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.

2020/21 Co-conveners: Jacinda Tran and Patricia Ekpo

Spring 2021 Working Group Calendar

March 1 – Alanna Hickey, Assistant Professor, English
March 29 – Crystal Feimster, Associate Professor, American Studies, History and American Studies
April 26 – Joanna Fiduccia, Assistant Professor, History of Art

Spring 2021 Colloquium

February 15
Alex Fialho (History of Art & African American Studies): “Art & AIDS in a Global Context: The Keiskamma Art Project as Template
This presentation situates global concerns regarding the ongoing AIDS pandemic through the work of the Keiskamma Art Project, a women-led group of primarily Xhosa artists in rural Hamburg, South Africa. While grappling with the devastating impact of HIV resulting from disparate and disjunctive processes of globalization as well as anti-Black structural vulnerabilities, I attend to Keiskamma Art Project’s awe-inspiring artworks as a practice of accounting for Black creativity, community and remembrance in the wake of HIV/AIDS.
Mia Kang (History of Art): “Art and Objecthood: Lynda Benglis’ Double Dildo, 1974”
By examining Lynda Benglis’s famous 1974 self-portrait, in which she poses with a double-sided dildo, this essay posits dubious connections between 1970s feminist debates over the dildo and the contemporary art critical crisis over the the work of art’s object status.
March 15
Maryam Parhizkar (American Studies & African American Studies): “Unsettling Ethnologies: Rosa Rolanda Covarrubias’s Photographic Archive”
This presentation examines Mexican American modernist dancer and visual artist Rosa Rolanda Covarrubias‘s transnational archive of ethnological and performance photographs at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla. By centering the Black and Indigenous subjects of her portraiture, I elaborate upon how such images both sustain and trouble narratives of mestizaje.
Angie Diaz (American Studies): “Ninfa’s on Navigation Boulevard: Ethnic Mexican Place-making in Houston, Texas”
This paper examines the formation of ethnic Mexican foodscapes in 1970s Houston through Ninfa’s Mexican Restaurant. With a focus on restaurant expansion and regional mass transit initiatives, I explore how Ninfa Laurenzo’s persona-making myths through the figure of “Mama Ninfa” shaped the movement of ethnic Mexicans in Houston, Texas.
April 12
Leana Hirschfeld-Kroen (Comparative Literature & Film and Media Studies): “The sound-struck secretary: trance-induced typos, dictation and dictators”
This paper catalogs the schizophonic symptoms exhibited by secretaries in US and European modernist media to explore their cultural construction as “automatic” audience members. Entranced by the synchronized sounds of a disembodied male voice and typewriter, modernist secretaries become dangerously receptive to male film stars, opera singers, and fascist dictators.
Pooja Sen (History of Art): “Sink the Sea! Women, The Body, and Primitive Accumulation”
Artist Heba Y. Amin’s Operation Sunken Sea (2018) adapts a colonial-era proposal to drain the Mediterranean and extract resources from Africa. As an Egyptian woman playing the role of a fascist politician, Amin parodies the plan and advocates for the colonization of Europe. In this paper, I consider environmental engineering, the gendered performance of fascism, and video as a narcissistic medium.

Mondays at 4:30-6pm (Zoom links will be sent to the list serv in advance of presentations.)