Five College Women's Studies Research Center


Congratulations to FCWSRC Research Associate Johanna Ortner on the publication of her article "Lost No More: Recovering Frances Ellen Watkins Harper’s Forest Leaves" in Common-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 Politics
Congrats 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 Women
Congrats 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. The work restores Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), author of God's Word to Women, one of the most innovative and comprehensive feminist theologies ever written, to her rightful place in history. It illuminates the dynamic and often thorny relationship between faith and feminism in modern America and, most pointedly, reveals the challenges confronting Christian feminists today who wish to construct a sexual ethic that is both Christian and feminist.

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

Four Decades of Change
The FCWSRC is happy to honor Professor Martha Ackelsberg's retirement from Smith College after nearly 40 years of teaching there. In the event 'Four Decades of Change', a panel with Marilyn Schuster, Donna Robinson Divine, Susan Van Dyne and Ackelsberg discussed the transformation Smith College underwent as women faculty became more visible and years of struggle payed off as the college established a Women's and Gender Studies department.

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. 

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 Grullon
innovative 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.”

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.