The FMST Newsletter, Spring 2024

April 12, 2024




Dear Feminist Studies Community,

Spring quarter is upon us! 

There are many exciting events and announcements for this quarter. Read on for details about the 2nd Annual FMST Undergrad Research Symposium in May, which we’re expanding into a two-day event to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz. On April 16th, our own Dr. Gina Athena Ulysse will present the 57th Annual Faculty Research Lecture, in a collaborative performance with a Haitian dancer. There are many graduate, undergraduate, faculty, and alumni accomplishments to celebrate, as well. And we’re planning end-of-the-year events to honor our wonderful graduates.   

Thank you all for your participation in this community this year.  I look forward to finishing out the school year with you.

Tanya Merchant
Interim Chair, Feminist Studies / Associate Professor, Music, UCSC 




UCSC Feminist Studies is marking its 50th Anniversary, and we have a new logo to celebrate!

2024 marks 50 years since Feminist Studies was inaugurated as a field of study at UC Santa Cruz, one of the first such academic programs in the U.S. 

In honor of this milestone, we're hosting events throughout the year, most recently on March 1st with the authors of Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care. This public forum on community activism, held at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, featured author activists Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba in conversation with UCSC professors Gina Dent (FMST), Debbie Gould (SOC), and Christine Hong (LIT/CRES). UCSC students and representatives from many local non-profit groups attended to participate in a generative discussion on how to address the vital challenge of organizing in today’s world.

In Spring, our keystone event is the 2nd Annual FMST Undergraduate Research Symposium. The inaugural FMST Symposium debuted in 2023 to resounding success, and this year, we’re planning a two-day Symposium as part of the 50th Anniversary slate of events. 

On Day 1 – Thursday, May 16 – the FMST Department will host Feminists in the World, a gathering of professors in disciplines across the university – from anthropology and digital media to molecular biology and politics – who will discuss how feminist thought and theory has influenced their work and career trajectories.

On Day 2 – Friday, May 17 – undergrad feminist scholars will present their work at Radical Research: Feminists on the Rise. The FMST department has funded a dozen proposals for students doing feminist coursework, both majors and non-majors, who will present their research at the Symposium. And we welcome others who wish to showcase their work! Read more details about the Symposium in the Undergrad section of this newsletter.

Both events will be held at the UCSC Hay Barn. Stay tuned for more information coming soon!

Feminist Studies’ 50th Anniversary activities are funded by the Humanities Division and a generous $100,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation – one of 95 Affirming Multi-vocal Humanities grants awarded to campuses across the country. This $18 million initiative aims to reinvigorate the study of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality at institutions of higher learning to equip a new generation of students and citizens to engage in a multivocal democracy.


Congratulations to our newest FMST PhD!  

Sending big congratulations to FMST grad student Lani Hanna, who will graduate this Spring as Dr. Hanna with her PhD in Feminist Studies!

l-hanna-headshot-200x200.jpgLani Hanna

Dissertation title: Counter-Institutional Archives as Political Infrastructure 

Dissertation Committee: Jenny Kelly, Neel Ahuja, Deborah Gould, and Lindsey Dillon 

After graduation, Lani will finish co-editing a book on Cuba's political design organization OSPAAAL and Tricontinental magazine/bulletin. The book, Armed by Design, comes out in Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English in January 2025 through Common Notions Publishing.

 FMST grad student achievements  

Kaiya Gordon co-curated and will moderate a panel of featured filmmakers (including FMST DE Lalu Ozban) for the "Trans World-Building" program at the SF Urban Film Fest, April 15-21. They also had a poem, "Bruce Springsteen Visits Me at the Doctor's Office," accepted for a forthcoming anthology – Transmasculine Poetics: Filling the Gaps in Literature & the Silences Around Us (Sundress Publications, May 2024). 

Joshua Sto Domingo received the 2024 the Bettina Aptheker Award for Research or Community Service on Sexual, Gendered, and Racial Violence. 

News from FMST PhD alums  

Erin McElroy, Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Washington, recently celebrated the publication of their new book, Silicon Valley Imperialism: Techno Fantasies and Frictions in Postsocialist Times (Duke University Press)


Kudos to FMST Scholarship Awardees

We are proud to announce the undergrad recipients of these Feminist Studies scholarship awards:   

Sabrina Greenfield Memorial Award and Scholarship

This award was established in memory of Sabrina Marie Greenfield, a College Ten (now John R Lewis College) sophomore majoring in Feminist Studies whose life was tragically cut short in September 2006. Awarded by the John R Lewis College, the annual Sabrina Greenfield award honors an academically meritorious John R Lewis College-affiliated Feminist Studies major who exemplifies Sabrina’s commitment to social justice. 

nadine-virto-headshot-150x150.jpgNadine Virto is a double major in Feminist Studies and Legal Studies currently in her junior year. The award committee was impressed by Nadine’s strong grades and involvement in the Practical Activism Conference (PAC), and felt that her commitment to questions of justice and equity were a fitting way to honor Sabrina’s memory.


Baskin Feminist Studies Scholarship 

Funded by the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, this scholarship is awarded to a transfer student or students entering the Feminist Studies Department with academic excellence from an accredited Northern California Community College.

desiree-bewley-headshot-150x150.jpgmax-gold-headshot-150x150.jpgThe 2024 awardees are: 

Desiree Bewley-Dallagiacomo, a transfer student from Butte College in Butte Valley.   

Max Gold, a transfer student from the College of Marin. 

 Radical Research: 2nd Annual FMST Undergrad Research Symposium scheduled for May 17

fists-graphic-square.jpgRadical Research: Feminists on the Rise the 2nd Annual FMST Undergrad Research Symposium, is happening Friday, May 17, 10am to 4pm at the Cowell Hay Barn.  And in honor of Feminist Studies’ 50thAnniversary, we’re planning a day-long celebration, with musical performances, dancing and food trucks!  

This will be Day 2 of the Symposium, which we’ve expanded this year in honor of Feminist Studies’ 50thAnniversary. Day 1, on Thursday, May 16, will feature Feminists in the World – a panel of UCSC professors in disciplines across the university – from anthropology and digital media to molecular biology and politics – who will discuss how feminist thought and theory has influenced their work and career trajectories.

The FMST Department has already funded a dozen projects in our first call for Radical Research proposals. But there’s still time if you want to present your work at the Symposium, either as a poster or oral presentation. Any project involving research within Feminist Studies is eligible for consideration. Consider developing ideas that originated in FMST coursework and working with FMST faculty and TAs to develop your ideas.

And we can help you prepare! The FMST department will be holding two workshops this quarter leading up to the Symposium:

  • Workshop #1: How to get started in research, with pointers from FMST grad students – April 9, 5:30pm in HUM 320 
  • Workshop #2: How to make a research poster - we’ll provide poster templates  (Week 5, Spring quarter, day/time tba)

Here’s how to submit a proposal. In 500 words or less:

  • Describe the research problem to be addressed.
  • What will be done in the project?
  • A brief description of your end product (will it be a research poster, a talking presentation, short film, installation, etc?)
  • Email your proposal to with the subject line: FMST Undergraduate Research Symposium Proposal

The submission deadline is April 19 @ 11:59pm. We look forward to showcasing your work! 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR! FMST Senior Celebration – Friday, June 14

Every year, the Feminist Studies department hosts a special event to honor our graduates. On Friday, June 14, we’ll be celebrating FMST majors who graduated in Fall 2023, Winter 2024, or will graduate in Spring or Summer 2024. 

Once again, the celebration will be held in the beautiful secret garden at The MAH, the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz. Please mark your calendar and plan to attend. And bring your friends and family!  

fireworks-80x80-crop.pngFMST Senior Celebration
Friday, June 14 @ 2pm
The MAH - Museum of Art & History
downtown Santa Cruz  

Remember, it's each student's responsibility to make sure they are on track to graduate. Please review the UCSC graduation and FMST major requirements. And if you have any questions, make an advising appointment right away!   

summer-23-surf-slug-2.jpgEnrollment for Summer Session opens May 1!

Want to get more credits under your belt in just five weeks? 

Summer is an opportunity to enjoy smaller classes and continue progress toward your degree. Most courses are 5 credits. Classwork is condensed, and students should expect a minimum of 35 hours of class meeting time. There is no additional “finals week;” instructors schedule the final on the last meeting block of the session. 

Tuition remains the same as last summer - $279 per credit, and is the same for all students, in and out-of-state. And check out Financial Aid grant funding, available for eligible Slugs.  

Feminist Studies is offering one in-person and two online classes for Summer 2024: 

Session 1 | June 24 to July 26
FMST 188 – Topics in Feminist Studies: Theorizing Sexual Violence and Activist Responses:
Family, Community, Nation, World 
MWF 1:00-3:30pm (in-person) | Instructor: Jessica Fournier, FMST Graduate student 
Session 2 | July 29 to August 30
FMST 110Q – Queer Sexuality in Black Popular Culture 
MWF 12:00-2:30pm (online) (IM) | Instructor: TBA 
FMST 145 – Racial and Gender Formations in the U.S. 
MW 9:00am-12:30pm (online) (ER) | Instructor: Nick Mitchell 
Enrollment opens May 1! Get all the details about FMST Summer Session classes here.


Gina Athena Ulysse to present 57th Annual Faculty Research Lecture

gau-frl-headshot-200x200.jpgFMST professor Gina Athena Ulysse will present the 2024 Faculty Research Lecture at 6pm on April 16 in the Upper Quarry Amphitheater. 

Prof. Ulysse’s performance lecture – The Whole Time...A Redwoods Rasanblaj Epic Poem sou 7 Pwen – was inspired by Sinéad O’Connor and 11th Hour’s caffeine chronicles. This nonpsychedelic surrealist journey explores the (im)possibility of all sentient beings everywhere to experience peace when our humanity is routinely questioned. The presentation will feature improvisational dance selections by Linda Isabelle Francois Obas, dancer/choreographer and founding artistic director of XPression Ayiti, a company rooted in Haitian spirituality and traditional movement.  

“As the situation in Haiti continues to spiral, I wanted and needed to create a multi-vocal call-and-response encounter to affirm an embodied presence and aliveness, and highlight the significance of feminist solidarity in Haiti,” says Prof. Ulysse. “Though we have never performed together, Linda was the first dancer I thought of to collaborate with in this experiment.”  

Faculty Research Lecturers are an elite group, as the honor is among the highest bestowed upon a faculty member by his or her own campus colleagues. Since 1967, the Committee on the Faculty Research Lecture (CFRL) has nominated a faculty member with an extremely distinguished research record to deliver the annual lecture. 

Go here for more event info and to register.  

FMST Faculty Awards, Publications, and Conferences 

Bettina Aptheker had an article published, “Reflections on Lesbian Pedagogy,” in the Journal of Lesbian Studies, Vol. 28, No. 1, (2024). She also did a webinar for Planvision – “International Women’s Day: Origins & Current issues” – which was broadcast live on March 8, 2024. 

Felicity Schaeffer co-authored an article with Neda Atanasoski – “Good Technology Is a Portal to Other Worlds” – for the anthology, The Good Robot: Why Technology Needs Feminism, edited by Eleanor Drage and Kerry McInerney (Bloomsbury Academic, January 2024). 

Gina Athena Ulysse has been invited to the 15th Edition of the Biennale of Dakar, May 16-June 16 in Senegal.


CSAS Crossings Lecture Series – Spring 2024  

The UCSC Center for South Asian Studies presents Crossings, a year-long lecture series curated by FMST Professor and CSAS Co-director Anjali Arondekar. Go here to learn more about Crossings speakers and to register. 

  • April 17 at 12 noon (in-person, HUM 1 rm. 210) – Transacting Empire: Family Portraits – Zirwat Chowdhury, Assistant Professor, 18th- and 19th-Century European Art, UCLA. Register here.
  • May 17 at 10am (virtual event) – Swag: A Creolised Alegropolitics of Resistance – Ananya Jahanara Kabir, Professor, English Literature, King’s College London. Event info andregistration here.  

 57th Annual Faculty Research Lecture – April 16 at 6pm, Upper Quarry Amphitheater

FMST professor Gina Athena Ulysse will present the 2024 Faculty Research Lecture – The Whole Time...A Redwoods Rasanblaj Epic Poem sou 7 Pwen – a multi-vocal call-and-response encounter highlighting the significance of feminist solidarity in Haiti. Prof. Ulysses’ performance lecture will feature improvisational dance selections by Linda Isabelle Francois Obas, founding artistic director of XPression Ayiti, a company rooted in Haitian spirituality and traditional movement. Go here to register.   

Dalit Histories, Gender Formations: A Conversation with Journalist Meena Kotwal – May 1 at 5pm, Stanford University

Dalit journalist Meena Kotwal will be in residence at UCSC from April 29 to May 6. Kotwal is the founder of Mooknayak, India's leading online news channel focused on the rights and representation of Dalit, tribal and minority communities. On May 1, she will be in conversation with FMST Prof. Anjali Arondekar at Stanford University. Go here for more event info and to register for attendance in-person or via Zoom. Co-sponsored by the Center for South Asia at Stanford University and UCSC’s Center for South Asian Studies. 

2nd Annual FMST Undergraduate Research Symposium – May 16 + 17, Cowell Hay Barn

Day 1 – TH May 16, 10am – 1pm – Feminists in the World. A panel of professors in disciplines across the university in conversation about how feminist thought and theory has influenced their work and career trajectories.

Day 2 – FRI May 17, 10am – 4pm – Radical Research: Feminists on the Rise. Undergrad feminist scholars present their research at a day-long celebration of Feminist Studies' 50th Anniversary, including musical performances, dancing and food trucks!

Job Materials Grad Workshop – May 23, 12-2 pm (via zoom)

The Grad Events Committee presents a workshop with FMST/CRES Prof. Marisol LeBron and Erin McElroy, FMST PhD and currently Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Washington. Look for zoom link and more event details coming soon from Grad Events Rep Em Padilla. 

FMST/CRESS Grad Works in Progress – May date TBD  

Check your email for event info coming soon from Grad Events Rep Em Padilla.


21st Century Feminist Scholarship – Deadline May 10

The 21st Century Feminist Scholars endowment supports the pursuits of new and rising scholars in the field of feminist studies.  Every year, the department awards two to three  scholarships to declared FMST majors in amounts ranging from $300 to $1,000 to support independent research, including funds to support research-related travel, or experiential learning. Go here for info on how to apply. (Note: Deadline was extended from February 23 to May 10 this year.)