2013 - Jillian Hernandez defended her dissertation in March 2013. She received an offer of a tenure-track assistant professor position in Critical Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies at the University of California – San Diego. She was also awarded a Dissertation Fellowship from the American Association of University Women for her research on “The Politics of Sexual Aesthetics: Women and Girls Crafting Bodies.” She defended her dissertation in March 2013. Jillian's research projects focus on contemporary art, sexualities, and girls’ studies. She was formerly Curatorial Associate at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Miami where she created the nationally acclaimed “Women on the Rise!” outreach program for teen girls. She has organized several exhibitions of contemporary art and published essays in her areas of interest.
2012 - Anahi Russo Garrido received her PhD in Women's and Gender Studies in October, 2012. She accepted a one-year post-doctoral fellowship at Carleton College in Minnesota. Dr. Garrido also got an MA in Cultural Anthropology from Concordia Univeristy, Canada. Her research focused on gender and sexuality in Latin America, nationalism and queer theory. More particularly her work discussed changing forms of intimacy in queer spaces in Mexico City in the wake of recent sexual citizenship debates. She worked with women’s rights organizations in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. She is a board member of CLAGS at CUNY and has been a visiting scholar at PUEG/UNAM in Mexico City. She is the co-editor of Building Feminist Movements and Organizations and has published articles on queer Mexico City in WSQ and NWSA Journal.
2012 - Jeanne Roach-Baptiste finished her PhD in October 2012 and accepted a position at the University of West Indies. Her areas of specialisation include: Contemporary Feminist Theory; Black Feminist Criticism; Caribbean Feminism; Masculinities; Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Class; Nation and Citizenship/ Borders and Boundaries/Transnationalism; Sexualities; African Trinidadian Muslims, Black Muslims, and Nation of Islam; Resistance and Revolution in the African Diaspora; African Caribbean History and Philosophy; Gender in African and Caribbean Literature; Black Women’s Writing in the US; Black Literary Criticism; Feminist Pedagogies. At the IGDS St. Augustine, Dr. Roach-Baptiste has taught GEND 2203 Feminist Theoretical Frameworks; GEND/SOCI 3038 Gender, Ethnicity, and Class: Issues of Identity, Nation, and Citizenship in the English-speaking Caribbean; and GEND/SOCI 3031 Sex, Gender, and Society at the undergraduate level and GEND 6100/7100/8100 Contemporary Feminist Theorizing at the graduate level. She has also taught The Gendered Body; Gender and Popular Culture and Women, Culture and Society as an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers University.
2012 - Catherine Sameh received her PhD in Women's and Gender Studies in May 2012. In July 2010, she was hired as Associate Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women. She is responsible for the Center's media productions, including the well-respected webjournal Scholar & Feminist Online. She is also in charge of transnational collaborations with peer centers globally. Catherine's work at the Barnard Center for Research on Women draws on her expertise on transnational feminism developed in her dissertation, "Signatures, Rights, Networks: Iranian Feminism in the Transnational Sphere." Her dissertation explored the role of transnational networks, cyber activism, and media technologies in coalescing new political cultures and considers how Iranian feminists reframe the putative opposition between religious and secular discourses.
2011 - Ariella Rotramel completed her PhD in Fall 2011 and accepted the position of visiting assistant professor in Gender and Women's Studies at Connecticut College. She studied women-led community organizing efforts by New York’s Mothers on the Move and CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities. Ariella taught undergraduate courses in women's and gender studies and social justice. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts and Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago in December of 2003. Her independent plan of study focused on the intersections of racial, sexual, and gender identities. During her final year of study, she researched the history of the relationship between Harold Washington, Chicago's first Black mayor, and the city's gay and lesbian community. As an undergraduate, she was also part of an on-campus organization, Feminists United, and an intern for Homofrecuencia, a queer Latina/o youth radio program. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Ariella worked as an administrative assistant for the International Human Rights Law Institute's Raising the Bar: Legal Education Reform in Iraq project.
2011 - Sonja Thomas completed her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in May 2011. Her dissertation, “From Chattas to Churidars: Syrian Christian Religious Minorities in a Secular Indian State,” she examined the larger questions of how socially constructed differences between women shape their capacity to create feminist networks and to act towards social change. Her research specifically analyzed the Syrian Christian community of Kerala, India and the intersectional social identities of the religious community; a Christian religious minority identity, an Aryan racial identity, and a high-caste Brahmin identity. From the chatta, a clothing worn in pre-independence India by Syrian Christian women alone, to the churidar worn today by women of all castes, races and religions, her dissertation attempted to understand the complex histories and differences between South Asian peoples. Sonja accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position at Colby College.
2011 - Susana Matallana completed her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in May 2011.
2011 - Stephanie Clare completed her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in May 2011. Her dissertation titled "Earthly Encounters: Readings in Poststructuralism, Feminist Theory, and Canadian Settler Colonialism" touched upon feminist, queer, and postcolonial theory, twentieth-century French philosophy, and settler colonial studies. She accepted a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Oxford (UK).
Click here to view Stephanie Clare's CV.
Click here to read Stephanie Clare's dissertation abstract.
2011 - Agatha Beins completed her Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in May 2011. She accepted a tenure-track position at the Texas Woman's University. Agatha is a coeditor of the anthology Women's Studies for the Future. Her dissertation explored the production and consumption of U.S. feminist periodicals published in the 1970s.
2011 - Valsala Kumari defended her dissertation “Microcredit as a Poverty Alleviation Strategy, Women’s Empowerment, and Gender Relations” in 2011. Valsala continued working as Secretary to the Government of Kerala, India, in the Labor and Employment Department. She served as the Director of the Social Welfare Department in charge of Women and Children in Kerala state for 3 years and was subsequently appointed as Secretary of the Statutory Women's Commission of Kerala for 2 years. In 1999 she was the recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship awarded by the US Government for mid-career professionals with proven track record of leadership. Under the auspices of the Humphrey Fellowship, she completed a Masters in Planning and Urban Development at the Bloustein School of Rutgers University. She also completed an M.A. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers.
2010 - Danielle Phillips defended her dissertation “(Re) Shaping Race, Class, and Gender in the ‘home’: African American, Irish, and Afro-Caribbean domestic workers in New York, 1880-1940" in August 2010. She was offered and accepted a tenure-track position in Women's Studies at Texas Woman's University.
2009 - Christopher Rivera completed his interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Comparative Literature and Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University in August 2009. A recipient of the Southern Regional Education Board Dissertation Fellowship, in 2009 he secured a position for one year as Visiting Assistant Professor in race/ethnicity studies in the Comparative American Studies Program at Oberlin College, Ohio. In 2010 he was offered a position as Assistant Professor of American Culture and Literature, Department of American Culture and Literature, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey.
2009 - Kelly Coogan defended her dissertation "Feminist Scholarship. Excavating the Archive" in September 2009. Her dissertation addressed the question of how feminist scholars define their field of inquiry. Most feminist scholars rely on a stock narrative of the history of feminist scholarship, which purportedly defines its processes and outcomes by decades—the white liberal feminist 1970s; the women-of-color, postmodern 1980s; and the poststructuralist, difference- focused 1990s. Kelly’s contention was that this stock narrative fails to adequately grapple with the complicated mix of forces that came together, and continuously collaborate, to contribute to the emergence of feminist scholarship. Identifying and demonstrating the deficiencies of the stock narrative of feminist scholarship, Kelly developed several alternative accounts of feminist scholarship in its formation, contrasting the explanatory possibilities of approaches drawn from the history of ideas, the sociology of knowledge, and the Foucauldian archaeology. These three alternate accounts illuminated intricate and unexpected connections between academic feminism and geopolitical forces such as the Cold War, increased federal funding for higher education, changing priorities within philanthropic foundations, the emergence of development studies, area studies, and subfields such as Women in Development. By complicating the narrative history of interdisciplinary feminist studies, the dissertation was able to offer a fresh interpretation of the centrality to academic feminism, particularly in postcolonial and transnational feminist scholarship, of key concepts advanced by U.S. scholars of color. Kelly Coogan is currently serving as Assistant Professor of Women's Studies at Eastern Washington University.
2009 - Magda Grabowska completed her Ph. D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers in April 2009. Utilizing interdisciplinary methods of feminist story telling, discourse analysis, and participant observation, Magda’s work contributed to ongoing debates on transnational feminism, cultural politics, sexual strangeness and the politics of location, and addressed the question of how Eastern European feminism fits into ongoing formulation and reformulation of global gender theory. Predominant scholarship in the area of transnational feminisms focuses on the difference between “first” and “third” worlds and omits the “second” world location. Can the analysis of the development of women’s experience in post-socialist context utilize the established geopolitical and theoretical frameworks, which are based on dichotomies between East and West, South and North? Or, is a new framework necessary to fully understand the specific historical processes that are at work in this region? Magda’s dissertation was an attempt to answer these questions by tracing genealogies of Polish feminism and examining how feminist narratives build upon and transcend local legacies of Catholicism, socialism, and union organizing, while also engaging transnational discourses of “gender equality” and European postcoloniality. Her research investigated the new gender hegemonies and counter-hegemonies produced and employed within post-state-socialist context, and asked how the difference represented by second world locations influences transnational feminist discourses. She argued that identities emerging at the intersections local/global discourses lack steady objectives and clear-cut boundaries and thus become instances of “border” sites that exemplify the workings of scattered hegemonies and competing identity struggles at the individual and collective level. Madga Grabowska joined the Women's and Gender Studies faculty at The College of New Jersey.
2008 - Rama Lohani Chase was the second doctoral student in Women's and Gender Studies to successfully defend her dissertation. Rama's dissertation explored changing gender dynamics during crisis and armed conflict to see how global trends in movements of people, labor, and capital impact the appropriation and production of gender at the local level. Her work focused on the decade long (1996-2006) "People's War" in Nepal and the effects of three key processes -- militarization, displacement, and gender emobdiment -- on Nepali women. Through the study of women's position in Nepali political and cultural history and multi-sited ethnographic research on the Nepali Crisis, she examined how crisis induced displacement and violence shape gender dynamics at the local level and Nepali men's and women's mobility at the transnational/global level. The "call to arms" for women in Nepal raises important questions for the feminist politics of representation vis a vis other movements around the globe for peace and social justice. To that end, her dissertation explored the ways in which the bio-politics of body, gender, and sexuality are enmeshed with nationalism, ideology and economics and work in the production of the "military woman" and the "revolutionary woman" in contemporary times of transnationalism and globailization. In 2008 she was offered a one year appointment at The College of New Jersey’s Women’s and Gender Studies department.
2007 - Zenzele Isoke, the first student to complete a Ph.D. in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers, is deeply committed to transformative research and teaching, to the development of sophisticated understanding of Black women’s social and political activism in national and transnational contexts, and to the quest for social justice in a globalizing world. Her dissertation drew upon African American experience, Black feminist theory, and original research to challenge received views about the nature of politics. Within political science, “politics” has been variously defined as activities within and pertaining to the official institutions of state, the “struggle for power,” mechanisms of “partisan mutual adjustment,” or the “authoritative allocation of values.” Zenzele demonstrated that these definitions fail to encompass the practice of politics within low-income communities of color in urban environments. Rather than accept classic claims concerning the “alienation” of the urban poor, which allegedly explain political disinterest and disaffection by constructing minorities as passive and apolitical, Zenzele documented distinctive forms of political activism within African American communities. Through interviews and focus groups with a wide array of African American women who are politically engaged in the poorest neighborhood of Newark, New Jersey, Zenzele mapped grassroots activism in black-majority districts. Focusing on the voluntary organizations of black civil society as well as on electoral politics, she illuminated dimensions of political life that have been neglected by mainstream scholars. Moving beyond voting behavior and institutional politics, she made a powerful case that qualitative methods can generate forms of knowledge that continue to elude large quantitative studies. Thus, in addition to expanding contemporary understandings of political life in urban communities of color, Zenzele also made important contributions to methodological debates, demonstrating that methods accredited by traditional social science disciplines are neither race nor gender neutral. Zenzele’s contributions to interdisciplinary women’s studies and African American studies are equally important. Her dissertation investigated how “blackness” as a blighted urban category has been produced in the United States. She traced complex stratifications related to race, class, gender, and sexuality in Newark, New Jersey. She also provided important insights into the pervasive effects of continuing racism on black urban communities, black women’s development of social networks as survival strategies in the inner city, the operations of homophobia in majority and minority communities, and the possibilities for resistance and social change in contemporary American cities. Isoke was offered and accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the University of Minnesota.