Alumnae News

News of Alumnae Associates

Congrats to FCWSRC Associate Mary Njeri Kinyanjui on the publication of her article "A Lone Ranger: My Journey Towards Becoming a Feminist Geographer in Nairobi, Kenya" published in Gender, Place & Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography.

"The Lasting Trauma of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)" by FCWSRC Alumna Associate Lisa Aronson Fontes was published in Psychology Today

Congrats to FCWSRC Research Associate Mary Njeri Kinyanjui on the publication of her new book African Markets and the Utu-buntu Business Model: A Perspective in Economic Informality in Nairobi (African Minds, Cape Town)

Congrats to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Janet Marquardt whose article "‘ … we congratulate ourselves that reason has not with us yet left its seat’: first generations of American missionary women in the Near East" was published in the Women's History Review.

FCWSRC Associate Loretta Ross writes on why "Planned Parenthood's Next President Should Be a Woman of Color" at HuffPost

FCWSRC Research Associate Annie Hill's article "Nondisclosure Agreements: Sexual Harassment and the Contract of Silence" was published for The Gender Policy Report

Congrats to FCWSRC Associate Loretta Ross who has been chosen as a 2018 Women's History Honoree by the National Women's History Project.

Congrats to FCWSRC Associate Julie de Chantal on her book chapter “Before Boston’s Busing Crisis: Operation Exodus, Grassroots Organizing, and Motherhood, 1965-1967” published in the collection Motherhood in Public and Political Life (Demeter Press, 2017). 

Congrats to FCWSRC Associate Loretta Ross for the publication of her new books Reproductive Justice: An Introduction (University of California Press, 2017), co-authored with Rickie Solinger and Radical Reproductive Justice: Foundations, Theory, Practice, Critique co-edited with Lynn Roberts, Erika Derkas, Whitney Peoples, and Pamela Bridgewater Toure.

Congrats to FCWSRC Alumna Mena Mitrano on her recently published book Archive of Longing: Susan Sontag's Critical Modernism (Edinburg University Press 2016) which was officially launched in June at the John Felice Rome Center of Loyola University Chicago.

Congratulation to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Kia Hall who was named a finalist for the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) First Book Prize. Kia also has a forthcoming article in Meridians: feminism, race, transnationalism entitled "A Transnational Black Feminist Framework: Rooting in Feminist Scholarship, Framing Contemporary Black Activism". 

FCWSRC Alumna Associate Sarah Kilborne recently performed "The Lavender Blues: A Musical Revue", a showcase of queer music before World War II, at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke. 

Congratulations to FCWSRC Research Associate Johanna Ortner on the publication of her article "Lost No More: Recovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Forest Leaves" inCommon-Place: The Journal of Early American Life. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s first book of poems had been considered lost to history for well over one hundred years. Johanna Ortner shares the tale of recovering this incredibly valuable text.

Gender, Race and Sudan's Exile PoliticsCongrats to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Nada Mustafa Ali on the publication of her new book Gender, Race, and Sudan's Exile Politics: Do We All Belong to This Country? (Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield). The book examines the gendered and racialized discourses and practices of the Sudanese opposition in exile through the opposition movements of the 1990s and early 2000s, and discusses the history through which these discourses evolved. It interrogates the relationship between women’s organizations and activisms in exile on one hand, and nationalist, transformative, and other political movements and processes on the other. It further discuses transnational coalition building across difference, including racial difference, between women’s organization seeking to transform gender relations in Sudan and South Sudan.

Congrats to FCWSRC Alumnae Associate Lisa McLoughlin on the publication of her new book, Guide to Student Success in Engineering at Community College, a helpful handbook for women in engineering.

A Poetics of Performance

Congrats to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Carol Bailey on the recent publication of her book A Poetics of Performance: The Oral-Scribal Aesthetic in Anglophone Caribbean Fiction which examines the impact of orature-performance on Caribbean prose fiction. Arguing that orature-performance is the structuring device for many contemporary novels and short stories, this work extends the critical consensus that Caribbean oral modes infuse all genres of literature from the region. This book also demonstrates how the formal and thematic synergies between Caribbean orature and literature constitute an inter-performative relationship between the region’s literary and performance cultures. Beginning with a retrospective analysis of New Day and The Lonely Londoners, two harbingers of an aesthetic of orality, A Poetics of Performance offers fresh readings of fictions by post 1950s writers Earl Lovelace, Merle Collins, Marie-Elena John, Marlon James and Collin Channer alongside calypso, reggae, and different modes of Caribbean oral storytelling. Bailey elucidate what may be termed the most consequential aspect of Caribbean literary self-fashioning: an “inward turn” to the expressive resources and discursive tools of folk and popular culture. This recuperation, she argues, has in turn forged a literary tradition grounded, not only in the folk and urban working-class performance cultures, but inevitably in a “woman”-centered poetics.

FCWSRC Alumna Associate Disha Mullick's paper "Playing Reporter: Small-Town Women Journalists in North India" is highlighted in a special issue of Journalism Studies focused on democracy, civil society, and journalism in India.

Congrats to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Noa Milman whose chapter "Mothers, Mizrahi and Poor: Contentious Media Framings of Mothers' Movements", published in RSMCC's special volume on intersectionality, has been selected as an Outstanding Author Contribution. 

A New Gospel For WomenCongrats to FCWSRC Alumna Associate Kristin Du Mez for the publication of her new book A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism (Oxford 2015).

A New Gospel for Women tells the story of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God's Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written. An internationally-known social reformer and women's rights activist, Bushnell rose to prominence through her highly publicized campaigns against prostitution and the trafficking of women in America, in colonial India, and throughout East Asia. In each of these cases, the intrepid reformer struggled to come to terms with the fact that it was Christian men who were guilty of committing acts of appalling cruelty against women. Ultimately, Bushnell concluded that Christianity itself - or rather, the patriarchal distortion of true Christianity - must be to blame. 

A New Gospel for Women restores Bushnell to her rightful place in history. It illuminates the dynamic and often thorny relationship between faith and feminism in modern America by mapping Bushnell's story and her subsequent disappearance from the historical record. Most pointedly, the book reveals the challenges confronting Christian feminists today who wish to construct a sexual ethic that is both Christian and feminist, one rooted not in the Victorian era, but rather one suited to the modern world. 

Invisible Chains


Congrats to Alumna Associate Lisa Aronson Fontes, Ph.D., who has published a new book Invisible Chains: Overcoming Coercive Control in Your Intimate Relationship which discusses coercive control used to dominate intimate partners and maintain privileges. Through professional and personal experience Fontes provides guidance and support for those who find themselves under coercive control.         


Congrats to Alumna Research Associate Cheryl Fish for the publication of her poetry collection Make It Funny, Make It Last (Belladonna). Cheryl is a professor of Writing and Literature at the City University of New York, a poet, fiction writer and essayist. 

Maithil Women's Tales
Alumna Research Associate Coralynn V. Davis has published a new book Maithil Women's Tales: Storytelling on the Nepal-India Border which investigates how female storytellers weave together their own life experiences--the hardships and the pleasures--with age-old themes. In so doing, Davis demonstrates, they harness folk traditions to grapple with social values, behavioral mores, relationships, and cosmological questions. Each chapter includes stories and excerpts that reveal Maithil women’s gift for rich language, layered plots, and stunning allegory. In addition, Davis provides ethnographic and personal information to reveal the complexity of women’s own lives, and includes works painted by Maithil storytellers to illustrate their tales. The result is a fascinating study of being and becoming that will resonate for readers in women’s and Hindu studies, folklore, and anthropology.


The FCWSRC is happy to share news of former Research Associate Alicia Grullon's 

Alicia Grulloninnovative and vital project,PERCENT FOR GREEN which powerfully examines how art can facilitate community coalition to create environmental progress in the city and promote more discussion on climate change. 

The project's objective is to co-author a bill with Bronx residents that protects the environmental rights of people in underserved areas and allots at least 5% of city-funded construction funds to sustainable initiatives and organizations in the Bronx.

PERCENT FOR GREEN is part of InClimate an exhibition curated by Regina Cornwell being presented under the auspices of Franklin Furnace and its co-founder Martha Wilson. City residents are invited to round-tables, in public and domestic spaces, where they will engage in conversations on creating solutions for environmental imbalances they identify in their neighborhoods. What is learn from this process will form the basis of the new “Percent for Green” legislation. 

PRECENT FOR GREEN will be running from the Longwood Arts Gallery, 450 Grand Concourse at 149th Street in HOSTOS Community College starting June 5th through August 6th.

Grass Whistle  Congratulations to former Research Associate Amy Dryanksy who has won the Massachusetts Book Award in Poetry for her collection Grass WhistleThe award is sponsored by the Massachusetts Center for the Book, the Commonwealth affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. In selecting the book, the judges had this to say about her work: “In Amy Dryansky’s, Grass Whistle, we are invited into a world we know, but may have never seen. Her craft is subtle, yet engrossing. Her universal themes are given the perfect amount of loft with her language, her structure, and her unerring sense of the complicated simplicity of life.”

Congratulations to former Research Associate Annina Rüst and her "A Piece of the Pie" project for recieving a grant from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's "art and technology" program! For more information, click here.

Congratulations to FCWSRC Research Associate Noa Milman for her recent appointment as a Visiting Lecturer in the Sociology Department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst for the 2014-2015 academic year. We wish her all the best in her new position!

Male President for MHC
Former Research Associate Ann Karus Meeropol's new book, A Male President for Mount Holyoke College: The Failed Fight to Maintain Female Leadership, 1934-1937 details the struggle which arose over who would succeed Mary Emma Woolley as president of Mount Holyoke College in 1937. Over her 36 year tenure, Woolley had transformed Mount Holyoke into an elite women's college in which leadership in the administration and faculty was almost exclusively female. Beginning in 1933, a group of male trustees determined to change the college. This book tells the story of how this group dominated the search process and ultimately convinced the majority of the trustees to offer the presidency to Mr. Roswell Gray Ham. It enlightens readers about both a single presidential succession and a national controversy over female leadership. 


Congratulations to FCWSRC Research Associate Eva Paris-Huesca who has accepted the position of Assistant Professor in Contemporary Spanish Literature, Cinema, and Culture at Ohio Wesleyan University. She will begin her new position this Fall. We wish her all the best in her new position!

Outrageous Older Woman Ruth Harriet Jacobs, 1924-2013

Former Research Associate Ruth Harriet (Miller) Jacobs, Ph.D., a gerontologist, sociologist, educator, poet, and author of nine books, died on September 4, 2013 at the age of 88. With many years of teaching experience and provided continuing education courses for professionals, Dr. Jacobs led workshops throughout the U.S. and abroad, and for 20 years was a researcher at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW) at Wellesley College; she remained a Senior Scholar at the Centers until her death.

Dr. Jacobs’ books include: Be An Outrageous Older Woman; Women Who Touched My Life: A MemoirWe Speak for Peace: An Anthology (as editor); Older Women Surviving and Thriving: A Manual For Group Leaders; Button, ButtonWho Has the Button?: A Drama About Women’s Lives TodayOut of Their MouthsLife After Youth: Female, Forty What Next?ABCs for Seniors: Successful Aging Wisdom from an Outrageous Gerontologist; and Re-engagement in Later Life: Re-employment and Remarriage.

Fiction Versus Fact: How Alice Walker and Nick Mwaluko Author the End of Female Genital Mutilation  Public Talk by Tobe Levin and Nick Mwaluko (11/19/13)

Tobe Levin screencapThis talk, given by former Research Associate Tobe Levin, discusses Alice Walker's Possessing the Secret of Joy (1992) and Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko'sWAAFRIKA (2013). Challenging traditional gender arrangements and sexual identities, these authors write to accelerate the end of FGM. Whereas Walker was the first novelist of world renown to place "the blameless vulva" at the heart of a story about genital torture, Mwaluko has written the first and possibly only drama combining transgender, queer, lesbian and gay approaches to the excision theme. Click here or on the image for the link.

Levin also had her new book, Waging Empathy. Alice Walker, Possessing the Secret of Joy, and the Global Movement to Ban FGM (UnCUT/VOICES Press) recently published. For more information and purchasing options, click here!

Kim Toffoletti Book

Forrmer research associate Kim Toffoleti's most recent book, Sport and Its Female Fansdetails the experiences of women within sports fandom. This book explores questions such as: Why do women follow sports? How do they participate from the sidelines and what is the significance of this contribution? What can female fandom tell us about gender relations in sport?, by bringing together the varied strands of research being conducted internationally across the social sciences and humanities on this emerging and topical field.

Sandra Matthews, former Research Associate, currently has her photography Timelines series featured at Northeast Exposure Online, the PRC's web-based showcase of regional photography. For her seriesMatthews photographed women and then rephotographed them anywhere from a few months to thirty years later. Fashioning these black and white photographs into diptychs, Matthew reveals aspects of the women’s identities and shows the ways in which the self, physical appearance, and even relationships change with time. Like Milton Rogovin’s “Quartets” or Nicholas Nixon’s portraits of the Brown Sisters, Matthew’s portraits depict the passage of time. Unique to Matthews’ work, however, is her focus on women’s issues and her use of newspaper backdrops for many of her portraits. These collaged fragments of newspapers anchor the portraits to a specific time while concomitantly evoking manifold historical and personal narratives. (credit:

Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity

Sonia Kruks' new book Simone de Beauvoir and the Politics of Ambiguity was published in November 2012 by Oxford University Press. The book is the first full-length study of Beauvoir's political thinking. Best known as the author of The Second Sex, Beauvoir also wrote an array of other political and philosophical texts that together, constitute an original contribution to political theory and philosophy. Sonia Kruks here locates Beauvoir in her own intellectual and political context and demonstrates her continuing significance. Beauvoir still speaks, in a unique voice, to many pressing questions concerning politics: the values and dangers of liberal humanism; how oppressed groups become complicit in their own oppression; how social identities are perpetuated; the limits to rationalism; and the place of emotions, such as the desire for revenge, in politics. In discussing such matters Kruks puts Beauvoir's ideas into conversation with those of many contemporary thinkers, including feminist and race theorists, as well as with historical figures in the liberal, Hegelian, and Marxist traditions. To learn more about the book, click here.

News of 2012-2013 Research Associates

Maria San Filippo is the 2013-2015 Visiting Assistant Professor in Gender Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. She has recently published her book The B Word: Bisexuality in Contemporary Film and Television. Her next project is underway thanks to a generous fellowship from her undergraduate alma mater Wellesley College which will fund her travels next summer to document 21st century independent cinemas and filmmaking in Europe. She will be blogging and tweeting about her journeys and findings throughout next year at The Itinerant Cinephile and @cinemariasf. 


Julie Russo PhotoJulie Levin Russo is starting a new position as a faculty member at The EvergreenState College in Olympia, Washington. She was recently featured in a video dialogue on Feminism, Technology, and Sexualities for the FemTechNet DOOC which is available to view at


Eve Ng PhotoIn August 2013, former Research Associate Dr. Eve Ng joined Ohio University as an assistant professor jointly appointed in Women & Gender Studies and Media Arts & Studies, where she continues to pursue her scholarship on how gender, sexuality, race, class, and nation are defined and contested through media and culture.


News of 2011-2012 Research Associates

  • Kim Toffoletti: As a professor at Deakin University in Australia, her current interests remain on Australian female football fans, considering the dismantling and maintenance of gendered identities in sports. Toffoletti was recently invited to serve on the editorial board of the new journal Communication and Sport
  • Hye Gyong Park is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Illinois(Urbana-Champaign). 
  • Onni Gust, in collaboration with Ellen Boucher (Amherst College), put together a panel for the November 2012 North American Conference for British Studies on Imperial Exile. Gust will be a 2012-2013 Five College Associate through Five Colleges, Inc.
  • Anwar Alkhalldy will be continuing her doctoral research on Shi’I Islamism and Gender in Iraq at Free University Berlin. 

Aboard the Democracy TrainAboard the Democracy Train, written by Nafisa Hoobhoy, is a book detailing the decade of democracy in Pakistan (1988-1999) from the perspective of the only woman reporter working during the Zia era at ‘Dawn’, Pakistan’s leading English language newspaper. Through her own personal experiences of ethnic violence, women's rights and media freedoms, Nafisa provides an insight into the politics of the Pak-Afghan region in the post 9-11 era, and exposes how the absence of rule of law claimed the life of its only woman prime minister. (from amazon) Order it here.

Dr. Anissa Hélie was a Ford Research Associate in 2005 and gives credit to the FCWSRC for giving her the time and space  to finish her PhD research. “Being a Ford Associate also included teaching responsibilities and so my time there gave me a taste of the classroom environment—which proved useful as I am still teaching today.” Hélie's time at the center allowed her to meet a breadth of interesting people who were also working on original research.  She found the Five College Area “rich” with a great deal to offer on an intellectual scale.  Hélie is currently an assistant professor in the History Department at John Jay College in New York.  She is also has been working on a variety of publications, including co-editing “Sexuality in Muslim Contexts.”  She is on the board for the Center for Secular Space and Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML).   Hélie was recently part of a panel titled “Origin Myths of the Women’s Movement and Other Social Justice Movements” held by the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University.  Panel video available here

Dr. Danielle Bessett was a Research Associate at the FCWSRC from 2004-2005. She enjoyed a wealth of resources in the valley along with an intellectually vibrant community at the FCWSRC. She fondly recalls one of her first talks about her dissertation fieldwork, which was still a work in progress: “The feedback I received from then-Director Amrita Basu, my FCWSRC mentor Lynn Morgan, the other Fellows, and the audience was invaluable. Part of that talk, "Bearing the Fetus: Pregnancy Symptoms and the Ideal of Fetal Perfection," turned into my 2010 Social Science & Medicine article, "Negotiating Normalization: the perils of producing pregnancy symptoms in prenatal care.” The support she received from the center has had a “lasting influence” on her book in progress, “Pregnant with Possibility.” Currently, Bessett is a board member of the Abortion Rights Fund of Western Massachusetts (another connection she made at the center), which assists in providing abortion care to low income women.  She resides both in Amherst with her partner and in Cincinnati where she is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Cincinnati. Her UC profile depicts her range of interests and work in reproductive health. Bessett’s goal “is to address problems that can improve the prenatal care system for all women." (Photo taken by Kim Burdett)