Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 9, Issue 2
spring 2019
  Compiled by Moe Gardner
Layout, Nick Appleby

From the Chair of WGSS


from Margaret Homans

Spring semester in WGSS has been rich with extraordinary speakers, events, and classes.  We bid an affectionate farewell (or better, “see you again soon!”) to Inderpal Grewal, retiring from Yale after ten years as Professor of WGSS (and for many of those years as Chair), during which her vision and her strategic brilliance have transformed the program both with new faculty and courses and with new energy and purpose.  Please read in this newsletter about one of her last courses, the symposium in her honor, and many wonderful events that would not have taken place without her leadership.  She will be enormously missed and we are all grateful for her legacies of outstanding scholarship, institutional optimism, and progressive pedagogies and politics.

Feminists in the University: Thinking with Inderpal Grewal

by Sasha Sabherwal
PhD Candidate, American Studies & Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


Professor Inderpal Grewal’s career has shaped the course of feminist thinking and epistemologies across the world. Her work has been at the forefront of theorizing gender, masculinities, political violence, securitization, and surveillance. At Yale, Professor Grewal has spent the last decade working interdisciplinarily across Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, the Ethnicity, Race and Migration Studies Program, American Studies, and South Asian Studies. These academic homes have been places of refuge for many students across the university, and places where Professor Grewal offered fierce mentorship, academic support, and intersectional teaching. Her approach has always been to build a strong community of feminist scholars by focusing on pedagogy and research...
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Course Review: Gender, Development, Technology

by Deepti Chatti

Co-taught by Inderpal Grewal and Deepti Chatti


Can technology solve global inequalities and pressing social and environmental problems? How is technology imagined as an apolitical fix for international development? How can we understand the gendered and racialized targets of international development, as well as the gendered and racialized creators of technological fixes for a wide range of issues? In this new class at Yale designed as an advanced undergraduate seminar, we bring together a diverse set of perspectives, histories, and dilemmas with the goal of understanding how to think of ‘development’ and ‘technology for development’ as subjects of study...
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Course Review: Writing Trauma with Roxane Gay

by Sarah Tabin


Over the past semester, Professor Gay has taught us to critically examine trauma scenes in films and novels, trauma reporting in the media, and trauma described in personal memoirs and essays.  We have discussed trauma tropes, like the lazy rape scene, and what the consequences are when trauma writing is designed to titillate rather than to inform.  We have read work from brilliant writers and thinkers including Terese Marie Mailhot, Saeed Jones, Dr. Tressie McMillan Cottom, and Aubrey Hirsch.  We were then able to meet some of the authors whose work we had discussed in class at a panel on trauma writing that Professor Gay organized...
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James R. Brudner '83 Memorial Prize and Lecture


The James R. Brudner ‘83 Memorial Prize for 2018-19 was given to Bill T. Jones, dancer and choreographer, whose Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company changed how dance spoke about identity, community and the politics of race and sexuality. Jones came to Yale on February 19 to talk about his work and his practice and to give a thrilling talk at the Whitney Humanities Center in which his words, movements and gestures captured the complex history of black sexuality and social movements that enabled his work. Tracing his life through both the LGBTQ movement and the civil rights struggle, Jones showed how he forged a practice and a company that could speak to the particular intersectional embodiments that they engendered...
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Kinship in Times of Suspicious Citizenship

by Eda Pepi


It was an honor to host the 2018-2019 Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies speaker series! In light of recent public emergencies in the United States—ranging from family separations and child detentions to the Muslim ban and the proposed legal erasure of transgender identity among many others—I organized the series under the rubric “Kinship in Times of Suspicious Citizenship.”

The goal was to foreground gender and kinship as analytics for understanding a range of topical issues about migration, citizenship, and social reproduction. I wanted, in particular, to highlight transnational perspectives in gender and kinship studies that show how these emergencies are neither unprecedented nor exceptional. Indeed, what we are witnessing today is ultimately a global movement in regulating citizenship by intervening into family life...
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New Directions in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

by Greta LaFleur


This spring, the Program in WGSS hosted "New Directions in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies," a two-lecture series organized by Prof. Greta LaFleur that brought Professors Cal Biruk, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Oberlin College, and Sarah Ensor, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Michigan, to campus. Both talks index important new avenues for gender and sexuality studies; Biruk’s lecture pointed to critical intersections between data and information studies and queer theory and sexuality studies in their work on non-profit and anthropological industries of study in Malawi; and Ensor’s talk put recent work in Black studies into conversation with central texts of early queer theory on futurity, and critical environmental studies, in order to imagine a relationship between historical events and effects that she calls “fallout.” For Ensor, this approach allows us to understand environmental influence and harm over longer periods, and suggests connections between historical events and our contemporary moment that may not appear connected. Drawing on a range of approaches and methodologies that have become increasingly important to gender and sexuality studies, critical ethnic studies, and the histories and politics of knowledge more broadly, these lectures represent the kinds of exciting new directions that are drawing students and other scholars to women’s, gender and sexuality studies, at Yale and beyond.

WGSS Colloquium, Spring 2019

by Salonee Bhaman

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This semester, the WGSS Colloquium and Working group was able to host a series of exciting conversations between an interdisciplinary community of students and faculty. 

Visiting LGBTS Graduate Fellow Desirae Embree, a PhD candidate at Texas A&M University opened up the semester’s Working Group (where faculty members and visiting scholars share pre-circulated work) with a portion of her dissertation, an exciting interdisciplinary work exploring Dyke Porn, community formation, and early feminist media production.  In March, Professor Eda Pepi shared a chapter in process from her forthcoming book and led a fascinating discussion on the biopolitics of empire and the bounds of citizenship in Jordan and Morocco...
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A Sampler of WGSS Spring '19 Events

Photo Photo Photo


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Congratulations to WGSS Class of 2019

  Rachel Calnek-Sugin
Abigail Clayton
Alexa Derman
Maeve Howard
S Gavis-Hughson
Alexandra Maund
  Rebecca Persson
Liam Riley
Christopher Vargas
Rita Wang
Justine Xu
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Milestones and Recent Publications

Elected to the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Senate:  Jill Campbell and Jennifer Klein, who are members of the WGSS Council, and Joe Fischel, Associate Professor of WGSS.  Jill Campbell served as the Senate’s Deputy Chair in 2018-19 and will continue her term in 2019-20; Jennifer Klein has been reelected for another term; and Joe Fischel will begin his first term as Senator in fall 2019.  WGSS is proud of these Senators and the important work they do for the entire Yale community.

Recent Publications

WGSS and LGBTS congratulate our faculty and affiliates on the publication of their recent scholarship.

De, Rohit. A People's Constitution: The Everyday Life of Law in the Indian Republic. Princeton University Press, 2018. https://press.princeton.edu/titles/13286.html

Fischel, Joseph. Screw Consent: A Better Politics of Sexual Justice. University of California Press, 2019. https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520295414/screw-consent#about-book

Fischel, Joseph. C-Span interview with Regina Kunzel re: Screw Consent, at Labyrinth Books in Princeton. https://www.c-span.org/video/?458542-1%2Fscrew-consent

Fischel, Joseph. On Jessa Crispin's podcast, Public Intellectual, discussing feminism, bad sex, sex offenders, and children's sexual agency. https://player.fm/series/public-intellectual-with-jessa-crispin-2379837

LaFleur, Greta. The Natural History of Sexuality in Early America. Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018. https://jhupbooks.press.jhu.edu/title/natural-history-sexuality-early-america

Miller, Ali and Roseman, Mindy. Beyond Virtue and Vice: Rethinking Human Rights and Criminal Law. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019. http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/15920.html

Valis, Noel. Realismo sagrado: Religión e imaginación en la narrativa española moderna. Barcelona: Calambur, 2017. http://www.calambureditorial.com/a/42864/realismo-sagrado

Valis, Noel. “Homosexuality on Display in 1920s Spain: The Hermaphrodite, Eccentricity, and Álvaro Retana,” Freakish Encounters. Constructions of the Freak in Hispanic Cultures. Ed. Sara Muñoz-Muriana and Analola Santana. Hispanic Issues On Line 20 (2018), 190-216. https://cla.umn.edu/sites/cla.umn.edu/files/hiol_20_9_valis.pdf

Valis, Noel. “Reflexiones,” Agencia, historia y empoderamiento femenino. Actas, XXVIIth Congress of the International Association of Hispanic Women’s Literature and Culture. Ed. Diane Marting, Eva París, and Yamile Silva. (Santo Domingo: Ministerio de la Mujer de la República Dominicana, 2018), pp. 331-35.


Recent news by or about the Yale WGSS and LGBTS community

Rene Almeling was recently recognized with a fellowship from the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University.

Jill Campbell was awarded the the Yale College-Sidonie Miskimin Clauss Prize for Excellence in the Humanities.

Inderpal Grewal was awarded the Graduate Mentor Award in the Humanities for 2019. The Graduate Mentor Award recognizes faculty members who have been exceptional in their support of the professional, scholarly, and personal development of their students.

Noël Valis won the Victoria Urbano Academic Achievement Prize / Premio Victoria Urbano de Reconocimiento Académico, given by the International Association of Hispanic Women's Literature and Culture (Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica), for her work on Hispanic women's literature and gender studies.



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