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Study of Women and Gender

Current and past Fellowships in swg


Archiving the Papers of Martha Ackelsberg, Susan Van Dyne and Marilyn Schuster’s, founding faculty of SWG
Martha Ackelsberg and Susan Van Dyne (Fall 2014)

Martha Ackelsberg’s papers include:
Materials related to what would become the Women’s Studies Program (now SWG), going back to the 1970’s, early discussions about queer studies, materials about the status of women and faculty of color, and materials on feminist organizing within the political science profession. Also included are: Health activism in NY from 1969-72, which involved working with the New York Women's Health and Abortion Project), with Health PAC, and with the creation and presentation of a "Women and their Bodies" course, which was offered three times in dorms and/or storefronts in NYC--in both the Greenwich Village area, and also on the Upper West Side in 1970-71.
Materials on Jewish feminist activism,, which include the early activities of Ezrat Nashim (the first modern Jewish feminist collective), which had its official launch at a presentation to the Rabbinical Assembly at the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, NY in March of 1970; and also the founding--and continuing activities-- of Bnot Esh, an organization founded in 1981 and which still meets. 
There are also materials from a variety of other activist projects, such as ecofeminist conferences, in the 1980s, and anarchist groups.
Susan Van Dyne and Marilyn Schuster’s papers include
Women’s Studies/ SWG Program materials including faculty development projects-reading groups, seminars-to educate faculty about the scholarship on women and gender and ethnic studies from the late 1970s throughout the 1980s; cross-campus curricular experiments before we had a program; student study groups and proposals for a program, 30+ years of the history of the Program, the major, and the founding of queer studies and women of color courses and concentrations
Founding of the journal Meridians, a journal of feminism, race, transnationalism. Working for three years as multi-discipline, multiracial collective, the journal began under Ruth Simmons, and published its first issue in 2000.



Archival Project on Sexual Harassment
Carrie Baker (Fall 2013 or Spring 2014)
This fellowship will involve transcribing audio tapes of interviews with activists against sexual harassment, digitizing them, and assisting in preparation of an introduction to the interviews for a project to be included in the Women and Social Movement Database (Alexander Street Press). Skills and interests required: transcription; interest in archival research.

“Shakespeare's Women, Women's Shakespeares."
Naomi J. Miller (Spring 2014)
I'd like to develop a new  course, cross-listed between English and SWG, that would be called " The course would explore some of the strong female characters created by Shakespeare, using the lens of my other specialty, women authors in early modern England, so that we could juxtapose Shakespeare's women characters with the voices of real women of the time who participated in the lively Renaissance gender debate and wrote mothers' advice books for their children, as well as composing works of literature that were well-known to their male contemporaries (including the works of Mary Wroth, about whom I've published two books).  Then in the second half of the semester,  I'd bring in some contemporary women authors' adaptations of Shakespeare, such as the Caribbean novelist, Elizabeth Nunez, whose fictional transformation of The Tempest, called Prospero's Daughter, I've taught to my students in conjunction with Shakespeare's Tempest.  And finally, I'd like to consider what happens to the plays when women actors play major parts written for men, specifically as in the examples of Helen Mirren's "Prospera" in Julie Taymoor's recent (2011) film version of The Tempest, as well as some other examples that I appreciate.


Feminist Engineering Ethics
Donna Riley (year-long)
Feminist approaches to engineering ethics have so far been rare.  While one can identify some strains of feminist ethical thought in a few engineering ethics works, the authors do not claim the feminist label in the work. Developing explicitly feminist approaches to engineering ethics brings together feminist ethics, feminist science and technology studies, and work in engineering ethics that intersects with feminist concerns. This project seeks to bring these disparate literatures into conversation around four central issues: militarism; global neoliberalism; sustainability; and exclusionary systems of power and privilege in the profession of engineering.
Discussions of engineering and peace to date in engineering ethics have been in a masculinist tradition; a critique of this work would draw on feminist peace studies. Members of the Engineering, Social Justice, and Peace network have begun to confront global neoliberalism (e,g., Caroline Baillie, Usman Mushtaq, Dean Nieusma, Juan Lucena); here I seek to augment this work with feminist ethicists working on transnational justice such as Alison Jaggar and Uma Narayan. Drawing on the ecofeminist tradition as well as on new analysis in feminist engineering studies by Alice Pawley and colleagues, I seek to expand engineering’s approach to sustainability and environmental ethics. Finally, I seek to reshape the conversation around diversity in engineering by shifting the focus from "women and minorities" to one that acknowledges structures of power and privilege, including racism and sexism, but also brining new and sorely needed attention to heterosexism, classism, and ableism in particular. Ethical issues here involve not only who is able to do engineering or benefit from it, but also how engineering is done (in terms of both methodology and epistemology) and what outcomes result.

“Human and Sex Trafficking”
Paula Giddings
The Smith-based journal, Meridians, feminism, race, transnationalism, is looking for a research assistant to aid in the organization, preparation, and research required for a symposium on human and sex trafficking to be held at Smith in the Fall of 2012.  Student researchers will be asked to research aspects of trafficking scholarship; help identify activist organizations in the field; and help compile a portfolio of relevant statistics, narratives, and legal and human rights documents pertaining to trafficking. Other tasks would include post-symposium research that will aid in the publication of a special Meridians issue on trafficking. Working with and reading manuscripts, creating bibliographies, and other managerial tasks for publication would be among the tasks for this project

Creation of New Women and Gender course 1920's Europe
Darcy Buerkle (2012-2013)
The research project has two components. First, the research student will assist with preparation of new course for incoming students on women and gender in the 1920s. This will involve both archival and library-based bibliographic work. Second, the student will assist with on-going research projects toward a volume of essays in German queer history of the early 20th century that centers on the role of the metaphorics and (sur)reality of “the indictment” through historical case studies. The student should have basic knowledge of and curiosity about contemporary gender and queer theory. French and/or German reading would be a plus, but is not required.

The Social Movement Against Sex Trafficking
Carrie Baker (Fall 2012)
This fellowship will involve working on an ongoing project researching activism related to sex trafficking and the sex trade over the last two decades, particularly feminist conflicts and disagreement about these issues. A student research assistant would help conduct primary and secondary research and may assist with a conference on sex trafficking at Smith planned for the fall of 2012. Skills and interests required: researching scholarly databases, investigating domestic and international organizations working on trafficking and the sex trade, and locating multimedia sources on these topics.

Recent Fellowships

Women, Money, and Transnational Social Movements

Lisa Armstrong (Fall 2010)
"Women, Money and Transnational Social Movements" is a new SWG course on transnational social movements that is still in development. The research student will be asked to review the course readings, to find additional sources, create a bibliography, watch documentaries, and help coordinate short community based research projects with local and international organizations such as Prison Birth Project, National Priorities Project, and Migrante.

Berks Conference on Womens History

Lisa Armstrong (Spring 2011)
In June of 2011, the Berkshire Conference on Women's History is finally returning to the Valley. Held every three years, this conference brings together over a thousand scholars from around the world who work on gender and history. These two Quigleys will run in the Spring of 2011 and will allow students to plan and arrange local history tours for conference participants. Some possibilities for tours include a gender and land history trip to local farms, a walking tour of the abolitionist community in Florence, coordinating a trip to Old Deerfield museums, and organizing a softball game with members of a local lesbian softball league called the Mary Vasquez league. These internships have a combination of archival research, creative planning work, and coordination with local public historians and activists. They may also include aiding the plans developing among members of the Sophia Smith Archives to host an event during the conference.

The History of Gendered Boundaries in the Discipline of Engineering

Donna Riley (Fall 2010, but will consider Spring 2011 instead)
The Quigley student would examine the gendered construction of engineering as a discipline using historical materials from both the Sophia Smith Collection and the Smith College Archives. Materials will include the Ethel Puffer Howes Collection and the Ellen Swallow Richards Papers (in which we may find relationships between home economics and engineering); Smith's Annual circulars (course catalogs), in which we may uncover early engineering offerings in departments from the sciences to sociology to economics; and materials from the Samuel Florman visit in the 1970s, in which both class- and gender-based arguments were made against establishing an engineering program at Smith. Skills required: Familiarity with archival research methods, and experience working with materials in the Smith Archives and/or the Sophia Smith Collection.

A History of The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Daniel Rivers (Fall 2010, but will negotiate a longer period)
Working on an ongoing project on the history of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) from its founding in 1973 to the present. Since its inception, the NGLTF has been at the center of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement. Over the decades, it has launched campaigns focused on overturning sodomy laws in the United States, ending the ban on gay men and lesbians in the U.S. military, fighting anti-gay violence, securing family and domestic rights for lesbians and gay men, and raising public awareness of the AIDS epidemic. Research will focus on the NGLTF papers, housed in the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University and will primarily cover the first decade of activist work by the task force. The Quigley fellow will help analyze and annotate media releases, newspaper articles, and organizational records on microfilm and work from databases to gather and annotate articles on the Task Force from 1970s-era gay and lesbian community periodicals.

Sex Crimes and Dying Words

Andrea Stone (Spring 2011)
Fellowship researching 18th-century African American crime literature. Late-18th-century New England's interest in criminality and the spectacle of execution coincided with the publication of convicts' dying confessions. Whether sensational or sermonic, this genre provided an important forum for African American testimony yet risked reinforcing stereotypes about black criminality and, in some cases, sexuality. The fellow will research primary, secondary, and theoretical materials on the subject with particular attention to representations of and discourses concerning rape, sexuality, and suffering. Considerations of gender, race, and class will feature prominently in the fellow's work, which may include archival research, some analysis of primary materials, and reading and abstracting relevant criticism and theory.

Documenting the History of SWG at Smith

Susan Van Dyne (Fall 2010)
In preparation for the Programs 30th anniversary in spring of 2011, the Quigley fellow would work intensively with the Chair to document the history of the Program. Projects would include interacting with alums to solicit and catalog career and graduate information; working with on campus departments such as College Relations, ITS and the Center for Media Production to create searchable alumnae databases, construct online exhibits; as well as conducting reviews of cataloguing various media of Program conferences, symposiums and lectures. Skills required: ability to work efficiently and independently with a variety of digital media; excellent verbal, written and organizational skills; professional people skills; interest in archival research while adhering to deadlines.