Past New Directions in Feminist Research Seminars
2011-12: RACE, SEXUALITY, AND RESISTANT BODIES
Seminar Director: Macarena Gomez-Barris, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity
The 2011-2012 seminar will bring together scholars from a wide range of disciplines from across USC, to discuss the humanities and social science literature on sexuality, race, and embodiment. The following questions are of particular interest:
- What are the ways that race and sexuality have been historically organized during colonialism and after the transition to statehood?
- How does a lens on sexuality and embodiment open up analyses of twentieth and twenty-first century discourses regarding power, culture, self, rights, and security?
- How is the body theorized in different disciplines, and what are potential new directions for interdisciplinary approaches to the body?
Broader areas of study include historical and contemporary approaches to racialized and sexualized bodies, including: visual studies, post-colonial studies, queer theory, reconstituted area studies, performance studies, critical security studies, and religious studies.
Macarena Gomez-Barris, Associate Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity; Seminar Director
PROJECT: Race, Sexuality, and Resistant Bodies.
María Elena Martínez, Associate Professor of History
PROJECT: Law and Religion in Colonial Latin America. Addresses the production of knowledge about the body through colonial racial and sexual classificatory systems.
David Lloyd, Professor of Comparative Literature and English
PROJECT: Four Poets: Violence and Sexuality in the Long Modernist Period. Reads decolonizing poetry to figure the conditions of the colony and the racialized self.
Jack Halberstam, Professor of English
PROJECT: The Traffic in Genders: Transgenderism in a Global Frame. An examination of the meaning of cross-gender identification within a global context.
Jih-Fei Cheng, Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies & Ethnicity
PROJECT: Parallel Dislocations: Bodies of Refuse. Focuses on the visual representations and kinship networks of various queer populations within the continental U.S. and Hawaii.
Gretel Vera Rosas, Ph.D. Candidate in American Studies and Ethnicity
PROJECT: Maternal Illegalities: Screenings of Latin/a American Transnational Motherhood. Analyzes undocumented migration, sex work, and/or trafficking through film.
2010-11: GENDER VIOLENCE AND ANTI-VIOLENCE
Seminar Director: Michael Messner, Professor of Sociology & Gender Studies
The 2010-11 seminar will bring together gender studies researchers from all fields, including scholars working in the social sciences, humanities, social work, communications, medicine, public health and policy, or other fields. Some ideas that may drive the work of next year’s New Directions Fellows might include:
- What are the causes and consequences of gender violence?
- In what ways do definitions of and awareness of gender violence vary historically and cross-culturally? By race/ethnicity, social class, or sexual orientations?
- What is the social significance of symbolic forms of violence—in literature, film, music, video games, graffiti, or on the Internet?
- What roles do states or NGOs play in perpetrating, tolerating, mitigating or stopping gender violence?
To what extent are campaigns to stop gender violence (be they local, national, international; be they face-to-face or through the mass media) grounded in the research on the causes of gender violence?
Mike Messner: Professor, Sociology & Gender Studies; Seminar Director
PROJECT: A comparative study of two generations of men doing feminist anti-violence work with boys and men.
Kim Shayo Buchanan: Associate Professor, Gould School of Law
PROJECT: The racial dynamics of rape in women’s and in men’s prisons.
Annalisa Enrile: Associate Clinical Professor, School of Social Work
PROJECT: Transnational campaigns against gender violence: a case study of the Philippines.
Max Greenberg: Ph.D. student, Sociology & Gender Studies
PROJECT: Feminist anti-violence movements meet the “health program” of NGOs.
Tal Peretz: Ph.D. student, Sociology & Gender Studies
PROJECT: Intersectional analysis of men’s campus-based anti-violence programs.
Alison Renteln: Professor of Political Science
PROJECT: National efforts that achieve some success in stopping violence against women: laws prohibiting dowry death.
Noelia Saenz: Ph.D. student, School of Cinema
PROJECT: Connecting contemporary Spanish and Latin American cinematic representations of gender violence with efforts to stop domestic violence.
2009-10: INTERSECTIONAL SOLIDARITY
Director: Ange-Marie Hancock, Associate Professor, Political Science
Over the past 25 years, intersectionality has emerged as an internationally recognized approach to research on interlocking issues of gender, race, class and sexuality. First deployed in feminist studies of women of color, intersectionality scholarship has expanded to include new categories of difference, such as (dis)ability and national status. It also has diverged into different schools of European and North American approaches.
Scholars from different disciplines have used various terms to identify shared concerns about the interactions between categories of difference. The term “intersectionality” emerged from critical race feminist legal scholars who sought to make U.S. jurisprudence more inclusive. By comparison, visual and performance artists often interrogate issues of hybridity, following the European approach to intersectionality. Humanities scholars often speak of multiplicative identities as synonymous with multicultural feminism, while public policy and social work scholars talk about intersectional public policy designs and the material impact on real people’s lives. Gender and ethnic studies scholarship have emphasized the social constructivist aspects of these analytical categories, while public health and medical researchers have sought to incorporate the logic of intersectionality into studies of healthcare access, early diagnosis predictions, and community-based health care solutions.
Beyond the academy, developing world feminists have sought to incorporate intersectional norms and concerns into international institutions such as the UN Conference against Racism and each of the UN Conferences on Women. Marriage Equality activists have sought to incorporate intersectionality to address ongoing justice issues within LGBT and straight communities. Most of these feminist approaches to intersectionality share a vision of feminist empowerment that is fully inclusive across all relevant categories of difference.
Relative to the focus on feminist visions of empowerment, however, the role of solidarity has received less attention from non-academic interpreters. For example, although feminists have long discussed the role of men in women’s movements, they have paid less attention to the real-life practices of solidarity that undergird such successful feminist coalitions.
Our seminar will tackle the problems involved in defining and theorizing intersectional solidarity. In our attempt to delineate dimensions of intersectional solidarity, we may consider such questions as:
- How intersectional solidarity might inflect discussions of privilege…
- or discussions about transgressing and troubling boundaries (whether they are seemingly drawn by necessity or not).
- How intersectional solidarity might shape ideas about distributive or restorative justice.
- How we all may perform intersectional solidarity in multiple domains of public spaces and lived experiences, both material…
- and virtual.
- How technology and social networking may transform the potential of intersectional solidarity…
- even as these challenge our own places in the ecological world.
- The possible psychic, political, and physical risks that intersectional solidarity might pose in the face of social control mechanisms.
Fellows may submit empirical, humanist, artistic, and/or activist projects that blend academic and community orientations in keeping with the mission of CFR and USC.
Ange-Marie Hancock: Associate Professor, Political Science; Seminar Director
PROJECT: Completion of a political theory book project that together intersectionality theory and the concept of political solidarity.
Shafiqa Ahmadi: Lecturer, Rossier School of Education & Gould School of Law
PROJECT: Perspectives and Experiences of Transgender Students in American Higher Education Institutions
Araceli Esparza: Ph.D. student, American Studies and Ethnicity
PROJECT: The ways Chicana creative writers imagined solidarity with Central Americans during the civil wars of the 1970s and 1980s and the limitations to such representations.
Macarena Gómez-Barris: Assistant Professor, Sociology & American Studies and Ethnicity
PROJECT: Visual Feminisms and Cultural Politics in the Americas
2008-09: MEDIATED IDENTITIES
Director: Alice Gambrell, Professor, English
This seminar will bring together researchers in all areas of gender studies and/or media studies with scholars of gendered topics who publish their work in non-traditional forms. We will explore--in historical, cultural, activist, aesthetic, and other terms--how media and consumerism help to form such “identity” categories as gender, nation, sexuality, race, or class. We will also consider how the medium through which research is made public helps shape its messages: Why, for example, have feminist scholars played such active roles in interrogating and extending the appropriate vehicles for scholarly publication? Seminar discussions will also be shaped by the specific projects of seminar participants.
Because non-print publication is such an important part of this subject, suitable projects may include—along with familiar academic forms of publication and creative work--innovative mixtures of these forms. Media under consideration (or put into play) by fellowship recipients during the course of the seminar could include sound-based, visual, print, electronic, theatrical, or other forms.
Alice Gambrell: Professor, English
Velina Hasu Houston: Theatre
PROJECT: Writing a Woman’s Life: The Impact of Theatre on Identity Formation
Anikó Imre: Critical Studies
PROJECT: Transnational Feminism and the Mediated European Public Sphere
Tara McPherson: Critical Studies
PROJECT: Re-coding the Self: Transformation in the Era of Late Capitalism
D. Travers Scott: Annenberg
PROJECT: Electro-Sensitives: Health Discourse, Technological Subjectivity, and the Diseased Feminine
- Center for Feminist Research
- University of Southern California
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