Research Associates 2018-2019

List of 2018-2019 Research Associates

Academic Year Associates

Fall Term Associates

Spring Term Associates


Laura briggs

professor, DEPARTMENT OF women, gender, sexuality studies  UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST

The Future Is Born in Small Places or, An Archive of Colonialism: Debt, Imperialism, Marronage, and Freedom in the Caribbean          

This book project will construct a critical historical narrative on the role debt has played in the Caribbean in the past forty years in shaping new forms of imperialism, and to relate it to the visions of freedom emerging out of the long history of slavery, abolition, and maronnage (running away and living free), particularly as they have been understood by transnational feminist thought and the material practices of reproduction and the reproductive labor of keeping households together. It is guided by questions about debt and freedom, specifically what kind of politics provided a notion of freedom that was robust enough to resist what scholar Jodi Kim has called “debt imperialism.” It centers a set of relationships previously associated with austerity programs and IMF structural adjustment programs that have moved closer in to intra-United States relations, on display for example in the Puerto Rican fiscal control board and the demonstrations in the streets of San Juan.

Laura Briggs is Professor and Chair of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an interdisciplinary scholar of reproductive politics and the U.S. relationship to Latin America. She is an internationally known historian of reproductive politics, who in recent years has spoken in Barcelona, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Paris. She has published dozens of articles, most recently in the International Feminist Journal of PoliticsFeminist StudiesRadical History ReviewThe Scholar and the FeministAmerican Indian Quarterly; and American Quarterly, on topics ranging from Puerto Rico and debt imperialism to Central American child migrants. Her new book is entitled How All Politics Became Reproductive Politics: From Welfare Reform to Foreclosure to Trump (University of California Press Reproductive Justice Series). She is the author of Somebody's Children: The Politics of Transracial and Transnational Adoption (2012), which won the Rawley Prize from the Organization of American Historians for the best book on US race relations, and Reproducing Empire: Race, Sex, Science and U.S. Imperialism in Puerto Rico. Her Ph.D. is from Brown University's Department of American Studies, 1998.

Amy Cox Hall

visiting assistant professor, DEPARTMENT OF anthropology     amherst college

Cooking up Heritage: Food, Race and Modernity in 1950s Peru

Although recent scholarship has considered the ways in which the current gastronomic boom in Peru relies on, and perpetuates, class and race hierarchies, there is little understanding of the role food has had in shaping national images and identities prior to the boom. Focused on Zoila Patroni, who published the first mass-produced cookbook in 1947, and Teresa Ocampo, who hosted the first televised cooking show in 1958, this study examines the ways race, gender and modernity were constructed around food during a period of authoritarianism, aggressive export-led capitalist expansion, industrialization and imported domestic appliances and foodstuffs.

Amy Cox Hall is a writer and cultural anthropologist with specializations in Peru and the United States. Her current research focuses on food, women, modernity and nostalgia in Peru today and in the 1950s. Her work has appeared in History of Photography, Journal of Political Ecology, Ethnohistory and various edited book collections. Her first book, Framing a Lost City: Science, Photography and the Making of Machu Picchu, was published by University of Texas Press in Fall 2017.

frances davey

assistant professor, DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY                              Florida gulf coast University

"Strong and Sure as Well as Fair and Soft": Physical Education, Athletics and the Roots of Women's Physical Activism         

This book project restores fitness programming to its central spot in the curriculum, campus culture, and public discourse through case studies of single-sex and coeducational colleges and universities. It traces the emergence of modern debates on women’s activism as played out through women’s collegiate fitness programming. Drawing from administrative documents, faculty records, and student ephemera, it is argued that college women debated evolving ideologies of reproductive agency, vocational aspirations, and other forms of independence through fitness programming. From the beginnings of modern physical education curricula, to the wild success of extracurricular basketball, to an emphasis on swimming as sport, undergraduates embodied and performed progressive ideologies filtered through regional identities. Over the course of roughly half a century, this growing demographic participated in a public discourse over the power of women in public and private life. Ultimately, generations of women athletes created a model of progressive physically active activism, or physical activism, that took hold in the early 20th century and stands today as women spearhead marches and protests surrounding issues such as abortion and equal pay.   

Frances Davey is an Assistant Professor of History at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Florida. After working in museum education, collections management, and curatorial, she received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization from the University of Delaware in 2011. Her teaching and research interests focus on U.S. women’s history of the 19th and 20th century, oral history, material culture, and public history. Her current research includes oral history projects focused on abortion and reproductive rights as well as childhood narratives of World War II. She is currently working on a manuscript titled “’Strong and Sure as Well as Fair and Soft’: Physical Education, Athletics, and the Roots of Women’s Physical Activism.” This work highlights the early history of women’s collegiate fitness programming as the genesis of gender-based physically active political activism.

crystal hayes

phD candidate, School of social work                                            University of connecticut

Incarcerated: A Critical Phenomenological Study of the Childbearing Experiences of Incarcerated Women of Color

Using a critical phenomenological research design, this study seeks to offer an in-depth understanding into the lived experiences of formerly incarcerated pregnant women of color and how they narrate their reproductive healthcare experiences and agency over their own bodies. This study applies two critical social theories—reproductive justice and Black feminist thought—to provide the relevant context for understanding how race, class, and gender helps to shape this phenomenon. Through in-depth interviews with formerly incarcerated women of color and key stakeholders, this study will provide insight into what it means to be pregnant, imprisoned, mothering, and a member of a racially stigmatized group. It also elaborates on how women of color narrate and negotiate this phenomenon from the perspective and principles of reproductive justice. By focusing on women of color, this study roots itself in core social work values of self-determination and social justice while also driving new theoretical pursuits for reproductive justice in social work research, practice, and education.

Crystal M. Hayes, MSW, is interested in using qualitative tools to explore the birthing experiences of incarcerated pregnant women of color as a human-rights, feminist, and reproductive justice issue. She seeks to specifically understand the physiological and psychological implications of shackling incarcerated pregnant women and girls and its impact on their childbearing experiences and behavioral mental health. Crystal is committed to promoting the need for social work political advocacy on issues of reproductive justice and mass incarceration, particularly as it relates to women and girls of color. She works closely with local, national and international advocacy and human rights groups working on reproductive justice and anti-shackling campaigns.

Crystal is the 2017 recipient of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Council on Social Work Education Minority Doctoral Fellowship Program. In 2016, she was the recipient of the White House Equity Research Grant on Women and Girls of Color. Crystal has a MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work and she completed her undergraduate degree at Mount Holyoke College where she was a double major in Politics and African American Studies. Crystal has more than seven years of student experience at various institutions including Smith College School for Social Work, the School of Social at the University of Connecticut, and North Carolina State University in the Department of Social Work.

charlotte karam                       

Associate professor, School of Business                                    AMerican university of Beirut

Conversations on Sexual Harassment: Multisector, Multidisciplinary Coproduction of Knowledge

The project explores the ideas around sexual harassment in Lebanon through an “Institutional Logics” lens. Multisector, multidisciplinary conversations were organized under the umbrella of a business school initiative aimed at raising awareness about the experience of sexual harassment and at mobilizing for policy change at the organizational and legislative levels. The analysis will attempt to trace the differing logics, and the links between individuals’ ideas and the broader structural relations and cultural systems. Furthermore, this project will compare this analysis against a secondary analysis of similar conversations that can be accessed through the Schlesinger Library (e.g., National Association of Working Women, National Organization for Women). Through this juxtaposition, we can situate notions of sexual harassment within broader patterns of discrimination, power, and privilege, allow for a comparative perspective between the US and Lebanon, and help advance policy critiques and localized strategic agendas combatting sexual harassment.

Charlotte Karam is an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean of Programs at the Olayan School of Business, American University of Beirut. She identifies as a scholar-activist whose work broadly examines and pushes for responsible engagement of organizations, with a more recent focus on the career ecosystems of women and refugees. She is largely interested in examining how businesses can adopt more responsible and development-oriented initiatives relevant and impactful in developing economies. Animated by concerns about power, gender, and institutional logics, much of her work draws from and informs the overlapping conversations about public policy and responsible business behavior in the Arab MENA. Recent scholarly publications appear in Journal of World Business, Journal of Business Ethics, Business Ethics Quarterly, Business & Society, International Journal of Management ReviewsAsia-Pacific Journal of Management, Career Development International, Women’s Studies International Forum and others. Charlotte was recently selected as an Area Editor at the Journal of Business Ethics where she will manage the International Human Resource Management and Development section, adding to her editorial service where she also serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal Business Ethics: European Review. Teaching advanced courses in human capital development, leadership development, organizational behavior and business ethics, her classroom innovation has been recognized through the university’s teaching excellence award. Charlotte is also an Advisor Board member of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, which works to encourage and support sexuality, gender and bodily rights’ movements in the Middle East and North Africa through capacity building, knowledge production, exchange, and security and emergency response.

ynestra king

independent scholar                              

Barbara Deming Reconsidered: Feminism, Nonviolence, and the Politics of Intersectionality

Barbara Deming is the most significant almost unknown theorist and practitioner of nonviolence in the twentieth century. Deming was decades ahead of her contemporaries in the secular pacifist movement, and her struggle from the 1950s onward toward a politics of intersectionality anticipated our contemporary moment.  She asserts that rather than being passe, non-violence is in its infancy, and that it is the only means by which the “triple pronged sickness” of racism, excessive materialism and militarism can be overcome. This project will be a careful study of Deming's life and work, with a focus on the relationships between feminism, peace, anti-racism, gender non-conformity, and non-violence as they evolved in Deming’s thinking, and in her life of embodied practice.  

Ynestra King is an ecofeminist writer, teacher, oral historian and activist. She is a native of Selma, Alabama where she first observed the practice of nonviolent resistance, which was to become a lifelong preoccupation. She is an originator of  ecofeminism and she is currently working on a book collection of her many publications in response to requests from climate activists around the US, and in Europe, India and the Middle East, as well as a memoir. She cofounded Women and Life on Earth, and convened the first ever ecofeminist gathering in 1980, which organized the anti-militarist Women's Pentagon Action, and contributed to the ecology and peace encampment movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Ynestra has taught at several colleges and universities including the New School and Columbia University.   More recently, she has written about disability, and originated and directed an oral history project at Columbia University, interviewing people living with significant disabilities and physical trauma (“Listening With the Whole Body in Mind”). Her work continues to be concerned with feminism, climate change, embodied politics, community, and the practice of radical nonviolence. She continues to be affiliated with the Institute for Social Ecology and is on the Board of the A.J. Muste Foundation. She strives to live a life of radical amazement.

susanne kranz   

independent scholar                                      

Women Manning Up: Gendered Employment in the German Democratic Republic

This research project focuses on the state-sanctioned women’s policies, their implementation in East German factories, and how women perceived these policies and the officially proclaimed emancipation of the sexes. It further explores the everyday lives of women working in factories, thereby looking at life stories and expectations between 1949 and 1990, clearly highlighting its relevance to women and gender studies. This work documents the ordinary and everyday lives of women in the GDR supporting the idea that normal lives were possible under state communism distancing itself from the wide-spread belief that the GDR was purely a niche society and/or a dictatorship. There is no question about the restrictive and repressive nature of the state but the abundant discussions among academics never clarify what is meant by ordinary, hence this research is placed within the larger context of this issue arguing that East German women and men lived ordinary lives since they lived in this specific society. This context offers opportunities for further exploration of women’s self-identity as women and as workers and their life stories under state communism. The emancipation of women was officially achieved hence any failure to be a full member of socialist society was credited as the individual woman’s failure. A failure that was not openly discussed since father state (Vater Staat) had provided everything women needed to fulfill societal expectations. Yet, women were constantly measured by male standards and compared to their male colleagues, shaping the expression of women manning up (Frauen stehen ihren Mann), hence reinforcing and even strengthening traditional gender stereotypes and hierarchies. The question is if and how women felt supported by the state’s women’s policies and their respective employers, and how this in turn shaped their identities as women and as workers.

Susanne Kranz received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Leeds in the UK. From 2010 to 2018 she worked as an Assistant Professor of History at Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. She is a historian with a special interest in left-oriented activism, women and gender studies, and German and South Asian history. Her most recent publications include: “Der Sozialismus Siegt (Socialism Triumphs) - Women’s Ordinary Lives in an East German Factory” in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, 2017; “Frauen für den Frieden – oppositional group or bored troublemakers?” in the Journal of International Women’s Studies, 2015 and Between Rhetoric and Activism: Marxism and Feminism in the Indian Women’s Movement (Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2015).

susana loza

associate professor of critical race, gender, and media studies, Hampshire College 

Settler Colonial Gothic

Settler Colonial Gothic excavates the settler colonial and gothic traces in contemporary horror television and film in hopes of unraveling how sex, race, disability, and monstrosity are tangled in the American settler imagination. Settler Colonial Gothic unmasks the inextricable connections between gender construction, racial formation, and monsterization in the US colonial settler state.  While settler colonial critique is a potent mode of theoretical analysis, the vital role that gender, sexuality, and monstrosity play in the construction and maintenance of settler colonial structures is under-examined. Settler Colonial Gothic employs an intersectional feminist and critical media studies approach that elucidates these complexities by bringing together film and television studies, critical race theory, settler colonial studies, disability studies, gothic studies, horror literary criticism, queer theory, and women, gender, and sexuality studies.

Susana Loza is an Associate Professor of Critical Race, Gender and Media Studies at Hampshire College. She received B.A. degrees in Political Science and Psychology from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She teaches cultural studies, critical race theory, film and media studies, popular music, feminist theory, and ethnic studies. Her research interests include the social construction of race and sex in speculative media; power, privilege and cultural appropriation; gender and ethnic performativity in digital spaces; the politics of sampling and remixing; colonial cosplay in steampunk; the activist potential of social media; and the post-racial turn in popular culture.

Loza’s publications include “Remixing the Imperial Past: Doctor Who, British Slavery, and the White Savior’s Burden,” “Colonial Cosplay: Steampunk and the After-Life of Empire,” “Hashtag Feminism, #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen, and the Other #FemFuture,” “Playing Alien in Post-Racial Times,” “Samples of the Past: Performative Nostalgia, Illicit Sounds, and Cultural Transformation in Latin House Music,” “Sampling (Hetero)sexuality: Diva-ness and Discipline in Electronic Dance Music,” “Vampires, Queers, and Other Monsters: Against the Homonormativity of True Blood,” and “Orientalism and Film Noir: Subjective Sins and Othered Desires.” 

Her book, Speculative Imperialisms: Monstrosity and Masquerade in Postracial Times (Lexington Books, 2017), explores the (settler) colonial ideologies underpinning the monstrous imaginings of contemporary popular culture in the Britain and the US. Through a close examination of District 9, Avatar, Doctor Who, Planet of the Apes, and steampunk culture, Loza illuminates the durability of (settler) colonialism and how it operates through two linked yet distinct forms of racial mimicry: monsterization and minstrelsy. Speculative Imperialisms contemplates the fundamental, albeit changing, role that such racial simulations play in a putatively postracial and post-colonial era.                                                   



Launch Productions: The Independent Films of Patricia Montoya

This research will focus on the development stage (script writing and fundraising research), for the following film projects:

  • La Niña de La Carta, an animation short about a young woman/spirit in NYC that engages in long solitary, aimless walks in New York City and can’t satisfy her hunger for food and love. 
  • A Pilgrimage Music Video Documentary into Gloria Anzaldúa’s Borderlands, a visual annotated experimental non-fiction film about the late scholar, poet and social critic, Chicana feminist Gloria Anzaldúa’s theories of sexuality and borderlands using the music video tropes developed by Latina feminist collective Kegels for Hagel (artists and academics Professors Alexis Salas, Visiting Assistant Professor at Hampshire College and Sarah Luna, Visiting Assistant Professor of Latin American Studies at Davidson College).
  • Una Mujer Desnuda / A Naked Woman, a short film that fuses elements of classic film noir, modern Latin American theater and quixotic inferences to explore a woman’s perspective on the power of language, the female body and sexuality.  

Patricia Montoya is a video maker and educator transplanted to Western Mass via San Diego, California, to which she was transplanted via Brooklyn, NY, in turn transplanted via Queens, NY, from Medellin, Colombia.

In her creative work, Patricia draws on her bi-national identity and her Queer, US/Mexico border and East-West North American experience to tackle the existential conditions and cultural contradictions experienced by immigrants from Latin America who are living in the United States.  Her videos address issues of migration, memory and identity through lyrical explorations of text, dialogue, theatrical adaptations and the depiction of intimate human relations within the context of urban landscapes.  Patricia is a product of the cultural and political movements of the 1990's, which were characterized by the impetus to express, in a personal voice, and with a sense of urgency, issues of identity and belonging.  

She is currently in the developmental stages of various projects including the production of the Power of Words Written, a documentary about cancer survival stories told from the perspective of the members of the writing support group at The Cancer Support Community, Benjamin Center, LA. She is also collaborating in the production of The Real Women of Orange is the New Black, a documentary series co-directed by Carol Skelsky Soto and Braccus Giovanno based on the Netflix series Orange is the New Black.   

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 at Hampshire College.  

neelofer qadir

PHD CANDIDATE, DEPARTMENT OF english                                            UNIVERSITY OF massachusetts amherst 

Afrasian Imaginaries: Global Capitalism and Labor Migration in Indian Ocean Fiction, 1990-2015

Afrasian Imaginaries focuses on representations of Afro-Asian multilateral movements across the ocean to recast narratives of global capitalism that foreground the Indian Ocean World's millennium-old systems of trade and exchange. Organized against the logic of the imperial archives that partition connected histories, this project participates in a robust interdisciplinary endeavor that questions distinctions between freedom/enslavement and independent/colonized. Together, this dissertation crafts broader relational analyses of global capitalisms, illustrating how a contemporary Indian Ocean archive of imaginative works (including fiction by Ngugi wa Thiong'o and Amitav Ghosh; and performance-prose by Shailja Patel to name a few texts) uses histories of the region as a resource to re-articulate relationships across the ocean’s littoral. Circumventing center-periphery approaches to studies of the Global South, Afrasian Imaginaries develops a framework for understanding the intersections of postcolonial statecraft in south-south contexts, the circulation of ideologies of freedom, and the transfer of technologies of discipline and surveillance in labor zones across the Indian Ocean.

Neelofer Qadir is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she is completing her dissertation Afrasian Imaginaries: Global Capitalism and Labor Migration in Indian Ocean Fictions, 1990 - 2015. She received her MA from the English department at UMass and her BA in Film Studies and Literature from Pace University (NYC). Her research and teaching interests are at the intersections of Global South studies, Black Studies, and histories of capitalism. Neelofer's article on Shailja Patel's Migritude is forthcoming in a special issue on "Indian Ocean Trajectories" in Eastern African Literary and Cultural Studies. She has presented at the annual meetings of the Modern Language Association, American Comparative Literature Association, and the African Literature Association. 

Neelofer teaches at UMass Amherst, where her courses engage with contemporary world literature and visual art, film studies, literature of the British empire, and composition (including a focus on multilingual writers and writing). At the Amherst College Writing Center, she works as a writing consultant, which includes offering one-on-one consultations and facilitating a support group for thesis writers. She is also a contributing author to GradHacker.


PHD CANDIDATE, DEPARTMENT OF SociologY                                      University of Connecticut

Queer Passages and the Assemblages of Blackness: Black Identity, Social Justice, and Decolonial Possibilities

This dissertation examines how Black identity is constructed, negotiated, and utilized by Black/Afro-descendant activists in the United States and Brazil. The research pays particular attention to activists who are also gender and sexual minorities – those identifying as women or LGBTQ folks – involved in racial justice organizing across the Americas and these two nations specifically. Informed by queer/trans of color critique and intersectional feminist scholarship, this project asks 1) how race, gender, sexuality, nation augment activists’ constructions of “Blackness” – as identity, historical subject, and globalized phenomenon – and 2) how these interpretations of identity relate to activists’ social movement frameworks and organizing practices. Moreover, the intention of this work is not to compare the U.S. and Brazilian contexts “against” each other individually, but rather, to offer empirical evidence that advances scholarship on Black diaspora in particular and understandings of identity, racialization, and social movements more broadly through a queer, transnational perspective. To explore these issues, the project uses a series of qualitative methods including semi-structured interviews, ethnography, and content analysis. 

Chriss Sneed is a ​PhD Candidate at University of Connecticut and the 2018-2019 Student Representative of Sociologists for Women in Society. As a young scholar working at the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality, Chriss relies on queer of color critique and critical feminist analytics to examine inequality within our social world. Recent publications include “Sociology as a Discipline and an Obligation” coauthored with Dr. David Embrick (Contexts Magazine), along with two book chapters in separate volumes set for print in late 2018. Currently, Chriss is working on their dissertation in addition to several in-progress article- and book review-length manuscripts. Outside of research, Chriss is the founder and co-organizer of the interdisciplinary conference “Borderlands: A Critical Graduate Symposium” held each year at University of Connecticut. Additionally, Chriss has served as President of the Graduate Student Senate and a student representative for the University Senate’s Executive Committee, Diversity Committee, and the Task Force on Free Speech and Civility while attending UConn.

Anagha Tambe

Director and Assistant Professor, department of women's studies, Savitribai phule pune university

"Vulgarization" of Folk Culture: Gendered Labor, Sexual Performance and Caste Stigma in Contemporary India

This project seeks to examine the transformation in performance labour in neo-liberal times focusing on two popular dance and music practices in India involving ‘lower caste’ women artists. While the labor in cultural industries ‘creating symbols’ and ‘producing and circulating texts’ has been analyzed; the questions of what constitutes cultural labor, and who are cultural workers come to be debated, and become more contentious for the cultural labur in ‘underground’ worlds of performance marked as ‘vulgar’. This research focuses two practices of performance labor in Maharashtra, a state in western India, one of ritual dance and music- jagaran, and the other of erotic dance and music- lavani. It tries to explore how both the practices, albeit differentially, are legitimized as ‘folk art’ of the region and consequently celebrated and supported by the state; but how these practices simultaneously have come to be de-aestheticized, marked as ‘vulgar’ in terms of being sexually degenerated, trivial, crude, and unrefined, and lacking artistic skills.

It aims to examine the precariousness of cultural labour performed by these women performers on both, the ‘traditional’ occupational sites declining in contemporary times, and newly emerging occupational sites in towns and cities. It seeks to focus their occupational and cultural struggles and negotiations. The project will attempt to examine their experiences through interviews conducted while in India, available documentation of their narratives, and also through their autobiographies and biographies in the Indian language of Marathi.    

Anagha Tambe  is an Assistant Professor and Director at the KSP Women’s Studies Centre, Savitribai Phule Pune University, Maharashtra, India. She holds doctorate from University of Mumbai, and M. Phil. from Delhi School of Economics, after her post-graduation from the University of Pune. Her areas of research include gender, sexuality and the caste question, disciplinary histories of Women’s Studies in India, and inequalities and democracy in higher education. She has written on the devadasi question in post colonial Maharashtra, and the debates on sex work and caste. She has recently completed a collaborative research project on ‘Inclusive Universities’ along with the University of Massachusetts Amherst under US-Indo Knowledge Initiative for the 21st Century.

Tambe has been engaged in designing and teaching courses, and developing critical bilingual pedagogies in Women’s Studies. She has edited, translated and written many teaching learning resources in women’s studies, also in Marathi. Tambe is presently the General Secretary of Indian Association for Women’s Studies, the national level professional body for Women’s Studies in India. She was also awarded the Fulbright-Nehru academic and professional excellence fellowship for 2018- 2019.

FALL 2018

jen jack gieseking                     

assistant professor, DEPARTMENT OF Geography                        University of kentucky            

Privates: Private Space Through the Lens of Queer Feminism

Work on public space has long established its role in democratic U.S. society, while scholars mostly link private spaces to women’s and transgender lives. At the same time, the contentious line between public-private in the digital sphere is highly debated. Through previous research into the production of urban and digital spaces by “invisible” lesbians, queers, and transgender people, it became clear that what or who is marked “visible” is often what is public or who can lay claim to public space. These trends increasingly provoked the question: what is private space? In other words, how do marginalized Americans’ everyday experiences of private space inform larger notions of U.S. or “American” culture, and how do they especially shape American gender and sexual norms and values?  This book project is an exploration of the social production of private space with a particular interest in the American context, primarily focusing on the 1980s through the present. Drawing on the experiences of gender and sexually marginalized groups in both physical and digital spaces, including women, transgender people, lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and queers, this book explores a series of five representative sites—some physical, some digital. These locations have played and continue to play powerful roles in shaping the lives of gender and sexual minorities in the U.S., and shaping American identity and culture more generally. The project relies on archival research of text and visual analysis throughout; the final chapters also draw on interviews and data visualizations created using geographic information systems (GIS) and social network analysis, in order to make both verbalize and visualize meanings of private space over time.

Jen Jack Gieseking is Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Kentucky. He is engaged in research on co-productions of space and identity in digital and material environments, specifically how such spaces support or inhibit social, spatial, and economic justice in regards to gender and sexuality. He is working on his second book project, A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queer Women, 1983-2008, which is under contract with NYU Press. He is beginning work on a new book, Privates: Private Space through the Lens of Queer Feminism.

Shagufta Nasreen

Assistant Professor, DEPARTMENT OF women's studies                UNIVERSITY OF Karachi 

Gender and Micro-Financing: A South Asian Experience

This research argues that micro-financing is embraced in developing countries as a development intervention for women's empowerment despite growing into a large global industry creating a cycle of dependency for its borrowers. Drawing on evidence from qualitative field research this project explores the experiences of Pakistani women borrowers and intends to compare it to the earlier studies in the South Asian region to analyze how their work situations are shaped by local socio-cultural norms and globalized development agendas. Further, it will explore what makes microfinance so attractive as a development intervention though it is a global industry based on a neo-liberal approach to empowerment. The research is based on interviews with 120 women who have taken loans from institutions/organizations providing small credits in Karachi city. In addition to that, input regarding the delivery process and rationale of gender-based development programs from policymakers and organizations working for gender and development in South Asia, semi-structured interviews are undertaken with major microfinance institutions, policymakers, and development practitioners. In the last step, a secondary data analysis and comparison of findings of this research with earlier studies in South Asia will help to build a deeper understanding of globalized development agendas and its role in women's empowerment.

Shagufta Nasreen is an Assistant Professor in the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Studies, University of Karachi. Her research and teaching interests include gender and development, women and work, globalization, environment and media. She started her research work by studying challenges faced by women home-based workers in Karachi city for her Master’s Thesis in 2001. The research findings were later compiled to publish a book Home-Based Workers: A Silent Workforce by the Centre of Excellence for Women’s Studies with the financial assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO). Her doctoral research, “Impact of Globalization on Women Workers in Urban Industrial Sector of Karachi” analyzed how globalization is one of the major factors that has transformed women's roles in contemporary Pakistani society. She has presented her work at several conferences in Pakistan. 

Nasreen has published a chapter in Handbook of Research on Women's Issues and Rights in the Developing World (IGI Global) on "Emerging Trends and Challenges Faced in Womens Employment and Self-Employment in Pakistan" and several research papers to her credit. Her work has appeared in Pakistan Journal of Applied EconomicsJournal of Gender and Social Issues and Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies. She is an active member of the Editorial Board of Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies.


MARY NJERI KINYANJUI                         


Solidarity Entrepreneurialism: The Case for Enfranchising Women Peasants, Artisans and Traders in the Global Economy

After studying women peasants, artisans and traders for many decades, I have decided to develop a feminist method of including them in the global economy through solidarity entrepreneurialism. The project entails developing training materials on methods for enfranchising women peasants, artisans and traders into the global economy. It will aim at developing feminist methods that will take into account the women's creative agency, their inherent self-determination to provide for themselves and their offspring as well as their solidarity entrepreneurialism. The feminist methods will also include the women's understanding of wealth and well-being in addition to the institutions they have created to harness human agency. The strategies will replace past efforts to include women in the global economy which had imposed dissonance with the women's logic, norms and values of farming, craft and trade activities.

Mary Njeri Kinyanjui is a senior research fellow at the Institute for Development Studies, University of Nairobi. She has carried out many research projects in her country Kenya. She started her research by studying the location, structure, role and linkages of large, medium and small enterprises in the central region of Kenya for her MA and PhD degree. As a career researcher at the Institute for Development Studies, she has carried research geared to informing policy on entrepreneurship, barriers to enterprise growth, gender relations in micro and small enterprises, innovation, enterprise clustering and value chains in small enterprise. In 2004, she decided to change her approach to the study of economic informality as sector for survivalist, ‘yet to be’ businesses. She observed that businesses in economic informality are a mode of production dominated by traders, artisans, peasants and fisherfolk. She began by focusing on archival research, orature and case studies to determine the origin, entry,  raison detre, relationships, communities, learning, formation of rules and regulations for governing self  and deployment of surplus to examine why the mode survives in the 21st century. She also investigated the way traders, artisans, peasants and fisherfolk  impact on the city’s housing, culture, journeys to work, and urban politics. She has also been involved in education activism in public schools by working with parents from peasant, traders and artisan background. She has publications in Singapore Journal of Tropical GeographyHemisphereGeographical Review, Journal of East African Development and ResearchInternational Journal of Research and Development. She has published books with Zed Books of London,  Nsemia Publisher and Laanga Press. She writes opinions in local dailies and for the World Policy Institute Africa Angle.

Megan nanney                      

phd Candidate, Department of sociology & women's and gender studies, virginia tech

Open Gates: Inclusion Policies, Transfeminism, and Transgender Student Experiences at Gender Inclusive Women’s Colleges 

Since 2013, at least nineteen women’s colleges in the United States have adopted public transgender admissions policies that outline varying biomedical, social, and legal criteria for who may apply to the institution to include trans women, men, and occasionally gender non-conforming students. Through a year-long ethnography at two women’s colleges, the purpose of this study is to examine if and how these policies enact feminist missions of social justice, diversity, and inclusion through the practices, production, and regulation of gender on campus. Ethnographic data for this research come from archival research on the histories of diversity on campus, interviews with students, alumni, and staff/faculty/administration, and collaborative observations with transgender students for one academic year. As an ethnography of how womanhood as a social category becomes comprehensible, admissible, and livable, this dissertation complicates our understanding of how policies work, how gender is reinforced in the women’s college setting, and seeks to transform institutional practices through a trans justice framework.  

Megan (Maggie) Nanney is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at Virginia Tech and Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Smith College. Maggie’s research focuses on diversity and inclusion in gendered spaces. Their current project examines transgender inclusive admissions policies and student experiences at two women’s colleges. Through this research, Maggie strives to complicate understandings of how policies work, how gender is reinforced in the organizational setting, and seeks to transform institutional practices through a trans justice framework. They have additional projects on trans exclusionary radical feminism and gender critical perspectives, and women’s experiences within craft beer culture. Maggie's work can be found in Gender & Society, Advances in Gender Research, Research in Higher Education, Journal of LGBT Youth and forthcoming book chapters. Maggie currently serves as the co-chair for the Sociologists for Trans Justice Advancing Trans, Non-binary, and Intersex Scholarship Committee and is a consultant for the Campaign for Southern Equality Southern LGBTQ+ Health Survey.