Advisers: Jigna Desai and Richa Nagar

University of Minnesota
Department of Gender, Women,
and Sexuality Studies
Feminist doctoral program
The Ph.D. program in Feminist Studies is
designed to help students develop a high
level of competence in feminist theories,
interdisciplinary methods and
methodologies, feminist epistemology and
feminist pedagogies.
Interdisciplinary research training
 Possibilities for collaboration
 Feminist pedagogy
 Public engagement
 Departmental governance
 Close mentoring
 Graduate conference travel funding
Intellectual concentrations
Women of color feminism
 Transnational feminism and queer studies
 Critical sexuality and queer studies
 Feminist science, environmental, health,
and disability studies
interdisciplinary curriculum emphasizes the interaction of social
conditions such as class, ethnicity, race, sexualities, and national identity with
gender. These interactions and their effects are examined in cultural
productions such as media representations or colonialist paradigms in social
systems and relations of power; in aspects of science such as genetics and
new technologies; in epistemologies and philosophy; and in professional areas
such as health care to public policy.
We have a twofold commitment to develop scholars who will:Advance
interdisciplinary feminist research; and integrate an interdisciplinary
feminist perspective into disciplinary research
have a wide variety of courses that includes:
Transnational feminism
Social movements
Critical sexualities
Environmental justice
Intersections of race, ethnicity, and nationalism
Course requirements
Required Core Courses (12 credits)
◦ GWSS 8107 Feminist Pedagogies (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8108 Genealogies of Feminist Theory (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8109 Feminist Knowledge Production (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8997 Feminist Research and Writing ( 3 cr)
Colloquia Credits (4 credits)
◦ Feminist Studies Colloquium (1 cr, 4 semesters)
GWSS Seminars (6 credits, choose from two)
◦ GWSS 8210 Feminist Theory and Praxis (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8220 Science, Technology, and Environmental Justice (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8230 Cultural Criticism and Media Studies (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8240 Transnational, Postcolonial, Diaspora (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8250 Nation, State, Citizenship (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8260 Race, Representation, and Resistance (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8270 Theories of Body (3 cr)
◦ GWSS 8280 Critical Sexuality Studies (3 cr)
Research Methods and Tools (6 credits)
Minor/External Supporting Program (12 credits taken in other departments or as part
of a minor in another graduate program)
Doctoral Thesis Credits (24 credits taken to support progress towards degree
I pursued the FEST Ph.D. because of the long history of advanced feminist research
at the U.
Moreover, I was drawn in by the strong interdisciplinary nature of the program and
the faculty’s diverse academic endeavors. GWSS is absolutely the right “home” for
my graduate career because of the support I receive for my own interdisciplinary
I also cherish the small size of our department because of how it fosters close and
personal intellectual relationships with my peers.
While I didn’t think of it when applying, I am now grateful for the amazing
opportunities we have in GWSS to teach and develop our own pedagogical
practices and philosophies. I am certain I will leave this program as strong and
educator as I am and academic.
– Angela Carter, PhD candidate (queer studies and disability studies)
Ananya Dance Theater
Ananya Chatterjea (Dance and GWSS)
Over eighty affiliate
faculty from over 30
different programs,
colleges and
institutes at the
The feminist studies doctoral program at the University of
Minnesota is distinctive for the diversity of student research
interests that faculty, staff, and fellow grad students support
with enthusiasm.To me, this demonstrates our program’s
refreshing, forward thinking and inclusive stance on the
breadth of pursuits considered constitutive of feminist studies.
– Michelle Garvey, PhD candidate (environmental feminist and justice)
Colloquium series
Journal Club
Graduate group on sexuality studies
Graduate group on critical race studies
Pedagogy Workshops
Five years of funding
 Eligible for departmental, collegiate, and
university-wide fellowships
 Teaching assistantships as graders and/or
 Research assistantships
 Summer funding opportunities available
Strong record of placement
Twenty two students have completed the
doctoral program since its inception in
Many have been placed in tenure track
positions, postdoctoral fellowships, and
visiting professor positions
2013 Dissertation Titles
Charlotte Karem Albrecht: "Peddling Arab American
Histories: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Early Syrian American
Communities.'" Adviser: Jigna Desai.
Diane Detournay: "The Encounter Between Feminism and
Liberalism: An Itinerary of 'Woman.'" Advisers: Jigna Desai and
Richa Nagar.
Aniruddha Dutta: "Globalizing through the Vernacular:
Gender/sexual Transnationalism and the Making of Sexual
Minorities in Eastern India." Advisers: Jigna Desai and Richa
Xiumei Pu: "Imagining the Decolonial Spirit: Ecowomanist
Literature and Criticism in the Chinese Diaspora." Adviser: Edén
Postdoctoral Fellow –
Denison University
Assistant Professor –
University of Iowa
Visiting Assistant Professor –
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire
Postdoctoral Fellow–
University of Western Cape,
South Africa
2012 Dissertation Titles
Patricia Connolly: "Staging Cross-Border (Reading)
Alliances: Feminist Testimonials at Work." Advisers: Amy
Kaminsky and Richa Nagar.
Jessica Giusti : "Burlesque Female Behemoths":
Transgressions of Fat, Femme Burlesque. Advisers: Ananya
Chatterjea and Jacquelyn Zita.
Yeonbo Jeong : Science, Nation, and Women's Bodies:
Economies of Reproductive Tissues and Stem Cell Research in
South Korea. Advisers: Susan Craddock and Jacquelyn Zita.
2011 Dissertation Titles
Papori Bora: “The Nation and its Margins: Reading Gender
and the Politics of Sovereignty in India’s Northeast” Advisers:
Jigna Desai and Richa Nagar
GWSS undergrads
participate in class
2010 Dissertation Titles
Kandace Creel-Falcón: “This is Our Home!: Chicana Oral
Histories:(Story)Telling Life, Love and Identity in the Midwest”
Advisers: Edén Torres and Lisa Albrecht
Helen Crump: “Bodied Knowledges (Where Our Blood is
Born): Maternal Narratives and Articulations of Black Diaspora
Identity” Advisers: Amy Kaminsky and Gwen Pough
Eileen Muller-Myrdahl: “Orientalist Knowledges at the
European Periphery: Norwegian Racial Projects, 1970-2005”
Adviser: Jigna Desai
Ayana Weekley: “Now That’s a Good Girl:The Politics of
Respectability in African American HIV/AIDS Discourses”
Advisers: Jigna Desai and Gwen Pough
2009 Dissertation Titles
Rachel Raimist: “Grinding the Walls to Dust” Adviser:
Edén Torres
2008 Dissertation Titles
Margalit Chu: “Resistance, Dependency, and Resilience:The
Everyday Politics and Geographies of NGO Development in
Marginalized Gitano Communities” Adviser: Richa Nagar
2006 Dissertation Titles
Danielle Bouchard: “The Feminist Order of Things:
Interdisciplinarity, Globalization, and Postcoloniality in
Contemporary Feminist Theory” Adviser: Jigna Desai
Amy Brandzel: “Queering the Subject(s) of U.S. Citizenship:
Beyond the Normative Citizen in Law and Culture. Advisers: Jigna
Desai, Richa Nagar, and Barbara Welke
Dawn Rae Davis: “De-colonizing Love: Feminist Subjects and the
Ability of Not Knowing”. Adviser: Naomi Scheman
2005 Dissertation Titles
Sam Bullington: “From the ‘Rainbow Nation’ to the ‘New
Apartheid’: Sexual Orientation and HIV/AIDS in Contemporary
South African Nation Building. Adviser: Susan Craddock
Sara Hottinger: “Making Mathematical Knowledge: A Cultural
Study of Late-Eighteenth Century British Mathematics”. Advisers:
Jacquelyn Zita and Helen Longino
Linda Wayne: “Sexes, Genders, and Sexualities: From Second to
Third Wave Feminism”. Adviser: Ellen-Messer Davidow
2003 Dissertation Titles
Amanda Swarr: “Exploring the Boundaries of Gender and Sex:
Transgendered Expressions in Contemporary South Africa”
Advisers: Amy Kaminsky and Richa Nagar
2002 Dissertation Titles
Sidney Matrix: “Inventing Cyberculture and Cybersubjectivity: A
Critical Study of Cyberfictional Media” Advisers: John Mowitt and
Naomi Scheman
Brittany Lewis, PhD candidate (black feminist politics and activism)
Tia Gardener, PhD candidate
(Black feminist arts and literature)
Carolyn Erler, PhD candidate
(Feminist epistemology and biopoliitcs)
2013 Admits to Ph.D. Program
GWSS faculty
Jigna Desai
Research Interests: Asian American literature and
media, feminist theory, postcolonial studies,
queer/sexuality studies, South Asian diasporas,
critical disability studies, autism, neuronormativity
Richa Nagar
Research Interests: transnational feminism,
politics of development, feminism and praxis,
people’s movements
Naomi Scheman
Research Interests: politics of epistemology,
feminist theory, trustworthiness and community
engagement, responsibility in research,
queer/sexuality studies, transgender studies
Edén Torres
Research Interests: race, class & gender,
Chicana/o cultural studies, Chicana/Chicano
history and politics, Chicana feminist theory,
Feminist & Critical Pedagogies, Gender, Labor &
Amy Kaminsky
Research Interests: Spanish and Latin
American literature, feminist literary
theory and criticism, Latin American film,
Exile and national identity in Latin
America, Jewish writing and film in
Argentina, race, gender, and sexuality
Zenzele Isoke
Research Interests: U.S. Black Women’s
Politics and Activism, black feminist thought,
urban studies, urban ethnography, feminist
geography, feminist theory and methods
Susan Craddock
Research Interests: AIDS, disease, health,
Tuberculosis, public-private networks for
neglected disease vaccine and drug
Jacquelyn Zita
Research Interests: Women’s biology,
environmental justice, feminist
environmental studies, sexuality, corporeal
philosophy, lgbt studies, feminist theory and
Annie Hill (Visiting Faculty Member)
Research Interests: Rhetorical theory and
criticism; cultural studies/public policy and crime,;
gender and sexuality studies; feminist theory; race
theory and western science
Research Interests: Media, race and politics;
gender and media studies; public sphere
Catherine Squires (Director of Graduate Studies)
Digital Media and Innovations
Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center
The Rachel Raimist Feminist Media Center (RRFMC) is a a
teaching classroom and open lab for Gender, Women, and
Sexuality Studies and GLBT Studies students, faculty and
staff, and a multimedia training and production facility.
Powerful multimedia tools exist, such as Dreamweaver,
Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro on all of the computers.
 This lab provides the physical space and infrastructure to
support a variety of instructor and faculty training,
curriculum development, and research efforts for the
department and the broader community
 As a whole, our department continues to seek out
collaboration opportunities with other interdisciplinary
units to expand the use of digital technology and media
through the humanities.

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