From the Chair
Dear Friends of Women and Gender Studies,
Welcome to Spring, Friends! I am excited to bring news from Women and Gender Studies having turned the page on the challenges of 2020. Everyone here is hopeful that 2021 will return stability and calm to the many uncertainties we confronted last year. Classes are going well, and a few of us are back in the classroom again. We look forward to the day when everyone who wants to be vaccinated has had the shot so that we can return to some semblance of normalcy.
I take this opportunity to acknowledge our stellar faculty for all they continue to do. One of our faculty was nominated by their students for a teaching award, and others await announcements about grants to which they have applied—whether you win or not, the WGST community celebrates you. I am pleased to announce that my predecessor as chair, Dr. Lorraine Bayard de Volo, received an Albert Smith Nuclear Age Fund award to research the Cuban Missile Crisis; she will also represent the department in ASSETT’s Quality Teaching Initiative.
Our faculty continue to be active participants and organizers of campus events. Dr. Kristie Soares presented on the highly acclaimed Trans/Nonbinary Faculty of Color Panel during February’s Transforming Gender Conference activities. February also featured the Craftivism 101 Forum and Workshop organized and moderated by Dr. Samira Mehta; there, attendees assembled virtually in the name of art, activism, and feminism. I invite you to peruse the rest of the newsletter to see more about past and planned events. There is news about the Gender Justice League; a piece about a student project surrounding sexual assault; faculty updates; and a link to an article about the new “Lucile Berkeley Buchanan” building name. At the same time that there is an article on our scholarships and how alumni can contribute, we would love to report out updates on alumni, so please feel free to send along any information you may have.
In my humble opinion, WGST staff remain the best on campus. Our administrative assistant, Valerie Bhat—who recently won the Staff Employee of the Month award—celebrated 10 years with the department in January. Through her technological support to faculty, this newsletter, and our new virtual graduations, Valerie regularly works behind the scenes to make us look our best. It is not possible to celebrate her, or our program coordinator, Alicia Turchette, enough. Thank you both for all you do!
And of course we thank you for your continued support of Women and Gender Studies, especially in these turbulent times. Once again, we’d love to hear from you!
L. Kaifa Roland
Chair, Women and Gender Studies
The students of the Gender Justice League, along with faculty sponsor, Dr. Kristie Soares, created the video “Is the Future Female or Non-Binary?” for a recent event at the Center for Inclusion and Social Change's "How to Talk about What Matters" series. Watch Now!
The GJL has also started a new type of event they call "Tiny Mics, Big Community," which is intended as a way for students to create feminist community, to hang out and talk about issues and topics of concern to them. They are using Instagram to host virtual 'Conversations "in" the Cottage', as well as posting important news and community resources. You can follow them on instagram @cu_genderjusticeleague, and find out more about what they've been up to by visiting their website at www.gjlwgst.com.
“Creating systems of mutual aid is a really important thing for us, especially our generation. Moving forward I think keying into our own power and not relying on institutional systems to find healing can be more empowering for survivors,” explains Violet Stoudt ('22 WGST & Ethnic Studies), who along with two other classmates in her INVST cohort, Nina Patterson ('21 WGST) and Francesca Torsiello ('21 Psychology), are creating a new space of community, support and resources for survivors of sexual violence, which will include a survivor's workbook, website, and a private, virtual gathering place. Read more...
Education Building renamed for Lucile Berkeley Buchanan
The University of Colorado Board of Regents recently and unanimously approved the renaming of the education building after pioneering alumna and lifelong educator, Lucile Berkeley Buchanan, the subject of Dr. Polly Bugros McLean's 2018 book, Remembering Lucile: A Virginia Family’s Rise from Slavery and a Legacy Forged a Mile High. While chair of Women and Gender Studies, Dr. McLean led the creation of the Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Scholarship in Women and Gender Studies, and later led the fight to have Buchanan's degree from CU officially recognized after being excluded from the yearbook, and even from crossing the stage with her classmates.
The newly named Lucile Berkeley Buchanan Building will be the home of the Miramontes Arts & Sciences Program (MASP), an inclusive academic community dedicated to academic excellence. MASP is directed by WGST associate professor Dr. Celeste Montoya, and coordinated by WGST alumna, Roshanne Ebrahimian -- the program and its people have been a great resource to many of our WGST students, particularly those who are first generation students or from traditionally underrepresented populations. Once building construction is completed, MASP will move from their current home in Porter Biosciences, and be joined by the Student Academic Success Center, a multicultural academic learning community that serves low-income and first-generation college students.
The Regents also approved the name change of Temporary Building 1 to the "Albert and Vera Ramírez Temporary Building 1" after the Professor Emeritus and his late wife, who was instrumental in the creation of the Department of Ethnic Studies, and a witness to the tragic events of 1974 memorialized in the monument to "Los Seis de Boulder" that stands just outside the building's main doors. Read more in the CU Boulder Today
Dr. Lorraine Bayard de Volo received an Albert Smith Nuclear Age Fund award to research the Cuban Missile Crisis; she will also represent the department in ASSETT’s Quality Teaching Initiative.
Dr. Celeste Montoya has received two very exciting grants we are excited to share. The first, from the Center for American Women and Politics will help to fund a two-year research project on Latina leadership and activism in Colorado. She has also been awarded the "Growing Democracy Grant" from the Centennial Center for Political Science and Public Affairs, to fund a project on Latinx youth political leadership. "This project will involve working with Latinx high school and college students in El Paso county, teaching them about voting rights and helping them plan and run their own get-out-the-vote projects," explains Dr. Montoya.
Dr. Samira Mehta received a grant award from the Center for Humanities & the Arts Small Grant Program, which was used to fund the two-part Craftivism 101 event on February 3rd and 10th. This event featured both a panel discussion, and a hands-on student craft night, with special guest Shannon Downey of BadAssCrossStitch.com. Dr. Mehta co-wrote the journal article “The Changing Jewish Family: Jewish Communal Responses to Interfaith and Same-Sex Marriage,” with Brett Krutzsch in the upcoming issue of the esteemed American Jewish History. Her review of Beyond the Synagogue: Jewish Nostalgia as Religious Practice, by Rachel B. Gross. was also published this January in Moment Magazine.
Dr. Deepti Misri's chapter "From Appropriative to Transnational Solidarities: #JusticeforAsifa and #Me Too in Kashmir" has been included in the new book Can You Hear Kashmiri Women Speak? Narratives of Resistance and Resilience by Nitasha Kaul & Ather Zia, which "initiates the reader into a complex understanding of Kashmiri women's life-worlds, in the context of protracted civil and military occupation." (Book cover pictured, right). Misri published the articles “Dark Ages and Bright Futures: Youth, Disability, and Time in Kashmir” on youth, disability and time in the journal Public Culture; and “Relating Otherwise: Forging Critical Solidarities Across the Kashmiri Pandit-Muslim Divide” on critical solidarities between Kashmiri Pandits and Muslims in the journal Biography [with Mona Bhan and Ather Zia]. Dr. Misri also participated in an event at UC Santa Cruz with Kashmiri artist Mir Suhail where she talked to him about his political cartoons as well as other visual work. Details of the event can be found here. Dr. Misri also enjoyed talking about her work to graduate students in Sociology at Ambedkar University in Delhi this month.
In Case You Missed It:
Watch video replays of our virtual events this semester (for more see our Recorded Events page):
Trans/Nonbinary Faculty of Color Panel:
Feb. 23, 2021
As part of the monthly TRANSforming Gender Conference, faculty from various universities in Colorado gathered for a panel on February 23rd to speak about their experiences as trans/nonbinary faculty of color in doing research, activism, teaching and mentoring in higher education. The presenters included WGST's assistant professor, Dr. Kristie, Soares, Dr. Nishant Upadhyay of Ethnic Studies, Dr. Jeremy Calder of Linguistics, and Dr. Shaz Zamore of ATLAS. The event was moderated by Lau Malaver, a PhD student in the Department of Comparative Ethnic Studies also enrolled in the WGST Graduate Certificate program. Watch Now!
Feb. 3, 2021
Craftivism is a form of activism centered on practices of craft, including yarn-bombing, cross-stitch, quilting, sewing and mask-making. It is a social process of collective empowerment, action, expression and negotiation, which invites engagement and critical discourse.
In this event, funded by a grant from CU's Center for Humanities and the Arts, panelists Shannon Downey, Dr. Chrissy Lau, Dr. CheyOnna Sewell and Dr. Samira Mehta discussed the intersections of art, activism and feminism, through dialogue and action. Watch Now!
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