Projects

Female Actresses in Sri Lanka and the Effects of Celebrity on Their Personal Lives and Relationships

Lakshmi Bulathsinghala

Professional actresses in the Sri Lankan entertainment industry enjoy a special place as women in a society emerging from its conservative past. They oftent portray traditional women’s roles in their performances, but live progressive social lives centered on urban locations. The tensions created by these disparate roles impact their public perception as well as their personal relationships with spouses and other family members. Such a study has never been attempted before, and will help us understand how Sri Lankan actresses negotiate these social circumstances and what kinds of pressures they find themselves under with respect to their public images and their private relationships.

The Erotic Exotic: Racialized Sexuality & Gender in the Society Islands (French Polynesia)

Deborah Elliston

This project focuses on current Polynesian negotiations of the intersections between gender, sexuality, race, and colonialism in the Society Islands of French Polynesia. Based on a proposed intensive 6-8 week period of fieldwork (Spring 2023), and building on twenty-five years of research in the Islands, this project centers the gendered and sexual dimensions of racialization processes in the Society Islands by investigating Polynesian girls’ and women’s strategies as they navigate their racialization as “erotic exotica” for French colonial gazes and global tourist consumption. The resulting intersectional analysis centrally engages critical indigenous feminist studies and critiques of settler colonialism.

Gender Equality in Prosthetics

Gabrielle Hanley-Mott

My research looks at the experiences of women with limb loss and the process of acquiring a prosthetic limb. During this process people come to terms with altered bodies and what it means to have acquired disability, which is an identity altering for many.  For women this is made more difficult because prostheses are designed for men thus the fit, function and experience of using the device is compromised. This project is interested in how gender, class privilege, and disability interact to produce different expectations and experiences in healthcare.

Being When Meant Not to Be

Mercia Kandukira

"Being When Meant Not to Be" will bring a literary, and female perspective to the genocide of the 20th century and link it to the present by emphasizing geographical space as witness. My writing is informed by research in Epigenetics which suggests trauma is intergenerationally transferable, and Genocide Studies which views genocide as a structure that continues to affect communities long after the killing has ended. The memoir, through Kenouho’s narrative, amplifies genocide’s inaudible resonance by unpacking a memory nearly erased by a century of silence and denial. By inspiring remembrance, the memoir creates a literary space in which victim and perpetrator descendants can juxtapose personal truths against historical facts still affecting interpersonal relationships today. The work centers landscape and body as conduits of memory and seeks healing through exploring the colonial legacies of gendered violence in Namibia.

Women’s Public and Political Participations Under Sharia Law in
Post-Conflict Aceh, Indonesia

Farid Muttaqin

“Women’s Public and Political Participations under Sharia Law in Post-Conflict Aceh, Indonesia,” observes the intersections of Islam, local cultural norms (adat), and feminism in the ways people understand and practice gender justice. Women’s participations in public and political spheres are approached as the arena of contestation among different groups in the society. It engages with the ongoing debates in feminist anthropology on how gender justice and feminism are negotiated and adjusted in different socio-cultural contexts. This study will inspire insights on new agendas of gender justice in multicultural contexts that will benefit women and girls the most.

The Effects of the Armenian Genocide on the Identities of Female Survivors

Alexandra Ritsatos

The Armenian Genocide (1915-1918) had profound impacts on the demographics of modern Anatolia, and especially the lives of Armenian women and girls. Focusing and recognizing the gendered aspects of genocide and mass atrocity, ensures a more intersectional understanding of genocide, mass atrocity with a focus on the development of contemporary Armenian identity and its origins. I am researching the role that minoritization within the late-Ottoman empire, and the Armenian Genocide have played in defining “proper” gender expressions for the descendants of survivors, focusing on Armenians in the US. I am utilizing feminist theoretical frameworks and primary sources such as memoirs in order to better understand gender and genocide.

Equity in Archaeology in Practice and Interpretation

Kathleen Sterling

The Pleistocene era, also known as the Ice Age or the Stone Age, is often used as an example of what is natural for humans. However, depictions of this time are tautological and heavily reliant on what we already believe to be “human nature,” including a strict gendered division of labor that favors heterosexual, cisgender men protecting their nuclear families, and fear of (and violence toward) the other. This work comes from a homogeneous set of practitioners, and my work aims to decenter their influence by diversifying archaeology and using Black feminist epistemology toward better interpretations of limited material evidence.

Skin Bleaching and Intergenerational Trauma among young West African adults in the United States

Ifeoma Ezeilo

Skin bleaching has been a shadow of society’s ails for a very long time. Recent studies have focused on psycho-education solutions for African, Caribbean, and Asian populations regarding how the media amplifies the glorification of skin bleaching. However, there is a lack of discourse centered around generational trauma and how psychoeducation could influence this generation - if not the next - depending on geographical location. My research will focus on the second generation of West African immigrants in the United States being stuck in a state of uncertainty. Whether it is due to a lack of representation in media or the quite frankly suffocating Western beauty standards, those who are part of the African diaspora face a scarce disconnect to their counterparts in Africa who are constantly exposed to skin bleaching. Subsequently, with skin bleaching reaching a global scale and narratives such as “Black is beautiful,” the constant racial adversity and discrimination faced in the United States can be an impeding factor for West Africans to continue this cycle of artificial whiteness.

Does Making Education More Accessible Benefit Girls in Dowry Systems?

Ancilla Marie Inocencio

Women from South Asia, where dowry is common practice, fall behind men in educational attainment.  Norms associated with dowries make educating girls less attractive from the parents’ perspectives. Dowries  are large payments from the bride’s family to the groom’s family, if parents spend on their daughters’  education, it takes away money from future dowry payments. If cost was the problem and schooling is made  more accessible through lower costs, girls in dowry systems should also benefit. To test this hypothesis, I  look at different school programs in Pakistan and study if their impact differs for girls in dowry systems. 

Money, Gifts, and Motherhood Among Indonesian Female Transnational Domestic Workers

Diah Irawaty

This study scrutinizes the experiences of transnational Indonesian mothers and how their engagement in the practices of sending money and gifts contributes to shifting traditional norms and practices of the family and motherhood. It addresses the unique agency of migrant mothers in facing economic hardships and challenging state's expectations of proper and good motherhood. Documenting their personal stories, this project provides a space for migrant mothers to express their voices and, as a result, their situations will be considered in the processes of making policies on migrant workers. This process will build political awareness among female migrant domestic workers.

A Framework for Rohingya Refugee Women’s Economic Empowerment: Route to Social Justice

Rubayat Jesmin

More than a million Rohingya refugees are now living in Bangladesh to escape from the atrocity of the Myanmar Government. About half of them are female. These women have faced emotional and physical trauma from the persecution and insufferable journey across the border.  In the overcrowded, impoverished camps in Bangladesh, they now live with little hope of either returning to their homeland or resettling in Bangladesh. The proposed research aims to assess if and how economic empowerment can help female Rohingya refugees to create a better life as a coping mechanism and a means toward ensuring social justice.

Delineating Schizotypic Traits and Psychological Resilience in Women

Heather Zyla

Individuals that carry the liability for schizophrenia, known as schizotypy, have been posited to be a unique population of study in order to fully understand the mechanisms behind the development of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). One potential avenue of research is through psychological resilience, which may elucidate the differences of symptoms, age of onset, and progression of the disorder. Moreover, there is a huge gap in the literature regarding gender differences and outcomes in SSD. The current study will identify specific differences in schizotypic traits in women and its relation to psychological resilience and functioning capabilities.

Making Global Economic Engagement Work for Women: Information & Gendered Perceptions of U.S. Trade Policy

Katja Kleinberg

This project will use a nationally representative survey and experiment to answer the following questions: Why are women less likely than men to see international trade as relevant to their economic lives (even when it is)? And can more inclusive framing of public policy proposals increase women’s perceptions of trade as important to their lived experiences? Communicating effectively about the consequences of global economic engagement for women and girls is a prerequisite for demanding, developing, and implementing more equitable and inclusive economic policies.

Impostor Fears in Graduate Women in STEM: The Roles of Impostorism, Social Support, and Academic Environment on Academic and Mental Health Outcomes

Jiyun Elizabeth Shin

To address the persistent disparity of women’s, particularly racial minority women’s, representation in STEM, research is needed to identify factors that contribute to STEM engagement and persistence for these individuals. This proposed research will examine the effects of impostorism (i.e., feelings of intellectual fraudulence and inadequacy among high achieving individuals) on variables associated with STEM persistence as well as psychological well-being among racially diverse graduate women in STEM. Furthermore, this research will investigate moderating factors (social support and academic environment) that mitigate the detrimental effects of impostorism on academic and mental health outcomes.

Why They Left: Women After Architecture

Julia Walker

My second book project contributes to a growing—and, I believe, exigent—body of scholarship that examines the underrepresentation of women in architectural practice. Tentatively titled Why They Left: Women After Architecture, this book looks at three women who studied and practiced as architects before leaving or being pressured out of the field. In addition to recuperating stories of so-called “female architects,” this study will expand our understanding of architecture’s intellectual scope, connecting it to fields as diverse as religion, biology, politics, and music.  Moreover, this project will reveal the contemporary status of women in architecture and examine what is at stake in ongoing negotiations of race and class, as well as gender, within the field.

Creating a Measure and Analyzing Intimate Partner Violence

Erin Alexander

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been demonstrated to have particular severity and lethality for women. A brief and valid assessment of IPV would help victims access care and safety. I will create such a measure using item response theory to combine strongest items from the existing measures (Aim 1). While IPV is widely understood to present in two distinct forms: situational couple violence and intimate terrorism, this has not been quantitatively established using finite mixture modeling. Using the data from Aim 1, I will conduct a taxometric analysis that will describe whether these forms of IPV are different in kind or degree.

Gender-based Violence in Pakistan and Women’s Resilience in Face of It

Sarah Samson

My research will focus on gender-based violence in Pakistan and women’s resilience in face of it. In collaboration with Dastak Charitable Trust in Pakistan my project involves collecting data through the use of an anonymous virtual survey. Following the tradition of human rights scholarship, my project will include a community engagement component that will empower women and girls in Pakistan. Women in the community will be given cameras and be prompted to photograph women's strength from their lens. I will curate and publish an online collection depicting the everyday strength and resilience of Pakistani women.

How Key Personality Traits Affect Perception of Sexual Situations

Angela Candrilli
One in four women will be sexually assaulted during their undergraduate years (Krebs et
al., 2009). Studies have shown that situation level factors, specifically those that relate to sexual precedence — like intimacy attained within a current or previous sexual encounter - result in misperceptions of consent by men; which, in turn, can lead to assault. However, research lacks clarity on why different types of men vary in their proclivity towards rape and interpretations of sexual situations. The current study will identify how a key personality trait affects how one perceives a sexual situation in ways that may lead to an assault. 

A Study of the Factors That Contribute to Female Students' Perception of Diversity and Bias in the Classroom

Jillian Morley and Courtney Nowetner

Establishing which qualities students associate with a positive learning environment is
imperative to finding solutions which create an equitable learning environment for a diverse student community. Past research proves how central the classroom environment is to the facilitation of academic success (Zumbrunn et al, 2014), and that the achievement of females is vulnerable to the influence of role models and stereotype threat (Yoke et. al, 2013). This study examines the factors that contribute to female students’ perception of diversity and bias in the classroom. Findings may offer methods that facilitate the success of female students.

Living Room Revolutions: Black Women and Latinas Collecting and Selecting Records in the 1960-70s Bronx and Beyond

Jennifer Stoever

Living Room Revolutions: Black Women and Latinas Collecting and Selecting Records in the 1960-70s Bronx and Beyond documents how collecting and playing records empowered women of color and became part of their mothering and mentoring, particularly in hip hop’s geographic and temporal birthplace. This project reshapes popular music history’s masculinist historiography, which overwhelmingly represents collectors as white men and hip hop as synonymous with Black masculinity. Through oral histories and archival work, I amplify how Black women and Latinas remade themselves and their families in a moment of crisis and helped to develop major social, artistic and political movements.

“The Girl Who Couldn’t Go Home”: Anne Moody and Coming of Age in Mississippi

Leigh Ann Wheeler

Anne Moody participated in the most violent lunch counter sit-in of the 1960s. She sat
at the center, in a now-famous 1963 photo, head bowed, covered with sugar, catsup, and
broken glass. Five years later, she wrote Coming of Age in Mississippi, one of the most
trenchant and beloved memoirs of the Civil Rights Era. In 1969, she called out American racism on the day’s most popular talk shows. She then disappeared from public life. Until now, no one has known what became of her. My biography will tell her long story, confirming the truth of her powerful memoir and showing the radical possibilities and tragic limits of civil rights for a teenage girl and mentally ill mother burdened, always, by racism and poverty.