Yale Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Volume 7, Issue 1
fall 2016
Please come to our Holiday Party on December 13, 4:30 - 6:30 in WLH 309
Geetanjali Singh Chanda
Managing Editors,
Linda Hase & Moe Gardner
Layout Design,
Nick Appleby

Letter from the Chair of WGSS


from Inderpal Grewal

Misogyny, patriarchy, racism, bigotry, Islamophobia, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, xenophobia: these have emerged as speakable, visible, popular and powerful themes in public and political discourse in the US. The WGSS/LGBTS community at Yale stands against all the bigotry and hate that has been expressed during this election season. We resolve to work toward defending and protecting the communities that are now threatened by the authoritarian, white, heteropatriarchy that will be the face of the nation-state, and we refuse to normalize its hateful powers...
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Faculty Profiles: WGSS Distinguished Visiting Scholars 2016-17

T.L. Cowan


T.L. Cowan joined WGSS as a Visiting Lecturer for the 2016-2017 academic year. In 2015-2016, T.L. was Canadian Bicentennial Visiting Lecturer in the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies and Digital Humanities Fellow at Yale. Cowan is visiting from The New School, where she is Chair of Experimental Pedagogies in the School of Media Studies and Lecturer of Culture & Media at Eugene Lang College. She is also co-facilitator of the Feminist Technology Network. Her work focuses on the cultural and intellectual economies and social lives of trans- feminist and queer community-based performance, especially cabaret, and on the shifting practices of self-expression across digital and analog media...
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Critical Disability Studies (WGSS 383)
by Ho Kyeong Jang '17

Yale has always offered limited options for classes centered on disability. As of 2016, Professor James Berger's critically acclaimed ENGL/AMST seminars "Language, Disability, Fiction" and "The Spectacle of Disability" are the only courses consistently offered. In my final year, I have had the immense pleasure of taking part in Yale’s inaugural “Critical Disability Studies” seminar under the guidance of Professor T. L. Cowan...
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Lyn Ossome


Lyn Ossome joined WGSS as a lecturer for fall 2016. Lyn is Senior Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), Kampala. She holds a PhD in Political Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, and was previously Postdoctoral Fellow at the Unit for the Humanities at Rhodes University (UHURU), South Africa. Her research specializations are in feminist political economy, land and agrarian studies and feminist political theory. Her current work and writings deal with ideas of emancipation through a critical engagement with histories of women in politics, identitarian politics, queer histories, and the politics of human rights...
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Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights (WGSS 380, 635)
by Isadora Milanez '18

Professor Lyn Ossome’s seminar, Gender, Sexuality and Human Rights, has been formative in my academic experience at Yale. Professor Ossome’s syllabus is particularly designed to foreground intellectual and legal debates that consider human rights’ role in addressing inequality in gender and sexuality. We engage critically with controversial issues, often leaving the class with more questions than answers...
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Zakia Salime


Zakia Salime joined WGSS as a Visiting Associate Professor. Zakia is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s & Gender Studies at Rutgers University.  Her work focuses on parsing out the tensions between concepts of development, democratization and rights, with a particular interest in their gendered and racialized configurations. Her work explores how seemingly universalist notions of gender equality, religious identity, and citizenship rights have shaped movements and state transitions in North Africa and the Middle East. She is the author of Between Feminism and Islam: Human Rights and Sharia Law in Morocco (Minnesota, 2011). The book illustrates this interplay of global regimes of rights and local policies and discourses of rights...
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Gender in North Africa (WGSS 243)
by Rebecca Persson '19

Gender in North Africa, taught by Professor Zakia Salime, provides a thorough, interdisciplinary study on gender in North Africa and its association with notions of colonial knowledge and production, orientalist and liberal literature, the state, local communities and familial networks, the diaspora and the labor market, as well as societal constructs of masculinity...
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James Robert Brudner '83 Memorial Prize and Lecture: Isaac Julien


In his book Welcome to the Jungle, Yale professor Kobena Mercer praises artist and fellow scholar Isaac Julien’s “use of experiences of marginality to uncover the complexity of lived relations in the spaces between race, class, and gender”.  In his 1989 film Looking for Langston, Julien reexamines and reimagines the life of Langston Hughes to illuminate the relationships between viewership, consumption, and power in Black queer life. Julien came to New Haven to accept the 2016 James Robert Brudner ’83 Memorial Prize. In his conversation with Kobena Mercer, the audience witnessed an intimate reflection on Julien’s work of reopening closeted spaces of Black cultural history...
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Alum Spotlight: Sehar Tariq '05


I was going to be a doctor. Then I took Laura Wexler’s class History of Feminist Thought in my first semester at Yale and I could never go back to learning how molecules mixed with each other. During my high school years in Pakistan, I was focused on becoming a doctor (in Pakistan we narrow down subject choices early on in preparation for professional schools) and had never had the time or opportunity to engage with feminist theory or criticism. Professor Wexler’s class was the first time I came into contact with the radical ideas of Beauvoir, Freidan, Hooks and Spivak. It felt like someone had given words to the things I had always felt but never knew how to express or articulate...
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WGSS Colloquium and Working Group

by Yuhe Faye Wang and Sam Huber

This year’s WGSS Working Group series began with a packed room of students all eager to converse with Professor Tavia Nyong’o about a chapter on race, resistance, and the representation of slavery in film from his upcoming book. Our second Working Group event featured Professor Crystal Feimster and a discussion on discourses around sexual violence during the Civil War and how to center the voices and experiences of black women despite their absence within archive materials. Professor Kathryn Lofton will be the final speaker for this semester’s Working Group, presenting a timely chapter from her forthcoming book on pop culture, religion in the United States, and the mediated, televisual experiences of women through a paired analysis of the Kardashians and Donald Trump...
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LGBT Studies Prizes Awarded Fall 2016

This fall, FLAGS awards went to:

  • SD Boulware, M.D., Yale Gender Center to create “Supportive Families, Healthy Children” pamphlet for the Center’s Family Acceptance Project and Gender Spectrum
  • T.L. Cowan for wide-ranging LGBT research from Canada to Mexico
  • Alexandra DeBranco for New Right Movement research
  • Jason Douglas for travel to Japan to study the film Kimi no nawa
  • Ron Gregg for the study of Post-WWII queer avant-garde film
  • Navin Kumar for research on male sex workers
  • Greta LaFleur for work on her book The Natural History of Sexuality
  • Oana Marian for research on cultural representations of queerness in India
  • John Pachankis for LGBT mental health research
  • Nicole Silkin for work on gender affirming surgery health outcomes
  • Svetlana Tcarera for research on the 2013 Russian gay propaganda law and culture

Bruce L. Cohen Fund Research Awards went to:

  • Joel De Leon (YC ’18) to support travel to Berlin to conduct research on movement as a form of writing in black queer performance
  • Josh Tranen (YC ’18) for research his senior thesis on black gay filmmakers, poets, and activists during the AIDs epidemic

A Sampler of WGSS and LGBTS Fall Events

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Milestones and Publications from our Affiliated Faculty


Emeritus Professor John Whittier Treat's novel about the early years of the AIDS crisis in Seattle, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House, was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Foundation's 2016 Award for Best Gay Fiction. His essay on homosexuality in colonial-era Korean literature is forthcoming in Todd Henry, ed., Queer Korea.

Professor Noel Valis was elected Miembro Numerario/Numerary to the Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (North American Academy of the Spanish Language); and Corresponding Member to the Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy) (upon induction to ANLE)

Professor Laura Wexler:

  • conducted a seminar “Photography History, Memory” at the International Summer School of Peking University.
  • Hillman Photography Initiative for Carnegie Mellon University with artists Liz Deschenes and Stefani Jemison 
  • Participated in the "New Eyes on Alice Austen” panel at the Whitney Museum
  • Received one of the first five ACLS Digital Extension Grants for her Photogrammar project:
  • With Inderpal Grewal, taught Paul Mellon Seminar on "(En)Visioning Information”
  • Presented papers at HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory) 2016 in Tempe, Arizona 

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

Cowan, TL. “Living in the Necro-Zone: Linking Border Stories with Prison Stories in Yadira De La Riva’s ‘One Journey’ and Liza Jessie Peterson’s ‘The Peculiar Patriot’ on the Cabaret Stage.” Liminalities. 12.4 (2016). http://liminalities.net/12-4/necro-zone.pdf 

Cowan, TL. “Feminist Cabaret and the Politics of Scene-Making.” More Caught in the Act: An Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women Vol 2. Eds. Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars. Toronto: Yyz Books. Fall 2016. 

Fischel, Joseph. May 2016. Sex and Harm in the Age of Consent. University of Minnesota Press.

Parsard, Kaneesha "Making Space: The Caribbean in Transnational American Studies." American Quarterly, December 2016

Valis, Noel. Reading Twentieth-Century Spanish Literature: Selected Essays. Newark DE: Juan de la Cuesta, 2016. 310 pp. https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Twentieth-Century-Spanish-Literature-Selected/dp/1588712788

Valis, Noel. “Carolina Coronado and Martha Perry Lowe: Translating Sisterhood,”  Translators Writing, Writing Translators. Ed. Françoise Massardier-Kenney, Brian James Baer, & Maria Tymoczko (Kent, OH: Kent State University Press, 2016), pp. 187-207. https://muse.jhu.edu/chapter/1691864

Valis, Noel. “Pedro Badanelli’s Serenata del amor triunfante, or Gay Love in 1929,” Anales de Literatura Española Contemporánea (Homage issue to Roberta Johnson), 41.4 (2016), 301-23.

WGSS Slideshow


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