Five College Women's Studies Research Center


Be sure to check out our archived videos on our YouTube page!

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 MHCFormer 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!

Meredith Nash TEDxHobartResearch Associate Meredith Nash recently spoke at TEDxHobarta vol­un­teer run, non­-profit ideas event that combines the internationally recognized TED brand with independent and local organizers to deliver their “ideas worth spreading”.

Nash's talk, "Picturing Pregnancy", explores how women document their experiences of pregnancy via photography in Tasmania. Two years and 2000 photographs later, she explains why these pictures invite new possibilities for thinking about pregnancy body image. Check out a recording of her talk here!

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.

The Pioneer Valley Bread House is a project of the FCWSRC "Gender and Bread" Learning Community and was recently featured in an article in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. You can also learn more by visiting the Pioneer Valley Bread House blog

Annina Rüst grant photoCongratulations to Fall research associate Annina Rüst for recieving a digital culture grant from Migros-Kulturprozent, a Swiss foundation, for her project entitled "A Piece of the Pie". To quote the foundation's jury, "The robotic installation 'A Piece of the Pie Chart' by US-based Swiss artist Annina Rüst proves a playful and humorous approach to the gender question in technology professions". Check out the press release here!

Former Research Associate Dr. Maria San Filippo 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. Dr. San Filippo has also accepted a two-year visiting assistant professorship at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she will be teaching popular culture courses in the Gender Studies Department.

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:

Former Research Associate, Dr. Ruth Glynn, has recently published her book Women, Terrorism and Trauma in Italian CultureAddressing cultural representations of women's participation in the political violence and terrorism of the Italian anni di piombo ('years of lead', c. 1969-83), this book conceptualizes Italy's experience of political violence during those years as a form of cultural and collective trauma. The intermittent clustering of cultural representations that feminize terrorism is interrogated in close relation to the psychological, social and political purposes served by such feminization at distinct historical moments. (

Edna Machirori, mother of former Research Associate Fungai Machirori, has been awarded the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) Lifetime Achievement Award for 2013. Machirori is a freelance journalist and columnist for The Daily News in Zimbabwe. As one of the first women in Zimbabwean media and as the first black female editor of a newspaper in Zimbabwe, she represented unprecedented achivement for women finding their place in a post-colonial landscape. 

Dr. Dorothy Chansky, a former FCWSRC Research Associate, is working on her current book-in-progress, Kitchen Sink Realisms: Domestic Labor in American Theatre and Drama. The work looks at two African American plays, Georgia Douglas Johnson’s lynching play Blue Blood (1926) and Langston Hughes’s satire Limitations of Life (1938), that present domestic labor in ways quite different from how contemporaneous plays aimed at white audiences (mainstream and noncommercial) and presented homemaking, the latter figuring domestic labor as either haven or trap. When black women were granted stage time in their own homes (i.e., not as maids) in the 1920s and 1930s, their host plays instead highlighted a wholly different set of problems within their everyday lives. 

A film by former Research Associate Lilach Naishtat-Bornstein (2010-2011)  and Hans-Peter Lubke, The Weeping Willow: Between Home and Homeland (2012, 45 min.) has been released in a DVD edition with English subtitles. The film tells the story of Karla, whose entire family perished in the Holocaust. After living forty years in Israel, Karla receives a letter from a history teacher in her German hometown, asking her to tell of her experience in the town during the Nazi regime. The film accompanies 83-year old Karla in her annual journey from Israel to Germany, revealing her maneuvering between homes, identities, communities and languages, in search of an established torn-whole identity.  For more information, contact Lilach Naishtat-Bornstein at or see raveh.html

Former Research Associate Sarah S. Kilborne's new book American
Phoenix: The Remarkable Story of William Skinner was released by Simon
& Schuster on October 16, 2012. For more information about Kilbourne's book click here and here

A new title by former FCWSRC Ford Associate Nafisa Hoodbhoy, Aboard
the Democracy Train: A Journey Through Pakistan's Last Decade of
Democracy was released in April 2011 by Anthem Politics and
International Relations. Currently a journalist working in the United
States, from 1984-2000 Hoodbhoy was staff reporter for the English
daily Dawn newspaper in Karachi.

Spring 2012 Highlights

On Saturday, March 31 at 7:00pm in Chapin Auditorium of Mary Woolley Hall on the Mount Holyoke College campus in South Hadley, the FCWSRC was pleased to present “An Evening with Rachel Maddow” where she read from her new book, Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power. Co-sponsored by the Odyssey Bookshop and the Mount Holyoke College Department of Gender Studies. Click on the photo below to watch Maddow's talk. 

Photo By Seth Kaye

Featured: Project Eugénie, Spring 2012

Mount Holyoke College students perform excerpts from the Unruly Passions of Eugénie R. by Carole DeSanti on April 5, 2012 at the FCWSRC. DeSanti, a former FCWSRC Research Associate and VP and Editor at Large with the Penguin Group, read from her book that evening to a standing-room only audience at the Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley. Her reading was followed by a celebration and performance at the FCWSRC.