FMST/CRES Prof. Jenny Kelly honored as recipient of the 2023 Dizikes Award

May 18, 2023


We are very pleased to share the news that FMST/CRES Professor Jenny Kelly is the recipient of the 2023 Dizikes Award, selected by undergraduates in honor of her commitment to excellence in teaching. 

Named in honor of Professor Emeritus John Dizikes, the annual award celebrates the work of outstanding teachers and their students. Faculty recipients of the award receive a grant to support their research and also designate a Humanities student to receive a scholarship in recognition of their academic achievements. 

Associate professor Jenny Kelly graduated from UCSC with a double major in Feminist Studies and Literature, and earned her PhD in American Studies at University of Texas, Austin, where she trained in transnational American studies, critical race and ethnic studies, feminist studies, and comparative colonialisms. Her research broadly engages questions of settler colonialism, U.S. empire, and the fraught politics of both tourism and solidarity. She is the author of Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism Across Occupied Palestine (Duke University Press, 2023)

In the faculty letter for her nomination, Prof. Kelly was lauded for her passionate engagement with the intellectual and political projects of critical race and ethnic studies and feminist theories, and for her ability and commitment to challenge her students to formulate an analytical framework that does not subsume race in the service of gender or vice versa. In addition to her reconceptualizing Racial & Gender Formations (FMST 145), an upper-division large lecture course which examines social formations of race and gender as mechanisms of power, Prof. Kelly alongside Prof. Nick Mitchell anchors Feminism & Social Justice (FMST 20), a popular large lecture course that attracts students from across the university. "We cannot imagine a more dynamic teacher to provide students with an introduction to the field of feminist studies than Professor Kelly." 

Prof. Kelly's students consistently note how her warm, passionate, and rigorous pedagogy fosters their best work within the interdisciplinary fields of critical race and feminist studies. An environmental major wrote," I learned a ton in her class, I was never made to feel stupid about not knowing things and feel like the things we learned in that class should be taught to everyone." 

In addition to receiving the teaching award, Dizikes recipients have the honor of selecting undergraduate students to receive a scholarship in their name. Prof. Kelly has named three scholarship recipients, who will each receive $1000. Izadora Amarís Lopez McGawley, Yitong Lei, and Justin Curran will receive the 2022-2023 Jennifer Lynn Kelly Scholarship in the Humanities. "These students are each embarking on place-based, site-specific projects on settler colonial displacement that are ethically researched and carefully considered," said Prof. Kelly in naming the scholarship recipients. "I can see their reserch lending itself to projects - on gentrification, abolition, and divestment - that will live far beyond the spatial and temporal confines of the classroom."  

Congratulations to Professor Kelly and the three undergrad scholarship awardees!