Dr. Bonnie Moradi, Director

I have been thinking a lot about the importance of community and feminist intersectional praxis – the inextricable link between scholarship and action for social change. Many of us attended the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA) conference this year. As usual, there was inspiring research, teaching, and activism to learn about. However, what was most remarkable to me was the strength of community among the attendees; strength of community in terms of numbers, in terms of diversity (e.g., centering women of color and trans and gender non-conforming people), and in terms of joy, laughter, and connection through praxis. This sense of community and joy was particularly powerful given that the work itself was often about challenging and painful topics such as hate-based violence, social inequalities, and experiences of marginalization and erasure.

I think about community as the process and the outcome of our praxis – an important part of how we do our work and what we achieve through our work. Prominent feminist scholars have written about community in inspiring ways. Patricia Hill Collins’ calls for building “coalitions of conscience” grounded in empathy, ethics of social justice, and intersectional understanding of community. Audre Lorde alludes to community when she says “the sharing of joy, whether physical, emotional, psychic, or intellectual, forms a bridge between the sharers which can be the basis for understanding much of what is not shared between them, and lessens the threat of their difference.” Adrienne Rich describes communities of resistance in which “the sharing of work” fosters an empowering joy that makes us, as Lorde describes “less willing to accept powerlessness,…resignation, despair, self-effacement, depression, self-denial…”

I view our work as scholars, teachers, students, and practitioners as a source of joy and community that is a powerful countervailing force to the systems of inequalities and dynamics of erasure that we are working to understand and transform.

Many of our initiatives this year reflect this notion of community and praxis, connecting our scholarship with transformative action. For example, this semester, Dr. Manoucheka Celeste and Dr. Bryce Henson organized a brownbag building community with first generation graduate students at UF. With Dr. Laura Guyer’s leadership, our students worked with Gainesville4All to gather input from our neighbors throughout Gainesville about their needs and how to promote equity in our communities. With Dr. Maddy Coy’s expertise, we are organizing #HearMeToo, a series of events to recognize International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and 16 days of activism against gender-based violence in our communities. With Dr. Billy Huff’s expertise, in spring, we will offer the Center’s (and UF’s) first course on Transgender Studies. All of these initiatives connect scholarship with teaching with action. This work is the cornerstone of building communities through feminist intersectional praxis. We thank each of you for being a part of building and sustaining this work and community.

The Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research held its annual Fall Reception on September 12 in the Atrium in Ustler Hall. Director Bonnie Moradi welcomed over 100 guests including core and affiliate faculty, students, and friends of the Center. Dean Richardson offered words of pride and encouragement for the Center.

New and returning graduate students, new and continuing affiliate faculty, and campus and community partners were celebrated.
Student awards included the O. Ruth McQuown Awards, Madelyn Lockhart Dissertation and Emerging Scholars Awards, and the Cindy Colangelo Award for Breast Cancer Awareness.

The Distinguished Affiliate Contribution Award was presented to Center Affiliate and former Center Director Dr. Judy Page. After an inspiring talk to reception attendees, Center Affiliate, Dr. Zoharah Simmons, was honored with the Uppity Woman Award for her inspiring scholarship and activism.

Former Director Judith W. Page (right) is presented with the Distinguished Affiliate Contribution Award at the Fall 2018 Reception.

We are delighted to welcome our new graduate students to the Center’s MA program: Shyamala Engelhart, Andreina Fernandez, Kaylee Kagiavas, Logan Neser, and Melissa Powers. These students bring a rich range of experiences and interests:

Shyamala Engelhart has a BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her research interests include the intersection of gender and aging, with a focus on how contemporary women are resisting and rewriting common aging narratives and finding empowerment through online platforms such as blogging. Shyamala is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and her hobbies include playing chess, singing, and meditation.

Andreina Fernandez graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a B.S. in Psychology, a B.A. Linguistics, and a minor in Disabilities in Society. Her research focuses on Latinx identity, queer identities, and immigration.
Kaylee Kagiavas graduated with an Individualized Studies BA with minors in women’s studies, history, and psychology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2018. Her research and interests are focused on reproductive politics, women’s history, and nonprofit work. She is excited to further explore women’s and gender studies topics throughout her MA.

Logan Neser graduated from the University of Florida with his BA in Women’s Studies and two minors in Health Disparities and Public Health. He currently works as the graduate assistant for LGBTQ Affairs. He hopes to focus his research on the medicalization of transgender people’s identities and the ways that trans people contest this. He is also interested in disability studies and mental health.

Melissa Powers graduated from the University of Florida in 2017 with a BS in psychology and a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexualities Studies. It was in large part her work in feminist and queer theory through her undergraduate minor that inspired her to pursue an MA in the Center. She intends to continue working in theory with a focus on power and empowerment as well as an exploration into queer identities. Melissa views intersectional feminist scholarship as a means of impacting social change.

Women’s Studies Graduate Students (Left to Right) Logan Neser, Andreina Fernandez, Shyamala Engelhart, Kaylee Kagiavas, and Melissa Powers

News from Current MA Candidates

Our new students join our current MA candidates who have been hard at work on their exciting and diverse research projects, and have news and updates to share:

Mirela Cardinal’s MA research project, with the supervision of Dr. Tanya Saunders, is about queer visibility on YouTube videos in the Brazilian context. She is currently analyzing her data and developing her knowledge towards queer studies and discourse analysis methodologies through her independent study. She will spend the remainder of the year writing the first draft of her non-thesis project and applying for Ph.D. programs in Social Sciences or Counseling that center social justice.

Corinne Futch is a second year MA student working on her thesis project podcast about queer students’ experience at the University of Florida. She hopes to shed light on the marginalization of this community to invoke change within the university.

Meaghan MacPherson is working on her MA thesis with the supervision of Tace Hedrick to analyze the #MeToo movement as survivor discourse. She will spend this semester completing a draft of her thesis with the intention of defending in the Spring. She is also currently applying for PhD programs in Communication and Media Studies.

Marcela Murillo successfully defended her final project titled “Empowerment and Agency through Domestic Practices: A qualitative study of Laundry Practices in UF’s Family Housing” during the Fall. She obtained the prestigious Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research Madelyn Lockhart Graduate Student Teaching Fellowship for Fall 2018. This award has allowed her to gain more teaching experience through the lectureship of WST2611 Humanities Perspectives in Gender and Sexuality. Finally, her paper “Monstrosity, Motherhood and Indigeneity: Representations of Otherness in Contemporary Bolivian Comics”, which is the result of a Women’s Studies class, has been accepted as a chapter in an edited volume on Monstrous Women in Comics to be published by the University Press of Mississippi in early 2019.

Anthony Dustin Rollins is continuing his MA/PhD work in the Center. He continues to focus his research on intersectionality and contemporary HIV/AIDS activism within a queer context using a theoretical perspective informed by carnal sociology. His thesis will address the Sexual liberation narratives of queer men using Tuvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis. He is excited to continue contributing to the Center and queer intersectional scholarship.

Karleen Schlichtmann continues to work on her MA thesis with the supervision of Dr. Celeste. She is analyzing the representations of Black women living with HIV/AIDS in health research literature and comparing that to existing programs that serve this group. At this year’s National Women’s Studies Association Conference Karleen presented her research poster, “‘Just Imagine’ A World without HIV/AIDS: Black Feminist interventions in Health Justice.”

Jane Stanley is currently working on a non-thesis project under the supervision of Dr. Trysh Travis. This project takes the form of a blog detailing the histories and impacts of nine influential female comedians. Over the summer Jane interned at Gainesville Girls Rock Camp, which she found to be a transformative experience. Jane plans to graduate in the spring of 2019 and will attend law school after a gap year.

Matt Stern is working on the first full draft of his M.A. thesis under the supervision of committee chair Dr. Tace Hedrick and committee member Dr. Maddy Coy. This thesis will analyze graphic images of violence against women in the television series Twin Peaks in order make connections between the racialized and gendered ideologies employed in mass media and the discourse(s) involved in the #MeToo movement. He hopes to turn this thesis into a publishable paper and help spark conversations about the importance of empathy in perceptions of both fictional and real-life accounts of sexual violence.

Hannah Tabor is continuing to work on her non thesis paper with plans to defend in the Spring of 2019. Her research involves examining and analyzing the equity of women’s health services in Gainesville, Florida. In addition, she will present her research at the Global Status of Women and Girls Conference at Christopher Newport University in March, as well as attend the United Nations Youth Assembly in February. She is currently applying to Ph.D. programs in higher ed and sociology.

Nik Wiles completed a full draft of their non-thesis project this semester. It is a book about parenting outside of the gender binary, and it uses a memoir-style approach from the viewpoint of a genderqueer parent. Nik presented a portion of this book at the inSECURITY conference this year, and it received much interest, which is why they are currently pursuing publication. Alongside these endeavors, Nik continues their work as a Professor of English at Santa Fe College; they are also beginning work on an academic publication that addresses the potentially damaging effects of using umbrella terms in connection to gender identities.

Alexandria Wilson is continuing as a joint MA/ Ph.D. student. She continues to focus on the issues of violence against women and women’s exploitation in Central Eastern Europe. She is currently on a Fulbright grant conducting dissertation fieldwork in the Czech Republic. For her final project in the Center, she is working on a journal article in which she explores how women’s organizations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are resisting the new “gender backlash” movement which has taken hold across Europe.

Thanks to everyone whose generosity helps the Center continue to thrive, including the following donors:

  • Association for Academic Women
  • Mr. Gregory R. Allen
  • Dr. Marni A. Brown & Mr. Casey A. Brown
  • Reverend Glen A. Busby & Mrs. Linda C. Busby
  • Mr. Fred Cantrell, Jr.
  • Mrs. Jean Chalmers and Mr. David M. Chalmers
  • Mr. Evan G. Coe
  • Coca-Cola Co.
  • Community Foundation of North Central Florida
  • Ms. Susan F. Delegal
  • Dr. Sheila Dickison
  • Dr. Paul L. Doughty
  • Dr. Margaret U. Fields & Dr. Michael J. Fields
  • Mr. John A Grannan
  • Dr. David G. Hackett
  • Ms. Jeanette K. Helfrich
  • Mr. C. David Hickey
  • Mr. James W. Hicks
  • Dr. Sidney Homan, Jr. & Mrs. Norma M. Homan
  • Dr. Nicole A. Horenstein
  • Dr. Grady E. Johnson, Jr.
  • Mrs. Kelly Johnstone
  • Mr. Charles C. Kafoglis
  • Mr. Sid Kennedy
  • Dr. Angel Kwolek-Folland & Mr. Nathan O. Folland
  • Dr. Angela S. Lindner & Mr. James H. Lindner
  • Dr. Madelyn Lockhart
  • Dr. Mary K. Lockwood
  • Mr. Grady McClendon
  • Dr. Judith W. Page and Professor William H. Page
  • Dr. Jaquelyn L. Resnick and Dr. Michael B. Resnick
  • Lynne E. Roy
  • Ms. Eleanor C. Smeal
  • Ms. Clara J. Smith
  • Dr. John M. Spivack
  • Ms. Anita R. Sundaram
  • Ms. Kathryn Chicone Ustler
  • Ms. Deborah Whippen
  • Mr. Robert Wilder
  • Mr. John H. Williams, Jr.
  • Mr. Chuck Woods

Donations to the Center are used to fund conferences, symposia, educational travel for graduate students, scholarship funds, speaker honoraria, and exhibit support.

Ustler Hall

Ustler Hall

Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research

Offers an interdisciplinary forum for the study of gender and sexualities, their intersections with race/ethnicity, class and other sociocultural systems, and their functions in cultures and societies.

Opportunities for Giving to the UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research

We appreciate the generosity of our donors at all levels. For those thinking of a significant gift, we have some suggestions:

$250 Garden walk pavers for the Yardley Garden (honor a recent graduate or teacher)
$500 Send a student to a regional or national meeting, or fund a student’s research trip
$1000 Garden enhancement and plants for the Yardley Garden:
Name a section of the garden for a friend or loved one (a plaque will indicate contribution)
$1000 Inscription for an existing bench in Yardley Garden in honor of a friend or loved one
$2000 A bench in Ustler Hall in honor of a friend or loved one, with an inscribed plaque
$5000 Sponsor a major named lecture (one-time event)
$5000 Support faculty research for the summer (Faculty Summer Research Fellowship)
$5000 Course development (New Course Development Grant)
$10,000 Inscription on the Yardley Wall

For major gifts and other naming opportunities, please contact Christy Popwell, Director of Development, CLAS: (352) 392-1964 or cpopwell@ufl.edu.

Alum Spotlight: Dr. Vanessa Fabien graduated with her BA in Women’s Studies in 2006. She earned a PhD in September 2014 in Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. As a historian, her research focuses on 19th and 20th century African American history and culture with particular emphases on environmental ethics, religion, and gender. She recently completed a Presidential Diversity Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Africana Studies at Brown University and will begin a new position as a Visiting Fellow with the Historic Black Church Program at the University of Miami School of Law’s Center for Ethic and Public Service.

Vanessa Fabien, BA ’06 Women’s Studies, UF, PhD ’14 History, U-Mass Amherst

“I credit the Center for being an integral component in my scholarly pursuits to shape the public discourse on race, gender, and the environment as well as inspire young girls and women of color to embark upon a journey towards becoming public intellectuals.”
-Dr. Vanessa Fabien

My research provides scholars and environmental stakeholders with a theoretical and historical framework from which to organize across disciplines and reap the synergistic gains of an integrated approach to addressing and redressing racial, gender, and environmental inequalities. I am completing my manuscript entitled Red, Black, and Green: African American Environmental Thought and the Historical Construction of Environmental Inequality. This manuscript provides a theoretical understanding of African American environmental thought through a historicity that maps the intellectual, cultural, and agricultural production of African Americans during distinct historical periods. Specifically, the manuscript examines how the natural environment inspired African Americans’ resistance against institutionalized slavery, a failed Reconstruction, debt peonage during the Great Depression, and socially engineered ghettoized living conditions spurred by racial restrictive covenants during the 20th century. As a fellow of the op-ed project Public Voices Greenhouse, I published several op-ed pieces on climate change, gun control, lynching, and women’s reproductive health. In my piece “My Body My Pain: Listen to Me and all Black Women” — featured on The Root.com — I discuss the historical misdiagnosis of endometriosis in black women due to the racial bias in how medical providers assess pain in their black female patients.

My BA degree in Women’s Studies in tandem with my experience as a Haitian American woman helps me interpret the history of the U.S. geographical space from a transnational lens and question how race, gender, and class shape the contours of the American terrain. The precipice for my work started in my first semester at UF in summer 2002 when I enrolled in Interdisciplinary Perspectives in Women’s Studies and learned about transnational collaborative grassroots movements among women who fought for social change. Through studying the unique standpoints and epistemologies that undergirded these powerful movements, my interest in African American women’s fight for equality for all emerged. That spring semester, Professor Barolet invited me to give a lecture in this course on how African American women helped shaped the civil rights movement. It was through my research for this lecture, titled “Stories Untold: Black Women’s Political Activism in the Civil Rights Movement,” that I gained a gendered insight into the environmental justice movement.

I credit the CGSWSR for being an integral component in my scholarly pursuits to shape the public discourse on race, gender, and the environment as well as inspire young girls and women of color to embark upon a journey towards becoming public intellectuals.

Alum Spotlight: Aishwarya Krishna Iyer graduated with the MA in Women’s Studies and SJD in Taxation from the Levin College of Law in 2018. She is currently an International Tax Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Gurur Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurur Devo Maheshwaraha
Gurur Saakshaat Para Brahma Tasmai Shree Gurave Namaha
Guru (Teacher) is verily Brahma – the creator, Vishnu – the protector, and Maheshwara – the destroyer. Guru is the embodiment of the Supreme Principle. I worship the most powerful Guru and bow my head in front of you

From when I can remember, my parents have taught me the ‘sholka’ (above), a Hindu verse, which has been deeply ingrained in me. I came to know its true value after I came to the United States and met such wonderful teachers at the Center. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mallory Szymanski, Dr. Tace Hedrick, Dr. Kendal Broad, Dr. Bonnie Moradi, Dr. Alyssa Zucker, Dr. Trysh Travis, Dr. Kristin Joys, and lastly Dr. Angel Kwolek-Folland.

Dr. Kwolek-Folland has not only been an amazing mentor, but she is like family to me, she has showered me with love, warmth, and care, and has made Gainesville home to me. Importantly, she has taught me to stand up for myself and to say no. Also, a special shout-out to Donna Tuckey for being the superwoman of our department. Thank you for not only teaching me to be curious but also teaching me to be a better person.

I have always been interested in Women’s studies and issues that affect women. To pursue this interest, I wanted to solidify my theoretical base. With that motive, I applied to the Center’s MA program in early 2016. What happened in the next two years has been life-changing. My time at the Center has left a profound impact on both my professional and personal life.

All the classes I took at the Center not only helped to shape my thoughts but also encouraged me to think, to leave my comfort zone and widen my horizons. I learned to identify and understand issues not only through a lens of gender analysis, but also to think about issues like class, race, and sexuality. Most importantly, these classes helped me to connect theory to practice. The best part about being a student in the Center was all the amazing talks that were organized. It was so interesting to meet and hear from various people across the nation, with different backgrounds and areas of expertise. Following these examples, I find myself being vocal and able to identify and analyze patriarchal systems. My learning from the Center helps me to confront and work to transform these systems more fiercely and confidently.

Professionally, I am now working as an International Tax Consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). My job is to help private equity and hedge funds structure their investments in a tax efficient manner. In addition, I help and engage my firm to support women both as employees within the firm and as clients of the firm. PwC focuses on making the work environment inclusive and I am participating in various initiatives undertaken by the firm. Some of these initiatives include the ‘he for she initiative’, ‘Women Upfront’, the ‘Women’s Advisory Network’ and the ‘NYM Finance Women’s Network’. Most recently, we sadly lost one of our colleagues. Botham “Bo” Jean, who was tragically killed in Dallas. I participated in the various discussions we had in the firm about race, and implicit bias and its impact on our day to day lives. I could understand and contribute meaningfully to all of these issues as a result of my Women’s Studies education and training at the Center.

Continuing my gender and fiscal interests, this year I presented a paper at the National Women’s Studies Association’s (NWSA) annual conference that discussed the gender and class consequences of the carbon tax. I want to continue to think and learn about gender and fiscal issues and develop my interests further. I was excited to see Center faculty and students at NWSA and participate in the graduate recruitment reception event.

Lastly, I take this opportunity to thank Indra, my partner, and my family who encouraged me to apply to the Center and supported me through my hectic schedule. Thank you for standing up with me.

From 2002 to 2006, poet and playwright Ntozake Shangé was a faculty member in the then Center for Women’s Studies and Gender Research. She worked with undergraduate and graduate students, conducted research on local slave cemeteries, and collaborated with College of the Arts Professor Mikell Pinkney and UF students on a world-premiere production of her choreo-poem “Lavender Lizards and Lilac Landmines: Layla’s Dream.” Bobbi Korner was, at the time of Professor Shangé’s UF appointment, an Associate Dean in UF’s College of the Arts. Dean Korner worked with the Director of the Center, Angel Kwolek- Folland, to bring Professor Shangé to UF. Professor Ntozake Shangé passed away October 27th at the age of 70. Among her many achievements was her Tony Award- nominated play “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf.” Dean Korner remembers Professor Shangé time at UF, and its importance to interdisciplinary scholarship and teaching.

“my spirit is too ancient to understand the separation of soul and gender” — Ntozake ShangÉ, for colored girls who have considered suicide /when the rainbow is enuf

Mikell Pinkney [who knew Ntozake from his theater connections] reached out to me to see what we might be able to do to have her at UF as an artist-in-residence. We found out that she was interested in moving from her teaching situation and I reached out to Angel. Angel and I met with our two deans at the time (Don McGlothlin [from COTA] and Neil Sullivan [from CLAS]) and they were both supportive. I recall Neil Sullivan was particularly enthusiastic, recognizing the potential both for collaboration across colleges and for what someone of her poetic imagination would add to our collective, creative mix. Subsequent to the production of her play, Layla’s Dream, we discussed possibilities of tenure. Angel and I worked with the deans and Provost to create the option for an interdisciplinary, cross-college tenure and promotion review committee, which hadn’t been possible before. The collaboration across colleges that began when Ntozake came had an impact beyond her hire. The cross-college appointment became a model for other, similar, interdisciplinary hires. Sometimes, when you dare to support creative people and ideas, there are strong impacts that challenge a bureaucracy and help it work more effectively for the future. Ntozake was all about that in her life and artistic work and the administrative collaboration behind the scenes to bring her to UF had an impact on our students who had the chance to see the possibilities and pitfalls of creative collaboration. Further, administrators indulged in creative collaboration that created new options for the future. Bringing Ntozake to UF is an example of the ripple effect of risking a bit in administrative leadership.

We remember and honor Professor Ntozake Shangé immense contributions to feminist and women of color scholarship and creative production.

The Center is excited to welcome our newest faculty colleague, Dr. Jillian Hernandez.

Dr. Hernandez’s scholarship is located at the nexus of several important fields including Black and Latina feminist theory, Black and Latinx studies, art history and performance studies, media and cultural studies, hip hop studies, and critical girlhood studies. When asked how she describes her scholarship, Dr. Hernandez said, “I write about how [women, girls, queer people, and trans people of color] imagine liberatory worlds and ways of being a racialized and gendered subject. I also examine how, because of this radical potential, they are often vilified and framed as deviant and dangerous in dominant discourses.” Dr. Hernandez is currently completing a book project under contract with Duke University Press, entitled Aesthetics of Excess: The Art and Politics of Black and Latina Embodiment. It examines how the bodies of women and girls of color are racialized through cultural discourses of aesthetic value that mark them as sexual “others,” and how in turn, aesthetic value is generated through the presentation of their bodies. Her second book project will investigate how contemporary women and queer of color artists use feminine aesthetics (e.g., the color pink, flowers, glitter) to engage with the U.S. political landscape in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential election.

Jillian Hernandez

“I am excited to be in a space that is explicitly dedicated to feminist inquiry and praxis, and that is growing.”

Dr. Hernandez’s research also centers praxis. In 2004, Dr. Hernandez established Women on the Rise!, an arts-outreach project for girls of color, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami, Florida. Dr. Hernandez created Women on the Rise! in response to an increase in the number of girls placed in juvenile detention in Florida. “When I researched the kind of educational opportunities available to them while incarcerated,” she says, “I found that none of their classes provided a space for self-expression in the midst of what was a profoundly disorienting and distressing experience. I learned that the girls were constantly being subjected to various forms of dubiously effective and at times violating state-supported group and individual counseling.” In Women on the Rise!, Dr. Hernandez utilized an “intergenerational feminist art praxis” in lieu of art therapy or forms of carceral reform. The goal was “to generate space for girls of color both in detention and at other community sites to engage in creative expression and critical dialogue, practices that they were either socially and institutionally excluded from (being artists) or believed incapable of (being theorists).”

Describing her work with the girls in Women on the Rise!, Dr. Hernandez said, “I started to consider questions regarding how the girls were negotiating embodiment, sexuality, representation, and inter and intra-ethnic and racial dynamics. The then-nascent field of girl’s studies was primarily concerned with middle-class white girls framed as being ‘mean’ due to relational aggression dynamics or in need of boosted self-esteem. These were not the issues the girls I was working with found the most pressing in their lives.” With these questions in mind, Dr. Hernandez pursued graduate studies in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, obtaining her M.A. in 2012 and Ph.D. in 2013. Dr. Hernandez hopes that both she and her students at UF can engage in community-based art projects with girls of color here in Gainesville.

Dr. Hernandez brings what she learned from the girls and artists in Women on the Rise! about “the power and politics of art and embodiment” to the classroom. Elaborating on this point, she said, “I’ve applied an appreciation for the power of creativity in my classroom, which promotes risk taking and facing complicated questions that may not have clear-cut answers. My experiences with the feminist praxis of Women on the Rise! have led me to appreciate the lessons of failure, and to acknowledge that self-reflection and critique is a major component of engaging with others in social praxis or educational contexts. I hope that these are lessons my pedagogical approaches impart to my students.” Dr. Hernandez will put this approach into practice in her Spring 2019 grad seminar, Race, Sex, and Representation.

Dr. Hernandez is “excited to be in a space that is explicitly dedicated to feminist inquiry and praxis, and that is growing” and that she “feel[s] like [she] arrived at a very important moment of expansion not just at the Center but at UF more broadly.” We couldn’t agree more, and we look forward to Dr. Hernandez’s contributions to the growth of feminist pedagogy, scholarship, and praxis here at the Center and at UF.

In August 2018, the National Endowment for the Humanities announced that they awarded $231,093 for Migration, Mobility, and Sustainability: Caribbean Studies and Digital Humanities Advanced Institute. The investigator team for the project includes Center Affiliate members: Dr. Laurie Taylor, UF’s Digital Scholarship Librarian and the Digital Library of the Caribbean’s (DLOC) Director, Dr. Hélène Huet, European Studies Librarian, Dr. Paul Ortiz, Director of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program in the Department of History, and Dr. Leah Rosenberg, Professor of Caribbean Literature in the Department of English.

In partnership with the DLOC, we proposed this collaborative project to host a weeklong, in-person workshop and five additional monthly virtual workshops on collaborative Digital Humanities (DH) and Caribbean Studies. This grant proposal and project developed from our shared feminist technology practices, where we approach and utilize technology to best meet community needs. Feminist technology practices are transdisciplinary, recognize the importance of people in relation to technologies and technical practices, and are socio-technical, encompassing people, policies, communities, and technologies together. As such, this project begins by acknowledging distributed and diverse expertise in our communities, respecting diversity and difference, and affirming the power and value of our communities and networks, including both working collaboratively together as members of the investigator team as well as working in relation to our connected communities.

For this project, we will open a call to select participants for the program. We expect to select a mix of faculty, graduate students, and information professionals who are engaged in teaching Caribbean Studies. Participants will gain DH teaching experience and in-depth knowledge of how to utilize digital collections in teaching. The Institute will provide training in tools, processes, and resources for developing lessons, modules, and/or courses. This Digital Humanities Advanced Institute is the most recent of ongoing initiatives for building capacity and community for Caribbean digital libraries, from digitization for access and preservation, to building upon digitized materials for research and teaching. In addition to our team of investigators, our team includes others from across UF and the Caribbean region who will be instructors for this Institute. We look forward to collaborating over the next two years with the 26 participants selected for this program. We are particularly excited to connect together following feminist technological practices for mutual aid, shared benefit, and community building.

Please see the full grant proposal for more information and for details on all instructors.

greek leaf

Dr. Sheila Dickison, Associate Director of Academic Programs at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service and a Women’s Studies Affiliate Faculty member proposed the creation of the new Directors Timeline of the Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies Research.

The plaque takes us from 1977, the year of the inception of the Women’s Studies Program, through present day with room for more Directors to be added. We are very grateful to Dr. Dickison for her generous gift and ongoing support, and also for her advancement of this initiative to preserve and recognize the leadership history of the Center. We hope you will stop by our lobby in Ustler Hall to see the new plaque.