Working Groups & Writing Groups

Feminist Approaches to Health and Care

This working group takes an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach to clarify the high stakes of health care for the femme/feminized body, particularly in clinical spaces. To this end, the working group focuses on discourses about the social and political dimensions of health and the intersections of race, class, and gender with illness, disability, and vulnerability. The group is attuned to the various ways reproductive rights and access to health for trans youth are under siege across the United States. In this context, the working group aims to make clear what constitutes a feminist approach to health and what feminist healthcare practices look like in an increasingly precarious everyday. Some of the core questions for this working group including the following: What might historically feminized labor practices, such as midwifery, teach us about the relationship between power, gender, and motherhood? What are the gendered dimensions of discourses of immunity, virality, infection? What can feminist care ethics look like in a post-2020 reality, and how can they skirt the unimaginative bourgeois tedium of American healthcare?

Current members

Alex Hack | Cinema and Media Studies, GSS, VISS, & DGMC
Emma Ben Ayoun | Cinema and Media Studies
Adrienne Adams | American Studies and Ethnicity
Yiyan Pan | Cinema and Media Studies

Multidisciplinary Intersectional Approaches to the Study of Violence and Trauma

This working group reflects a multidisciplinary group of scholars who approach the study of violence and trauma through an intersectional framework. This grassroots collective is built by Ph.D. students and candidates across departments and disciplines, whose work remains rooted in the following four pillars of research: (1) Violence and Trauma studies (2) Intersectionality studies (3) Feminist theory / Gender & Sexuality studies (4) Transnational studies. Led by Ph.D. students and candidates currently spanning 4-5 Ph.D. departments at USC and 2-3 academic institutions, and under the advisement of Dr. Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro and Dr. Jane Junn, our group aims to meet graduate scholars at whatever point they may be in their PhD program, whether joining as a first-year student, navigating their qualifying examination experience, working to create and grow community-based projects, planning their dissertation, or heading toward the job market. The group emphasizes trauma-informed approaches to research, pedagogy, anti-violence activism, and the ways in which the gaps can be bridged between them. Their activities include workshops, events, and group research projects, among other collaborative opportunities such as anti-sexual violence programming on campus and in conference settings.

Current members

Nicole V. Bush | Communication & GSS
Hayun Cho | East Asian Languages and Cultures & GSS
Claire Crawford | Political Science and International Relations & GSS
Caitlin Joy Dobson | Communication & GSS
Sarah Ernst | History
Nancy Hernandez | Political Science and International Relations & GSS
Sayantani Jani | History
Dr. Perry B. Johnson | Communication & GSS
Chaerim Kim | Political Science and International Relations & GSS
Paulina Lanz | Communication & Cinema Studies
Azeb Madebo | Communication
Muira McCammon | Communication
Alexia Orengo Green | History
Fernanda Soria Cruz | Communication & GSS
Kayla Wolf | Political Science and International Relations & GSS

Multimodal Writing Collective

The Multimodal Writing Collective is a working group that bridges feminist approaches in multi-media and mixed-methods cultural production to study how these approaches theorize situated identities. This working group fills a gap at USC by creating the institutional infrastructure to adequately support early-career artists and scholars writing at the intersections of mixed-media texts, form, and disciplinary method. To this end, the Multimodal Writing Collective will create a supportive interdisciplinary cohort of thinkers working within and around non-canonical archives, texts, and modalities, as a way to disrupt the dominant mores of normative scholarship. The main activities of this working group will include monthly workshops where members can share their works-in-progress, alongside discussions of texts that will ground the feedback and dialogue. In addition to these workshops, this working group will also host at least one event per semester in which invited faculty or other guest speakers present and participate in a discussion of their own works-in-progress. Ultimately, the working group will provide graduate students the means for practicing alternative modes of thinking alongside experimental texts as not merely supplements to canonically accepted texts and forms but, rather, as important pieces of scholarship on their own merit.

Current members

Helen Fu | English & VISS
Sam Teets | English & GSS
Jessica Somers | English & GSS
Marcus Clayton | Literature and Creative Writing
Tom Renjilian | Literature and Creative Writing
Krishna Narayanamurti | Literature and Creative Writing & Religious Studies


  • Center for Feminist Research
  • University of Southern California
  • Mark Taper Hall of Humanities
  • Room 422
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 90089-4352 USA