sarah with cat in a bookstore
Sarah Ahmad

Sarah Ahmad was born in Delhi and grew up across the Indian subcontinent. She has been a graduate student in the women’s history and writing programs at Sarah Lawrence College, taught in the CUNY Start, Thrive Scholars, and Juniper Young Writers programs, and was the 2018-19 Editorial Fellow at Poets & Writers. Currently a PhD student in literature at the UMass–Amherst working on feminist-queer architextures in contemporary queer-diasporic literature, she is also associate poetry editor at Guernica and assistant editor at Conjunctions, a reader at Poetry, and writes in-between poem-prose beings. Her work can be found in Plume, the minnesota reviewMargins, among other places.
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Christine (Chris) Bailey
Political Science

Chris is a PhD student in the Political Science Department of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Idaho State University (2018). Chris’ research centers on American Government, Public Law, and Law and Society scholarship that addresses a wide variety of topics including judicial decision-making and the ways in which social movements influence the judicial system. Central to her work is Feminist issues within American government and the American judicial system, including how gender impacts judicial decision-making and how gendered court precedent is penned and promulgated throughout American society and the legal system. Chris also specializes in social science research and Feminist research methodologies and epistemologies. Her most recent work addresses the ways in which gender and gendered influences can become essentialized by social science research methodologies. She has published work on the gendered nature of State Supreme Court precedent diffusion throughout the U.S., and she is currently conducting research on LGBTQ+ media and the legal consciousness of the LGBTQ+ community, with support from the National Science Foundation.
elise smiling against a white curtain
Elise Barnett
Afro-American Studies

Elise Barnett is from Nassau, Bahamas and received her BA in English from the University of the Bahamas. Her research interests, which include critical race studies, gender studies, and theories of diaspora and decolonization, are informed by an interest in exploring the ways Afro-Caribbean women respond to traumas caused by colonialism and neocolonialism in their everyday praxis.
Lucila Carballo
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Debadatta Chakraborty

Debadatta is a Ph.D. student at the Sociology department and completed the Graduate Certificate in Feminist Studies from WGSS in Spring 2021. She holds a Masters in Sociology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale and from the University of Pune, India with a concentration in Women’s Studies.
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Virginia Correia
Spanish & Portuguese

Virginia Correia received a B.A. in Economics from Framingham State University. In 2015, she received her M.A. in Spanish from San Diego State University. Virginia is currently a PhD student in the Spanish and Portuguese program at UMass Amherst. Her research interests include Spanish Golden Age Drama, Film, Aging Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to receiving a certificate in Feminist Studies from the WGSS department at UMass Amherst, she is also receiving a certificate in Film Studies. She has also translated Portuguese articles into English for the International Yearbook of Futurism Studies (De Gruyter, 2017).
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Jordón Crawford
Afro-American Studies

Jordón Crawford is a current PhD student of Afro-American Studies (History and Politics) from Portmore, Jamaica. His main areas of research include Caribbean Studies, Race and the Law, Black Philosophy, and Black Queer and Feminist Theory. Jordón was a 2017 Davis Scholar at Whitman College in Walla Walla, WA where he earned a double bachelor with honours in Politics and Race and Ethnic Studies. During his undergraduate studies, he was awarded the 2020 Perry Research Grant to conduct research with Prof. Zahi Zalloua on Posthumanist Studies and Black Ontologies. He received the best thesis award for his Politics thesis “Chunnel Deh a Yaad: Rethinking Jamaican Republicanism as a Solution to the Colonial Predicament”. He has conducted research on/with several leading Black scholars such as Drs. Angela Davis, Frank Wilderson, Calvin Warren etc. After his undergrad studies, Jordón went on to continue his legal studies, after which he worked as a Legal Project Manager at JND Legal Administration in Seattle, WA. Jordón is a community organiser and activist, violist, wine connoisseur, and lover of all things food.
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Sharonee Dasgupta

Sharonee Dasgupta is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Anthropology. She holds a BA in English, Psychology, and Journalism, MA in English, and an MPhil in Comparative Indian Literature from India. She has over 8 years of work experience with civil society organizations and prior to attending UMass, she was with the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. Her personal experiences and field insights have shaped the focus of her current research interests that include topics such as state-citizen relations, cities, governance, bureaucracy, and gender.
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Max Gonen

Max Gonen is a PhD student in the department of communication at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, working in the areas of performance studies, media studies, and gender and sexuality studies. Max is broadly interested in poesis as a trans methodology and uses performance theory and experimental writing to investigate the intersections of wellness and hegemony.  He likes kickboxing, television and poetry.
Upasana Goswami
castriela smiling against a background of books
Castriela E. Hernandez-Reyes

Castriela Esther Hernández-Reyes is a Palenquera woman who was born in Barranquilla, Colombia. She is a mother, intellectual, scholar, and doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. As a Black/Decolonial feminist anthropologist from South America, she studies how interlocking systems of power, oppression, and exclusion operate and intersect in war contexts and how they are tied to unbroken colonial patterns of racism in Colombia. Her published works appear in Latin American Perspectives and Latin American Research Review. Additionally, she is one co-author of the book "Lenguajes Incluyentes: Alternativas Democráticas" (2021) and author of several book chapters.
nikki smiling against grey backgroun
Nicole Le Roux

Nicole le Roux is a PhD student concentrating in International Education in the Educational Policy and Research Administration Department at UMass. She received her M.A. in International Development and Social Change from Clark University in 2018 and completed a WGSS Certificate at UMass in 2021. le Roux’s research engages the use of storying as an epistemological intervention in queer African scholarship and post-Apartheid South African activism in the NGO sector. Her work is in conversation with South African scholarship that challenges pathologizing, racialized narratives about interpersonal violence, and is shaped by her experiences as the co-founding director of an NGO in Cape Town.
tiarra smiling outside in the snow
Tiarra Maznick
German Studies

Tiarra received her B.A. in German Studies and Russian Civilization from Smith College and her M.A. in German Studies from UMass. Tiarra is a recent graduate of the WGSS certificate program, as well as a PhD candidate in German Studies. Her dissertation is entitled “A Dialogue in Affect: Women’s Experiences of Forcible Sterilization under Germany’s National Socialism.” In her spare time, Tiarra enjoys knitting, reckless napping, watching documentaries, playing with her spawn, and walking her lab with her partner.   Interests include: eugenics, reproductive politics, graphic novels, and medical interventions from the state. Tiarra completed the Graduated Certificate in Feminist Studies in 2021.
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Ashley Canter Meredith

Ashley is a PhD candidate in Composition and Rhetoric. She earned an Advanced Feminist Studies Certificate in the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. She currently teaches Writing & Society. Her dissertation research explores the ways that Appalachian women's community literacies at one non-profit organization connect to global political economic rhetorics that have led to extractive economies in the region. When she isn’t on campus, Ashley enjoys hiking, finding new houseplants, and admiring how cute her dogs are.
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Larrisa Miller

Larrisa (Larri) Miller is a PhD student in the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She completed her B.A. in Cognitive Science and Psychology at Lehigh University, and her M.S. in Data Analytics & Computational Social Science at UMass Amherst. Her research broadly lies at the intersection of media, technology, and society, with specific interests in mis/disinformation flow, social media, algorithmic impact, political communication, computational social science, and feminist studies.
esther smiling outside
Esther Moraes

Esther is a PhD student in the Department of Sociology. She holds a BA in History and an MA in Sociology from the University of Delhi and Manipal University respectively. She is interested in studying development, philanthropy, and sexual and reproductive health from a feminist perspective. Another set of research interests include transnational feminist movements and academic collaboration across borders. Her research is geographically focused on India and its connections to the United States. Esther has previously worked in the development sector in India on education and sexual and reproductive health and rights
signe against brick wall
Signe Louise Predmore
Political Science

Signe is an interdisciplinary scholar with a B.A. in Anthropology from Wesleyan University and an M.S. in Global Studies from Lund University in Sweden.  She works with feminist, critical race and decolonial approaches to global political economy, and is interested in ways that collective identities are mobilized in reproduction of and resistance to economic systems. Her dissertation research examines the politics of diversity and inclusion in the financial sector in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis.  Her chapter on "Feminist and Gender Studies Approaches to Financialization" is included in the Routledge International Handbook on Financialization (2020). Signe holds a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies.
chanel against background of books
Chanel Prince

Chanel is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She earned her B.A. in Sociology at Buffalo State College and her M.A. in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago. She is a qualitative researcher with interests in cultural sociology, race/class/gender, and the ongoing Black freedom struggle. Chanel's first research project examines Black women graduate students’ experiences code switching in white academic settings. Her dissertation research explores the impacts of Black placemaking at Afropunk.
tatiana smiling outside
Tatiana Rodriguez
Afro-American Studies

Tatiana Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary scholar, writer, and theatre practitioner based in Western, MA. She received three bachelor’s degrees in Theater, English, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As an artistic scholar, Tatiana’s research centers on Black feminist and womanist theatre methodologies during the Civil Rights era, as well as in the Black Power and Black Arts Movement. More specifically, her research seeks to examine how Black feminist/womanist theatre praxes served as sites for collective storytelling, survival, resistance, and healing. Additional areas of interest that ground and inspire her research include cultural ethnography, auto-ethnography, art-based pedagogy, and community-based participatory action research (CBPR).
Jessica Antonia Casillas Scott
derek against a background of orange and yellow leaves
Derek Siegel

I am a sociologist and feminist scholar whose work addresses 1) race, class, and gender inequalities with a focus on 2) reproduction, parenting, and family, and 3) transgender people's experiences in other institutional contexts (i.e., healthcare and the law). Since completing my Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies (2019), I have taught three distinct courses in the WGSS department as a lead instructor and two courses as a member of an interdisciplinary teaching team.

My dissertation examines how race, class, and gender shape trans women’s parenting journeys in a moment when anti-trans discourse and legislation are at an all-time high. I conducted 54 semi-structured interviews with current and prospective parents across North America, including 27 white trans women and 27 trans women of color. Using the concepts of racialized transmisogyny and reproductive governance, I argue that anti-trans stereotypes reinforce the power of regulatory institutions, policing the legal and symbolic boundaries of motherhood and constructing motherhood as a white, cisgender category. These boundaries shape both the distribution of parenting rights and how trans women are mis/recognized as mothers in everyday interactions (i.e., street harassment). I also examine transformations in family structure (i.e., how trans women navigate motherhood in both their nuclear families and families of choice). This project is funded by the American Sociological Association, the UMass Graduate School, and the UMass Center for Research on Families.
Elizabeth Sisco
German and Scandinavian Studies
bex against foliage
Bex Stanseslow

Bex is currently a PhD student in the Philosophy department at UMass Amherst. She holds a BA in Philosophy and Psychology from University of Rochester, and she received her MA from University of Rochester in 2021 with a master's thesis on epistemic injustice and exculpatory ignorance. Bex's current research focuses on a range of topics within epistemic injustice, including: the weaponization of social narratives and norms, testimonial injustice, epistemic coercion, and structural injustice within academic institutions.
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Paul Michael Thomson
Afro-American Studies

Paul Michael Thomson is an interdisciplinary scholar, theatre artist, and co-founder of The Story Theatre, 501(c)(3) in Chicago, IL. Paul Michael's research explores the intersections of creative practice and Black liberation, with a particular investment in the new play development praxes of the Black Arts Movement in Chicago. Other research interests include Black feminisms, contemporary drama, and the role of writing workshops in Black creative communities. He graduated summa cum laude with a BA in Africana Studies, a BFA in Acting, and minors in Spanish & Art History from the Honors College at the University of Arizona. He has received fellowships from the Black Metropolis Research Consortium, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, and the Flinn Foundation. To engage more, please visit
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Thakshala Tissera

Thakshala Tissera is a PhD candidate specializing in the Environmental Humanities and Human-Animal Studies. Her doctoral research on narratives of Asian elephants examines the participation of non-human animals in political and economic networks that merge the ecological and the social in the construction of colonial modernity and complicates the positionality of this species of charismatic megafauna in the backdrop of the Sixth Extinction.
jia smiling against a snowy background
Jia Zhang
Afro-American Studies

Jia Zhang is a doctoral student in the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. Her project examines gender dynamics in Maoist China and the Black Arts Movement. The project empowers the experiences of Chinese women and Black women through a feminist lens, taking the intersection of race, class, and sexuality as an analytical strategy. Using archival sources, Chinese, and Black women’s literature, her project traces the interactions between revolutionary Chinese feminism and Black feminism in projecting the notion of nation-building.