WGSS Graduation Luncheon, May 4, 2016




Keynote by Dr. Sarah Luna: In Search of Disreputable Heroines



Rikki Bettinger (History) is a doctoral candidate in the History Department, specializing in Latin American History. Her dissertation examines the diaries of North Atlantic women who traveled to Mexico and the Caribbean in the early nineteenth-century. She enjoys blending the discipline of history with her women’s studies work, and is invigorated by the atmosphere in the WGSS office, where she works as Graduate Assistant and Advisor. Prior to coming to UH, she earned her M.A. in History from the University of Texas at San Antonio after completing four years teaching history in the secondary classroom.

Yvonne Chen (Sociology) is a master’s student in the Sociology department. Her thesis focuses on how teacher’s enforcement of the dress code reproduce gendered, racial, and class discrimination through the hidden curriculum. Some of her other research projects examine mental health stigma and the portrayal of Asian Americans in U.S. media. She is also a student advisory board member of the academic journal, Social Problems. Yvonne will be pursuing her Sociology Ph.D. at Vanderbilt University this fall. She plans to research the barriers that Asian Americans face when accessing mental health services and how they navigate the healthcare system.

Fernando Clark (Sociology) is a master’s student in the Sociology Department. He graduated from Beloit College where he developed his sociological and feminist perspectives. His research centers on criminology, Latina/o sociology, gender, and inequality and poverty. His master’s thesis examines how mass media portrays Latina women who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. Other current manuscripts include how gender roles are portrayed through the music genre of Urban Bachata and examining the barriers that Latina/os encounter when trying to seek mental health services. He is a member of the student advisory board in the academic journal, Social Problems. This upcoming fall, Fernando will be attending the University of Georgia-Athens as a Ph.D. student in sociology. There he plans to continue his work on Latina women and post-incarceration and the barriers Latina/os face when trying to enter college.

Julia Taylor (English) graduated with a M.A. in English in December of 2015. While at UH, she served as the Graduate Research Fellow in the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives. This fall, Julia will be transplanting to Eugene, Oregon, where she will pursue a Ph.D. in English Literature at the University of Oregon, where she will emphasize in Gender Studies and Ethnic Literatures.




Cimarrón Spirit: Documentary Film Screening & Panel Discussion

CimSpirit poster

This February we were excited to collaborate with the HCC Office of International Initiatives, UH Dept of English, UH African American Studies, UH Relgious Studies, UH Hispanic Studies, Arté Publico Press, and the Caribbean Film Series of the UH Center for the Americas to bring film screenings of Cimarrón Spirit, panel discussions, a concert, and conversations to two Houston campuses.  Shout out to Assistant Professor of WGSS and CCS Rachel Afi Quinn for her work on this documentary.

The engaging panel discussion included: Rubén Durán, Director; Xiomara Fortuna, Afro-Dominican singer-songwriter; Dominican studies scholars Silvio Torres-Saillant (University of Syracuse) and Rachel Afi Quinn (University of Houston); with translations by scholar Mabel Cuesta (University of Houston)

The screenings were complemented by talks with Dominican singer-songwriter Xiomara Fortuna and Latina/o Studies scholar Silvio Torres-Saillant

The visit included a special concert by Xiomara Fortuna, and time for connecting with old and new friends.

“Crafting Feminisms: Recent Writings” A Reading/Lecture by scholar Akasha Hull

Akasha Hull recently spoke about two of her publications, All the Women Are White, All the Blacks Are Men, But Some of Us Are Brave: Black Women’s Studies (1982) and NEICY: A Novel (2012)

A Shreveport, Louisiana, native. Dr. Hull was a member of the groundbreaking Combahee River Collective, which shaped her trajectory as a poet, scholar and novelist. Her landmark work in African American Studies and Women’s Studies has impacted how we theorize, write and teach in these disciplines today.

The Feminist Press has recently republished Some of Us Are Brave (with a new Foreword by Brittney Cooper). Some copies of the book will be available for purchase at the talk. You might also consider order and bringing your copy of NEICY: A Novel or Some of Us Are Brave to read in advance and bring for the book signing that will follow the talk.