The FMST Newsletter, Winter 2024

January 17, 2024



CHAIR'S LETTER: Winter 2024

Dear Feminist Studies Community,

I hope 2024 has gotten off to a good start for all of you. We have a number of exciting things happening in the department this year. First and foremost, 2024 is Feminist Studies' 50th Anniversary! We will have a new logo to honor this milestone, which we hope to be able to preview for you very soon.  

As part of our 50th Anniversary, the FMST department is hosting several events, including a community forum on Friday, March 1 with the authors of Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care. The lead-up to this panel discussion includes a reading circle convened by FMST undergraduate representative Syd Ferris, which will meet in the weeks before the event. (More info on that below.) 

Please also mark May 17 on your calendars for Radical Research – the 2nd annual FMST Undergrad Research Symposium, which we have expanded this year for the 50th Anniversary. Grant funding for undergrads who wish to present their work is available. Access the google doc to apply for funding here. The deadline for proposals is January 22.   

Also upcoming is a FMST Grad Works-in-Progress series organized by new graduate events committee representative Em Padilla, which will start later this winter quarter. 

There’s much much to report in this issue, including kudos to Gina Athena Ulysse for her new book; a wonderful video about Distinguished FMST Professor Emerita Bettina Aptheker, (who co-led the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in the 1960s and the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis in the early ‘70s); and an Honorable Mention from the American Studies Assn. for best book published in 2022 awarded to FMST/CRES professor Felicity Schaeffer for Unsettled Borders: The Militarized Science of Surveillance on Sacred Indigenous Land. 

Plus, the latest in our Five Questions with a Feminist Q&A series with FMST alums. This issue features an interview  with Kristen Kovaletz (Class of 2015), Associate Director of Advancement at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, who talked with Prof. Gina Dent about how Feminist Studies influenced her career in non-profit fundraising.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2024,

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

Celebrating 50 years of Feminist Studies 

Let This Radicalize You – Community activism event scheduled for March 1

let-this-radicalize-you-book-cover.jpegThe 2024 academic year 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. 

To celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we're planning several quarterly events throughout this year and next. For Winter 2024, our centerpiece event will be held on Friday, March 1 – a public forum focused on community activism featuring Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba, co-authors of Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care, in conversation with UCSC professors Gina Dent (FMST), Christine Hong (CRES), and Debbie Gould (SOC).

Let This Radicalize You is a practical resource intended to aid and empower activists and organizers as they map their own journeys through the work of justice-making. What fuels and sustains activism and organizing when it feels like our worlds are collapsing? Hayes and Kaba, longtime organizers and movement educators, examine some of the political lessons of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the convergence of mass protest and mass formations of mutual aid, and consider what this confluence of power can teach us about a future that will require mass acts of care, rescue and defense, in the face of myriad factors of state violence, international upheaval, and environmental disaster.

The event, open and free to the public, will be at the Santa Cruz Resource Center for Non-Violence. Representatives from local non-profit groups will be invited to attend, and we look forward to a generative discussion on how to address the vital challenge of organizing in today’s world. More event details to come in the weeks ahead.

We have purchased several copies of Let This Radicalize You, and FMST undergrad rep Syd Ferris will be hosting a feminist Reading Together book circle with weekly group discussions leading up to the event on March 1. See below for details!

For Spring quarter, we’re working to expand Radical Research, the successful FMST Undergraduate Research Symposium that debuted last year. The Symposium is scheduled for May 17. Read more below about funding for FMST students who wish to present their work at the event.


FMST grads Works-in-Progress speaker series

em-padilla-headshot-crop.jpgFeminist Studies graduate student Em Padilla will be taking the reins as the grad events committee rep for Winter/Spring 2024. In conjunction with the FMST events planning committee, Em is excited to announce a series of upcoming Works-in-Progress presentations. The first of the series will take place in mid-winter, with the aim of offering FMST grad students a place to present their work and receive feedback and comments from the broader feminist community tailored to the graduate presenter's goals (e.g. job market presentations, conferences, job talks, etc.). More details about the Works-in-Progress series will come soon. 

Em Padilla (they/them) is a 5th year FMST graduate student with a DE in CRES. Their research examines the relation between military policies on Trans inclusion, the Trans Latinx soldiering experience, and Trans masculinity/femininity as they emerge and exist in and out of national institutions and socio-cultural sites. They aim to better understand the intersection between Latinx and Trans(national) identities and how this intersection plays into national sentiment, identity, and ultimately, the concept of inclusion and its history. Their dissertation project revolves around these topics, as well as an ongoing analysis of existing and incoming anti-Trans and Queer legislation.  

News from FMST PhD alums  

Erin McElroy’s new book, Silicon Valley Imperialism: Techno Fantasies and Frictions in Postsocialist Times (Duke University Press) will be published in March 2024, and is currently available for pre-order. 

Vivian Underhill had an article published in the Fall 2023 issue of Open Rivers entitled “The Return of Pa’ashi: Colonial Unknowing and California’s Tulare Lake.” 


Let This Radicalize You reading group

let-this-radicalize-you-book-cover.jpegFMST undergrad rep Syd Ferris will be hosting a feminist Reading Together book club through Winter quarter as part of the lead-up to our public event on March 1 with the authors of Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care.

Free copies of Let This Radicalize You – both in paperbook and e-book versions – are available for those who wish to participate.

The group will meet weekly on Wednesdays from 4:30-5:30 in HUM1 room 320. If you have questions, get in touch with Syd at


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

fists-graphic.pngWe’re currently in the planning stages for the 2nd Annual FMST Undergrad Research Symposium, being held May 17 at the Cowell Hay Barn.   

Now is the time for FMST students to start thinking about presenting, and we are very excited that undergrad research funding is available for scholars who wish to showcase their projects.  

Up to 10 grants in the amount of $500 will be awarded to support and encourage student research in the field of Feminist Studies. There are no constraints on the expenditure of the stipend. Any project involving substantive research within Feminist Studies is eligible for consideration, and a faculty mentor is not required to present your work.  

Students are encouraged to consider developing ideas that originated in FMST coursework. Proposals must be for research conducted during the academic year and will be showcased at Radical Research: The Feminist Studies Undergraduate Research Symposium, on May 17.  

The application includes: a 1-page research proposal describing the research problem to be addressed; methodological approach and what will be done in the project; a brief description of the end product (e.g. research paper, poster, short film, art installation etc.); and a project timetable for completion. 

Go here to apply for funding. Deadline for submission is January 22, 2024.


Professor Gina Athena Ulysse celebrates new book – A Call to Rasanblaj

ulysse-greek-book-cover.jpegCongratulations to Gina Athena Ulysse on the publication of her latest book project!

In September, Prof. Ulysse's book, A Call to Rasanblaj: Black Feminist Futures & Ethnographic Aesthetics, was published in Greek, edited and with an introduction by Penelοpe Papailias, translated by Vangelis Poulios (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung, Athens, Greece). 

As a Haitian-American feminist anthropologist, artist and academic, Prof. Ulysse engages in rasanblaj, a unique feminist and decolonial practice rooted in black aesthetics and the Haitian spiritual and historical experience. Her newest volume attempts to broaden access to contemporary black radical thought and art, especially to Caribbean genealogies. The core of the book is the script of a performance Ulysse presented at the “Decolonizing Hellas” symposium in November 2021, accompanied by a related text on contemporary Haitian art. Reflecting on critical questions regarding history and decoloniality, ethnography and art, Ulysse asks: What does it mean to contest the hegemony of anti-blackness and Eurocentrism in practice? How might dominant historical narratives, but also the very meaning of freedom, transform if we place at the center of our analysis and practice the historical experience, traditions of artistic expression, genealogies of resistance and spirits of Haiti? And, more generally, the perspectives opened up by black radical thought? 

FMST Faculty Awards, Publications, and Conferences 

Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor Emerita and a beloved FMST professor, was honored on October 27 at the 2023 UCSC Alumni Ethos Awards event, which celebrated four Humanities alumni:  Bettina Aptheker (Ph.D. ’83, history of consciousness); bell hooks (Ph.D. ’83, literature - presented posthumously to her family); Jim Lapsley (Crown ’71, history); and Su Nerton (Crown ’72, Russian literature). A passionate scholar-activist, Aptheker co-led the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley in 1964-65; was a leader of the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam; and co-led the National United Committee to Free Angela Davis (1970-1972). She was also an avid supporter of the LGBT movement. Bettina was lauded for her lifetime commitment to social justice and her legendary professional achievements at UCSC, where she started teaching Introduction to Feminism in Winter 1981. Read this wonderful story about Bettina, accompanied by a great YouTube video with archival footage from her anti-war activism in the 1960 and '70s.

On December 3, Bettina talked about her latest book, Communists in Closets: Queering the History, 1930s-1990s (Routledge), at the Howard Zinn Book Fair in San Francisco. On November 17, she presented a keynote for the annual meeting of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC). 

Felicity Schaeffer received Honorable Mention for the 2023 John Hope Franklin Prize for best book published in 2022, awarded by the American Studies Association, for Unsettled Borders: The Militarized Science of Surveillance on Sacred Indigenous Land. 

Gina Athena Ulysse did two residencies in Fall 2023, received an Artist in Residence appointment from the AES, and also participated in several conferences: 

Artist in Residence at the American Ethnological Society – Recently announced as the first Artist in Residence at AES, a section of the American Anthropological Association, Gina will be working on projects throughout the year as she seeks to reorient the relationship of art in anthropology and inspire more creative approaches into the life and work of the AES and the discipline at large.

Residency Fellowship at the Bogliasco Foundation, Theatre Category, Bogliasco, Italy, October-November 2023

Meridians Volume 21 and 22 Virtual Celebration with Editor Ginetta Calandrio, Smith College, Northampton, MA, Nov. 30, 2023

Roundtable participant: “How to Navigate Transitions in a Life's Journey as an Anthropologist,” AAA/CASCA Annual Meeting, Toronto, ON, Canada, Nov. 17, 2023 

Roundtable participant: "Caribbean Performance: Spectacle, Schisms, and Solidarities," American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Montreal, Quebec. Nov. 2, 2023 

“Indigo” Cover Art and artist statement – Meridians: Feminism, Race Transnationalism Vol 23 No 1. In Press, October 2023 

Residency at the University of Zurich, Department of Art History, August-September, 2023

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Five Questions with a Feminist 

The Five Questions with a Feminist interview series spotlights FMST alums who have gone on to do great things in the world. Visit our YouTube channel to view the interview Professor Gina Dent did with Kristen Kovaletz, Class of 2015. Below is an edited version of their conversation. 

Kristen Kovaletz, Associate Director of Advancement, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research - Class of 2015

kristen-kovaletz-headshot-crop.jpgKristen Kovaletz is a Feminist Studies major who graduated from UCSC in 2015 and went on to earn an MBA from the University of Southern California in 2019. Today, Kristen is Associate Director of Advancement at the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. Previously, she has held non-profit fundraising roles at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, the American Jewish World Service, and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.  

Prof. Gina Dent: Welcome, Kristen. It's so great to see you again. Thank you for taking the time. I'd love for you to tell us about your current profession and what you do. 

Kristen Kovaletz: My career is in non-profit fundraising. I have worked in various capacities for a handful of organizations, mostly here in the greater Los Angeles area. My career started at Planned Parenthood L.A. serving health centers throughout Los Angeles County. My role was fundraising major gifts from high net-worth families throughout the county who shared the values of Planned Parenthood and wanted to increase access to care. I then worked for the American Jewish World Service, and during the pandemic pivoted to the L.A. Regional Food Bank which, as you can imagine, was at a point in time marked by incredible and critical need. It was a tremendous opportunity, and they're a tremendous organization that I have endless respect for. At the Food Bank I worked in an annual giving capacity - so smaller dollar donations from a larger number of people, more grassroots-type fundraising. This was really important during the pandemic, when people were looking for ways they could help their community while trying to stay safe at home.

About a year and a half ago I left the Food Bank, and now I serve the West Coast of the U.S. for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research. We fund exciting new and emerging science in the field of neurology writ large, but specifically serving the Parkinson's population. I meet mostly with high net-worth families in Los Angeles and San Francisco, but I think of my territory as being from Alaska to Hawaii and all the way down the West Coast. For my team, based in New York, they look at us on the West Coast as being free spirited, wonderful people, and it's a real joy to do this work and serve the Parkinson's community. I also act as an ambassador to the entire Parkinson's community here on the West Coast.

Prof. Dent: So thinking about the work you're doing, let's go back... What made you become a Feminist Studies major? 

Kristen: I've been thinking about that in preparation for this interview, and I look back to my childhood. I grew up in Southern California in a very conservative community. My family was not particularly conservative, but I definitely felt a bit like a fish out of water amongst my peers growing up. When I had an opinion about something – I grew up in the post 9-11 era with the Iraq War and the Bush years – I felt as if I always had my armor up and always had to justify and fight for my beliefs. I was always on the offensive. So when I was thinking about college, it was an opportunity to go somewhere new, be around a new group of people, and really dig into a specific point of study. I was really looking to take my armor down and be amongst a group of people who maybe didn't necessarily rubber stamp everything I had to say, but didn't immediately fight me on those things. I thought of college as an opportunity to expand the beliefs I already thought I had, without always having to push back against them and not be treated as if they were so radical. And I was looking to being able to better articulate why I felt the way I did about the world. When I learned about the FMST department at Santa Cruz, I was incredibly hooked. It felt like it was putting puzzle pieces into place that I had always been looking for to better articulate why I felt the way I did about the world. And that was massive. That was huge just for my mental health, truly. 

Prof. Dent: Did you know you were going to be a FMST major when you enrolled? 

Kristen: I did. I did when I was submitting my application. I had toured the university and maybe the tour guide was a FMST major or maybe was familiar with the Humanities department in general, but I recall her speaking really highly of it. When we were passing the Humanities portion of campus, I remember being very hooked by that, and immediately Santa Cruz was my first choice. It was the place I was waiting with bated breath to receive notice of admission to. I knew the second I got the email - sorry UC Riverside, but I was going to be leaving Southern California and heading north, much to the chagrin of my parents. But not too far, it could have been worse! 

Prof. Dent: Do you feel that being a FMST major influenced your professional goals? It sounds like you might have already been moving in that direction.

Kristen: I think it did influence it in that it really solidified and firmed up things that I believed all the while. I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do work that I felt made a positive impact on the world. I didn't quite know what that looked like yet. I think when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up - other than saying I wanted to be the boss, which I think was the youngest sibling coming out in me - I really wanted to do good work for the world and leave a positive impact. I think I quickly realized that feminist studies was going to give me a set of ethics that would help lead me to a career that would have a net positive benefit on the world. 

Prof. Dent: Given that you had this desire before you entered, what do you think you learned in the major? Maybe something that surprised you or something you were already prepared for, that has helped you in your work now?

Kristen: I think there were two points where things really clicked for me. The first was in Intro to Feminist Studies with Bettina Aptheker when she talked about intersectionality for the first time. That, for me as an 18 year old, was like ding, ding, ding! So much about the world is making more sense. And when I got to your Women in the Law class, when we talked about feminist jurisprudence, so much more made sense. In that the systems we exist under have always been written with certain people in mind, and certain people not in mind, or certain people in mind for the wrong reasons. And the systems we live within dictate nearly everything. We gain a lot by being able to recognize the systems of oppression that exist - how they shape the world, how they shape your world and my world in different ways, and how they might shape a neighbor's world entirely differently. 

That's something I talk about in my day-to-day work with the Foundation. Which is interesting, because my career has gotten less and less politically motivated as I left Planned Parenthood and the Food Bank. The Michael J. Fox Foundation is by-and-large a non-partisan organization. Parkinson's doesn't care who you voted for. But something we talk about a lot at the Foundation is inequities in the medical system. We're serving the Parkinson's population. We’re not serving wealthy people with Parkinson's or the white male population, we're serving everybody. And we're very, very specific in our one singular goal, which is to find a cure for Parkinson's disease. 

Something I was told in the interview process that has really stuck with me is that that exists on a layered plane. Because if the cure for Parkinson's came tomorrow and a single dose was a million dollars, it's not a cure for everybody. Or if a cure came tomorrow and it impacted the genetically Caucasian male population but not anyone else, it's not a cure for Parkinson's. Our job isn’t over. That was one of the first things I learned about the Foundation - that we are trying to tackle the root causes of all these sorts of medical inequalities in order to achieve our singular mission. That gave me a lot of comfort coming into the organization. Knowing that the people I was going to work with understood that we exist within a bigger system, and that bigger system was built with certain people in mind. How do we serve everybody in a system that was not built for everybody? I don't know that I would have been able to identify that without the tools I learned in feminist studies. Without understanding the layered systems that exist and pop up in everything.

Prof. Dent: That makes me want to ask some follow up questions, but let me stick to my script and ask you, what was your favorite FMST class at UCSC? 

Kristen: My favorite class was Intro to Feminist Studies with Bettina Aptheker. I have a very visceral memory of being late on the first day, because I didn't know where I was going. Semester one, and I had a map - no smartphone yet, which is crazy to think about. I didn't realize it, but being late to class on Day 1 was a kiss of death, because every single seat was full, every single stairwell was full, and I ended up sitting on the floor in front for the entire class. I was never late to that class again, but it was this incredible moment where I realized I wasn't alone. I was not alone in the world. I was not alone in my beliefs. In fact, there were people who knew a lot more than I did and we were all enthusiastic about it. And no one was making fun of me for being in a feminist classroom. 

Prof. Dent: Thousands and thousands of people have gone through that course, and it's great to hear about it now. (Editorial note: Bettina Aptheker is retired; FMST 1 is still a required FMST course but is no longer offered in that exact format.) Can you tell us what was the most important thing you learned as a FMST major? 

Kristen: I sort of already touched on this, but I learned a couple things. First, the concept of intersectionality. The concept that these systems of oppression are layered and impact the entire world is probably the biggest takeaway I had from Feminist Studies. But I think the greatest skill I got out of the program was being able to articulate my beliefs in a way that wasn't combative, because I really want to bring people into my school of thought. I don't want to isolate individuals who are learning, who don't have all the answers yet but maybe want to gain them, and are going to say something out of turn first or maybe without realizing it. It really taught me how to better articulate what I believe and understand the history behind what I had always felt to be true and be able to articulate that and bring people into the fold. How to be a little more persuasive in my arguments than I was as a teenager who felt she had to fight back against people who disagreed with her. Being able to articulate what you believe is tremendously important and is so critical to the work I do today with the Foundation. We operate in this world of high stakes elevator pitches, and being able to say what you believe in a way that makes sense in a way that's going to bring people in is huge. 

Prof. Dent: I love that. I know I was supposed to ask you five questions, but I wonder if you'd indulge us with a couple more. When you left UCSC, you're an unusual FMST major in that you did an MBA afterward. Can you tell people what it might be like to move from our program into that degree?

Kristen: It was an interesting and multi-layered transition. A grad program is obviously very different from an undergrad program in that it dives into a field of study very intensely. I also moved from a public school to a private school, which was its own very interesting experience, and I moved into a business program. I remember I asked a professor at UCSC to write me a letter of recommendation, and she had pause, which I respect. She didn't want to write a letter of recommendation for a program she did not necessarily agree with. And I’m glad we had this conversation because it was very eye opening. 

The reason I went to business school - other than the youngest sibling in me wanting to grow up to be the boss – is because I really wanted to learn how to communicate with people and how to be an influential leader. People go to business school to learn how to be a boss, but as a barista or a retail associate at jobs in college or in high school, I had bosses that were cruel. And they were cruel because that was a learned behavior. Maybe their boss had been cruel, and they had learned how to treat people beneath them in the food chain of an organization because they had been treated a certain way. I told [the professor] that I wanted the tools to break those systems. I wanted to learn how to be a leader who could galvanize a group of individuals to serve each other and their community in a way that put their ethics first. I also said there weren't a lot of people like me in these types of [MBA] programs, and I wanted there to be more people like me in the C-suite. I wanted to see people who were going to put their ethics first, because it makes a really big difference when you're a worker in an organization where the leaders have tremendous integrity, and it makes a difference when they don't. There need to be people like me in these types of programs, because if we don't step up to be the next set of leaders, we know who will, right? And that was an exciting moment. She wrote one of the most wonderful letters about myself I've ever read, which essentially said that she wanted more people like me to lead organizations and she hoped this would influence others to do so as well.

I definitely butted heads with colleagues in my MBA program, but I also made a lot of friends. And I think I challenged and encouraged people. I had a micro-economics professor who I gave a really hard time. We ended up having weekly meetings where I pushed back on a lot of things he was saying and asked him to justify what he was telling us. Sometimes it was tough, sometimes it was fun. When the program wrapped, he threw our cohort a party at his home and introduced me to his wife and said, "This is Kristen. She's my first millennial friend. She taught me a lot." We’re still in touch, and I like to think had I not gone into that program, he wouldn’t have gotten a bunch of tough questions that he was forced to answer, because I was persistent. 

So I'm really glad I did it. It taught me to be a better communicator, a better leader. And it gave some of my colleagues in the course someone to ask tough questions. And I was happy to be that person. 

Prof. Dent: That's wonderful. And it leads me to a last question which has to do with the fact that you had that preparation and then have been working in non-profits. That's a route a lot of our graduates take, and it's an area with expanding opportunities, but also complexity. Could you give a little advice to people as they may enter those worlds? 

Kristen: The non-profit world is wonderful. It’s a great place to be and a place I’m glad I landed. But it’s not without its own unique challenges. As a person newly entering the work force, I firmly believe that the external mission of an organization is so important. You need to believe in the work your organization is doing. Not just if you’re a fundraiser like me and you have to speak to why someone should give us their hard-earned philanthropic dollars, but also if you’re going to do programmatic work or even if you’re going to work in accounting. You have to agree with the mission first and foremost. 

But once you know whether you agree with the mission, it’s important in the interview process when you’re starting out to ask questions about the ethics of the organization. Make sure the way the organization is built, the way it’s structured and the way it treats its work force, is something that matches your own ethics and where you want to spend your life day-to-day. We all exist within structures, and if the structure is holding you back, even if it’s a mission you feel strongly about, you’re going to have a bad time. I encourage people to make sure that the fit externally, i.e. the mission of the organization, and the fit internally, meaning the way they’re going to treat you as an employee, is critical. It’s critical those match up. 

It’s ok to say no to a role that seems great if you think the ethics of the organization isn’t going to fit your own personal ethics. It’s ok to keep looking. You don’t have to take something just because it’s offered to you. As a FMST major, you have developed a very specific set of ethics that will only serve you. It will give you more clarity and a better understanding of what you’re looking for. Not everybody enters the work force with such clarity of morals and ethics and integrity. That’s a place where you get to stand that others do not. So use that to your advantage to make sure you’re really happy in the roles you enter. Because it makes a big difference if you’re not.


Let This Radicalize You Community Activism Event – March 1, 10am to 1pm

One of several quarterly events throughout this year and next celebrating Feminist Studies’ 50th Anniversary, the centerpiece Winter event will be a public forum focused on community activism featuring a discussion with Kelly Hayes and Mariame Kaba, co-authors of Let This Radicalize You: Organizing and the Revolution of Reciprocal Care, in conversation with UCSC professors Gina Dent (FMST), Christine Hong (CRES), and Debbie Gould (SOC). The event will be held at the Santa Cruz Resource Center for Non-Violence. Look for more event details coming soon. 

CSAS Crossings Lecture Series – Winter 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.

  • February 14 at 12 noon (in-person, HUM 1 rm. 210) – The Trauma of Caste and the U.S. Equity Movement: A Dalit Feminist Meditation on Survivorship, Healing, and Abolition – Thenmozhi Soundarajan, executive director, Equality Labs. Register here
  • March 8 at 10am (virtual event) – Queer Religiously and Other Companion Stories – Omar Kasmani, guest-lecturer at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Freie Universitaet, Berlin. Find more event info and register here.


Phi Beta Kappa Society Public Service Scholarships – Deadline January 22

Undergraduate sophomores and juniors majoring in liberal arts and sciences and interested in public service careers are invited to apply for a $5,000 scholarship from the Key Into Public Service program, awarded by the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Go here for more info and links to the application.   

Coha-Gunderson Prize in Speculative Futures – Deadline: January 25

The Humanities Institute announces its fifth campus-wide Speculatively Scientific Fictions of the Future competition, open to undergraduate and graduate students, for a creative piece of (social or scientific) speculative fiction. Entries can be in any medium or genre but must be available for review and assessment by selection committee members and ultimately shared with the public. Submissions may be individual or collaborative. Depending on the number of applications, preference may be given to students able to participate in the 2024-25 workshop and exhibition, although it is not required. Up to five awards of $1000 each will be made in 2023-2024. Prizewinners who participate in the workshops and exhibition will receive a second $1000 award in 2024-25. Learn more and apply here.

University of California Humanities Research Institute grants – Deadline January 31

Check out the list of 2024-25 grant opportunities and research initiatives from the UC Humanities Research Institute. UCHRI funds UC faculty and graduate students who participate in innovative research and projects that engage a variety of disciplines and stakeholders, and also funds initiatives and multi-campus collaborations on particular topics and issues programmed and administered by UCHRI. More info about UCHRI here

The Gay & Lesbian Review Grant – Deadline: February 2

Applications are now open for graduate students to receive grant funding (up to $7,500) to write an article for The Gay & Lesbian Review and to begin, complete, or advance LGBTQ+ related writing and other creative projects such as a research paper or thesis, a book, a podcast, a video, a script, a novel, a multimedia creation, or an art installation. More information on The G&LR writers and artists grant here.

2024-25 UC President’s Pre-Professoriate Fellowship (PPPF) – Deadline: February 5

This fellowship supports UC PhD students (three per campus each year) who have received a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a California Hispanic Serving Institution (CA HSI) and have advanced to candidacy. The program’s goal is to foster preparation for professoriate pathways for historically underrepresented groups, particularly Chicanx/Latinx, African Americans, American Indians/Native Americans, Filipinx, and Pacific Islanders in all disciplines; women in STEM; and Asian Americans in the humanities and social sciences. For more info on eligibility criteria and how to apply, contact, Lorato Anderson (, Director of DEI in Graduate Studies. 

Strauss Foundation Scholarship – Deadline: February 14

The Donald A. Strauss Scholarship Foundation makes annual awards of $15,000 to no fewer than 10 and no more than 15 California college sophomores or juniors from 23 pre-selected institutions. The Foundation promotes the value of public service and the education of our future leaders by financing innovative student-generated projects. A central part of the application package is a proposal for a high-impact project in public service or social change, to be carried out between the end of the sophomore or junior year, and the spring of the following year. Find more info here.  

Baskin Feminist Transfers Scholarship – Deadline February 16

Each year, through the Baskin Feminist Scholars Program, the FMST Department offers a scholarship opportunity for undergraduate community college transfer students from Cabrillo College, De Anza College, or Monterey Peninsula College. This year, eligibility has been expanded to include ALL accredited community colleges in Northern California.  

For the 2023-24 academic year, two scholarship recipients will be selected to receive $2500 each. Applications will be evaluated based on financial need, commitment to feminist social justice work, and academic merit. To apply, submit the following documents to Undergrad Advisor Anne Eickelberg (

  • A 1-2 page, double-spaced essay (approximately 300-500 words) addressing your vision of feminist social justice work, and how your educational and personal experiences inform that vision.
  • Signed waiver of confidentiality giving permission to the admissions committee to review your academic file and attesting to the accuracy of the information included in the application. Confidentiality waiver forms can be obtained from Anne Eickelberg.

21st Century Feminist Scholarship – Deadline February 23 

The 21st Century Feminist Scholars endowment supports the pursuits of new and rising scholars in the field of feminist studies. Every year, the FMST department awards 2-3 scholarships in amounts ranging from $300 to $1,000 to support independent research. These scholarships are restricted to declared Feminist Studies majors.  

To apply, submit the following documents to Undergrad Advisor Anne Eickelberg (

  • Project proposal (2 pages maximum) – describe your project, its relevance to Feminist Studies and/or your career goals, and the expected timeline.
  • Projected budget – list expected expenses and funds received from other sources, if any.
  • Letter of endorsement/recommendation (1 page maximum) from a FMST faculty mentor. 

Bettina Aptheker Award for Research or Community Service on Sexual, Gendered, and Racial Violence – Deadline February 23 

Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor Emerita of Feminist Studies, is one of UC Santa Cruz's legendary professors. A radical feminist, political activist, UCSC alumna, and history scholar with a national reputation, Professor Aptheker has reached over 16,000 students through teaching in the department. In honor of and as an extension of her legacy, Professor Aptheker established an endowment that supports students whose research, work, or community service relates to sexual, gendered, and/or racial violence. The annual award is open to graduate and undergraduate students on an alternating basis.

This academic year, the $1000 award is open to FMST graduate students. To apply, submit the following documents to FMST Department Manager Laura Wilson (

  • Cover letter (2 page maximum): describe your research, activism, and/or communityservice related to sexual, gendered, and/or racial violence 
  • Letter of recommendation and project evaluation from a faculty sponsor

CAMINO Undergrad Summer Research Internship – Deadline: February 29

The Center to Advance Mentored, Inquiry-based Opportunities (CAMINO) has announced open applications for its Summer 2024 Research Internship program – a paid 8-10 week summer internship. CAMINO is an inclusive community that aims to propel excellence among diverse undergraduates interested in pursuing study or a career in the fields of ecology, evolution, or conservation. The internship includes a $5,500 stipend to support living expenses during the 8-10 week internship, one-on-one mentoring over the summer with a PhD, Postdoc, or faculty mentor, and immersion in a structured research experience across a dozen available projects. More info here.