Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies
Volume 4, Issue 1
fall 2013
Editor, Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors, Linda Hase & Craig Canfield
Layout Design, Nick Appleby

WGSS Colloquium and Working Group

by Andrew E. Dowe and Heather Vermeulen

Chandra Prasad

Since its founding five years ago, the WGSS Graduate Colloquium has become a home for students from across Yale’s graduate and professional programs, formally drawing scholars-in-training into the conversations fostered by WGSS’s extensive programming. This year we aim to expand this phenomenal sense of community and collaboration fostered by our Monday evening sessions by placing a more explicit emphasis on two key aspects of the Colloquium’s success: mentorship and interdisciplinary conversations. Faculty members have been frequent and welcome participants in the Colloquium and Working Group, and graduate students and faculty alike have found the interdisciplinary conversations and opportunity for informal mentorship beneficial to their work.

Already this fall, our effort to increase interdisciplinary dialogue with the sciences brought Professor of Ornithology and MacArthur Fellow Richard Prum to the Working Group, where he led a discussion on aesthetic and sexual evolution in birds. Transnational and interdisciplinary conversations have also remained central to our discussions. A Working Group led by Professor Alicia Schmidt Camacho and a Colloquium presentation by Anthropology graduate student Sahana Ghosh blurred disciplinary boundaries in addressing questions of the gendered nature of mobility and migration.

Other fall sessions have drawn together questions of didactics, pronouns, translation, diasporic visual arts and gendered reading and writing practices in generative and unexpected ways. This spring will feature an equally diverse range of topics, including empire, hybridity, self-fashioning, queer desire, black feminist aesthetics, sexual subjectivity in the American Civil War and the ‘Viagra Revolution’. This range of topics mirrors the diverse fields and interest of our community, while their considerable overlap is a testament to the impact of our ongoing conversations.

These scholars’ ambitious, multidisciplinary projects and intellectual generosity serve as models for the scholarship and community that the graduate Colloquium and Working Group seek to engender.

Andrew E. Dowe (AFAM/AMST/WGSS) convenes the WGSS Graduate Colloquium and the Working Group with Heather Vermeulen (AFAM/AMST/WGSS).
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