award-winning "Ordinary Words," Bryher's Visa for Avalon, and "Open Me Carefully: Emily Dickinson's Intimate Correspondence with Susan Huntington Dickinson" edited by Martha Nell Smith and Ellen Louise Hart. She teaches at the MASS MoCA Ekphrastic Poetry Retreats and provides coaching, manuscript consultations, and editorial services to poets and writers. She is at work on a new collection of poetry, "Mobius." She earned her BA from Vassar College and her MA from New York University.
Associate Professor, Yasar University, Turkey
Female Employment and Demand for Female Labor
In this study, women who are forced to choose between labor market with household responsibilities and child care, in this respect, domestic production, unpaid family workers and are turning to informal sector on a regional basis workforce to the demand for women?s labor force factors are examined. Women in working life that are affected by social prejudices and family structures are also emphasized. Therewithal it is well known that socially the domestic labor of women are invaluable and invisable. In terms of economic or social need, demand for women who have not the same working conditions and flexible working hours compared to men, also occasionally exposed to gender discrimination claims are analyzed. In this analysis; education level, marital status, age level, socio-economic factors and the activity rates in the economy by using Generalized Method of Moments have been done with 15 different regression. As a result of these models, difference between wages, unemployment rate, fertility rate, labor force of men, the age gap between women and the increase in educational level have an impact on the demand for female labor may be said.
Meltem Ince-Yenilmez is an Associate Professor at the Department of Economics at Yaşar University who specializes in economics of gender and labor economics. Her research analyses the impact of various forces of economics and social change on the constitution of gender relations and women’s empowerment. Her expertise encompasses cyclical patterns of female employment and wage differentials to discrimination, care work and employment patterns in developing countries as well as issues related to gender and development. Her books include Women’s Economic Empowerment in Turkey (Routledge, 2019) and A Comparative Perspective of Women’s Economic Empowerment (Routledge, 2019). She is looking forward to forthcoming 2 books and 3 papers. In addition, she is currently working on the development of various projects including the production of 2 books, 4 papers, 2 reports, 2 projects, coordinating a Jean Monnet Module and being a researcher in a Horizon2020 Project collaborating with 12 countries
Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Development Studies
University Of Nairobi
Femicide in Kenya
Femicide has been on the rise in Kenya. Most of the women have been killed by intimate partners. The killings are cause of pain to the family and attract a lot of traffic of comments on the print and social media. In the proposed research, I intend to analyze the comments on selected print and social media using a feminist perspective. I will look at the sexist perceptions of women, sexist justifications for the femicide, the role of money in enhancing patriarchy, women vulnerability, power relations and the role of care connection and change in determining women behavior in relationships.
Mary Njeri Kinyanjui P.h.D has carried out research and taught for many years at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and at the Africana Program, Mount Holyoke College as an embedded practitioner. She has carried out research on women and the informal economy in African cities, international trade justice, education, women and pain, gender based violence and femicide, women and the survival of indigenous economic activities in the global economy. She has taught gender and development, feminist research methods and international organizations and gender graduate level courses at the African Women Center at the University of Nairobi. She has been a visiting scholar at the Five College Women’s Study Center, Mount Holyoke, MA and at the Bellagio Rockefeller Center in Italy. She is a member of the steering committee of the IGU gender commission. She has published widely in peer reviewed journals. She has published many books on women and the economy, utu feminism and women and pain. The most recent one being: Wanjiku in Global Development: Logic and Solidarity in Everyday livelihood Survival. She is also known for her activism in women rights, education and leadership.
Phd Candidate, Department of American Studies
Mother. Nurse. Housewife. Maid.: Gender, Race, and the Politics of Care Justice
This project examines moral frames around paid and unpaid care and domestic labor—“women’s work”—in America, from the ratification of the 19th amendment to the 2020 presidential election. Ambitious and synthetic, focusing largely on the last forty years, it explores both a problem—women’s work and “the care crisis” as a terrain of gendered, racial, and economic subjugation—and demands for solutions: efforts for better care policy for all, and rights, dignity, recognition, and equality for women. Lake seeks to contribute to scholarly and popular conversations concerning care by examining the moral construction of care labors and women’s work. While the project clearly focuses on gender, it also centers race, with attention to the activism of women of color in challenging oppressions, and to the role of white domesticity in creating and reinforcing social hierarchies. In analyzing moral constructions around women’s work and care, the project uses both archival sources and my own ethnography. Lake expects to argue that 1., moral constructions around care and domesticity have helped create the “care crisis,” 2., such constructions have reinforced social hierarchies of gender, race, and class; 3., they’ve also been used in efforts to challenge oppressions; 4., building a more “caring” America requires political struggle and direct political action; and 5., effective political action employs both moral frames of care and those of justice, equality, and fairness.
For more than 20 years, Nell Lake has worked as an editor, journalist, author, and college instructor—and is now a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown. Her book, The Caregivers: A Support Group’s Stories of Slow Loss, Courage, and Love, intimately chronicles two years in the lives of people caring for ill and elderly family members (Scribner 2014). Lake was founding editor of the Nieman Narrative Digest, now Nieman Storyboard, at Harvard University. She has written for the Boston Globe, CommonHealth, and my other publications about care labor, health, illness, aging, and other social issues. She has received journalism fellowships from the Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center at Columbia University and from the Gerontological Society of America, and has taught courses at Smith College, UMass-Amherst, Brown University, and other institutions. Lake holds a BA from Smith and a MA from Brown. In 2016 she returned to Brown for her PhD. For her dissertation/next book, through ethnography and archival research, she will examine moral frames around “women’s work” from 1920 to 2020, with particular attention to the paid care labor of women of color and to white domesticity.
Co-Director of The Community Commons
Not Your “Happy Valley”
This work will both illuminate the ways oppression impacts young people in the region, as well as highlight their ways of being, community building, art practices, radical organizing, and resistance that have supported young people not protected by class, race, gender and sexuality privileges. These elements may develop into podcasts, small published writing projects, and/or other types of public scholarship. My intention is to work in collaboration with people I have had the good fortune of working and learning with in a variety of youth programs.
Although her workplace for the last decade shifted to college campuses, Beth Mattison still identifies as a Youth Worker, having spent three decades working with middle and high school aged young people. She works with college students who want to further develop their practices and address issues of justice as they work with younger people. Beth is passionate about the rights of young people - about their right to be safe, to be educated, and to be able thrive. She is committed to working with and for young people and their advocates for greater equity in their communities. Before coming to Hampshire College, Beth worked for Student Bridges (SB), a student-initiated, student-run agency with the mission of increasing the access and success of underrepresented students in higher education. She taught two courses for SB supporting first generation college students who were working as mentors in Springfield. These courses focused on critical community engagement and participatory action research in the context of building reciprocal relationships between campuses and communities. While at UMass, she also studied Inter Group Dialogue (IGD) in the Social Justice Ed grad program, co-facilitating and then coaching facilitators of the IGD course 'Dialogue about Race and Racism'. During summer "breaks" she was an instructor for Upward Bound, co-facilitating students' investigation and analysis of their own experience through dialogue and action research. For the decade before she was pushed by the recession of 2008 to go to grad school, Beth was the Director of Youth Leadership Academy (YLA) a community-based youth development program that addressed issues of equity in Western Massachusetts. Young people in YLA engaged in community organizing strategies and often utilized the arts to communicate their perspectives.
Teaching Faculty, College of Information And Computer Sciences
University Of Massachusetts Amherst
Refashioning History: Women as Sartorial Storytellers
“Refashioning History: Women as Sartorial Storytellers”, explores how women authors tell the story of slavery in the Americas. This study asks: outside of archives largely authored by white colonial subjects, what other sources exist for accessing and sharing Black women’s stories and experiences of slavery worlds? In this dissertation I suggest that the significant, though understudied, role of clothes and textiles in the construction of New World identities and diasporic communities makes fashion a powerful narrative mode in history. Covering a historically underexplored terrain of self-expression within African diaspora and feminist studies, my dissertation project shows how women writers mobilize the authorial possibilities of fashion to delineate a radical and heterogenous tradition of Black women’s storytelling in the Americas.
Siobhan Meï is a lecturer in the College of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is also a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature. Siobhan holds a BA in English and French literatures from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in General and Comparative Literature from l'Université Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III) in France. Broadly, Siobhan's research focuses on the relationship between slavery's archives and contemporary cultural production by women, in art, fashion, craft, and literature. Siobhan's current book project explores the intersections of fashion and fiction in the Black Atlantic and is supported by a 2020-2021 Woodrow Wilson National Foundation Dissertation Fellowship in Women and Gender Studies. In 2020 Siobhan co-founded, with Dr. Jonathan Michael Square, the digital humanities project, Rendering Revolution (@redneringrevolution), which considers the role of fashion (and material culture more broadly) in articulating visions of freedom before, during, and after the Haitian Revolution. Siobhan is an active translator of women's writing and believes strongly in translation as a feminist praxis. Siobhan's translation with Dr. Hyongrae Kim of "Flower Swallows Sing: A North Korean Memoir in Verse" by Imu Baek was published with Hollym Corporation in 2019. Siobhan’s publications have appeared in The Fashion Studies Journal, The Routledge Handbook on Translation, Feminism, and Gender, Mutatis Mutandis, Transference, Callaloo, sx salon, and Caribbean Quarterly among other places. Siobhan currently teaches courses on ethics, society, and technology at UMass Amherst.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography
Geographies of Postpartum Care/Work in the Neoliberal U.S. Academy
This project examines the experiences of postpartum faculty in U.S. academia and the policies and politics that shape those experiences. While academic work intersects with care work in all life stages, the postpartum phase is one of intensified care work for birth parents, a demand that is met increasingly with precarity and contingency, as more early career academics are in contingent positions without benefits. As a result of dwindling paid leave and intensified precarity within academia, postpartum care work inevitably spills over into academic work space-times, both interrupting the academic work of the university and making it possible. Struggles over postpartum care work in academia thus lie at the intersection of multiple social justice fronts: workers’ rights, reproductive justice, and disability justice. The project aims to theorize postpartum care in academia within these intersecting political frameworks. Most centrally, I ask: How does care work disrupt, reshape, and also make possible academic work? How does postpartum care work affect academic workers’ mobility? Which geographic, economic, and institutional factors affect academics’ ability to access childcare, obtain leave and benefits, and build advocacy networks? In addressing these issues, the project will also document how postpartum care work is affected by the heightened mobility and precarity of academic workers; the exorbitant costs of childcare relative to faculty wages; and the lack of policies and laws protecting pregnant, postpartum, and parenting faculty in the U.S.
As a feminist geographer interested in mobility and migration, Dr. Emily Mitchell-Eaton is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Geography at Colgate University. As a feminist geographer interested in mobility and migration, Dr. Mitchell-Eaton explores how racial meanings, laws and policies, military infrastructures, and emotions travel through space and over time. In particular, her work examines how U.S. empire creates diasporas that stretch to unexpected places. Her book manuscript, tentatively titled New Destinations of Empire: Imperial Migration from the Marshall Islands to Northwest Arkansas, explores comparative racial formations and forms of imperial citizenship, exposing the U.S. military's sustained impacts in the Pacific Islands and on immigrant-receiving communities in the U.S. Dr. Mitchell-Eaton's more recent work engages feminist theories and methods to map geographies of death, birth, care, and disability. One new project, Dying in Diaspora, traces circuits of grief and toxicity as experienced by people in nuclear diasporas. A second project, Geographies of Postpartum Care/Work in the Neoliberal U.S Academy, asks how postpartum rights in higher education can be struggled over—and won—using the frameworks of workers' rights, reproductive justice, and disability justice. This project is being supported by the Five College Women's Studies Research Center in 2020-21. Dr. Mitchell-Eaton's work has also been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Association of Geographers, and the Institute for Human Geography, and the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences at Williams College. Her work has been published in Political Geography, Society and Space, International Migration Review, Gender, Place & Culture, and Great Plains Quarterly. Dr. Mitchell-Eaton earned a Ph.D. in Geography with a specialization in Women's & Gender Studies. She also holds a Master in Public Administration and a BA in Latin American Studies and Portuguese & Brazilian Studies. Before coming to Colgate, Dr. Mitchell-Eaton held positions as the McGill Fellow in International Studies at Trinity College, the Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Non-citizenship at UC Santa Cruz, and a Visiting Assistant Professor at Williams College and Bennington College.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Video And Film
Launch Productions: The Independent Films of Patricia Montoya
Patricia's research at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center has focused on the story development, scriptwriting and fundraising research, for the following film projects:
Cuando La Rumorosa Calla / When La Rumorosa Quiets (17min, English with English subtitles, Mexico, 2020) Through a fusion of film genres, the short is a stirring and tense meditation on the doubts and retribution women face when they witness or directly experience sexual violence and dare to speak out about it. Cuando La Rumorosa Calla, developed while a Research Associate at the Five College Women's Studies Research Center, is an award winning film currently showing in art and human rights film festivals. Take Me to Yr Borderlands (Canción de amor a Gloria E. Anzaldúa) in collaboration with latinx artist collective Kegels for Hegel (K4H) music video is a love song to dyke Chicana philosopher Gloria E. Anzaldúa. Flagging, fellatio, and fisting are rendered in the Texican (Texas +Mexican) visual language of the snakes, astral projections, multilingualism, and chamoyadas of Anzaldúa’s homeland. The video is edited with footage filmed in Tijuana, Mexico; Houston, Texas; and Amherst, MA. (2018)
While at the center Patricia is also developing other non-fiction projects.
Patricia Montoya Patricia Montoya is a Colombian American filmmaker and educator. Presently, she is a visiting faculty at Hampshire College and at the Five College Consortium in Amherst, MA. Patricia is a recipient of the 2021 Artist Fellowship in Film & Video from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and a fellow at The Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts' Valley Creates Program in partnership with MASS MoCA's Assets for Artists (Fall 2021), and a Five College Artist in Residence through the Five College Women's Studies Research Center. To learn more about Patricia Montoya and her work, please visit her website at patriciamontoya.space Montoya holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego and teaches documentary production and various forms of non-fiction, experimental and narrative film and video. Five College Artist in Residence / 2020-2022, Five Colleges Incorporated (FCI), Rosenthal Examiner at Hampshire College.
Associate Professor and Graduate Director, Media Arts And Studies
Core Faculty, Women's, Gender And Sexuality Studies
What Sentient AIs Realize: Science-Fiction Narratives and Critical Interrogations of Surveillance, Labor, and Political Belonging
This project examines science fiction representations of artificial intelligence as crucially informing the actual production and use of AI, at a moment when questions about the pervasiveness of technology and the reconfigurations of labor under globalization are urgent political issues. It considers how recent scifi television shows both amplify and challenge dominant discourses about social organization, power, and human distinctiveness, and how these media texts are in dialogue with feminist scholarship on humanness, sentience, agency, and political inclusion.
Eve Ng is an associate professor and the graduate director in the School of Media Arts and Studies and a core faculty member of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Ohio University. Her work falls at the intersection of media studies, gender studies, and critical globalization studies, with focuses including LGBTQ media production and consumption, digital media cultures, transnational LGBTQ advocacy, and constructions of national identity. See her personal webpage at https://evecng.wordpress.com/.
Centering African Women in Climate Justice
African women are on the frontlines of climate catastrophe. They are the first casualties of wars, mass displacement, and disease epidemics driven by climate change. Yet the visible leaders and spokespeople for climate activism on global platforms are overwhelmingly white, and based in the Global North. Even on the rare 'decolonizing climate activism' reading list, African feminist writing is notably absent.
This book looks at women's leadership in environmental movements on the African continent, such as deCOALonize Kenya (opposing coal mining and coal processing plants in Kenya), Xolobeni (community struggle against titanium sands mining in South Africa), and resistance to AFRICOM (the spiralling US military presence on the African continent). It discusses African feminist models for climate reparations, and solidarities between the climate justice struggles of African women and those of Indigenous women on other continents. It turns a feminist lens on environmentally devastating African sub~imperialisms, such as Kenya’s invasion and military occupation of Somalia, and South Africa’s water theft from Lesotho.
Shailja Patel is a Kenyan author and political activist. Her book "Migritude" is currently taught in over 100 colleges and universities worldwide. Her poems have been translated into 17 languages, and feature in two Smithsonian exhibitions. She is a founding member of Kenyans For Peace, Truth and Justice, a civil society coalition which works for an equitable democracy in Kenya. The Nobel Women's Initiative honored her with a Global Activist Spotlight in 2018. She is a 2021-23 Civitella Ranieri Fellow. Her research at FCWSRC is on centering African feminisms in climate justice.
Visiting Assistant Professor of Gender And Women's Studies
Embodiment and Gendered Subjectivity in Ukrainian Women’s Film, Poetry, and Prose during Perestroika (1985-1991)
This dissertation examines the contributions of selected Ukrainian women writers and filmmakers working during the late Soviet period of perestroika and the reformative efforts of glasnost (1985-1991). I focus primarily on the extent to which the “making” of an independent Ukraine materialized through the “unmaking” of the Soviet Union, and on the ways in which gender-related challenges and expectations figured in the (re)formation of an independent state (as represented in these artistic forms). In so doing, I examine what it means for the body, and particularly through perceived “feminine” performances of subjectivity, to serve as a mechanism for the state.
Sandra Joy Russell is a PhD Candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She has a MA in English, and from 2012-2014, she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lutsk, Ukraine. At UMass, she teaches courses in both the departments of Comparative Literature and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests include the literature and film of Soviet and post-Soviet Ukraine and its diaspora, translation studies, and feminist and queer theory. She is also the Associate Editor of Apofenie Magazine, a translator for TAULT, and the Editor of Ukraïnica: Ukraine’s Primary Database—an online catalogue of English Translations of Ukrainian Literature and Film through the Harvard Ukrainian Research Institute.
University Of Massachusetts Amherst
For the Good: Politics, Rights, and Sex Work in a North Indian Community
Development and human rights interventions have been critiqued for erasing local forms of politics and resistance. This research project examines this erasure from the perspective of a north Indian “prostitution village” - a place where most households generate the majority of their income from the sex work of a family member. In this community, the family becomes a central political space where everyday life events are subject to political adjudication. I explore the forms those politics take, and show how the multiple levels of power, critique, and contestation are practiced by families in this community. By focusing on politics in this specific context, I hope to extend our theoretical understanding of women’s embodied political agency, as well as challenge some of the ways in which states determine who is a political actor, and who is not.
Whitney Russell is an interdisciplinary feminist anthropologist and political ethnographer. She conducts research with a rural community on the edge of New Delhi, India where gender, caste, class, and ethnicity intersect to produce a unique kind of politics centered around who and what is good. At the FCWSRC, she will revise her dissertation into a manuscript that explores how goodness circulates in this community as a means to claim power without first having to claim an identity. Whitney is a lecturer at UMass Amherst where she teaches courses on social theory, the family, and psychological anthropology. She also teaches a community-engaged abolitionist course on domestic violence in partnership with Alianza, and a first year seminar on BTS.
Professor, Department of Gender Studies
Memorial University Of Newfoundland, Canada
Distributing Reforms: Meeting the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Asylum Seekers in the European Union
Rights to sexual and reproductive health are acknowledged across European Union (EU) Member States and their institutional network; however, persistent intra-Member State inequalities remain overlooked. This research examines social inclusion for extra-EU asylum seekers’ sexual and reproductive health needs in comparative perspective. It analyzes reforms in four Member State contexts, Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Italy and Malta, to ask how and among whom reforms are distributed. Do asylum seekers share in reforms to sexual and reproductive health? Do asylum seekers in Member States with more liberal health policies have better access to sexual and reproductive health services? How do persistent inequalities construct social, spatial, and institutional relations of familiarity and unfamiliarity that persist past transit, arrival, and reception?
Katherine Side is Professor in the Department of Gender Studies, Memorial University, Canada. Her research on sexual and reproductive health access, including abortion reform, in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland has been published in "Feminist Review, Gender, Place and Culture, the International Journal of Feminist Politics, Social Politics, Human Rights in Ireland," and in popular publications, "Herizons and Women’s News". She is author of "Patching Peace: Women’s Civil Society Organising in Northern Ireland" (ISER 2015) and co-editor with Dr. Jennifer Connor, Memorial University of "The Grenfell Medical Mission and American Support in Newfoundland and Labrador, 1890s–1940s" (McGill-Queen’s University Press 2019). She held the Margaret Laurence Scholar in Residence in Gender and Women’s at Brandon University, Manitoba and has been a Visiting Scholar and Researcher at Queen’s University Belfast and the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is a past President of Women’s and Gender Studies et Recherches Féministes, Canada.
PhD Candidate & Geo Uaw2322 Union Representative, English Department
How to Do Things With Children: The Performance of Childhood and Race on the English early modern stage
The long history of children’s roles in theater offers a genealogy of children performing childhood, and my particular project examines the explosion of popular theater in the English early modern period in England to consider the development of the performance of childhood as raced, focusing on how children's roles defined and instrumentalized whiteness in the context of nascent capitalism, nationhood, chattel slavery, and the formation of the national political subject. Working at the intersection of childhood studies, race, gender and performance studies, my dissertation contributes to women, gender and sexuality studies by attending to how children’s performance and experiments and innovations of aesthetics in the period shaped raced and gendered definitions of the child. Additionally, boys quite often stood in for women on public stages, and English women’s beauty was both performed by those boys and in some ways defined by them and in both cases was integral to the proliferation of whiteness as a beauty standard.
Anna-Claire Simpson is a PhD Candidate at UMass Amherst, finishing her dissertation while raising two young children. As a Union representative for the past four years, Anna-Claire has dedicated herself to organizing with and empowering workers across Western Mass, in higher education, early education, and in advocacy for domestic violence survivors. Anna-Claire is also a musician (piano, sax, bass) and performer, touring with the all-girl garage rock band Lily and the Ladies, performing with Tin Pan Alley jazz combo The California Navels, and accompanying opera singers in unlikely spaces, such as punk rock clubs in L.A. A non-traditional student while getting her BA at UCLA, Anna-Claire first became interested merging her experience and interest in performance with her affinity for Shakespeare, which she developed under the mentorship of Dr. Arthur Little (founder of the UCLA English Department's Queer Studies programming and renowned Shakespearean). There she began studying the phenomenon of child actors/children's troupes in early modern England and how they performed gender. While getting her MA/PhD at UMass Amherst, she has since developed a doctoral project around the political aesthetics of child performance in this period in relation to representations of children. Specifically, her project considers children’s roles in performing, shaping, and defining race and/as gender; in racialism; and in creating whiteness across the works of Shakespeare and his contemporary playwrights.
Educator & Consultant
Edgework, Cambridge, MA
A Forgotten World: Second Wave Feminist Publications & Their Avid Readers
In the 1970s and 1980s, feminist publications existed in many U.S. cities and towns. Usually free, distributed in grassroots locations, they connected and inspired women, put us in rich conversation with each other, changed the course of our lives, and supported diverse feminist initiatives (e.g., shelters for “battered women,” health services, aid for rape survivors, CR groups, cultural events, women’s centers, and advocacy for choice, equal pay, "welfare rights," women in prison, and more). Feminist efforts benefited enormously from these publications, generally produced by volunteers who considered their work more political than literary. My project, based on my tenure as editor of the country’s largest feminist periodical after Ms. (Boston-based Sojourner), will bring the fading history of these critical publications to light. I will also be writing more personally, exploring my experience of radical lesbian feminism in the 1970s and 1980s.
Shane Snowdon is a longtime feminist, LGBTQ, and public health advocate. Her work at the FCWSRC will focus on her experience as editor/publisher of the Boston-based feminist journal Sojourner in the 1980s; her other feminist work has included stints as director of an urban domestic violence agency, two national women’s health initiatives, and the women’s center at the University of California Santa Cruz. She also founded the national Center for LGBT Health & Equity at the University of California San Francisco, where she taught on gender and sexuality, and she developed the national Health & Aging Program of the Human Rights Campaign, the largest U.S. LGBTQ organization. More recently, she founded the non-profit Crash Project to call attention to the country’s (gendered) epidemic of auto fatalities, and in years past she led a regional environmental center and a program that provided training and employment to men who had been imprisoned. She has been widely published on feminist, LGBTQ, and health topics, and she has served as a volunteer and board member at a wide variety of social justice non-profits.
PhD Candidate, American Studies
Improper Objects: Embodied Aesthetics and the Politics of the Pelvis
My dissertation, Improper Objects: Embodied Aesthetics and the Politics of the Pelvis, maps the relationship between the body and objects associated with the pelvis to explicitly interrogate the construction of race, gender, and sexuality. I seek to trouble biologically determined constructions of sex and instead attend to the historical and aesthetic constitution of this bodily region. Intervening within visual culture, gender and sexuality, and performance studies, I illuminate ways to engage affective difficulty. Combining archival research and close reading, I show how artists and activists reshape public memory and practices of display to complicate and claim bodily autonomy.
Maggie Unverzagt Goddard is a PhD candidate in American Studies at Brown University with an MA in Public Humanities and a graduate certificate in Gender and Sexuality Studies. She teaches courses on memory, museums, and embodiment at Brown and also lectures at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. With a background in education and curation, she previously worked at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Thomas Alva Edison High School/John C. Fareira Skills Center, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and MOCA Cleveland. She maintains an independent curatorial practice and regularly collaborates with arts and culture organizations, schools, and community groups to create installations, digital projects, public programs, and other events. Her research explores performance and visual cultures, public humanities, and critical theories of the body.
Editor and Translator
Russian State Library For Young Adults, Center For International Programs
Isadora Duncan in Russian and Soviet Culture
The goal of my project is to prepare three chapters for an extended English-language version of the book "Isadora Duncan: New Findings on People and Circumstances Surrounding the Dancing Icon". The book published in 2019 in Russian was a success. However, the interest in my book could expand beyond Russia because the American dancer Isadora Duncan is of huge popularity everywhere in the world nowadays – her dance style and philosophy, forgotten for many decades, has finally found many followers and fans. The international community of scholars and dance practitioners has a demand for such kind of a book - I see a great interest in my English-language articles on Isadora Duncan on academic web-sites.
Elena Yushkova, PhD in Art History, Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center (2020-2021), author of two monographs (including the first Russian-language monograph on Isadora Duncan). In 2007-2008, she was a Scholar in Residence at the Kennan Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C., USA (grant from the Fulbright program), investigating Isadora Duncan’s influence on Russian art and mentality. Elena has published more than 40 academic articles in Russian and foreign academic journals, collective monographs and conference proceedings. Her recent publications appeared in "Journal of Russian American Studies, Dance Chronicle, Forum Modernes Theater, Toronto Slavic Quarterly, Literature of Two Americas, Voprosy Literatury," and others.