FMST Newsletter, Spring 2019

April 15, 2019


CHAIR’S LETTER: Spring 2019 

Dear Feminist Community,

Welcome back from our short break.

I recently returned from the Arizona desert where riots of flowers have taken flight across the land.  Some varieties have returned that people say they haven’t seen for many years. Another reminder that things that were lost sometimes do return, and how our faith in progress and capitalism speed up the disappearance of fertile land that all of us rely on.

This is part of the theme of a Feminist Science Studies conference we hope you do not miss. Called “Indigeneity and Climate Justice,” the conference will be held May 30-31 at the UCSC Arboretum.   

We will explore the geopolitics of climate change and the precaritization of oppressed peoples, dominated lands, and other-than-human beings that are part of living landscapes. Our guest speakers, invited by Professor Karen Barad, will address the politics of climate change and the consequences of the uneven distribution of its effects, perpetuated by the few while others disproportionately absorb the ill effects of “progress” and “development.” 

See more about our conference speakers in the Events section below, and look for posters coming out soon.

We have concluded our Africana candidate search. Thanks to all who participated in this important faculty search. We will keep you posted on any updates as we move through the hiring process.

Wishing you all an inspiring quarter,

Felicity Amaya Schaeffer – Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies Department, UCSC



We send warm congratulations and hearty huzzahs to UCSC's first Feminist Studies PhD.s: Erin McElroy and Veronika Zablotsky will both graduate in June 2019.

The UCSC Feminist Studies Department was founded in 1974 and is one of the oldest and largest programs focused on gender and sexuality studies in the U.S. The department accepted its inaugural grad cohort in 2013. The FMST PhD program has two objectives: to train scholars and teachers, and to develop professional skills for careers in areas such as public policy and human rights research and advocacy. Through the years, UCSC’s Feminist Studies Department has contributed to the development of internationally recognized feminist scholarship and activism, and we look forward to seeing how our newest PhD scholars continue this legacy.  

Erin McElroy’s dissertation project, “Unbecoming Silicon Valley: Techno Imaginaries and Materialities in Postsocialist Romania,” looks at spaces of technological entanglement and contradiction between post-Cold War Silicon Valley and postsocialist Romania. Drawing upon two years of fieldwork in Bucharest and Cluj, and five years of research in Silicon Valley, their project aims to decenter Silicon Valley from normative IT geographies.

Erin is also co-founder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a data visualization, digital humanities, and critical cartography collective that produces maps and analyses to embolden on-the-ground housing justice struggles. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, in 2018, the AEMP grew new chapters in Los Angeles and New York City. Building upon this work, Erin is in the process of launching new collaborations with researchers and collectives transnationally. Most recently, they co-launched the Radical Housing Journal, aiming to produce new international solidarities and local epistemologies alike in the name of housing justice. 

Erin’s book, Counterpoints: Bay Area Data and Stories for Resisting Displacement, will be published by PM Press in Spring 2020. A collaboration with other AEMP members, Counterpoints encompasses geographies ranging from Vallejo to Santa Cruz in an effort to tell a regional story of gentrification, particularly as it is racialized and classed. Erin has been offered a Post Doc at New York University in order to continue their research following graduation and has received funding from the British Academy to investigate the use of artificial intelligence in real estate speculation. 

Veronika Zablotsky’s dissertation, “Governing Armenia: The Making of Global Diaspora in West Asia,” investigates the impact of forced displacement on imaginaries of return in the Armenian diaspora. Informed by transnational and postcolonial feminist perspectives, she examines diasporic return as a vehicle of global development in Armenia. Working in four languages, she charts global circulations of racial logics of progress and settler colonial discourse through original research that connects archives and field sites across Eastern Europe, West Asia, and North America. 

Veronika holds DEs in Politics, Critical Race & Ethnic Studies, and History of Consciousness. She is the recipient of a two-year Armenian Studies Dissertation Scholarship of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Portugal. She was also part of the inaugural cohort of THI Public Humanities Fellows on “Race & Freedom,” a Dissertation Fellow with the CUNY Committee on Globalization and Social Change, and a Visiting Scholar at the Harriman Institute for Russian, Eurasian, and East European Studies at Columbia University. During her fieldwork in Yerevan, she was a Research Fellow in the Political Science and International Affairs Program at the American University of Armenia. 

Currently, she is developing a new project on refugee autonomy, mobile technology, and cross-border solidarity between diasporic and displaced SWANA (South-West Asian and North African) communities in North America and Europe. She is co-convening “New Directions in Armenian Studies,” a multi-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2020, and wrote a chapter on racial profiling and Europe's "refugee crisis" in Moving Images: Mediating Migration in Europe, an anthology to be published in early 2020.


Jessica Calvanico was awarded a fellowship to participate in the Summer Residency Program at the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. The 2019 program focus is “Objects and Places in an Inquiry-Based Classroom: Teaching, Learning, and Research in the Humanities,” giving fellows an opportunity to gain digital skills related to mapping and develop strategies to bring spatial thinking into the classroom. Jessica will bring these new insights back to UCSC through collaboration with the Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning. More info at

Gabriel Evans Cayley was awarded a Summer Research Fellowship by THI, The Humanities Institute of UCSC, for her research on “Movement Infrastructures: Tracing Colonial Temporalities of Age, Generation and Inheritance.”

Eli Erlick is one of twelve recipients of the 2019 UCSC-Social Science Research Council Dissertation Proposal Development program, selected for her proposal titled “Biopolitics, Activism, and Transgender Resilience in the United States.” The UCSC-SSRC DPD program promotes communication across disciplinary boundaries and trains doctoral students to apply an interdisciplinary approach in the early stages of their graduate careers.More info at

Krizia Puig is the recipient of a Summer Research Fellowship from THI, The Humanities Institute of UCSC, for their project: “A Garden of Stardust: Lovely Matter(s) & The Colonization of Mars.” 

Elana Santana is teaching a Summer Session course: FMST 188 – Feminism Beyond the Human: Gender, Race, Class, Sexuality, Species, an introduction to ecofeminism and animal studies.

Claire Urbanski was selected as a recipient of the Sarah Petit Doctoral Fellowship in LGBT Studies at Yale University. She also was invited to participate in Villanova University's "Patriarchy and Political Theology" workshop, held March 30-31. Big congrats, Claire!



Erin Walter is our FMST Undergrad rep for the remainder of the academic year. She will attend monthly faculty meetings and act as a liaison between undergrads and faculty. 

Erin is a fourth year Feminist Studies major who transferred from Cabrillo College. Originally from Connecticut, she landed in Santa Cruz after spending two years serving in AmeriCorps with City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley. Currently, she is working as a Research Assistant with the Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise, and Participatory Governance. 

Feel free to reach out to Erin with any questions or concerns at


We’re hosting a joint FMST/CRES Senior Celebration on Friday, June 14 at the Arboretum in honor of our 2018-2019 graduates! Graduating Feminist Studies and Critical Race & Ethnic Studies students are invited to attend along with family and friends. Keep an eye out for more information landing in your email inbox soon.


Two Feminist Studies courses are on offer this Summer, and there are lots of reasons to stick around, including smaller class sizes, half-price housing options, and a chill campus environment. 

Session 1 (June 24 – July 26)
FMST 188 | Feminism Beyond the Human: Gender, Race, Class, Sexuality, Species
Session 2 (July 29 – Aug 30)
FMST 41 | Trans Gender Bodies

Other Summer Session classes that qualify for FMST credit: PSYC 159D/Psychology of Sexual Aggression, EDUC 135/Gender & Education, and SOCY 126/Sex & Sexuality as Social Practice & Representation. More info about FMST Summer courses at



Distinguished Professor Emerita Bettina Aptheker’s course on “Feminism & Social Justice” was released on Coursera on March 8, International Women’s Day.

Available to the public through the Coursera online learning platform, the course is a condensed version of the popular Feminist Studies course Bettina taught on campus for nearly a decade. In the four-lecture course, Professor Aptheker presents a broad definition of feminism that serves to frame three significant post-World War II events in the history of feminism and social justice: the Empire Zinc strike of 1951, the 1971-1972 trial of Angela Davis, and the #metoo Movement. 

Bettina says her goal was to teach the online course in a way that was accessible to all, using storytelling as a main way to illustrate the interconnection between gender, race, class, and sexuality. “I wanted to make it enjoyable and also a little suspenseful, so folks would know that struggles can be demanding, but that we can also win them,” she said. For more information or to sign up for the new online course, visit the Coursera web site.


Two visiting scholars will be with us at UCSC for the Spring quarter. When you see them, please offer a warm welcome to:

Rebeka Põldsam, currently a PhD student at the University of Tartu in Estonia studying Ethnology.  Rebeka’s research project is titled "Sexual and Gender Minorities in Estonia: an oral history." She is working with Neda Atanasoski. 

Katia Schwerzmann received her PhD in Philosophy with a joint degree from the Freie Universität of Berlin and the University of Lausanne. Katia is working with Karen Barad on her second book after the dissertation, "Philosophy of Touch in the Digital Age." 


Several of our FMST colleagues have had new work published and presented their research at recent conferences:

Distinguished Professor Emerita Bettina Aptheker was invited to contribute to an online scholarly journal, Black Perspectives, for its tribute to Shirley Graham Du Bois, published in March. Read Bettina’s piece – “Life & Legacy of Shirley Graham Du Bois” – at

In March, Bettina was a guest speaker for Women Lawyers of Santa Cruz, talking about “Free Speech: The Precarity of Gender, Race & Class.” In February, she spoke about sexual harassment to a younger audience at Santa Cruz Harbor High School, invited by school librarian Shannon Greene. Bettina reports that it was amazing experience: “It was the kids’ lunch hour, and they packed the library. Lots of guys came too, and it is a very highly integrated school with many Chicanx/Latinx and Filipino/a students. We had an incredible discussion.” 

Neda Atanasoski celebrated the publication of her new book, Surrogate Humanity: Race, Robots, and the Politics of Technological Futures (Duke University Press). Neda will be a Co-PI for the "Speculative Futures" Multi-Campus Research Group (2019-2021). 

Karen Barad was an invited speaker at several winter gatherings and delivered these lectures:

"Matters of Force, Entangled Nuclear Colonialisms, and Quantum Temporalities" – A Works-in-Progress talk for the Science & Justice Research Center, Feb 27.

“After the End of the World: Entangled Nuclear Colonialisms, Matters of Force, and the Material Force of Justice" – Karen gave a lecture and three seminars as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Social Justice at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, March 4-7.

“Quantum Field Theory and the Dynamism of Nothingness,” UC Davis symposium, March 12. 

“Troubling Time and Ecologies of Nothingness: Re-turning, Re-membering, and Facing the Incalculable,” Cultural Studies and HATCH: Feminist Arts and Science Shop, UC Davis, March 13.

Jenny Kelly was recently selected as a 2019-2020 Palestinian American Research Center (PARC) U.S. Research Fellow. She will conduct follow-up research as a PARC Fellow in Summer/Fall 2019 as she prepares her book manuscript, Invited to Witness: Solidarity Tourism Across Occupied Palestine, for submissionJenny also received UCSC’s Committee on Research New Faculty Research Grant, which will allow her to complete two additional interviews and archival work for the book in San Francisco, Long Beach, and New York in Spring 2019.

Jenny was invited to be part of an ASA site committee-sponsored panel at the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Honolulu, Hawai’i in Fall 2019. The panel will address “Solidarity Tours and the Politics of Invitation: Affinity Activism and Transmedia Platforms for Decolonial Futures.” Jenny will present her paper titled: “Invited to Witness and Invited to Go Home: The Conventions of Solidarity Tourism in Palestine.” The panel will be combined with a decolonial tour for ASA conference attendees.  


April 10 – Book Launch: Counterpoints: Bay Area Data and Stories for Resisting Displacement – 3-5pm – H1 room 210

FMST grad student Erin McElroy and her collaborators in the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project will offer a preview of their new atlas manuscript, to be released by PM Press in Spring 2020. The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project (AEMP) is a data visualization, digital cartography, and multimedia collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project aims to inform, empower, and activate communities impacted by housing inequity and displacement, supporting the work of collectives fighting for housing justice. More info at

May 13 – FMST/CRES Book Talk – 3-4pm – H1 room 210

All Our Trials: Prisons, Policing, and the Feminist Fight to End Violence – Emily Thuma, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine, Gender & Sexuality Studies. During the 1970s, grassroots women activists in and outside of prisons forged a radical politics against gender violence and incarceration. Prof. Thuma traces the making of this anticarceral feminism. 

May 15 – Cultural Studies Colloquia – 12noon – H1 room 210

I am he: Revising the Theory of Dispossession from Colonial Yucatá– David Kazanjian, Professor, University of Pennsylvania, English and Comparative Literature. Kazanjian examines a colonial legal case that challenges a fundamental presupposition of dispossession: that the dispossessed had possession over that which was stolen from them.  

May 23 – Feminist Studies Colloquium – 5-6:30pm – H1 room 210

History Does (Not) Repeat Itself – FMST Lecturer Veda Popovici presents a political art project that explores speculative histories of post-revolutionary Romania.

May 29 – Cultural Studies Colloquia – 12noon – H1 room 210

Tropical Exceptions: Racial Logics in Twentieth Century Intergovernmental Age of Consent Debates – Ashwini Tambe, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, Department of Women’s Studies. Discussing two UN cases, Dr. Tambe traces how intergovernmental efforts at setting common age standards for sexual consent and marriage occasioned elaborate posturing and coding of racial difference. Presented by the UCSC Center for Emerging Worlds and Feminist Studies.

Grad Workshop: “Demystifying Academic Publishing” – 2-4pm – H1 room 202 – Ashwini Tambe is also Editorial Director of Feminist Studies, a journal for interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and creative expression. She will conduct this workshop for grad students.

May 30-31 – FMST Science Studies Conference: Indigeneity & Climate Justice – UCSC Arboretum

This two-day event will feature three keynote speakers, a grad student panel, and a tour of the Arboretum with director Rick Flores, who is working on a plant restoration project in collaboration with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band.

Invited speakers:

Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band  

Timothy Neale, Anthropology and Geography, Deakin University, Australia. Author of Wild Articulations: Environmentalism and Indigeneity in Northern Australiaand co-editor of Unstable Relations: Indigenous People and Environmentalism in Contemporary Australia.

Zoe Todd, Metis scholar at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada in Sociology and Anthropology, and currently a visiting professor of History at Yale University.  

Kyle Powys Whyte, Timnick Chair in the Humanities and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Community Sustainability, Michigan University.


21st Century Feminist Scholarship – Deadline April 12

The 21st Century Feminist Scholars endowment supports the pursuits of new and rising scholars in the field of feminist studies.  Every year, the UCSC FMST department awards two to three scholarships in amounts ranging from $300 to $1,000 to support independent research, research-related travel, or experiential learning. In 2018 the department awarded a scholarship to FMST major Roya Visconti to help fund her participation in a Human Rights Law internship in South Africa through VA Corps. These scholarships are restricted to declared Feminist Studies majors. For info on how to apply, contact 

Undergraduate Summer Internship/Fellowship in Women’s Health, Gender, and Empowerment – Deadline April 22, 5pm PT

The UCGHI Women's Health, Gender, and Empowerment Center of Expertise (COE) will fund up to $2,500 to support University of California undergraduate students pursuing internships/fellowships during the summer of 2019. Funds can be used toward international or domestic travel and/or stipend. The COE will fund four to six scholars at $1,500 to $2,500 depending on need and the number of meritorious applications to be funded. For questions and submissions, contact Stephanie Sumstine at More info about UC’s Global Health Institute here.

UCSC Research Center for the Americas Human Rights Investigations Lab – Deadline May 3, 5pm PT

UCSC’s Research Center for the Americas (RCA) is accepting applications from undergraduate and grad students for a new research lab that will partner with legal, advocacy, and media partners in need of open source investigative work related to human rights cases. Amnesty International’s Digital Verification Corps (DVC) will train students on discovery and verification methods in September 2019 at UC Berkeley (dates TBD). For more information, including eligibility and expectations, and to apply to the lab, go to

Blum Scholar Undergraduate and Graduate Student Grants, Summer 2019 – Deadline May 3

The focus of the UC Santa Cruz Blum Center on Poverty, Social Enterprise and Participatory Governance is to investigate, analyze, educate and train students, scholars and practitioners in mechanisms, policies and practices that facilitate properly scaled, innovative and effective institutional management and operation. The UCSC Blum scholars award program enables undergraduate and graduate students to complete a community-based research project either domestically or abroad that addresses poverty, social enterprise, or participatory governance. More info at

Lionel Cantú Memorial Award – Deadline May 3, 5pm PT

UCSC graduate students in good academic standing in the Social Sciences, Humanities, or Arts are invited to apply for this award that celebrates the life and work of Lionel Cantú (1965-2002), former UCSC Assistant Professor of Sociology. Grad students working in areas associated with Professor Cantú's scholarship, which bridged and advanced Latino sociology, immigration studies, transnational/cross-border studies, gender and sexuality studies, and the study of gay men and masculinity, are eligible to apply. More info at