FMST Newsletter: Winter 2020

January 23, 2020


CHAIR’S LETTER: Winter 2020

Hello Feminist Studies Community, 

Welcome to the start of not only the winter quarter, but a new decade. As we continue to face ongoing challenges with renewed energy, insight and creative approaches, I’d like to turn your attention to the ongoing struggles taken on by our graduate students at UCSC and other campuses in California. UCSC graduate students are building alliances within the university and with the local community as they move forward with their COLA strike to gain extra funding to combat the housing crisis. I am especially hopeful that this student-run movement will bring forth dialogue and solutions with the administration, and also with their unions, the city council, and the broader Santa Cruz community so that we can imagine together a Santa Cruz that is affordable and livable for all.  

Read recent news about the strike from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Good Times, and NPR. Learn more and stay up-to-date about the campaign on the COLA website and on twitter @cola4all @payusmoreucsc @bananaslums  

I also want to extend our condolences to the Baskin family who are grieving the passing of Jack Baskin. While many recognize Jack as a visionary who generously contributed to the Baskin School of Engineering, his wife Peggy Baskin has been a powerful supporter of UCSC’s flourishing Feminist Studies programs by donating to the Baskin Endowed Chair position in our department. These funds enable us to support FMST graduate research, bring luminary scholars to campus, and create a vibrant research profile across the campus. 

There is lots of news in this issue, including a new section profiling FMST alumni – graduates who continue to fight for justice at the grassroots level, in universities, in government, the media and beyond.  

Wishing you all a fierce start to the New Year!

Felicity Amaya Schaeffer

Associate Professor and Chair, Feminist Studies Department, UCSC


Congratulations to Eli Erlick on Advancing to Candidacy! 

FMST grad student Eli Erlick recently “koalafied,” passing her Qualifying Exam with flying colors. Congratulations, Eli!

QE Grad Workshop  

FMST grad director Neel Ahuja is holding a Qualifying Exam Workshop on January 28, 9:30-11:00am in the FMST Library.

Designed to help graduate students prepare for their QE, panelists Neel Ahuja, Felicity Amaya Schaeffer, Nick Mitchell, and Vivian Underhill will discuss the timeline for the qualifying process, strategies for configuring the different written components of the exam, preparation and evaluation of the oral exam, and other topics related to the qualifying process. We will also read and discuss sample materials shared by students who have successfully completed exams.

Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) Workshops

The Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning (CITL) has introduced two new programs for graduate students: 

Teaching as an Ethical Practice: A Guide for Teaching Assistants– An online course that aims to prepare new grad student TAs for the important role of supporting student learning and promoting education equity at UCSC. Developed with CITL by FMST DE and now FMST Lecturer Sheeva Sabati, the course includes videos featuring 25 UCSC campus community members, interspersed with content informed by educational research, case scenarios, personal reflection questions, and quizzes, make the course an interactive experience for TAs. 

Read more about the new online course here. UCSC faculty, staff, and continuing graduate students who would like to access the course can email Sonya Newlyn (, Professional Development Coordinator in the Division of Graduate Studies. Graduate students new to the TA experience are automatically enrolled in the course by the Graduate Division.

Teaching in Tense Times: A Workshop on Academic Freedom, Inclusive Classrooms, and Challenges in College Teaching Today – On Monday, February 3, CITL presents ahands-on workshop open to faculty and graduate students from all fields who teach or plan to teach in higher education settings. Visiting scholars Lara Schwartz and Andrea Brenner will help participants think through some of the most urgent ethical, pedagogical, and legal challenges facing college level instructors in the current era: How do we balance free speech and sensitive subjects in a classroom inclusive to all students? How do we enable students to communicate across difference while focusing on strategies for managing hot moments and facilitating de-escalation?

Lara Schwartz, JD teaches at American University School of Public Affairs, where she founded and directs the Project on Civil Discourse. Andrea Malkin Brenner, PhD is a sociologist, speaker, and an independent consultant who works with students, faculty, and staff on challenges related to college transitions.  

The workshop will be held in HUM 1, room 210, from 3:30-5:00pm. RSVP here

FMST Grad Students Writing, Speaking and Winning Awards

Jessica Calvanico is working with CITL in winter and spring to develop the curriculum for the Inter-Divisional Graduate Writing Pedagogy Certificate Program. 

Zia Puig’s essay, “The TransAlien Manifesto: Future Loves, Sex Tech, and My Efforts to Re-Member Your Embrace,” was published in the November issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly. The issue, themed “Trans Futures,” was co-edited by micha cardenas and Jian Neo Chen. Read Zia’s essay here.   

In November, Zia presented their paper, “Are Love, Healing, and Justice Accessible to Us? Intimacy, Care, and Crip Kinship Beyond Nationalisms,” in a roundtable on Protest, Justice, and Transnational Organizing at the National Women’s Studies Association conference.  

Zia was an invited speaker at “Diffracting AI & Robotics: Decolonial & Feminist Perspectives,” a symposium organized by Goethe University, TU Berlin, and the University of Vienna, October 11-12, in Frankfurt, Germany. They presented their experimental essay “Future Love(s): Research Notes on Transformative Sex? Tech. 

Zia also gave the following talks at several other conferences and events:

“AI, Aliens & Androids: Trans of Color Studies After the Human” – A CRES Work in Progress (WiP) event featuring work by micha cardenas & Zia Puig, UCSC, November 20.

“Martian Matters: The Im/possibilities of Space Exploration” – 22nd Annual International Mars Society Convention at University of Southern California, October 17-20

Claire Urbanski presented on a panel at the National Women’s Studies Association conference in November that she co-organized with Sa Whitley (UCLA), titled Liminal Landscapes of Neoliberalism: Mounting Resistance to Settler Colonial Anti-Black State Violence, Desecration, and Dispossession. FMST associate professor Nick Mitchell moderated the panel.


Congrats to Fall 2019 FMST Graduates  

Congratulations to FMST students who graduated this past Fall 2019, including those who received *Department Honors!

Pooja Gill * | Shanie Lane | Jenna McFarland * | Rachel McLeod * | Daisy Orellana *

Feminist Transfer Students Honored as Scholar Activists

kayl-bourgault.jpgSeveral FMST transfer students were recognized for their work as scholar activists in October. As part of the honor celebration, FMST transfer Kayl Bourgault gave a presentation about their work with the Prison Abolition Collective, an independent study project exploring “Transformative Justice and Sexual Violence.”  

Other FMST students who received Certificates of Transfer Excellence included Angela Cortes and Jessica Alejandra Parra-Moya.

Transfer Students Awarded Baskin FMST Scholarships

We are pleased to announce the recipients of two Baskin Feminist Transfers scholarships for 2019/20 – Lindsay Davis and Melani Dillman-Garcia. Members of our latest cohort of FMST transfer students, both Lindsay and Melani join us from Cabrillo College. Welcome to all our new Feminist Studies transfer students! 

Stop by for Undergrad Peer Advising  

Sam Cabrera is with us again this quarter, available to assist students in the FMST office (HUM 1 room 415). Sam’s winter hours are Wednesdays from 12-2

Sam can answer questions about course scheduling and help research internship opportunities. She also works as a Career Center Peer Coach, and is a great resource for advice on resumes, cover letters, job searches and more. Drop in, or email questions to Sam at 


Introducing FMST Lecturer Sheeva Sabati  

sheeva-headshot-copy.jpgSheeva Sabati is currently teaching Feminist Theories (FMST 100) and a special topics course (FMST 188) that brings together abolitionist and anti-colonial feminist theories in a study of U.S. Universities.  Sheeva will also teach Racial and Gender Formations (FMST 145) in the spring. 

Sheeva completed her Ph.D. in Social Foundations of Education here at UCSC in the spring of 2019, with designated emphases in the Feminist Studies Department and the Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Program. Her research considers the epistemic and institutional mechanisms through which U.S. universities cohere racial-colonial projects of accumulation. She is currently extending her dissertation work by examining how the University of California's early 20th century advancements in agricultural research circulated new scientific methods of understanding the land, and how these emergent knowledges figured into the development of the settler-colonial state.  

Sheeva taught in Oakes College, College 9, and John R. Lewis College this fall. As part of the Latin American Philosophy of Education Society (LAPES) Editorial Collective, she supports engagement between scholars and activists utilizing critical theories in education across the Americas. Sheeva is also organizing with the Strike Debt Collective in support of (student) debt cancellation. 

FMST Faculty Publications and Speaking Appearances 

Neel Ahuja was named the Morrow Scholar-in-Residence for Literary Studies at Bucknell University, and will present work there in April 2020 from his current book project, Planetary Specters: Race, Migration, and Climate Change in the 21st Century

Neel’s essay, “Post-Mortem on Race and Control,” was published in the book Control Culture: Foucault and Deleuze after Discipline, edited by Frida Beckman, Professor of Comparative Literature at Stockholm University, Sweden (Edinburgh University Press, 2019.

An interview with Neel titled “Asking Hard Questions” was recently published in the book Messy Eating: On Theory, Politics, and Animals as Food (Fordham University Press, 2019) edited by Edited by Samantha King, R. Scott Carey, Isabel Macquarrie, Victoria Niva Millious and Elaine M. Power. Read it at

Bettina Aptheker traveled to Boston for a Roundtable Conversation as part of “Radical Commitments: The Life and Legacy of Angela Davis,” a two-day conference presented by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University – October 28-29 2019. 

Bettina was joined on the roundtable by Angela’s sister Fania Davis, consultant and founding director emerita of Restorative Justice for Oakland Youth, and Margaret Burnham, Distinguished Professor of Law and director of the Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, Northeastern University School of Law. The panel was moderated by Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, Harvard University. 

The conference celebrated the acquisition by the Scheslinger Library of the Papers of Angela Y. Davis. In addition to the panel on Angela’s childhood and the trial, there was an opening performance by a remarkable jazz ensemble. On Tuesday October 29 there were three panels: Revolution, Feminism, Abolition, each with a cohort of scholars and activists. The final session was a conversation between Angela Davis and Professor Neferti Tadiar. Videos of the entire conference can be accessed here.  

Neda Atanasoski and colleague Kalindi Vora were interviewed for an October feature in Feminist Critique: East European Journal of Feminist and Queer Studies titled “(Re)Thinking Postsocialism,” by Lesia Pagulich and Tatsiana Shchurko. Read the interview here 

Gina Dent participated in “Radical Commitments: The Life and Legacy of Angela Davis,” presented by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (October 28-29 2019), in a session discussing “Feminisms.”

Jenny Kelly’s review of Ella Shohat’s On the Arab-Jew, Palestine, and Other Displacements: Selected Writings (London: Pluto Press, 2017) was published in September in Mashriq & Mahjar: Journal of Middle East and North African Migration Studies (issue 6:2). 

Her essay, “Israeli Gay Tourist Initiatives and the (In)Visibility of State Violence” will be published in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies in the Queer In/Security Dossier, eds. Tallie Ben Daniel and Hilary Berwick 26:1 (January 2020) 160-173. 


In this new section of our department newsletter, we feature the current work and projects of FMST alumni.  If you are an alumnus who is interested in being featured in the Alumni Spotlight, please contact Lisa Supple ( with a brief description of your work, how your Feminist Studies major prepared you, and a photo. We are pleased to share this inaugural spotlight!

Kalie Snyder, FMST Class of 2014 – Working with homeless families in Santa Clara County 

kalie-snyder-2.jpgAfter graduating in fall of 2014, I became a counselor for The Camp Recovery Center, working with adolescents aged 12 to 18. In this role I provided individual support and facilitated groups based on recovery. Most of the teens came from wealthy families, but a few were foster youth. This population sparked my attention.

About a year later, I began working as a Counselor Supervisor Case Manager for a small non-profit called STAR Programs – a transitional housing program in San Jose for foster youth. Eight months after starting I was promoted to house manager for the girls group home, a house of six girls aged 12 to 18. Putting what I learned in The Science of Gender, one of my favorite FMST courses, into action, this house became one of the only foster residencies in San Jose that accepts girls based on gender identity, not biological sex. I used the platform to teach about gender, sexuality and intersectionality, and made a lot of changes in the year and a half I was at STAR Programs. 

My passion has always been around finding ways to help people struggling with homelessness. When I was offered a position as a case manager with Santa Clara County Office of Supportive Housing, I jumped at the opportunity. It took a little bouncing around to find that this is the place I need to be to make the most impact in my community. Our office helms most of the new affordable housing programs in the county. I work with a case load of 20 high-risk individuals and families struggling with long-term homelessness, as well asmental health and addiction issues.All my clients were homeless when we first met; all now live comfortably in homes. I will continue to work with them to assist with any challenges that may come up so they can maintain their housing for many years to come.

I believe my studies at UCSC gave me the perspective to work with diverse populations, as well as a sense of understanding the systems and challenges that my clients struggle with.


February 13 – Shusenjo film screening: Miki Dezaki – 5-8 pm | HUM 1 rm. 210

The UCSC Center for Racial Justice presents a screening of Shusenjo, a documentary exploring the contentious history of the “comfort women” issue. After the film, Professors Christine Hong and Noriko Aso will join director Miki Dezaki in conversation.    

March 2-3 – Speculative Futures of Labor Symposium: Feminist and Critical Race Approaches

Mark your calendar for this two-day event, part of the UC Speculative Futures Collective funded by the UC Multicampus Projects Grant. The event will feature three panels exploring emergent approaches to labor in light of the surge of both utopic and dystopic imaginaries of technological and socioeconomic transformations fueled by developments in robotics, AI, and app-based economies. Participants will include: Curtis Marez, Heather Berg, Xiao Liu, Erin McElroy, Jennifer Rhee, Julietta Hua, and Kasturi Ray. The UC Speculative Futures Collective (UCSD, UCR, UCI, UCSC) brings together scholars, artists and activists for workshops exploring the emergent field of Speculative Futures to envision more sustainable worlds and futures. The event at UCSC is organized in collaboration with Bettina Aptheker's Baskin Foundation Presidential Chair for Feminist Studies, and co-sponsored by the THI cluster in Speculative Futures.  

March 13-14 – Writing for Living: A Conference in Honor of Helene Moglen (1936-2018) – Humanities Lecture Hall & HUM 1 rm. 210

Save the date for a conference in honor of Professor Emerita Helene Moglen and the first Helene Moglen Lecture in Feminism and the Humanities.  

Helene, a former Dean of the Humanities and Arts at UCSC, was the first woman dean in the UC system. She was a founder and pillar in UCSC’s Women’s Studies Program and subsequently a committed affiliated colleague in the Feminist Studies Department, and cherished faculty member and mentor at UCSC for decades.  

Colleagues and former students will speak about themes close to Helene's heart during this two-day event. Keynote speakers include:  

  • Myra Jehlen, Board of Governors Emerita Professor of English, Rutgers University – “Unreadable Writing”
  • Leslie Bow, Professor of English and Asian American Studies, University of Wisconsin Madison – "Writing In Absence"
  • Susan Derwin, Director, Interdisciplinary Humanities Center and Professor, German, Slavic, and Semitic Studies, UC Santa Barbara – “Writing with Veterans”
  • Brenda Shaughnessy, Poet and Assistant Professor of English, Rutgers University 

Go here for the full event schedule.  


Native American Congressional Internship – Deadline: January 31, 2020

The Udall Foundation offers a unique opportunity for Native American and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate, and law studentsto gain professional leadership experience in Washington, D.C. in this fully-funded, ten-week summer internship program. Participants will learn about the Federal legislative process while gaining an insider’s view of the government’s unique trust relationship with Tribes, research legislative issues important to Tribal communities, hone their writing skills, and network with public and Tribal officials and advocacy groups. Visit to learn more and download the application

SSRC Dissertation Proposal Development Program – Deadline: February 3, 2020

The UCSC Social Science Research Council’s Dissertation Proposal Development Program (SSRC-DPD) is now accepting fellowship applications for a 12-student 2020 cohort. The SSRC-DPD program supports dissertation proposal development through interdisciplinary faculty and peer feedback; training in key research and related professional skills; discussion of social science and humanistic methodologies; creation of a community of graduate student researchers; and practical workshops to advance progress towards candidacy and dissertation research/writing. Go here for info and to apply.

Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund Dissertation Completion Fellowship– Deadline: February 3, 2020

The Mabelle McLeod Lewis Memorial Fund provides dissertation write-up grants to PhD candidates in humanities. Lewis Fellows are awarded a stipend of approximately $30,000 plus coverage of some registration/tuition fees.  Eligibility is limited to PhD candidates at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and Stanford University. Apply here.  

UCDC Graduate Opportunities for Leadership Development – Deadline: February 10

The University of California Washington Program (UCDC) announces its first annual GOLD Fellowship, offering selected graduate students an opportunity to spend a quarter, semester or summer term in residence in Washington, DC to conduct public policy research on issues of national significance and assist in providing professional development training to undergraduate students. Fellowship recipients will receive a TAship, which includes payment of California Resident Tuition and Student Services Fees in addition to free housing at the UC Washington Center. See application here.  

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Fellowships – Deadline: February 18, 2020

This Fulbright-Hays fellowship program provides doctoral candidates the opportunity to engage in full-time dissertation research abroad in modern foreign languages and area studies. Students may request funding to support overseas research for a period of no less than six months and no more than 12 months. Go here for more info and to apply.

CARE-UC Innovation Fellowship – Deadline: February 20, 2020

Request for Proposals is open for the CARE-UC Innovation Fellowship, a research and training opportunity established by CARE USA’s Innovation Team and the University of California, in collaboration with the UC Blum Center Network. The fellowship aims to strengthen the workforce pipeline of expertly trained individuals whose expertise can alleviate poverty and improve human conditions in California, regionally and internationally. Open to UC graduate students from any discipline or degree program, the fellowship period is April-September 2020. Find the RFP here. 

THI Graduate Student Funding

The Humanities Institute at UCSC has several funding opportunities for grad students with deadlines in February and March. Click through for more info on THI research/dissertation/pubic fellow calls for summer 2020 and academic year 20-21: 

THI Dissertation Completion Fellowship – Deadline: February 21, 2020
THI Summer Dissertation Fellowships – Deadline: February 21, 2020
THI Summer Research Fellowships – Deadline: February 21, 2020
THI Public Fellows Summer 2020 – Deadline: March 20, 2020
THI Public Fellows 2020-21 (3 Quarter Opportunity) – Deadline: March 20, 2020 

Rick Hooper Scholarship – Deadline: February 21, 2020

Administered through the UCSC Division of Social Sciences, the Rick Hooper Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Richard M. "Rick" Hooper, who died at age 40 in the August 19, 2003 terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Intended to fund travel expenses for selected undergraduate/s, the award is based on academic merit and financial need, with preference given to students in any UCSC department who have a demonstrated interest in or are pursuing studies in one or more of the areas in which Rick Hooper focused his life's work in human rights, peace, and conflict resolution in the Arabic-speaking Muslim world. More info about the award and how to apply here

Keeley Coastal Summer Research Scholarship – Deadline: February 21, 2020

The Keeley Coastal Scholars program supports underrepresented undergraduate students from California with an unmet financial need doing summer research and policy work connected to Coastal Sustainability. The scholarship ranges from $1,000 to $4,000, with an associated $1,000 in support of the sponsoring faculty member. Funds can be used for any expenses incurred during the summer months. Undergrads are invited to apply by submitting an online application. The sponsoring faculty member must submit a letter detailing the student’s abilities and specific project responsibilities before the application deadline.

The Ann Snitow Prize – Deadline: March 1, 2020

Nominations are open for the inaugural Ann Snitow Prize, an award of $10,000 to a person of extraordinary vision, originality, generosity, and accomplishment currently engaged in work combining feminist intellectual and/or artistic pursuits with social justice activism. Ann Barr Snitow (1943-2019) was a much-loved feminist writer, political activist, teaching, and co-instigator of groundbreaking feminist organizations, including No More Nice Girls and the Network of East-West Women. For more information about the Prize and the nomination process, visit 

David A. Kadish Humanities Scholarship – Deadline: March 2, 2020

Cowell alumnus David Kadish (History, ‘73) has been giving back to UC Santa Cruz for many years.The inaugural David A. Kadish Humanities Scholarship was awarded in Spring 2018 – a $1,000 scholarship in recognition of a deserving student with a strong interest in the study of humanities Go here to apply.

Tinker Foundation Field Research Grants 2020 – Deadline end of March TBA

The UCSC Research Center for the Americas (RCA) has announced CFPs for research grants up to $2,500 from the Tinker Foundation, with additional support from the UC Santa Cruz Board Opportunity Fund, Graduate Division, and the Office of Research. The grants support travel and field-related expenses for pre-dissertation field research in Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries in Latin America, with travel to be completed prior to the start of Fall Quarter 2020. Open to grad students in all graduate degree programs. Further details will be posted to the RCA website in January 2020.

David-Putter Scholarship Fund for student activists – Deadline April 1, 2020

Funding students working for social change, the online application for academic scholarships up to $15,000 is available for undergrad and grad student activists organizing for social change and building progressive movements on campus and in community. Go to