FMST Newsletter, Spring 2021

April 12, 2021




CHAIR'S LETTER: Spring 2021 

Dear Feminist Studies Community, 

Spring is finally here after what has been a challenging time in so many ways. Throughout the year, I have appreciated the ways we have come together in spite of the difficulties of being fully virtual, as well as the incredible array of programming our faculty have been orchestrating. 

One highlight of the Winter quarter was the FMST/CRES celebration of Professor Xavier Livermon’s newly published book, Kwaito Bodies. This quarter, we look forward to the conclusion of Visualizing Abolition, a full year of programming curated by Professor Gina Dent. Please also mark your calendars for an exciting series of events organized by Professors Jenny Kelly and Camilla Hawthorne: Borderland Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective. Find more details about both series below.

Spring is also a time to celebrate our graduating seniors as we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. The Feminist Studies senior celebration will take place on June 11 via zoom. 

Speaking of our graduates, this newsletter features the second in our series of interviews with FMST alumni. Leticia Miranda, a business reporter for NBC News, spoke with Professor Felicity Amaya Schaeffer about how Feminist Studies prepared her for a career in journalism. 

I look forward to an exciting quarter with our FMST community!

Neda Atanasoski

Professor & Chair, Feminist Studies, UCSC

Follow FMST on instagram-icon.jpg Instagram and facebook-icon.jpg Facebook!  


FMST PhD Alum Erin McElroy joins the faculty of UT, Austin

erin-mcelroy-200x200.jpgDr. Erin McElroy, a 2019 Feminist Studies PhD graduate, will be starting Fall 2021 as an assistant professor at the University of Texas, Austin.

Erin's dissertation project, Unbecoming Silicon Valley: Techno Imaginaries and Materialities in Postsocialist Romania, looked to Silicon Valley imperial contexts tethering the post-Cold War San Francisco Bay Area and postsocialist Romania. Erin is a co-founder of the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, a data visualization and digital cartography collective that produces maps, stories, and analyses to embolden on-the-ground housing justice struggles, and is a founding editor of the Radical Housing Journal, which focuses on housing justice struggles and solidarities transnationally. As a postdoctoral researcher at NYU in 2020-21, Erin launched Landlord Tech Watch - a platform dedicated to tenant knowledge production about landlord technologies of surveillance and speculation. Erin’s co-edited book with the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, Counterpoints: A San Francisco Bay Area Atlas of Displacement and Resistance, will be published by PM Press this Spring. Congratulations, Erin! 

FMST Grad students writing, speaking, and winning awards 

Jessica Calvanico‘s article, "Arson Girls, Match-Strikers, and Firestarters: A Reflection on Rage, Racialization, and the Carcerality of Girlhood," was accepted for publication in the Fall 2021 issue of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society.


SAVE THE DATE!  FMST/CRES Senior Celebration – Friday, June 11 (time tbd) 

Every year, we hold a special event to honor our graduates. Once again, this year’s event – celebrating FMST and CRES majors who graduated in Fall 2020, Winter 2021, or will graduate in Spring 2021 – will be virtual.

Mark your calendar! And keep an eye out for the registration survey from Undergrad Advisor Anne Eickelberg. Let us know if you’ll be attending and send us your guest list for the virtual celebration. 

And remember, it's each student's responsibility to make sure they are on track to graduate. Please review the UCSC graduation and FMST major requirements. And if you have any questions, make an advising appointment right away.

Undergrads on the Insta 

If you haven't checked out the FMST Instagram yet, what are you waiting for? Follow us! 

Keep your eyes on IG for upcoming videos featuring FMST Undergrads talking about the things they're passionate about and what attracted them to the major. If you'd like to share your own thoughts on these topics and others that are important to you, reach out to UG Advisor Anne Eickelberg ( Maybe you'll be our next Insta spotlight! 

FMST Transfers Visiting Day

On April 16, the Feminist Studies department will host a virtual visiting day for prospective transfer students from local community colleges. Prospective students will meet on-screen with FMST faculty and get a virtual tour of the UCSC campus, courtesy of undergrad tour guides from STARS (Services for Transfer and Re-Entry Students).

And a big shout-out to our current transfer students, who will host a virtual lunchtime Q&A to represent Feminist Studies and answer prospective students’ questions about the major.

Summer Session enrollment opens May 1! 

Summer is an opportunity to continue progress toward your degree and get another class under your belt in five weeks!

Classes will be virtual this summer, and Summer Session has definite benefits … Smaller classes. The same tuition for all students, in and out-of-state. And if you complete 15+ credits, you’ll get a $680 award!

Feminist Studies is offering these summer classes: 

Session 1 | June 21 to July 23
FMST 136 Organizing for Water Justice in California (PR GE)
FMST 188 Topics in Feminist Studies: Media, Medicine, and Militarization
Session 2 | July 26 to August 27
FMST 145 Racial and Gender Formations in the US (ER GE) 

Get all the deets about Summer Session 2021 here. Enrollment opens May 1!

Graduating? Check out post-UC career resources

Whether you’ve graduated or will be soon, check out UCSC's Alumni Career Support for Slugs. The UCSC Alumni Career Design Fellowship is a flexible 30-day online program that helps you create a plan for your post-college career. It’s open to any and all alumni, whether you’re just getting started or mid- or late-career. And there are scholarships available to help cover program costs. Apply to get a partial scholarship for a UCSC Alumni Career Design Fellowship here.

The UCSC Alumni Career Network also offers tons of virtual webinars designed to provide UC alumni and community members with insights, information, and connections to launch, grow and expand your career opportunities. The network is a volunteer-driven education series made possible by generous UC alumni who share their experience and knowledge. Each month they tackle a different career topic, from how to ace an interview to first-generation professional development and effective salary negotiation, offering insider tips and advice to help you achieve your goals.

You can also join the Career Advice Network and get firsthand one-on-one mentoring from fellow UC alums.


UCHRI Conference Grant awarded to Neda Atanasoski and Christine Hong 

Looking ahead to what we hope will be a much brighter and more connected year, the UC Humanities Research Institute recently selected the first round of grantees for the 2021-22 academic year. Over $250,000 in new awards will support 30 projects addressing themes related to Living Through Upheaval, a new 18-month research and public programming initiative developed by UCHRI and the UC Humanities Collaborative.

Among the awardees, FMST Professor Neda Atanasoski and Literature Professor Christine Hong, who also co-chair the Center for Racial Justice (CRJ), received a conference grant to produce an event focused on “Political Education and Racial Justice Movements in Times of Upheaval.” 

Stay tuned for more information about the conference, tentatively slated for Fall 2021 – one of many thought-provoking events that represent the vibrant community of humanists across the UC system. 

Nick Mitchell to participate in ACLS Design Workshop for the New Academy 

This Spring, Nick Mitchell will participate in the Luce-funded Design Workshop for the New Academy. Nick and his group are one of five teams of humanities scholars from across the US selected by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) to attend a series of workshops in April, May and June. Teams will design “blueprints for action” around issues facing the humanities in higher education, including the faculty reward structure; humanistic curricula for undergrads; design of doctoral programs; and public engagement. 

Other members of the UCSC team include Christian Alvarado (graduate student, History of Consciousness), Pranav Anand (Professor and Chair, Linguistics), Noriko Aso (Associate Professor, History), and Chris Chen (Associate Professor, Literature). 

Formed a century ago, ACLS is a nonprofit federation of 75 scholarly organizations. As a prominent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences, ACLS advocates for the centrality of the humanities in the modern world.

FMST Faculty awards, conferences, and recently published work

Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished Professor Emerita, helped organize and participated in several events for the 2021 Human Rights Institute Lecture Series - “Dr. Angela Davis and the Indispensability of Black Feminism and Socialism in 2021” - presented by San Jose State. On February 1, she hosted a post-film Q&A for a live-watch party screening of Free Angela & All Political Prisoners. On February 9, she was a panelist for a discussion of “Angela Davis & Beginning A Black Feminist History.”

On March 18, Bettina was the keynote speaker for a Democratic Women’s Club of Monterey County event: “Woman Suffrage Centennial, the 2020 Presidential Election, and the Ongoing Movement for Voting Rights.”

Anjali Arondekar delivered the keynote address, “Abundance: Sexuality’s Archives,“ at a Princeton University conference presented by the GSS program in Gender & Sexuality Studies: “Re-Mapping Memory: Possibilities of Postcolonial and Anti-Racist (Counter)Archiving,” March 18, 2021 

Neda Atanasoski co-authored an essay with Kalindi Vora - “A conversation on imperial legacies and postsocialist contexts: Notes from a US-based feminist collaboration” – for Postcolonial and Postsocialist Dialoges: Intersections, Opacities and Challenges in Feminist Theorizing and Practice, (Routledge, March 2021), eds. Redi Koobak, Madina Tlostanova and Suruchi Thapar-Bjorkert, pgs 29-39. 

Neda also co-organized “Beyond Surveillance: The Capacity and Creep of Caring Relations,” presented by Georgia Institute of Technology, April 1 + 8, 2021 

Karen Barad has been busy throughout her year of leave. On March 15 she was a keynote speaker at the Material Life of Time Conference hosted by the Temporal Belongings Network, delivering a talk on “Re-membering Time/s: For the Time-Being.” On March 10, she spoke about “Nuclear Colonialisms, Matters of Force, and the Material Force of Justice” at a conference presented by Harvard Gender Studies & Northeastern. 

In February, “Political Desirings: Yearnings for Mattering (,) Differently,” a conversation with Karen and Daniela Gandorfer for a special issue on “Matterphorics,” was published in Theory & Event 24(1): 14-66 (Johns Hopkins University Press). 

Gina Dent participated in UCSC’s 37th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation: “Mariame Kaba in conversation with Gina Dent,” Feb. 12 

Jenny Kelly’s essay – “Pinkwashing, Tourism, and Israeli State Violence” – is included in Q&A: Voices from Queer Asian North America, ed.s Kale B. Fajardo, Alice Y. Hom, and Martin F. Manalansan (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, Spring 2021). 

Jenny also is collaborating with Camilla Hawthorne (SOC/CRES) on a THI research cluster, “Border Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective.” Jenny and Camilla co-edited the forthcoming special issue of Critical Ethnic Studies (Spring 2021), which focuses on the cluster theme. In addition, they will host a Spring 2021 symposium (see Events section for details) based on their research, which will build toward future collaborations including two co-taught CRES classes: one on campus and one a multi-sited field study course.

Caitlin “Katie” Keliiaa was selected as an Alternate for a 2021 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. On April 1, Katie presented “Scales of Containment, Sexual Surveillance and Native Women’s Bodily Regulation,” as a speaker at the Beyond Surveillance Conference, Georgia Institute of Technology.

ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - Five Questions with a Feminist

Leticia Miranda, Reporter, - Class of 2008, FMST/LALS 

This is the second in our interview series with FMST alums who have gone on to do great things. Visit our YouTube channel to view Professor Felicity Schaeffer’s interview with Leticia Miranda. Below is an edited version of their conversation. 

leticia-200x200-crop2.jpgLeticia Miranda is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY, where she is a reporter for covering retail, climate, and business. After graduating from UCSC in 2008, Leticia interned at Colorlines Magazine, writing stories on immigration, prison reform, and juvenile justice. She then worked in the media justice and telecommunications policy fields at the Media Literacy Project in New Mexico and the Open Technology Institute in Washington, DC. In 2013, Leticia was accepted to New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, where she was a Dean's Fellow. After graduating from NYU in 2014 with an M.A. in Journalism, Leticia was a reporting fellow at ProPublica and The Nation before joining Buzzfeed News to cover retail. Leticia became a business reporter for NBC News in 2019. 

Tell us about your current profession and what you do.

I’m a business reporter for I cover everything about the economy and business, including lots of retail, how the coronavirus is widening economic disparities in housing and education, and how small businesses are struggling while big, well-funded Wall Street companies like Amazon, Target and Walmart are flourishing. 

How did majoring in Feminist Studies help you become a journalist?

One thing I didn’t understand then is that journalism is a craft. If someone wants to be a carpenter, they learn to work with wood. Somebody who wants to be an artist and work with clay learns how to sculpt. Journalism is a craft that you get better at by doing it. At that time, it was still mystical to me. I didn’t realize how much being a part of the conversations in feminist studies classes and being exposed to a range of perspectives and challenged intellectually in a really rigorous way would set me up to approach the craft differently.

I got involved with the radio station in Santa Cruz and was part of the student newspaper, and I graduated into an internship at Colorlines. Looking back, having an understanding intellectually of what my interests were helped inform my decisions about what I wanted to do in the industry. I still think a lot about what I learned in school because it’s so applicable. What I learned in FMST is more of an approach to thinking about the world. 

How did you move from the internship at Colorlines to NBC?

I was at Colorlines for about a year. I graduated in the middle of a recession in 2008. It was a really challenging economy for someone who didn’t have a ton of experience, and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. At that time, internships were unpaid; luckily now most companies pay interns. I was working at other part-time jobs, then I got a full-time job doing communications for a media literacy group in New Mexico, where I learned a lot about media policy, the environment of media, and media consolidation. It was more about advocacy and education.

Then I was at a think tank for a year looking at broadband access and government structures that rolled out new technologies. I liked the think tank thing because I’m really a nerd and interested in learning things. Journalism is something where you learn a lot all the time. I wanted to be part of making history; they say journalists are the first writers of history. I needed to figure out a pivot, so I applied for a grad program at NYU and was offered a full scholarship and a stipend. I took it and used that time to pivot into more mainstream journalism. I like the access, the platform, the reach. I like that there are rules and a structure in mainstream journalism around standards and ethics. It’s a good place for me. I had a wavering journey to this point! 

What was your favorite FMST class?

I loved the class I took with you, Transnational Feminism. I think that was the first time I really challenged my own American exceptionalism. Being Chicana and a person of color, so much of my world was very domestic in how I understood social, cultural and economic relationships. I think that class may have been why I thought I might one day want to be a foreign correspondent. 

I also really liked Women and the Law with Gina Dent. I work a lot with legal documentation and that analytical framework has helped a lot. 

What was the most important thing you learned within your FMST major?

I learned so much. It helps to have a canon to lean on, especially going into worlds where “post-colonial feminism” isn’t really a thought or a thing. Not that everybody needs to know what that is, but in having conversations with company executives and in editorial meetings, having that framework and thinking about how to challenge binary ways of thinking gives me a lot of confidence. It’s so valuable. 

FMST is a really unique field of study. I think a lot of people think gender studies is learning about the suffrage movement or how women are going to dominate the world. That’s so reductive. It’s really helpful to move in the world knowing there are other people who think about capital and the economy in a different way. I remember in Transnational Feminism, we talked about how citizenship is involved in your right to buy and consume. Our GDP (gross domestic product) is 70% based on consumption, which is totally linked to what I learned in FMST. Other people in the business reporting world may not think about the connections between citizenship and consumption, but I think about it a lot.

Is there anything else or any advice you want to share with FMST students?

Just do what you’re passionate about. It sounds really hokey, but it’s true. Even if it’s a weirdo thing. I still meet people who say, oh, you cover business and think reading financial reports is fun? I think a lot of people who are critical of capitalism just don’t want to think about it. But literally every decision you make is tied to the economy. I think about that line in The Devil Wears Prada when Miranda tells the intern, “That sweater you’re wearing was picked by us.” Everything is the result of a lot of small decisions made in company boardrooms. I think it’s important to understand how Wall Street works, what the roles of an investor and a shareholder are, how people move money, and who’s buying what. For me, it’s interesting to see all those transactions, and how they build up to questions of inequities and disparities. There’s always a way to follow the trail back.


CITL (Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning) Convocation: Practicing Equity with Fidelity to Racial Justice – April 14, 5:30-8:00 pm

In celebration of CITL's 5th Annual Convocation, CITL and the HIS-Hispanic-Serving Institution Initiatives are honored to present a talk by renowned equity pioneer Estela Bensimon. Considered a higher-ed legend, Bensimon has published extensively about equity, organizational learning, practitioner inquiry, and institutional change, including 2019's From Equity Talk to Equity Walk, which she coauthored. RSVP here. 

Foundations and Futures of Feminist Technosciences – April 22, 12pm

UCSC’s Science & Justice Research Center co-hosts this conference in celebration of the 5th anniversary of Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience. Donna Haraway and Banu Subramaniam will reflect on the foundational stories of feminist technoscience. Moya Bailey, Max Liboiron, Tania Pérez-Bustos, and Thao Phan will ponder what feminist STS can do going forward. The night closes with a Remote Access: Crip Feminist Dance Party, organized and hosted by Aimi Hamraie and Kevin Gotkin and curated by the Critical Design Lab. More information and registration links here.

Zotero Basics for Humanities Grad Students – May 4, 12-1pm

This workshop is for anyone interested in getting started with Zotero and exploring how it can help with humanities research. Zotero is useful for saving citation information and storing PDFs. You can customize the way you organize things and it integrates with GoogleDocs and Word. Join us to learn some basics and explore whether this tool may work for your needs. Register here. 

Visualizing Abolition – April 13 – May 18, 4:00-5:30pm

The year-long series continues in Spring and the companion art exhibit, Barring Freedom, runs through April 25 at the San Jose Museum of Art. The series was curated by FMST Professor Gina Dent and Dr. Rachel Nelson, Director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, in collaboration with San Jose Museum of Art and Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery. Spring lecture schedule below; more info and registration info here. 

  • April 13 – Abolition Inside Out, jackie sumell, Albert Woodfox, Tim Young 
  • April 20 – (Re) Enacting Revolution, Dread Scott and Erin Gray 
  • May 4 – Documenting Justice, film screening and Q&A curated by Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman 
  • May 11 – Futures, Sora Han, adrienne maree brown, Savannah Shange 
  • May 18 – Music for Abolition, artist panel with Terri Lynn Carrington and guests

Borderland Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective – May 7 + 14 + 21

This three-part series is presented by a Humanities Institute Research Cluster led by principal investigators Jenny Kelly (FMST) and Camilla Hawthorne (SOC), whose goal is to conceptualize connections between border regimes around the world. Read more about the THI cluster and affiliated faculty and PhD students here. 

  • Borderland Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective – May 7, 11am-12:30pm
This roundtable celebrating the launch of the Critical Ethnic Studies special issue takes up sites ranging from US/Mexico, to the Mediterranean, to Palestine/Israel and beyond. Register here. 
- Josen Diaz (University of San Diego)
- Ivan Char-Lopez (UT Austin)
- Loubna Qutami (UCLA)
- Jennifer Mogannam (UC Davis)
- Leslie Quintanilla (SF State)
- Emily Hue (UC Riverside)
- Davorn Sisavath (Fresno State) 
  • Reflections on Movement and Movement-Building – May 14, 11am-12:30pm
This panel explores the abolitionist imperative to eradicate borders, and what it means to conjure a world without prisons and the carceral logics that detain and deport. Register here. 
- Nunu Kidane (Priority Africa Network)
- Nick Mitchell (UCSC)
- Gabe Evans (UCSC, PhD student)
- Taylor Wondergem (UCSC, PhD student)
- Ilaria Giglioli (New College of Florida) 
  • PhD + Publishing Workshop – May 21, 11am-12:30pm
Jenny Kelly and Camilla Hawthorne, co-editors of the Critical Ethnic Studies special issue on “Borderland Regimes and Resistance in Global Perspective,” host this workshop focused on academic journal article publishing. Register here. 

Gender, Caregiving, and COVID in Academic Life: A Review of Current Research – May 21, 2021, 12:00-1:30 pm

Megan Moodie, Anthropology professor and affiliate FMST faculty, will discuss recent research on the gendered impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic, focusing on the emerging literature on caregivers, especially mothers, in academia. More event info here.


National Endowment for the Humanities

NEH Fellowships are competitive awards granted to individual scholars pursuing projects that embody exceptional research, rigorous analysis, and clear writing. An online information session was held in February 2021. Go here for the webinar recording. NEH award opportunities include: 

UCSC Hammett Fellowship – Deadline April 29 by 5pm

The UCSC Environmental Studies Department offers four graduate student research fellowships (GSRs) of $7500 each for Summer 2021 to grad students in any department at UCSC conducting interdisciplinary research on climate change or climate change and water issues. Priority will be given to students: (1) working with UCSC faculty in two different disciplines (ideally labs that have not collaborated extensively in the past), (2) those whose projects show promise to provide pilot data to help secure additional outside funding, and (3) those whose results have clear applications to environmental problem solving. Go here for more info and application. 

Undergrad Global Mentors Program – Deadline April 30

The UCSC Division of Global Engagement is looking for motivated, enthusiastic international and domestic students to serve as Global Mentors (GMs). Global Mentors are paid student leaders that serve an integral role in the successful transition of incoming international students, starting from summer events and orientation and continuing into the academic year. Get more info about the program and access application links here. 

UCLA Center for the Study of Women Policy Brief Competition – Deadline May 9

The UCLA Center for the Study of Women invites submissions for this prize, which supports and promotes applied feminist scholarship by graduate students across the UC system. The 2020-21 competition theme is “Gender, Social Justice, and Essential Work.” Each CSW Policy Brief presents research in support of a policy change that would substantially improve the health and wellbeing of women and their families. Access more info and the application form here. 

CART Fellowship Program – Deadline May 10

The Center for Archival Research and Training welcomes fellowship applications for Summer and Fall 2021. Fellows get paid experience working remotely with archival materials to enhance their research skills and create digital projects aligned with their interests. Access more information about CART fellowships here and register for an April 14 info session here.

Stony Brook History Graduate Student Association Conference – Deadline: May 10

The History Graduate Student Association at Stony Brook University invites submissions for its fifth annual interdisciplinary conference: “Performances of Power: The Liminal Space between Knowledge and Ignorance," to be held September 17-18, 2021. As emerging scholars, we are aware of the ignorance reproduced in nationalist histories of self-legitimation. Performance theory beckons us to pay attention to action rather than intention and to read history for every potential. This conference invites graduate students from various disciplines to consider what stories surface in the liminal spaces between ignorance and knowledge? What might we uncover between the event and the retelling?

Submit paper abstracts to Include the following in a single document (PDF or Word):

  • Paper title and a brief abstract (100-200 words) that includes several key thematic words to help the organizing committee sort papers into coherent panels.
  • One page CV that includes presenter’s name, institution, and program of study.
  • For panel proposals, submit a panel topic description (100-200 words) along with all other materials requested above.
  • Please indicate whether you would prefer to participate virtually or in-person. 

2022/23 Fulbright Canada Research Chairs – Open through September 15

Fulbright Canada is offering more than 50 Research Chairs at top Canadian Institutions in more than 10 different fields. Grants support research with colleagues across Canada for a four to nine month period, with start dates in September 2022 or January 2023. A grant for four months is US $25,000. Learn more about these opportunities here. 

2022/23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program – Open through October 12

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program provides grants for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to research, study, or teach English abroad for one academic year. Candidates must be citizens or nationals of the US and have a conferred bachelor's degree or equivalent before the start of the grant. Learn more about the program, award opportunities, and eligibility requirements, and access the online application here.