FMST Newsletter, Fall 2017

November 20, 2017

Graduate News | Undergraduate News | Faculty News | Events


Wishing you all a warm welcome from the Feminist Studies Department. As we move forward, I want us to reflect back on the challenges we faced during these heavy political times. Many of us came out in record numbers for Women’s Marches all over the world on January 17, 2017, to express our multi-coalitional protest against sexism, police violence against mostly young black men, immigration crack-downs, the stripping of healthcare services, environ- mental devastation affecting mostly native and poor communities, and violent policies affecting LGBTQ communities. As the largest single-day protest, we must not forget the power of this global resistance as we face daily backlashes against racialized and poor communities, non-conformity, and religious intolerance. Our students, faculty, and community only grow stronger in our resolve to continue our work to understand and fight against inequalities, while we collectively imagine and enact better worlds together.
With this in mind, we are resurrecting our Feminist Studies Newsletter to foster collaboration by sharing our successes, research interests, and ongoing projects. If you have anything to share, please contact me to include it in future newsletters. Thank you for the inspiring work and passion you bring to our department and the campus, and the wider reverberation it has beyond these redwood trees.
I also want to thank staff who have joined us this year: Undergraduate Advisor Anne Eickelberg and Taylor Ainslie, our new Department Manager and Graduate Coordinator. Also, our Graduate Director for the next two years is Professor Neel Ahuja and Undergraduate Director, Professor Madhavi Murty. Thank you all for the smooth transition this year.
Felicity Amaya Schaeffer
Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies


We are very pleased to have awarded TA, GSI, and GSR positions to all FMST grad students this past year. And a reminder: The FMST Department will contribute $400 for grads who present at a conference. For more info, talk with Neel Ahuja, Graduate Director. 


We extend a warm welcome to five new graduate students in Feminist Studies this year. Introducing the 2017 grad cohort …

Eli Erlick is the director of Trans Student Educational Resources, a national youth-led organization dedicated to transforming the educational environment for transgender students, where her work emphasizes trans youth activism, education, and media. Her academic research is deeply related to her organizing work and personal life as a queer trans woman originating from a rural community, focusing on  contemporary transgender/queer studies, necropolitics, self-determination, organizations, depathologization, suicide, youth politics, and neoliberalism. She received her BA from Pitzer College in Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies in 2017. She is a former Westly Foundation and Peace First fellow and has been recognized internationally by Teen Vogue, Glamour, andnumerous other publications for her organizing and scholarship. Her work and writing have been featured in The New York Times, Time Magazine, and NPR among dozens of additional outlets.

Halima Kazem-Stojanovic is an investigative journalist and a journalism professor at San Jose State University. Halima writes about human rights and social justice issues in the US and abroad. She has been a journalist for 19 years and spent almost a decade reporting on the war and rebuilding efforts in Afghanistan. Her work has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the Guardian, San Francisco Chronicle, Al Jazeera and Christian Science Monitor. Halima has worked as a television news writer; an associate producer of news documentaries at MSNBC News; a documentary producer and human rights researcher for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and a journalism instructor for the Institute for War and Peace Reporting. She received a 2002 Scripps-Howard award for journalistic excellence, is a published children’s book author, and co-produced a documentary chronicling the campaign of the first female presidential candidate in Afghanistan. Halima’s PhD research focuses on the development and impact of women’s rights and gender reform programs, as part of human rights agendas, in conflict or post-conflict countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Halima has a BS in Journalism from San Jose State University and a MA in Business and Economic Journalism from New York University. 

Anne Napatalung received a B.A. in Communication and Studio Art from the University of Tampa and an M.A. in Communication, with a Certificate in Mediation and Negotiation, from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She expects to receive an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University in October 2017. Anne’s research interests are: race, space, prisons, plants, time, food, and the body. She is particularly interested in logics of captivity and containment, surveillance and the sensorium, and the roles of midwives and healers of color in abolitionist and decolonial struggles. Anne is passionate about reproductive freedom, healing justice, and plant knowledges. She serves as a community based herbalist, doula, vegan caterer, and Reiki practitioner, and she presented at the 2016 Decolonizing Birth Conference and the 2015 Praxis of #BlackLivesMatter and Food Justice Movements Summit. Anne is also the Director of National Resources for the Wisconsin Doulas of Color Collective, which she helped found in 2014.

Marina Segatti is a sociocultural linguist and feminist who seeks to investigate how queer Brazilian immigrants reinscribe and challenge aspects of sex, race, ethnicity, and culture, while forging their social and political identities in the context of the United States. Through the examination of linguistic practices and with an array of methodological tools, her research aims to analyse how those Brazilian immigrants, as a diasporic queer subject, challenge concepts of integration, belonging, exclusion and discrimination. Marina received a B.A in International Relations and M.A in English with concentration in Linguistics. When not with her computer and books, she can be found attending performances, dancing and sharing meals with her communities.

Claire Slattery-Quintanilla is from rural southwestern Colorado. She has a bachelor’s degree in Ecology Evolutionary Biology and Spanish Literature and Language from the University of Colorado Boulder and an M.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Denver. Claire’s current research revolves around black feminist epistemology and ontology, science and technology studies, and decolonial studies. Her master’s thesis was a critique of contemporary science discourse and thought in the popular television series Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with host Neil deGrasse Tyson. Using the theories of Sylvia Wynter, the paper explored how science discourse upholds a biologically absolute notion of the human, Western colonial notions of time and space, and the myth of modernity. Before pursuing her masters, Claire worked for several non- profit organizations in Denver including a public policy research firm, an environmental conservation organization, and a high school mentor program. When not reading and writing, she loves to cook, dance, and spend time outdoors. 


All eight FMST grad students in our first two cohorts have now passed their Qualifying Exams! Congratulations to Veronika Zablotsky, Erin McElroy, Evelien Geerts, Cecelia Lie, Jessica Calvanico, Yizhou Guo, Claire Urbanski, and Tommi Hayes. 


Our grad students have been very busy over the last year. A few highlights:

Claire Urbanski received a Princeton University Library Research Grant and an IHR Summer Research Graduate Fellowship. She is participating in a panel discussion – “Entanglements of Empire: Blackness, Indigeneity, and the (Un)making of Carceral-Colonial Space” – at the upcoming NWSA-National Women’s Studies Association conference. Info at 

Claire presented at several other conferences this past year:

  • American Studies Association Conference, November 2016 – "Genocidal Intimacies: Settler Desire and Carceral Geographies"

  • Summer Institute for Sexuality Studies, York University, June 2017 – "Spiritual Desire as (Re)productive of S. Settler Power"

  • Native American & Indigenous Studies Association Conference, University of British Columbia, June 2017 – "Settler Grave Desecration as Carceral Production and Spiritual Accumulation"

Ryan King spent much of his summer in Watsonville, CA at the Digital NEST, a placement made possible through the IHR Public Fellows program funded by the Institute for Humanities Research at UCSC. The Digital NEST is a co-working space and tech-focused career development center for young people in Watsonville and Salinas. NEST programs are offered at no cost and serve members aged 16-24. Ryan worked under UCSC alum and Digital NEST Program Manager Yethzéll Díaz to assess and develop curriculum and facilitate workshops for the People, Projects and Leadership (PP+L) Program. Through project-based learning and workshop series, PP+L builds project management leadership skills along with communication, conflict resolution, and teamwork skills.Ryan was Volunteer of the Month for August 2017. For information on how to become a NEST member, make a donation, or volunteer, visit

 Veronika Zablotsky was in New York January-June 2017 as a Visiting Scholar at The Harriman Institute, Columbia University. During this period, she also was a Dissertation Fellow, Committee on Globalization and Social Change at City University of New York (CUNY). Over the last year, Veronika organized panels and presented at several conferences:

  • “European Border Regimes and the Figure of the ‘Single Male Refugee’,” Summer Institute

  • Trespassing Europe: The Migrant Crisis’ Iconography, Feminist Media Studio, Concordia University, Montréal, Quebec, June 20, 2017

  • “Gendered (Re-)Publics, Grey Zones, and the Art of Queer Heterotopia in Post-Soviet Armenia,” Symposium Commons: Public Space in the Post-Soviet World, The Harriman Institute, Columbia University, New York City, April 29, 2017 

  • “Soviet Vitalism, Women’s Emancipation, and the Fight Against ‘Living Remnants’ in Early Soviet Armenia, 1921-1930,” Gender & Sexuality in Armenian Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, April 23, 2017

  • “Dealing with the East: Orientalism, Geopolitics, and the Uses of ‘Eurasia’,” (De)Stabilizing Disciplines, (Re)Imagining Regions, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS), Columbia University, New York City, February 23, 2017 

In addition, Veronika authored and edited these projects in 2017:

  • Co-Editor, Interstice Collective Berlin, On the Coloniality of the City - Conversations, Negotiations, Perspectives. Münster: Unrast Verlag, May 2017 

  • Book Chapter, co-authored “Nationalisms of Recognition: Commemoration, Difference, and the

Idea of a ‘European Culture of Memory’” [Nationalismen der Anerkennung: Gedenken, Differenz und die Idee einer “europäischen Kultur der Erinnerung”], in Interstice Collective, ed. On the Coloniality of the City - Conversations, Negotiations, Perspectives. Münster: Unrast Press, 2017



The Baskin FMST Scholars Program, now in its second year, works to support transfer students in Feminist Studies with mentoring, tutoring and program activities. Big thanks to three grad students who helped out with the Baskin program this year: Noya Kansky, Ryan King, and Vivian Underhill. Read more about the Baskin FMST Transfers program on the FMST website. 



As the Baskin Chair, 2017-2020, Bettina is sponsoring an all-day workshop on May 29 at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center for production of a new opera based on the life of Georgia O'Keeffe. Commissioned by San Francisco’s Opera Parallèle, the piece focuses on the artist’s early career before she became the iconic figure we know today. 

An evening panel discussion at 7pm - Always Moving Uphill: Women and the Creative Process – will feature Opera Parallèle music director Nicole Paiement, composer Laura Kaminsky, and poet Robin Coste Lewis, winner of the National Book Award for Journey of the Sable Venus, a meditation on the cultural depiction of the black female figure. 

Morning and afternoon workshops and the evening discussion are free and open to students, faculty and community. The Feminist Studies Baskin Chair is a community partner with Opera Parallèle. Co-sponsored by Institute for Humanities Research, Cultural Studies, Arts Division UCSC. 


Professor Karen Barad has been a frequent flyer, delivering lectures and keynote talks around the world, including one at a symposium entitled “How Matter Comes to Matter,” held in her honor as an honorary doctorate at Gothenburg University, Sweden. She also gave talks in Denmark, Vancouver, Colorado, Italy, South Africa, and at Yale University.

Karen was invited to become a faculty member of the European Graduate School. EGS faculty offer intensive courses once a year in Saas-Fee, Switzerland or in Malta. In Summer 2017, Karen taught an intensive graduate course and gave an invited lecture in Saas-Fee. EGS also sponsored a conversation between Karen Barad and Judith Butler. 

Articles published during the past year:

  • Barad. 2017. “No Small Matter: Mushroom Clouds, Ecologies of Nothingness, and Strange Toplogies of Spacetimemattering,” in Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet, edited by Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt. University of Minnesota Press 

  • Barad. 2017. “What Flashes Up: Theological-Political-Scientific Fragments,” in Entangled Worlds: Religion, Science, and New Materialisms, edited by Catherine Keller and Mary-Jane Rubenstein (Fordham University Press)

Journal special Issues dedicated to Karen’s work published during the past year:

  • Rhizomes, “Quantum Possibilities: The Work of Karen Barad,” published summer 2016

  • Review of Communication, “Figures of Entanglement: Special Issue,” published online 22 Sept 2016


Assistant Professor Kristina Lyons was awarded the Cultural Horizons Prize for her 2016 article in Cultural Anthropology, "Decomposition as Life Politics: Soils, Selva, and Small Farmers Under the Gun of the U.S.-Colombia War on Drugs." Based on extensive fieldwork and research, the article challenges a portrayal of agroecology in the Columbian state of Putumayo as an effort by farmers to cultivate life against a liberal regime that necessitates the forced eradication of coca. In November 2016, Kristina also was awarded the Junior Scholar Award from the Anthropology and the Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association for this article.

 Kristina was awarded the Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship for 2016 - 2017 from the Wenner-Gren Anthropological Foundation to complete her first book manuscript. The Committee on Research at UCSC awarded Kristina the Special Faculty Research Grant: Theme Awards on Sustainability for 2016 – 2018. She also received an honorary doctorate from Gothenburg University, Sweden.

These articles authored by Kristina are slated for publication this fall:

  • “On the Situated Politics of Analytic Symmetry,” Critical Perspective for a special issue on Engaging Decoloniality and Decolonization in and at the Interfaces of STS in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience.

  • “Guerra Química en Colombia y Ecologías de la Evidencia: Senti-actuando Prácticas de Justicia” (Chemical Warfare, Evidentiary Ecologies, and Feeling-Acting Practices of Justice), in a special edition on Socio-environmental Studies and Political Ecology in Universitas Humanísticas 84, Pontificia Universidad de la Javeriana, Bogotá. 


The UCSC Committee on Research awarded Associate Professor Neda Atanasoski a COR Special Research Grant for the 2017-18 academic year for collaborative research on the project "Surrogate Humanity: Race, Technology, Revolution."

 During 2016-17, Neda guest co-edited (with Kalindi Vora) a special issue of Social Identities, "Postsocialist Politics and the Ends of Revolution," (published online May 2017). She also published an article co-authored with Jinah Kim, "Unhappy Desires and Queer Postsocialist Futures: Hong Kong and Buenos Aires in Wong Kar-wai’s Happy Together," which appears in American Quarterly 69:3 (2017). In 2016, Neda was a Visiting Fellow at GEXcel International Collegium for Advanced Transdisciplinary Gender Studies, Linköping University, Sweden. 

ANJALI ARONDEKAR at UCLA for 2017-2018

Associate Professor Anjali Arondekar is in Los Angeles for AY 2017-2018 as a Visiting Associate Professor at UCLA’s Department of Comparative Literature. Anjali’s recent awards and published work include:

  • University of California President’s Faculty Fellowship in the Humanities, 2016-17 

  • “Area Impossible: The Geopolitics of Queer Studies,” Guest Co-Editor with Geeta Patel, Special Issue, GLQ: Gay Lesbian Quarterly, 22:2, April 2016, 151-172 

  • “Thinking Sex with Geopolitics,” WSQ: Women’s Studies Quarterly 44.3-4 (Fall/Winter 2016) 

  • “What More Remains: Slavery, Sexuality, South Asia,” History of the Present, Fall 2016, 6:2, 146-154


Associate professor Neel Ahuja recently returned from Stockholm, where he spoke at the final event of the yearlong Dialogues on the Cultures of Control, an international research network at Stockholm University. His talk title: “Reversible Human: Rectal Feeding, Gut Plasticity, and Racial Control in US Carceral Warfare.” 

Neel’s recent published work includes:

  • “Race, Human Security, and the Climate Refugee,” ELN 54.2 (2017): 25-32. Special issue “In/Security,” Nadine Attewell and Janice Ho

  • “Posthuman New York: Ground Zero of the Anthropocene,” Animalities: Literary & Cultural Studies beyond the Human, Michael Lundblad (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2017): 43-59 

  • “Colonialism,” Gender: Matter, Stacy Alaimo, Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender Series (New York: Macmillan, 2017): 237-52



We continued the FMST Colloquium Series this Fall with two excellent talks:

  • “Body Mike: Alternating Words on the Afghan Frontier,” Fatima Mojaddedi, D., President’s Postdoctoral Fellow, UC Berkeley

  • “Agrarian Questions in Urban India,” with Vinay Gidwani, University of Minnesota and Priti Ramamurthy, University of Washington

Feminist Studies also co-sponsored A Public Conversation with Donna Haraway and Starhawk: "Magic, Figuration & Speculative Fiction as Calls to Action."

For the Winter 2018 Feminist Colloquium, Jodi Byrd - Chickasaw decolonial thinker, writer, teacher, videogamer, and associate professor of English and Gender & Women's Studies at the University of Illinois - will give a talk on February 21.

 Mel Chen, Associate Professor of Gender & Women's Studies at U.C. Berkeley, will be here in Spring, date TBD. More details will be announced as arrangements are confirmed!

 Other talks coming up: 

  • December 7 - CRES presents Work in Progress, with talks by Assistant Professor Nick Mitchell on "Unwaged War: Black Studies as Casualization from Below," and FMST E. Sheeva Sabati on "Managing Risk: Beyond Institutionalized Research Ethics"

  • February 14 - Associate Professor Neel Ahuja presents his Cultures of Control talk on "Reversible Human: Rectal Feeding, Gut Plasticity, and Racial Control in US Carceral Warfare"