FMST Newsletter, Winter 2021

January 12, 2021


CHAIR’S LETTER: Winter 2021

Dear Feminist Studies Community,

Happy 2021! I hope this year brings about new opportunities for us to be together in spaces on and off campus.

In spite of the virtual nature of this academic year, we were able to organize a number of exciting events in the fall quarter that allowed us to have conversations, exchange ideas, and meet each other.

Starting with Professor Caitlin “Katie” Keliiaa in October, we kicked off a series of events to introduce the work of our new Feminist Studies faculty members to the broader UCSC community. Katie presented a Work-in-Progress talk about her book project, which explores the entangled history of public health initiatives and the state sexual surveillance of young indigenous women in San Francisco’s early 20th Century outing program.

This quarter, we continue engaging with the work of our new faculty and look forward to celebrating Professor Xavier Livermon’s new book, Kwaito Bodies, on February 19. Please keep an eye out for more information. 

Our FMST faculty have also been involved in spearheading programming that will keep us engaged throughout the year. Professor Gina Dent organized and curated Visualizing Abolition, a series of exceptionally well-attended events presented through the Institute of Arts and Sciences that continues into 2021. Professor Anjali Arondekar, who also is co-director of the UCSC Center for South Asian Studies, organized another year-long lecture series, Towards Justice, which began in fall and will continue through winter and spring. See dates for upcoming lectures in the Events section. 

And finally, thanks to Professors Neel Ahuja and Jenny Kelly for organizing a crafting night for undergraduate and graduate students. It was filled with cat-themed fun!

I look forward to future social events that will let us gather together, albeit virtually, and wish everyone a healthy and successful winter quarter!

Neda Atanasoski, 

Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies Department, UCSC 

P.S. – In this issue, we debut a new series of interviews with FMST alums called Five Questions with a Feminist. We hope you enjoy learning about the great things our FMST majors are doing out in the world!

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Halima Kazem-Stojanovic awarded National Humanities Center Graduate Students fellowship

Halima Kazem-Stojanovic will be learning how to produce podcasts thanks to a Winter 2021 fellowship with the National Humanities Center Virtual Regional Institute for Graduate Students.  “Podcasting the Humanities: Creating Digital Stories for the Public” provides hands-on training to translate research, commentary, and community-sourced narratives into podcast episodes. Working in cross-disciplinary and intra-university teams, participants learn how to storyboard an idea, create and collect audio content, and edit their narrative into an entertaining, powerful podcast.  

We’re looking forward to some great podcasts from Halima as she puts her training to work and shares her new skills with students!

Vivian Underhill wins prestigious fellowship from the American Association of University Women

Vivian Underhill received a 2020-21 fellowship from the American Association of University Women. Vivian is pursuing her doctorate in feminist studies with an emphasis on critical race science studies. Her research focuses on intergenerational environmental-justice activism around fracking and groundwater in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Read more about the award and Vivian’s work here.

AAUW is one of the world’s oldest leading supporters of graduate women’s education, providing fellowships that recognize recipients’ academic work and community projects that empower women and girls. Since 1888, AAUW has awarded more than $115 million in fellowships, grants and awards to 13,000 recipients from more than 105 countries. 

Noya Kansky profiled by The Humanities Institute 

In October, THI profiled FMST grad student Noya Kansky, who worked in Summer 2019 as a THI Public Fellow at the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center near Cody, Wyoming. The Center sits on the site of what was once the Heart Mountain “Relocation Center,” an internment camp that held incarcerated Japanese-Americans during the Second World War. Among other things, Noya worked in the organization’s archive, cataloging and digitizing the personal records of a former incarceree: Estelle Ishigo. Awhite woman married to a Japanese American man, Ishigo requested to be incarcerated alongside her husband. She was hired by the War Relocation Authority (WRA) as a documentarian, and produced many sketches, drawings, and watercolors during her time at Heart Mountain. Read the THI Profile to learn more about Noya’s research and experiences as a Public Fellow.


Winter workshops with Undergrad Advisor Anne Eickelberg

UG Advisor Anne Eickelberg will be conducting two workshops this winter. On Thursday, January 21, she'll host a drop-in Q&A from 4:00-4:30 to explain Senior Exit Requirements for the FMST major. Look for Anne's email with the zoom link, or reach out to her at This quarter Anne also will be doing a workshop on Major Declaration. More info coming soon…

A winter social 

The craft evening Professors Neel Ahuja and Jenny Kelly hosted in November was so much fun, we decided to do another virtual get-together during winter quarter. We haven’t chosen a theme yet, but FMST Undergrad Rep Charlotte O’Keefe Stralka is gathering ideas. Look for Charlotte's email and send us your suggestions! 

What is a “FMST Topics” class anyway? 

Every quarter, Feminist Studies professors create special one-off classes that we call “Topics in Feminist Studies.” Always identified as 188 classes, these courses can focus on any number of interesting subjects. And they’re constantly changing. 

This Winter, Professor Felicity Schaeffer is teaching 188-02: "Racial Pandemics from Covid and Beyond", exploring how racial stereotypes and disparities are perpetuated in times of widespread health crises. Grad candidate Halima Kazem is offering 188-01: "Woman and War," looking at the impact of war-based violence on women, with a focus on Afghanistan and Iraq. 

For Spring 2021, keep an eye out for a Topics course on "Queer Archive," taught by grad candidate Lani Hanna. 

Finding out the “topic” of a Topics course takes a little digging in the Class Schedule - look for "Class Notes" on the individual course webpage. But it’s always worth it. So don’t pass these 188 classes over, check them out! 


FMST Faculty Awards, Publications, and Conferences 

Neel Ahuja was featured in a talk presented by the University of Wisconsin's Center for 21st Century Studies, in which he shared portions of his forthcoming book: Planetary Specters: Race, Migration, and Climate Change in the Twenty-First Century

Anjali Arondekar was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times for a video report on the possible influence of Indian American voters on the 2020 US election. See the story – Will Trump’s efforts to attract Indian-American voters pay off? here

Anjali also was a panelist on a global round table held in Australia's New South Wales Parliament exploring the question, “Is India becoming a fascist state?” Speakers included eminent civil society activists, academics, journalists and politicians from Australia, India, Britain and the US. Read about it in this story in Pakistan’s Express Tribune.   

Caitlin “Katie” Keliiaa was awarded a Faculty Research Fellowship from The Humanities Institute for her research project, "Unsettling Domesticity: Native Women and 20th-Century U.S. Indian Policy in the San Francisco Bay Area." Katie also was selected for a UCSC Committee on Research (COR) New Faculty Research grant.   

In November, Katie presented a Work-in-Progress talk – “Unhealthy Regulations: Native Women’s Health, Sexual Surveillance, and Bodily Control” – discussing two chapters from her book project, Unsettling Domesticity, which examines how native women domestic workers negotiated and challenged this 20th Century Indian labor program. 

Nick Mitchell published an essay, “The View from Nowhere: On Frank Wilderson’s Afropessimism,” in the November 2020 issue of Spectre

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT – Five Questions with a Feminist

kim-angulo-crop.jpgKim Angulo, Class of 2013 – Deputy Public Defender, San Joaquin County, CA  

This is the first in a series of interviews with former FMST majors who have gone on to do great things. Visit our YouTube channel to view Professor Neda Atanasoski’s recent interview with FMST alum Kim Angulo. Below is an edited version of their conversation. 

Kim Angulo grew up in the Sacramento area before coming to UCSC, where she was a FMST major and studied abroad in Spain for a year. After graduating in 2013, Kim worked in policy at the California state capital as an Assembly Fellow through the Center for California Studies Capital Fellows Program. After her fellowship, she worked in Sacramento as a legislative aid for three years, focused on criminal justice, civil rights, social services, and health policy. Kim then attended UC Davis School of Law, graduating and passing the California bar in 2019. She currently works as a deputy public defender in the San Joaquin County Public Defender’s Office. She also is involved in local politics as president of the Sacramento Stonewall Democrats, a club whose goal is to elect more LGBTQ people to public office.   

Can you tell us about your current job and what you do?  

My job is representing people charged with crimes who can’t afford to hire a private attorney. I work with people charged with misdemeanors. Day to day I’m in court, trying to get people out of jail, trying to prevent people from having convictions on their records. I advocate for people caught up in the system, by going to trial and all the ways we can do advocate through the legal system. 

I didn’t know what a public defender was before I went to law school. It’s a great career for someone like me who got started in criminal justice through Feminist Studies. 

How did Feminist Studies prepare you for this career?  

I came to Santa Cruz undeclared, with really no idea what I wanted to do in my life. I hadn’t been exposed, thankfully, to the criminal justice system. Through Feminist Studies, I learned about injustices in the system. I took a CRES class, and FMST classes where we talked about prisons. I became passionate and fascinated with the whole system and wanted to work in it, but wasn’t sure what my role could be. It took me a long time to figure out how I could impact the system in a positive way. It took me going through policy and realizing that criminal justice is such an important and huge issue. It felt like everybody should be passionate about it, but nobody was. I decided it was something I could work at. So I went to law school, having had a career job in policy, specifically to work with people impacted by the system. Feminist Studies is what got me passionate about social justice in the first place. 

Did FMST prepare you for the classes you took in law school?  

Definitely. I tell everyone I was a Feminist major because I loved it so much. It really has helped me in a number of ways. Obviously learning how to write very well. And also learning how to look critically and analytically at everything. That really helped in my policy job, it helped in law school, and it helps me now when I’m reading police reports and police are saying this thing happened and, well, we’ll see … 

What was your favorite FMST class or classes?  

I liked all the FMST classes, but the one that got me hooked was in freshman year, spring quarter – Feminism and Science with Professor Karen Barad. That class blew my mind. I had no idea what I was getting into. That was the class that made me want to be a FMST major. I had never had a class where I’d be sitting at the front of my chair so excited to learn. I kept talking about what I’d read and what we talked about in class every day with my friends. I thought, this is it. I’d never felt like that about a topic, so that’s a class that sticks out for me. 

When you reflect back, is there something you learned as a Feminist Studies major that you feel is most important?

That’s a hard question. The whole experience and every class exposed me to something new. But something that’s stuck with me the most, which is maybe the “ethos” of the major, is being open to learning and hearing other perspectives and experiences. Not coming in believing you know everything. That’s a theory of living life that I got through Feminist Studies. Being around so many different classmates who had different experiences and learning so many different things, that’s definitely stuck with me. 

Do you keep in touch with other Feminist Studies majors?  

I still keep in touch with some, and some are my best friends. Actually my partner started as a Feminist Studies major, then she moved to Psych. So yes, I met a lot of people who are close in my life. 

Is there anything else you think our FMST majors should know?  

For me, starting college and even in my junior and senior year, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I wasn’t able to do internships, I worked. So it was scary going out [after graduation] and trying to find what I could do that was paid work that would let me do good work and make an impact. I definitely had some help and got a little lucky. But it’s definitely something you can do – getting into a policy field, getting into law school, doing something where you feel you’re making an impact. It’s scary, but definitely doable. 

Kim is happy to talk with Feminist Studies majors. Folks can be in touch with her at


Visualizing Abolition – 2020-2021

This year-long lecture series continues, along with a companion art exhibit on view at San José Museum of Art through March 21, 2021 and featuring Solitary Garden, a public art project at UC Santa Cruz. Presented by the UCSC Institute of the Arts & Sciences in collaboration with FMST professor Gina Dent, the 2020/21 online events feature artists, activists, scholars, and others united by their commitment to the vital struggle for prison abolition. Winter lecture schedule below; more info and registration links here

  • January 19 – Prisons, Histories, and Erasures, Joanne Barker, San Francisco State University; artist Maria Gaspar; Kelly Lytle Hernández, UCLA 
  • January 26 – Prisons and Poetics, Reginald Dwayne Betts 
  • February 2 – Surveillance and Cinematics, American Artist; Simone Browne, University of Texas-Austin; Ruha Benjamin, Princeton University 
  • February 9 – Material and Memory, artist Sanford Biggers; Leigh Raiford, UC-Berkeley
  • February 23 – Abolitionist Feminisms, Sonya Clark, Amherst College; Erica Meiners, Northeastern Illinois University; Beth Richie, University of Illinois 

CRES Book Talk & Celebration: A Violent Peace: Christine Hong – January 22, 2:00-3:30pm

Associate Professor Christine Hong’s new book, A Violent Peace, offers a radical account of the United State's transformation into a total-war state as the Cold War turned hot in the Pacific, and antifascist critique disclosed a continuity between US police actions in Asia and a rising police state at home. Hong will discuss her book, with respondents Neel Ahuja, Associate Professor, FMST/CRES and Alyosha Goldstein, Professor of American Studies, University of New Mexico. Registration link to come. 

2020-2021 UCSC Center for South Asian Studies Towards Justice Lecture Series

The UCSC Center for South Asian Studies’ 2020-21 lecture series continues. Curated by FMST professor and CSAS co-director, Anjali Arondekar, all lectures are on a Thursday, 4-6 pm PT. Get more info and register here

  • February 4 – Labors of Love: On the Ethics and Politics of Attachment in India’s Central Himalayas, Professor Radhika Govindrajan, University of Washington, Seattle 
  • March 4 – Speaking Satire to Power: A View from Kashmir, Mir Suhail, Artist, Activist, Scholar 
  • April 8 – The Aesthetics of Postcolonial Science: Art and Physics in 1950s Bombay, Professor Dwaipayan Banerjee, MIT-Massachusetts Institute of Technology 

#StopCVE: Challenging State Surveillance of Muslims in the Biden/Harris Era – February 16, 9-10am  

Fatema Ahmad, executive director of the Muslim Justice League, will visit Professor Neel Ahuja’s CRES 100 - Comparative Theories of Race & Ethnicity class for a talk open to all. Fatema will discuss the history and impacts of CVE-Countering Violent Extremism, an Obama-era grant program that funneled federal money to police, universities, and nonprofit organizations and targeted Muslims and political activists, and consider the prospects for such programs under the Biden/Harris administration. Sponsored by CRES and the Center for Racial Justice. Registration link to come. 

FMST Book Talk & Celebration: Kwaito Bodies: Xavier Livermon – February 19, 1:00-2:30pm

In his new book, Kwaito Bodies, FMST associate professor Xavier Livermon examines the cultural politics of the youthful black body in South Africa through the performance, representation, and consumption of kwaito, a style of electronic dance music that emerged following the end of apartheid. Professor Livermon will be joined by respondents Savannah Shange, Assistant Professor, Anthroplogy and Marcia Ochoa, Associate Professor, Feminist Studies. Registration link to come. 

Inaugurating Alternative Futures – February 20 12:15-1:30pm

As the US inaugurates a new president, the Center for Cultural Studies hosts Melanie Yazzie (Assistant Professor, Native American Studies/American Studies, University of New Mexico) and Michelle Daigle (Assistant Professor, Centre for Indigenous Studies, University of Toronto) in conversation with UCSC Feminist Studies professors Gina Dent and Caitlin Keliiaa to discuss alternative futures and political possibilities, focusing in particular on Indigenous pathways to alternative political-ethical futures. More info and sign-up here

THI Deep Read with There There author Tommy Orange – February 24, 5:30-7:00pm

One of The New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year,There There centers on urban Native American experience in Oakland, CA. FMST professor and indigenous scholar Katie Keliiaa will participate in this event, one of a series of online salons presented by The Humanities Institute, that will delve into the novel hailed by last year’s Deep Read author, Margaret Atwood, as “an astonishing literary debut.”  Get the latest details and sign up for the program here.   

Indigenous Feminism and Language Reclamation – Nitana Hicks Greendeer – February 25, 3:20-4:55pm

Nitana Hicks Greendeer, Curriculum Specialist at Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project, will be an invited speaker for a public talk during Professor Katie Keliiaa’s Indigenous Feminisms class. Registration link to come. 

Rematriation and the Land Back Movement – Corrina Gould – March 9, 3:20-4:55pm

Corrina Gould, Spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone and Co-Founder of the Sogorea Te Land Trust, will give a public talk hosted by Professor Katie Keliiaa for her Indigenous Feminisms class. Registration link to come. 


Undergraduate Digital Research Fellowship – Deadline: January 19

This two-quarter program supports undergraduate students seeking to build independent digital research projects. Six undergrad students will engage with the Digital Humanities to receive individual mentorship and training to learn digital tools, methodologies, and community practices in order to build a research project of their own design. At the end of Spring Quarter, students will present their projects at the Digital Research Symposium. Learn more and apply here. 

Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund – Deadline: January 25

The Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund provides dissertation write-up grants to PhD candidates in the humanities.  Grants are awarded to applicants in financial need as determined by the Trustees upon review of applications. Lewis Fellows are awarded a stipend of approximately $31,000, plus coverage of some registration/tuition fees. Eligibility is limited to PhD candidates at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University who are completing a dissertation with a humanistic focus. Apply here

Baskin Feminist Transfers Scholarship – Deadline: January 29

Through the Baskin Feminist Scholars Program, the Feminist Studies Department offers a scholarship opportunity for undergraduate community college transfer students from Cabrillo College, De Anza College, and Monterey Peninsula College. Scholarship recipients selected for 2020-21 will receive $2500. Go here for more info; contact Undergrad Advisor Anne Eickelberg ( to receive application materials.

UC National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement VOICE Initiative – Deadline: January 29

The Valuing Open and Inclusive Conversation and Engagement (VOICE) Initiative provides funding for UC students, staff and faculty interested in conducting research or coordinating programs and activities that explore how fundamental democratic and academic principles of free speech and civic engagement should enrich the discovery and transmission of knowledge in America’s colleges and universities. The 2020-21 VOICE Initiative theme is Breaking Barriers – identifying barriers, steps that can be taken to address them, and how those steps can help build community. Get more info and apply here.

“Humanities for All” Project Grants / Quick Grants – Deadline: February 1 / February 15

Humanities for All – a California Humanities program in partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities – provides grants to support locally initiated public humanities projects that respond to the needs and interests of Californians and encourage greater public participation in humanities programming, particularly by new and/or underserved audiences. 

Project Grants ($10,000 to $20,000) are awarded twice a year to large-scale public humanities projects of up to two-years duration, sponsored by California-based nonprofit organizations and non-federal public agencies. Appropriate programming formats include but are not limited to interpretive exhibits, community dialogue and discussion series, workshops and participatory activities, presentations and lectures, conversations and forums, and interactive and experiential activities. Grant period is June 2021 through May 2023. Note: Awards must be matched with an equivalent amount of cash or in-kind resources over the life of the project. Apply by February 1, 2021; more info here.  

Quick Grants (between $1,000 and $5,000) are awarded three times a year to small-scale public humanities programs sponsored by California-based nonprofit organizations and non-federal public agencies. Taking place within one year from the award date, projects should be grounded in the humanities, show potential to provide high quality humanities learning experiences for participants and audiences, and demonstrate capacity for successful implementation. Appropriate formats include but are not limited to community dialogues, reading- or film-and-discussion groups, oral history or nonfiction writing or story-sharing workshops, and other types of activities. Note: A cash or in-kind match of the award is NOT required. Apply by February 15; more info here.

THI 2021-22 Research and Dissertation Fellowships – Deadline: February 10

The Humanities Institute provides grants that help Humanities faculty and students excel by providing time to focus on all aspects of scholarly research, from generating new ideas to visiting the archive and working through the writing process. Click through the links below to find out more about these graduate research fellowship opportunities:

THI Dissertation Completion| THI Summer Dissertation| THI Summer Research 

Research Center for the Americas Dissertation Writing Support – Deadline: February 15

RCA and LALS have partnered with Heartful Editor, a professional copyediting service, to sponsor at least five graduate students writing dissertations in the fields of Chicanx/Latinx Studies and/or Latin American Studies. Selected students will have one dissertation chapter (35-45 pages) professionally copyedited in Spring 2021. Info on this and other RCA opportunities here

Research Institute in Sociology and Social Inequality – Deadline: February 22

Texas A&M invites applications for this NSF-funded research opportunity for undergraduate students. This eight-week summer program, which takes place in College Station, TX, provides up to 10 undergraduates with hands-on training in research methods and funding to present their research at an academic conference. Visit the website for more information and to access the application.

Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award – Deadline: March 1

This teaching award recognizes UCSC Humanities faculty for their commitment to and effectiveness in transformative teaching and mentoring. The faculty recipient of the annual grant also has the honor of selecting a Humanities undergraduate student to receive a scholarship in recognition of academic achievement. Access the nomination form and list of previous faculty and undergrad recipients here

Tinker Foundation Pre-Dissertation Travel Grants – Deadline: March 1  

Coordinated by The Research Center for the Americas in partnership with LALS, Tinker Foundation grants are for travel and field-related expenses for brief periods (a minimum of two weeks in Summer 2021) of pre-dissertation field research in Latin America, defined as Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries of the region, excluding Puerto Rico, Spain, Portugal, and Belize. More info and application link here. RCA will host an information session on February 10 at 1pm. Register for the information session here

21st International Conference on Diversity in Organizations, Communities & Nations – Deadline: March 2

The University of Curacao in Willemstad, Curacao welcomes proposals for this conference, to be held June 2-4. The special focus of the 2021 conference is Economic Resilience and Sustainable Development in Times of Crisis: Pathways to Education, Inclusion, Action, with four additional theme tracks. Learn more and submit a proposal here. 

14th Global Studies Conference – Deadline: March 5

Proposals are welcome for this conference to be held June 2-7 at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. The focus of the conference is Life after Pandemic: Towards a New Global Biopolitics?  The Global Studies Research Network is devoted to mapping and interpreting past and emerging trends and patterns in globalization, seeking to build an epistemic community where we can make linkages across disciplinary, geographic, and cultural boundaries. Apply here

David A. Kadish Humanities Scholarship – Deadline April 2

If you’re a UCSC undergraduate student with financial need and declared in a Humanities major, you may be eligible for this $2,000 award, established by Cowell alumnus David Kadish (History, ‘73). Go here to apply.