WGSS Graduate Colloquium & Working Group

The Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Graduate Colloquium is a venue in which Yale graduate students from a wide range of disciplines present work that engages women’s studies, feminism, gender and sexuality studies, lesbian and gay studies, and queer studies. At the Colloquium, graduate students give academic talks, present syllabi, discuss pedagogy, and engage in roundtable discussions on pressing issues and questions central to the field of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, with much lively discussion to follow.

The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Working Group is a subsidiary of the Colloquium. The purpose of the Working Group is to foster interdisciplinary discussion about current issues in the field of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies by bringing together graduate students and and faculty at Yale who are working on topics at the intersection of their discipline and WGSS. This venue aims to introduce recent work in a variety of disciplines and to strengthen our understanding of how our own work might engage with emerging debates in this field.

Fall 2017 Working Group Calendar

September 25 - Joanna Radin
October 30  - Dixa Ramirez
November 27 - Hazel Carby

All events take place at 5:30 PM in William L. Harkness Hall (WLH), Room 309, 100 Wall Street, unless otherwise noted. All events are free and open to the public.

Fall 2017 Colloquium Calendar

September 11 
Gavriel Cutipa-Zorn (American Studies)
“Rooting for Repression: the CIA, Israel, and the Nicaraguan Contras”
Abstract: I trace a covert circuit of security expertise in the 1980s that allowed the transfer of arms, counterinsurgency tactics, and gendered images of terrorism from the United States, via Israel, to Nicaragua. I argue the shared tactics led to the rise of globalized War on Terror tactics of counterinsurgency warfare.
Micah Grace Khater (History)
“White Arab: A Creative Nonfiction Essay”
Abstract: Creative nonfiction can powerfully inform the production of historical scholarship. This autobiographical piece, called “White Arab,” invites historical analysis of race and gender through personal history and prose. The presentation and subsequent discussion of this work is intended to open up a larger dialogue about the gendering of historical “objectivity.”
October 9 
Brian D. Earp (Philosophy and Psychology)
“How Different Are Female, Male, and Intersex Genital Cutting?”
Abstract: Childhood genital cutting is usually divided into three separate categories: “female genital mutilation” for females; “circumcision” for males; and “genital normalisation” surgery for intersex children. Drawing on recent scholarship, I argue there is too much “overlap” between these procedures both physically and symbolically for categorical sex/gender distinctions to hold up.
Siobhan M. M. Barco (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Affiliate)
“A Silently Scattered Influence: Nineteenth Century Writer Belle Kendrick Abbott’s Literature as Legal Text”
Abstract: After the American Civil War, Belle Kendrick Abbott’s literature played a significant role shaping America’s legal future. Abbott’s literature interacts with the law in three distinct ways: its grassroots jurisprudence foments ideas that drive legal change; it’s a legal institution itself; and it includes a legal history of the Cherokee.
November 6
Beans Velocci (History)
“That Man-Woman: Bridging Trans and African American Women’s History with Frances Thompson”
Abstract: Newspaper coverage of Frances Thompson, a black woman who had testified about her rape by white supremacists in 1866 and was later arrested as a “man in women’s clothes,” questioned the validity of black womanhood. This paper argues that so-called binary gender was actually fractured by race during Reconstruction.  
Josh Mentanko (History)
“Making Gender Count: Medical Statistics, Economic Development, and la mujer indígena in 1950s Chiapas, Mexico”
Abstract: Medical auxiliaries played a crucial role in making women a special problem for the Mexican state’s agenda of medical acculturation and economic modernization. Drawing on archival work and oral history in Chiapas, I reconstruct the social and material process of how auxiliaries made “facts” about Tzeltal- and Tzotzil-speaking women’s health during the 1950s.