Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 CSW Award Winners!

The UCLA Center for the Study of Women is dedicated to advancing the research of undergraduate and graduate students at UCLA in the areas of gender, sexuality, and women's issues. Each year CSW gives out a number of awards to students in an effort to support exciting, thought-provoking, and important research projects. We would like to take this opportunity to share with you this year's fantastic group of award winners!

Renaissance Awards

Made possible through the generosity of Myrna A. Hant, this award supports the renewed academic aspirations of women whose college careers were interrupted or delayed by family and/or career obligations. The recipients are UCLA undergraduate women who returned or are returning to college after a period of years. We are proud to announce this year's winners:

  • Emnet Habebo is majoring in International Development with a minor in Public Health at UCLA. 
  • Cynthia Avalos is working towards a B.A. with a major in Sociology and a minor in Political Science at UCLA. 

Elizabeth Blackwell, MD, AWARDs

Named for the first woman to graduate from medical school and made possible by the generosity of Barbara “Penny” Kanner, Ph.D., these awards honor a publishable research report, thesis, dissertation, or published article relating to women, health, or women in health-related sciences. We are proud to announce this year's winners for both the graduate and undergraduate awards:

  • Tara McKay is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. She received this award for her paper titled "Local Understandings and Implementations of Sexual Rights in Africa." 
  • Caitlin Walter is graduating  from UCLA this year with a major in Sociology and minors in Political Science and Accounting. She received this award for her paper titled "Able to Influence?  An Analysis of the Corn Refiners Association." 

George Eliot Dissertation RESEARCH Award

Named for the nineteenth-century author of Middlemarch and made possible by the generosity of Barbara “Penny” Kanner, Ph.D., this fellowship funds an exceptional graduate student dissertation research project pertaining to women or gender that utilizes a historical perspective in literature or the arts. The criteria for the award changed 2012. Formerly titled the "George Eliot Dissertation Award," it honored an outstanding completed doctoral dissertation. We are proud to announce this year's winner:

  • Kimberly Clair is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Women’s Studies at UCLA. Her dissertation, “The Art of Resistance: Trauma, Gender, and Traditional Performance in Acehnese Communities, 1976-2011,” examines the significance of Acehnese performance—including dance, music, and theater practices—for Acehnese trauma survivors.  Focusing on the separatist conflict, the tsunami, and political and religious oppression as sources of trauma within Aceh, Indonesia, her dissertation also investigates the “everyday” hardships Acehnese encounter while living in the diaspora. 
Mary Wollstonecraft Dissertation Award

Named for the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) and made possible by the generosity of Barbara “Penny” Kanner, Ph.D., this fellowship funds an exceptional dissertation research project pertaining to women or gender that uses historical materials and methods. The criteria for the award changed 2012. Formerly titled the "Mary Wollstonecraft Dissertation Award," it honored an outstanding completed doctoral dissertation. We are proud to announce this year's winner:

  • Elizabeth Everton received her Ph.D. in European history from UCLA in the fall of 2011. Her dissertation, titled “Sisters and Soldiers: The Representation and Participation of Women in the Antidreyfusard Movement,” explores gender relations in the early French extreme Right through a study of gendered images, narratives, and roles in nationalist and antisemitic milieux during the Dreyfus Affair. 
Jean Stone Dissertation Research Fellowship

Made possible by the generosity of Mrs. Jean Stone, this fellowship helps fund an exceptional graduate student dissertation research project focusing on women or gender. We are proud to announce this year's winner: 

  • Marie Berry is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. Her dissertation, “From Violence to Mobilization: War, Women, and Political Empowerment in Rwanda, Bosnia, and Beyond,” explores the effects of mass violence on women’s participation in politics and community organizations in Rwanda and Bosnia-Herzegovina. 

Paula Stone LEGAL Research Fellowship

This fellowship, which was established by Mrs. Jean Stone to honor her daughter Paula Stone, helps fund an exceptional research project focusing on women and the law with preference given to research on women in the criminal/legal justice system. We are proud to announce this year's winners:

  • Kolleen Duley received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law in 2012 and she is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Women's Studies at UCLA. Duley received a specialization from the David. J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and the Critical Race Studies Program. Her dissertation, "Raze the Bar: Breaking Down the Gender Responsive Prison and Building Possibilities for Abolition" takes an anti-racist, feminist, and prison abolitionist perspective on so-called "gender-sensitive" and “identity-based” reform efforts in U.S. prisons and jails.                                                       

Constance Coiner Awards

Created to honor the memory and continue the work of Constance Coiner, Ph.D., and her daughter Ana Duarte-Coiner and made possible through donations of family and friends, the Constance Coiner Awards support research on feminist and working-class issues and honor excellence in teaching and a commitment to teaching as activism. We are proud to announce this years graduate and undergraduate winners:

  • Laura Enriquez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at UCLA. Her dissertation project explores the ways in which legal status, gender, and education affect how undocumented young adults participate in U.S. society and feel a sense of belonging. 
  • Liza Taylor is a Ph.D. student studying feminist political theory in the Department of Political Science at UCLA. Her dissertation research critically examines the legacy of deconstructive feminism within contemporary feminist theory in an attempt to recenter politics. By turning to women of color feminism, her research aims to recover a form of feminist political theory that is theoretically equipped to appreciate the unstable category "women," without forsaking a feminist political project rooted in the everyday needs and concerns of differently situated women.
  • Shelby Schemerhorn is a third-year undergraduate at UCLA with a Women’s Studies major and a Labor and Workplace Studies minor. She has done a variety of research including researching both men and women who work in occupations dominated by the opposite sex. This summer, she will be conducting further research through an internship through the Labor and Work Studies department.               

Funded by a generous anonymous donor, the Policy Brief Award, which made its debut in 2011 recognizes outstanding applied feminist scholarship by graduate students. We are proud to announce this year's winners:

  • Steven Carrasco is a first-year Master’s student in Community Health Sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. 
  • Patty Chung is a Master’s candidate in the Department of Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. 
  • Ashley DeBaun is working towards her Master’s in the Department of Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. 
  • Saba Malik is a first-year Master’s student in Community Health Sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
  • Alexander Martos is a first-year Master’s student in Community Health Sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
  • Lauren Permenter is a first-year Master’s student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
  • Marisol Sanchez is a first-year Master’s student in the Department of Social Welfare in the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. 
  • Jeffery Williams is a first-year Master’s student in Community Health Sciences in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sources of History of Nursing in Korea

Recently, Sung-Deuk Oak, Associate Professor of Korean Christianity at UCLA, published the first volume of his current project, titled Sources of Nursing History in Korea, 1886-1911. Commissioned by the Korean Nurses Association and partially funded by a Faculty Development Grant from the UCLA Center for the Study of Women, this volume is a curated collection of both primary and secondary source materials documenting the nursing profession in Korea.

Regarding the publication of this series of important archival documents, Kyung Rim Shin, President of the Korean Nurses Association, said, “I hope that this series will unearth the primary sources of nursing work and education in the early modern and colonial Korea, and stimulate the in-depth study of its rich history. We hope that many vigorous young scholars, inspired by this project, will emerge and continue the in-depth study of nursing history in Korea, which is indispensable for the upgrading of the nursing work in Korea.”

The first volume contains both original Korean texts and English translations prepared by Professor Oak. Materials include the personal documents of both Western missionary doctors and nurses as well as the personal documents of three Korean nurses; magazine and newspaper articles about nursing work in Korea; and the Annual Reports of various hospitals and nursing schools in Korea. A planned second volume will compile and translate into English a range of historical and archival materials for the period 1886 to 1945.

More info:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

“Keeping up with the (gender) narrative”: Faye Driscoll’s choreography residency

(Los Angeles, CA) – Faye Driscoll is an energetic, voraciously curious, genre bending dance-theater maker who is changing the landscape of concert dance.  Though she has only been making original work since 2005, this seasoned New York-based dancer and Los Angeles native has already been identified as “one of 25 to watch out for” by Dance Magazine, and was awarded a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award for her autobiographical work “837 Venice Boulevard”.  She was the perfect person, therefore, to launch the Residency Program for Movement (RPM), a new initiative by the in the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance designed to bring outstanding young choreographers to UCLA and Los Angeles.

Under the leadership of renowned choreographer and WACDance professor Victoria Marks, the pilot venture of the residency initiative took place from April 23-May 5, 2012.
Following two master classes for area high school dance students and a spectacular performance of Driscoll’s newest work “You’re Me” at WACDance’s own state-of-the-art Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater (April 26 and 27), I joined a dozen grad and undergrad students from WACDance and Theatre, Film and Television for a six day intensive workshop on Driscoll’s choreographic process.

“You’re Me” is a duet performed by Driscoll and dancer Jesse Zaritt that (in the words of the choreographer) “probes and obfuscates the inescapable nature of relationships as the contemporary, archetypal, fantastical and personal crash into each other, bending and warping in one shrug, quarrel, or reframing of a scene…. Sliding from the everyday to the uncanny and bizarre, Driscoll’s choreography poses questions about the slippery nature of self and other.”

In the dance, Driscoll and Zaritt play a game of identity dress-up, putting on and shedding one iconic image after another, with and without the aid of props such as wigs, fake beards, bras, and the like.  In the opening image, the two stand as living statues in a messily baroque Hieronymus Bosch-esque tableau vivant, swathed from head to toe in lengths of bright fabric, clutching fruit, feathers, and fake silicone breasts.  As the audience takes their seats, the dancers begin glacially shedding their props.  A dancer shrugs and a string of pearls hits the empty stage floor, followed by an orange.  Once they’ve discarded their vestements, Driscoll and Zaritt begin a shape-shifting game of gender play, evoking classical painting and MTV, voguing and National Geographic.  At times tender, at times antagonistic, they feed one another, preen and mug for the audience, present one another, and practice (usually unsuccessfully) being romantic.  The piece is an exhausting and captivating 90-minute spectacle that ends with a sweat- and body paint-drenched Driscoll staring at the audience as if asking for approval. 

Staring back at her, and at Zaritt in the background miming for us to applaud for her, I became aware of the voraciousness of my gaze, the imperative for me to confirm or affirm the offering of the dancers, to answer the question Driscoll and Zaritt seem to ask us again and again: “Am I getting it right?”

In the dance studio, our exploration begins with sourcing movement from imagery, and vice versa.  Faye invites us to explore physical states through memory and fantasy.  Day one starts with embodiment of gendered and non-gendered identities.  The premise of these exercises is that images of “Man” and “Woman” live in our bodies, sourced from popular culture, myth and memory.  They live in the form of stereotype, taboo, cliché, and archetype.  They have shapes, postures, ways of moving, and they make sounds and sometimes form words.

In a linear pathway, we move across the floor in groups of three, embodying “Man”, then “Woman”, then “Creature”.  As “Creature” we morph from one chimera to another, imagining bizarre, never-before-identified bodies growing inside our own and breaking out.  We explode with sound and energy. Faye tells us to tune in to the feeling of the movement, the vibrations.  She tells us to “perform”—and performance gives us a particular energy and focus that she calls “alchemy”.  Then she tells us to break out of our lines and fill the space, performing “Self, Ungendered”, that is, if You were never assigned a gender, how that You moves, sounds, and vibrates.

We play with the collective creation of narrative, and by narrative, Faye is talking more about relationship than story.  Meaning emerges from movement, from accidental relationships, from liveness and responsiveness within the group.  Narrative is a product of collective creation, and it is never fixed.  Borrowing from various modalities including Authentic Movement, we practice seeing each other and being seen.  We practice witnessing and re-performing each other’s dances.  We make note of changes and shifts in meaning, relationship, tension, release, and tone as we discover, perform, and re-perform sequences of movement.

“I’m interested in challenging the idea of one essential self… the stories I tell myself in the morning to keep up with that narrative,” Faye tells us as we sit in a circle digesting the exercises.  She speaks frequently of fantasy and the surprising emergence of associational meaning and non-linear narrative that comes from movement.  How do we recognize that these ideas of gendered bodies, gender representation, and the relationships between gendered bodies live in us, without reifying them?  How do we keep a critical perspective?    

As we practice intersubjectivity, we open our bodies to become conduits of cultural information as well as creators of new possibilities of relationship and meaning.  In our bodies gendered identities lose some of their fixedness.  We play, we laugh, we become our mothers, our demons, our child selves.  And as students of choreography and performance, we get to live for a few days in the fantastical world of Faye Driscoll’s process, learning from the inside out.

 --Allison Wyper

Allison Wyper (MFA Dance, 2011) is an interdisciplinary performance artist and assistant producer of the 2012 Residency Program for Movement at the Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. 

Photo: Faye Driscoll and Jesse Zaritt performed "You're Me" at UCLA's intimate Glorya Kaufman Dance Theater.  Photos by Lilian Wu.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Inequalities of Love, by Averil Y. Clarke

Inequalities of Love uses the personal narratives of college-educated black women to describe the difficulties they face when trying to date, marry, and have children. While conventional wisdom suggests that all women, regardless of race, must sacrifice romance and family for advanced educations and professional careers, Averil Y. Clarke’s research reveals that educated black women’s disadvantages in romance and starting a family are consequences of a system of racial inequality and discrimination. The author analyzes the accounts of black women who repeatedly return to incompatible partners as they lose hope of finding “Mr. Right” and reject unwed parenting because it seems to affirm a negative stereotype of black women’s sexuality that is inconsistent with their personal and professional identities. She uses national survey data to compare college-educated black women’s experiences of romance, reproduction, and family to those of less-educated black women and those of white and Hispanic women with degrees.

The author, Averil Y. Clarke, will speak at UCLA on May 8. More info: