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CWGS Faculty Development Program

The Center for Women's & Gender Studies is pleased to present our Faculty Development Program. This program is designed to assist in recruitment, retention and promotion of new faculty members by providing them with support of various kinds, including mentors and research funding.

Our goal is to welcome, inform and support our new colleagues. The faculty selected are outstanding young scholars who work in gender studies. We are very pleased to have them as members of the university community.

During the academic year, all of the participants give presentations in the Faculty Development Program Speaker Series. CWGS encourages interested faculty and students from the university community to attend the colloquium series to learn about and engage with the latest research in gender studies from across campus.

This program is part of a broader effort by CWGS to facilitate interdisciplinary research on campus by bringing together scholars trained in different methodologies and disciplinary traditions around a common theme. When interdisciplinary groups of scholars form broader intellectual communities, it also increases the likelihood that these scholars will go on to have successful research and become long standing members of our faculty.

To see a list of past FDP Fellows, Past FDP Fellows.

2021 FDP Speaker Series Dates:

February 1 - Jo Hsu
February 15 - Lina Chhun
March 1 - Sam Pinto
March 8 - Tracey Flores
March 29 - Annie Hill
April 5 - Lilia Rosas
April 19 - James Gabrillo
May 3- Sarah Nicholus

Lina Chhun

Lina Chhun is an Assistant Professor of American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies at UT Austin. She completed her doctorate in Gender Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and was a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University prior to beginning at UT. Professor Chhun studies historical violence, war, and militarism, with a focus on questions of racial disposability in the context of the U.S. Cold War in Southeast Asia; she is currently completing her first book manuscript.

Lecture Date: February 15, 2021 “On Landscape Ethnography: U.S. Aerial Warfare in Cambodia and an Accounting for the Present”

Foregrounding a critical refugee studies approach to U.S. relations in Southeast Asia during the Cold War and deploying an analysis of the dialectics of memory as the central device in the construction of historical narrative regarding Cambodia, this talk centers the “landscape ethnography” as one site of memory-making concerning the U.S. bombing campaigns of 1964-1973 in Cambodia. Following Vandy Rattana’s 2009 art-documentary installation “Bomb Ponds”—which photographically depicts the affective pull of landscapes in conjunction with the need to listen to people’s experiential narratives—this talk maps the material and narrative traces of U.S. aerial warfare through a descriptive survey of bombing landscapes and former bombing sites in provinces along the eastern border between Cambodia and Vietnam. Considering the ongoing partial as well as complete erasure of physical bombing sites, this lecture addresses the ways in which stories and experiences of the U.S. bombing campaigns are negotiated and remembered in contemporary local Cambodian narratives.


Tracey T. Flores

Tracey T. Flores is an assistant professor of Language and Literacy in the College of Education where she teaches Language Arts Methods and Community Literacies in the K-5 teacher education program. Dr. Flores is a former English Language Development (ELD) and English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, working for eight years alongside culturally and linguistically diverse students, families and communities in K-8 schools throughout. Her research focuses on Latina mothers and daughters language and literacy practices, the teaching of young writers in culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms, and family and community literacies. Dr. Flores is the founder of Somos Escritoras/We Are Writers, a creative space for Latina girls (grades 6-12) that invites them to share and perform stories from their lived experiences using art, theater and writing as a tool for reflection, examination and critique of their worlds. In addition, Dr. Flores is the Chair of the Latinx Caucus of National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Founding Co-Chair of the Commission on Family and Community Literacies of English Language Arts Teacher Educators (ELATE). Dr. Flores is a member of the 2016-2018 Cultivating New Voices Among Scholars (CNV) of Color cohort.

Lecture Date: March 8, 2021 “Writing from Nepantla: Latinas Girls’ Stories of Resistance, Hope and Love”

In this presentation, I share stories of my work alongside Latina girls as they participated in Somos Escritoras/We are Writers. Somos Escritoras is a creative space for Latina girls (grades 6-12) that invites them to write and perform stories from their lived experiences using art, theater and writing as a tool for self-reflection and self-expression. Situated in Central Texas, workshops convened for two weeks and consisted of seven, all day workshops. At workshops, girls examined themes related to language, culture, and gender, topics relevant to young Latinas, but often absent from the school curriculum (Jocson, 2010). Drawing upon ethnographic field notes, girls’ writing and art, interview transcripts and video recording of workshops, I provide insights into the ways that girls are authoring themselves and designing their futures as a comunidad of escritoras [community of writers]. This work builds on the work of scholars that have worked alongside Black girls in intentionally designed spaces and have written about the ways they have performed, written, and rewritten their lives (Brown, 2013; Muhammad, 2015; Price-Dennis, Muhammad, Womack, McArthur, & Haddix, 2017). Somos Escritoras brings together Latina girls and women to illuminate the importance of spaces that celebrate the brilliance of Latina girls and their unique experiences and perspectives while supporting them in speaking their truth and amplifying their voices--in and out of school. 

James Gabrillo

James Gabrillo is a popular music researcher of global industries and digital technologies, examining issues of mediation, class, gender, and cultural production. He was previously a lecturer at The New School and a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton University. He earned his PhD at the University of Cambridge. His research has been published in the Journal of Popular Music Studies, Musical Quarterly, and Rock Music Studies. His current book project, Sounds of Where We Are, examines Manila’s musical cultures during the 1990s and onwards. Prior to pursuing graduate studies, he worked as a journalist and editor for various publications, including The National, Al Jazeera English, and The Japan Times.

Lecture Date: April 19, 2021 “Punk as Soundtrack to Gay Beauty Pageants in the Philippines“

Beauty pageants featuring homosexual men have been regularly held in the Philippines since the late twentieth century. Competitions are organized in villages across the country, on a national scale, and in variety shows on television. During the last decade, punk has served as a soundtrack to the gay pageant scene across the Philippines, with songs of Western acts (such as The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Clash) and Philippine punk bands (including Kamikazee, Pedicab, Chicosci) played throughout the pageants, particularly during opening group numbers and individual talent performances. This presentation explores the use of punk rock in Philippine pageants, examining how they invoke and complicate the tenets of the punk genre, as well as the identities of the queer contestants. How did a musical movement that originally distanced itself from notions of bombast become an accompaniment to such extravaganzas? Punk’s utilization in gay pageants can be regarded as, on the one hand, a type of parody, particularly when the audience’s amusement is elicited from punk’s unanticipated divorce from its original musical contexts. On the other hand, it is also a form of rejection of paradigms of masculinity and femininity, enacted through a foregrounding of an ‘anti-beauty’ sonic notion. As I further discovered in interviews with organizers, contestants, and audiences, punk has been a performative device used to tackle an intolerance towards queerness by other sectors of the Philippine public.

Annie Hill
Annie Hill is an assistant professor in the Department of Rhetoric & Writing and an affiliate in Women’s and Gender Studies at The University of Texas, Austin. Before coming to UT, she was a Postdoctoral Associate and Assistant Professor in Communication Studies and then an Assistant Professor in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Minnesota. Her scholarship focuses on state and sexual violence in the United States and United Kingdom. She is currently a research team member for a Sexual Violence Prevention Collaboratory and she co-curates the Violence section of The Gender Policy Report.

Lecture Date: March 29, 2021 “Blindfold Britain: Human Trafficking, National Sovereignty, and Surveillance”

This presentation is drawn from my book manuscript and analyzes a British anti-trafficking awareness campaign called Blue Blindfold. The campaign posters depict Britons with blue blindfolds over their eyes to convey the public's ignorance about human trafficking and its close proximity to the average citizen. In this way, posters offer a "trafficking non/image": highly suggestive visual rhetoric that is actually devoid of useful information about trafficking. In place of information, posters suggest that trafficking is a transparent thing that Britons can see, if only they would care to look. My analysis reveals how Blue Blindfold posters represent Britain as an endangered nation by circulating images of blindfolded Britons and how this anti-trafficking campaign uses blindness to promote a nationalist surveillance project.    

Jo Hsu

Jo Hsu joined UT Austin this Fall as an assistant professor of Rhetoric and Writing, core faculty in the Center for Asian American Studies, and as a faculty affiliate of the LGBTQ Studies Program. Broadly speaking, Jo’s research uses narrative to examine how gender, race, disability, and sexuality entwine in mechanisms of inclusion and exclusion. Their work can be found in disciplinary journals such as the Quarterly Journal of SpeechWomen’s Studies in Communication, and College Composition and Communication. Their creative writing has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and can be found in Kartika Review, Color Bloq, and other literary outlets. Throughout their (often wayward and meandering) academic journey, Jo has been fortunate to have the support of generous mentors and co-conspirators, and they strive to further these forms of mutual care and collaborative worldbuilding.

Lecture Date: February 1, 2021 “Constellating Home: Storying Trans and Queer Asian American Diaspora”

This talk excerpts from a book project that examines Asian American racialization in connection with U.S. colonialism and anti-Blackness. I focus particularly on how model minority and yellow peril tropes collude in alternately aligning or counterposing Asian Americans with white middle-class gender norms and capitalist paradigms for productivity. I posit storytelling as queer diasporic “homing”— as a means of finding and forging community in the absence of physical common ground. For LGBTQ+ Asian Americans, who are often implicitly or explicitly excluded from U.S. national imaginaries, homing becomes a way of composing community unbound from any fixed locale. Emphasizing mobility and dynamism, I argue that our bodyminds—our scars, fears, and aspirations—archive our social histories. With story as archival description, I use narrative to hold still, redefine, and/or reimagine my experiences in relation to other trans and queer of color rhetorics. What emerges is a personal narrative told in concert with voices of chosen family—with the LGBTQ+ Asian Americans and other crip, trans, and queer of color theorists and artists whose works have enabled the ways I write and live. As constellation, our stories network into a broader portrait of how norms surrounding race, gender, and (dis)ability conspire to enforce the boundaries of national and social belongings.

Sarah Nicholus

Lecture Date: May 3, 2021  “Bodies of knowledge: cuir/kuir/queer diasporic performance and transgressive body politics from the Global South”

Samantha Pinto

Samantha Pinto is Associate Professor of English and affiliate faculty of CWGS, LGBTQ Studies, AADS, and the Warfield Center here at UT. She is the author of Difficult Diasporas: The Transnational Feminist Aesthetic of the Black Atlantic (NYU Press, 2013, Winner of the MLA’s Scarborough Prize) and Infamous Bodies: Early Black Women’s Celebrity and the Afterlives of Rights (Duke UP, 2020). She also co-edited the collection Writing Beyond the State (Palgrave, 2020) with Alexandra S. Moore, a 2020 special issue of Feminist Formations on “Teaching the Feminist Classics Now” with Jennifer Nash, a 2021 special issue of The Black Scholar on “Black Privacy” with Shoniqua Roach, and the upcoming Routledge Companion to Intersectionality with Jennifer Nash. She is currently working on a third book, Under the Skin, on race, embodiment, and scientific discourse in African American and African Diaspora culture, as well as a book of essays on feminist ambivalence.

Lecture Date: March 1, 2021  “Seeing through the Black Feminist Brain”

The brain stands as the locus of racist and misogynist science around intelligence, pain, reproduction, morality, rationality, and comparative anatomy in medical discourse, past and present. In this talk I explore this history and its weight in anti-racist science, but also in the re-imaginings of the brain in contemporary Black and anti-racist horror fiction, film, and television. From Colson Whitehead’s zombie apocalypse novel Zone One to Lauren Beuke’s South African science fiction detective novel Zoo City, from Jordan Peele’s racist dystopia blockbuster film Get Out, to Letitia Wright’s Black Mirror fable about psychic social justice, “Black Museum” (the focus of this talk), the vulnerability of the Black brain has been front and center in present-day re-imaginings of the afterlives of slavery and colonialism and the persistent effects of healthcare inequities. These reframings of the Black brain stage difficult scenes of racial reckoning in the wake of neurological understandings of the structural but also internal and hereditary effects of racist trauma and violence. In this talk, I analyze the brain as an embodied, material space of racial-sexual trauma and as a site for the complex intellectual, emotional, and affective networks that define Black feminist thought and political consciousness, particularly those that challenge models of autonomy and cure. Seeing through the Black feminist brain offers visions of the political that inhabit and find value in vulnerability, boundedness, responsibility, and the unglamourous and often painful labor of care.

Lilia Raquel Rosas

Lilia Raquel Rosas is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud daughter of a father, who is a retired cook, former bracero, and a mother, who is a retired domestica. She also calls Austin home and has resided in the southside and eastside for over two decades. She holds a Ph.D. in history from The University of Texas at Austin and is a lecturer in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at UT Austin since 2018. Her teaching and research interests includes relational and comparative ethnic and queer studies through the histories of (me)Xicana/o/s, African Americans, women, race and sexuality, and the Borderlands/U.S. West. Her book project examines the histories of ethnic Mexican and Black women through the lenses of sex work and social movements to unravel ideas of “womanhood” in the Jim Crow Borderlands Texas of the late nineteenth century to early twentieth century. 

Lecture Date: April 3, 2021 "Mexicana Revoltosas and Black Clubwomen: Liberation and Uplift in Progressive Texas"

Sarah Nicholus

Sarah Nicholus (they & she) is the Associate Director of the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. Working in gender and sexuality studies across the Americas, Dr. Nicholus uses interdisciplinary methodologies derived from media and cultural studies to better understand queerness and LGBT+ sexuality in rural and socially conservative spaces. Dr. Nicholus was a Fulbright Fellow in Brazil and an Embrey Post Doctoral Fellow in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Their current book project Queering Tradition: LGBT+ Cultural Production in the Brazilian Northeast investigates queerness within traditional Northeastern Brazilian culture. It was a finalist for the National Women’s Studies Association first book prize. Dr. Nicholus’ work has also appeared in the Journal of Lusophone Studies with a Special Dossier on Transnational and Counternational Queer Agencies in Lusophone Culture and in the Journal of Lesbian Studies in a Special Issue on Geographies of Sexualities.

Lecture Date May 3, 2021 “Bodies of Knowledge: Cuir/Kuir/Queer Diasporic Performance and Transgressive Body Politics from the Global South”

This talk blends transnational queer theorizing, ethnographic observation, and analysis of cuir/kuir/queer diasporic performance to intervene in US/western sexual exceptionalism within queer studies The argument situates performance art as a key site of intervention and intersectional knowledge production on the (out)side of a queer academic canon situated in the Global North. I engage three critical frameworks: disidentification, queer anthropophagy, and teoria do cu (asshole theory) as articulated by Latin American/Latinx cultural producers and theorists. Through a reading of cuir/kuir/queer performances, this presentation will demonstrate some of the ways in which diasporic Latin American cultural producers approach dominant culture, recycle and rethink encoded meaning, and theorize gender and sexuality from the Global South. I argue that Euro-American academic inquiry must position culture, the body, and the Global South as its main interlocutors to better understand and theorize gender and sexuality. By doing so, I challenge traditional boundaries – including academic, geographic, and bodily binaries – and reposition queer theory’s relationship to anti-normativity. Taken up by artists, performers, and theorists across subaltern borders, these embodied theories subvert the clean binaries of north/south, center/periphery, knowledge/excretion, normal/abject, and academic/popular to re-territorialize the body and bodies of knowledge.



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