FMST Newsletter, Spring 2018

April 20, 2018


Welcome to Spring Quarter!

As we enter the last quarter of the year, there are numerous events and changes to our department. I begin with the most significant change - the retirement of our esteemed colleague, Professor Bettina Aptheker. This is an epic moment for us, our students, and the culture of our department. Please join us in celebrating the many years of vision, activism, mentorship, and deep commitment Bettina has shared with us, the campus, and the broader communities.

Luckily, we do not have to say good-bye fully yet. Bettina will continue to teach one course a year for the next two years, and as much as she would like in the future as Professor Emeritus of Feminist Studies. She will also continue in her role as Endowed Chair of the Baskin Foundation for the following two years. See the section below for information on Bettina's retirement events.

On that note, as the Endowed Chair of the Baskin Foundation, Bettina will be actively involved in planning events this year and the next two years. On May 29 we will enjoy a full day of events called, “Opera Works: Journey in Creation,” at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Remember that in 2017, UCSC received a gift from the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, plus matching funds from the UC Regents, to establish the $1 million Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies to fund research, teaching and events in feminist studies and to provide support for graduate fellowships. Distinguished Professor Bettina Aptheker is the inaugural appointee as Presidential Chair.

We are also sad to say good-bye to our colleague Kristina Lyons, who has accepted a position next year at the University of Pennsylvania in the Anthropology Department. We wish her the best in her new position.

There are changes in the graduate program too. We are grateful to have Neda Atanasoski as interim grad director this Spring quarter and during Fall 2018. 

And we’d like to thank the previous graduate director, Neel Ahuja, and the graduate committee tasked with admitting a small graduate cohort this year. We share the wonderful news that two new graduate students will join us in the fall. Please extend a warm welcome to Krizia Puig and Gabriel Evans Cayley. Krizia joins us from the Andres Bello Catholic University in Caracas, Venezuela to continue her research on sex robots, performance studies, feminist science, and technology. She received the prestigious Cota Robles Fellowship in Feminist Studies. Gabriel is coming from the University of Manchester in the UK to work on temporality, disability, and age cohorts in the Manchester gay scene. She also received a prestigious Chancellor’s Fellowship.

Wishing you all a wonderful spring quarter,

Felicity Amaya Schaeffer

Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies Department, UCSC



Jessica R. Calvanico was awarded the 2018-2019 Dianne Woest Fellowship in the Arts and Humanities to conduct archival research at the Historic New Orleans Collection, as well as a UCHRI Dissertation Development Grant. On April 27, Jessica will do a poster presentation at the Graduate Research Symposium on "New Orleanss Girl Problems: The House of the Good Shepherd and the Origins of Juvenile Justice."

Jessica will present her research on the House of the Good Shepherd, a Catholic girls' reformatory in New Orleans, at two upcoming conferences: the annual Louisiana Historical Association Conference in New Orleans in April 2018, and the American Studies Association Annual Meeting in Atlanta in November 2018.


Eli was included in the 2018 list of 100 Visionary Leaders by Real Leaders, a sustainable business and leadership magazine that aims to inspire better leaders for a better world. Read more and see the full list at

Eli also has/will be presenting at the following conferences:

"Toward a Transmethodology," Precarity and Possibility: Imaginings of a New Academy Conference, University of California - Merced, March 16, 2018

"Identity Capital and Transgender Self-Determination," TRANS(form)ing Queer Conference, University of Maryland College Park, April 13, 2018

“Passing Time: Representing Rural Transgender Modernities," Priors and Priorities: Conceiving Time and Other Bodies Conference, Harvard University, April 21, 2018

"The Humanizing Politics of Transgender Health Care," Queering Care and Cure Conference, University of California - Davis, May 3, 2018


Ryan received the Lionel Cantú, Jr. Memorial Award for the 2017-2018 academic year. Funding for this award is supported by the UCSC Chicano Latino Research Center, Department of Latin American and Latino Studies, and Department of Sociology.


Erin is in Romania conducting dissertation research supported by fellowships from the Mellon IDRF Social Science Research Council and the Fulbright Institute of International Education. Erin’s recently published articles include:

“Postsocialism and the Tech Boom 2.0: Algorithms of Racialized Dispossession,” Social Identities 24(2): 206-221

“The Anti-Eviction Mapping Project: Counter Cartography and Oral History towards Housing Justice in the Bay Area,” Annals of the American Association of Geographers, 108(2): 380-389. Coauthored with Manissa Maharawal

“The Racial Contours of YIMBY/NIMBY Bay Area Gentrification,” Berkeley Planning Journal, 29(1): 7-44. Coauthored with Andrew Szeto


Vivian Underhill has been awarded a Hammett Fellowship to pursue her research on “Fracking, Groundwater, and Scientific Standards of Evidence in California’s San Joaquin Valley.” The Hammett Awards were established by Benjamin and Ruth Hammett, in support of student research focusing on climate change and water issues.


Veronika Zablotsky is giving a talk at Princeton University this May on "Eurasian Infrastructures: Constructing a New World Order?" at the conference, A Year That Shook the World: European and Eurasian Responses to America’s Withdrawal. This quarter Veronika is teaching the new Freedom & Race course at Oakes College as a Public Humanities Graduate Student Instructor of The Humanities Institute.



Grad student Ryan King is the Baskin program coordinator for Spring 2018, taking over from Vivian Underhill. Contact Ryan at Ryan is holding weekly office hours dedicated to the Baskin program on Wednesdays at 2-3 pm in the Feminist Studies Library (Humanities 1, 316).


We will be celebrating our 2017-2018 FMST graduates with a gathering on Friday, June 15, the day before commencement ceremonies. Join us for presentations, cords, roses, food and drink as we honor our graduates’ achievements! Watch for more event info in your inbox …


Enrollment opens May 1 for Summer Session. Two FMST classes are being offered (see below), with all restrictions lifted. More info at

SESSION 1 - June 25-July 27 - FMST 1 - Feminist Studies: An Introduction - Instructor: Wanda Alarcon - GE codes CC, IH

SESSION 2 - July 30-Aug 31 - FMST 145 - U.S. Racial & Gender Formations - Instructor: Claire Urbanski - GE code ER



On April 5, Neel Ahuja was the keynote speaker at Decolonial Ecologies: Climate Justice in the Anthropocene, at Georgetown University. His talk was titled: “Race, Carbon Risk, and the Changing Wealth of Nations."


Beloved FMST professor Bettina Aptheker, who was instrumental in the creation of the Feminist Studies Department at UCSC, is retiring this June after teaching under the redwoods for 38 years. The Humanities Division is hosting a retirement party for Bettina and other retiring faculty and staff on Friday June 8 from 5:30 to 7 pm, after the Spring Celebration of the Humanities gathering at the Cowell Provost House. We also will celebrate the creation of an Aptheker Scholarship Fund for Feminist Studies Graduate and Undergraduate Students doing research and/or community service about gendered, racial, and/or sexual violence. More details to follow.

Bettina’s upcoming work, to be published in 2019, includes: “W.E.B. Du Bois and Shirley Graham Du Bois: Personal Memories, Political Reflections,” in Philip Sintiere, editor, Citizen of the World: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Late Career and Legacy, Northwestern University Press.


Professor Barad has been a frequent flyer, traveling internationally to deliver presentations at conferences around the world. Karen participated in the “How to Be in Two Places at Once” Symposium at NYU on March 20, and she was an invited lecturer at the “Hold Me Now. Feel and Touch in an Unread World Symposium,” held at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam on March 24. In April, she delivered keynote addresses at the “What is Universe? Communication, Complexity, Coherence” Conference in Portland, OR and “The Latent Image” Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Karen’s forthcoming published work includes:

“Troubling Time/s and Ecologies of Nothingness: Re-turning, Re-membering, and Facing the Incalculable,” New Formations, special issue on Timing TransFormations, edited by Manuela Rossini and Michael Toggweiler

“Troubling Time/s and Ecologies of Nothingness: Re-turning, Re-membering, and Facing the Incalculable,” Eco-Deconstruction. Derrida and Environmental Philosophy, edited by Matthias Fritsch, Philippe Lynes, and David Wood. NY, Fordham University Press


For a forthcoming 2018 article, Prof. Lyons addresses: “Chemical Warfare in Colombia, Evidentiary Ecologies, and Senti-Actuando [Feeling-acting] Practices of Justice,” for a special edition on Toxic Politics in the 21st Century in Social Studies of Science.


Congratulations to Nick on his nomination for the 2017-18 Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award in the Humanities. Nick didn’t win this year, but we’re sure there’s an award in his future here at UCSC! In February, Nick did a Food for Thought Lecture at John R. Lewis College, and last November he gave an invited talk on "Unwaged War at San Francisco State" at the State Reason/University Thought conference at UC Irvine.


Professor Schaeffer has written several soon-to-be-published articles:

“BioRobotics: Surveillance and the Automation of Biological Life,” Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, Technoscience, April 2018

“Cybermarriage Between Mexico and Colombia: The Erotics of Nationalism and Pliable Citizenship Across Borders,” translated into French, Cahiers du Genre, Special Issue: Marriage Migration, April 2018

“Spirit-Matters: Gloria Anzaldúa’s Cosmic Becoming Across Human/Nonhuman Borderlands,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 43 (4), May 2018



In 2017, UCSC received a gift from the Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation, plus matching funds from the UC Regents, to establish the $1 million Peggy and Jack Baskin Foundation Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies to fund research and teaching in feminist studies and provide support for graduate fellowships. Distinguished Professor Bettina Aptheker is the inaugural appointee as the Presidential Chair.

APRIL 28 - Baskin Ethics Lecture: The Ethical Role of the Public University, Bettina Aptheker

11am - Quarry Amphitheater - Distinguished Professor Bettina Aptheker presents the Alumni Weekend Keynote, followed by a conversation with Marlene Tromp, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor.

MAY 29 – Opera Works: Journey in Creation - Kuumbwa Jazz Center - Free and open to the public. 

10am-1pm | 2-5pm – Opera Workshop  /  7-9pm - “Always Moving Up Hill: Women in the Arts,” Panel

Bettina Aptheker, Baskin Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies, and The Humanities Institute invite students, faculty, staff and community to witness the creation of an opera called “Today It Rains,” based on the life of Georgia O’Keeffe. Opera Parallele, a San Francisco-based company under the direction of Maestra Nicole Paiement (Emerita, UCSC Music Department), commissioned this opera by award-winning composer Laura Kaminsky. Performers, the librettists, the composer, and the director will be in residence to workshop and rehearse this opera in the making.

The evening panel will feature: Nicole Paiement & Laura Kaminsky; Jennifer Gonzalez, UCSC Professor (HAVC); Robin Coste Lewis, poet and winner of the 2015 National Book Award, and Bettina Aptheker, Distinguished UCSC Professor (FMST).

Co-sponsored by the Arts Division, Porter College, Living Writers & Cultural Studies


APRIL 23 - Storytelling and the Fight for Migrant Rights, Sujatha Fernandes

3:30-5:30pm - Merrill Cultural Center - Dr. Sujatha Fernandes, Professor of Political Economy & Sociology at University of Sydney, discusses her most recent book Curated Stories: The Uses and Misuses of Storytelling, which seeks to understand the rise of storytelling culture alongside a broader shift to neoliberal free market economies. Presented by the LALS Distinguished Speaker Series, co-sponsored by FMST.

APRIL 26 - Queer & Trans Lives in the Caribbean, Celiany Rivera-Velázquez

3:20-5pm - Rachel Carson College Red Room - A guest lecture co-sponsored by FMST and the Lionel Cantú Queer Center.

MAY 2 - The Biopolitics of Feeling: Race, Sex, & Science in the 19th Century, Kyla Schuller

12:00-1:30pm - HUM 1 room 210 - In this Cutural Studies Colloquium, Dr. Schuller investigates the links between U.S. culture, racial and sex/gender formation, and the life sciences to unearth the forgotten, multiethnic sciences of impressibility—the capacity to be transformed by one's environment and experiences—and uncover how biopower developed in the U.S. Kyla Schuller is an Assistant Professor of Women & Gender Studies at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ. 

MAY 8 - Subjection & Performance: Tourism, Witnessing, & Acts of Refusal in Palestine, Jennifer Kelly

4:30-6:30pm - HUM 1 room 210 - CRES welcomes Jennifer Kelly, Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of Asian American Studies and Affiliate with Gender & Women’s Studies. 

MAY 9 - Timescales, Memory & Nuclear Geographies, Gabrielle Hecht & Julie Salverson

4-6pm - HUM 1 room 210 - The Science & Justice Research Center presents a conversation with Gabrielle Hecht (Professor of History and Nuclear Security, Stanford) and Julie Salverson (Professor of Drama and Cultural Studies, Queen’s University), moderated by FMST Prof. Karen Barad and SOC Prof. Lindsey Dillon. Writers and activists researching nuclear things face “the challenge of rendering visible occluded, sprawling webs of interconnectedness” (Nixon 2011, 13). These writers' work traces the sprawling webs of nuclear geographies, binding uranium mining and its dispersed radioactive legacies.

MAY 10 - Talk title TBA, Mel Y. Chen

2-4pm - HUM 1 room 210 - The FMST Colloquium Series presents Mel Y. Chen, Associate Professor, Gender & Women’s Studies, UC Berkeley.

MAY 16 - Job Search Workshop for Grad Students 

10am-12noon - FMST Library room 316 - Neda Atanasoski and Nick Mitchell will discuss a number of topics, including the timeline of academic searches, producing a job letter and CV, asking for letters of recommendation, and what you can expect. They will also share sample job letters and CVs. Students in their 4th and 5th years are especially encouraged to attend.

MAY 25 – Grad Advising Workshop 

11:30am-12:30pm - FMST Library room 316 - In this workshop for the first-year cohort, Neda Atanasoski will discuss the role of the first-year mentor, how to form a committee, and the responsibilities of the primary advisor and committee members. Students in their 2nd and 3rd years are also welcome to attend.

JUNE 4 - Materiality and Mourning in Doris Salcedo's Work, Judith Butler

4-6pm - HUM 1 room 210 - This Visual & Media Cultures Colloquia welcomes Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Comparative Literature, UC Berkeley. Presented by Visual Studies and Film+Digital Media, co-sponsored by FMST.

JUNE 8 – HUM Spring Awards: Celebrating the Humanities - Cowell Provost House

4-7pm - Join us to celebrate the milestones and accomplishments of our outstanding faculty and students! Families welcome. 

4:00-5:00 pm: Spring Awards Ceremony

Welcome Address: Tyler Stovall, Dean of Humanities

Opening Remarks: Marlene Tromp, Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

5:00-5:30 pm: Humanities Undergraduate Research Awards (HUGRA) Poster Session — Meet the rising stars of The Humanities Institute (formerly The Institute for Humanities Research)

5:30-7:00 pm: Humanities Retirement Celebration, honoring Distinguished Professor Bettina Aptheker and other retiring faculty and staff.


April 20 at noon – CGIP and CSGIP proposals due

The call for the 2018-19 Chancellor's Graduate Internship Program (CGIP), and new Chancellor’s Summer Graduate Internship Program (CSGIP), has been circulated to FMST grad students. Please check your inbox or contact Graduate Coordinator Taylor Ainslie (

This is a great opportunity to broaden your research experience with a GSR position for the entire academic year, or over the summer. April 20 is the internal deadline to submit proposals to the department. This will give the Graduate Committee sufficient time to consider proposals and funding sources before GradDiv's deadline of April 30.

April 27 at noon – Summer Research Funding

All current FMST graduate students enrolled for Spring 2018 in good academic standing may request funds for summer research related to dissertation preparation or for language study. Funds are limited and will be awarded in increments of $500 to $1,000. Please check your email for application documents, or email Graduate Coordinator Taylor Ainslie (

April 27 at noon – GSI Applications/Course Proposals

The department is soliciting applications and course proposals from advanced FMST students interested in teaching FMST 188 - Topics in Feminist Studies - during Spring 2019. Please check your email for more info from Graduate Coordinator Taylor Ainslie regarding eligibility, application requirements, and salary info, or email her at

May 1 – Grad student annual self evaluations due

Annual self-evaluations are part of the year-end review process whereby faculty assess grad student progress, accomplishments, and areas for improvement. Reviews are also used to inform next year's funding decisions. Grads are urged to send their advisor a draft and a meeting request no later than April 16 to discuss their progress and meet the final deadline. Evaluations are due to the department on May 1. Please email Department Manager/Grad Coordinator Taylor Ainslie ( if you have any questions.

May 14 – Lionel Cantú Memorial Award applications due 

The Lionel Cantú Memorial Award celebrates the life and work of Lionel Cantú (1965-2002), former Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz. Professor Cantú's scholarship bridged and advanced Latino sociology, immigration studies, transnational/cross-border studies, gender and sexuality studies, and the study of gay men and masculinity. UCSC graduate students working in any of these areas are eligible to apply, although preference will go to those working in and linking more than one area. For more information and to apply, visit the CLRC website