Global Under Menu

2019 Chair and Director Meeting

banner image for 2019 NWSA Chair and Director Meeting

Friday, March 8, 2019
Westin Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL

The NWSA 2019 Chair and Director Meeting will feature the following sessions:

Gender Studies Under Fire
In the current national and global climate of cutbacks in WGS funding, political demonization, and attempts at delegitimization, we will discuss strategies for preservation and collaboration. How can leadership in women's, gender and sexuality studies programs withstand attacks and advocate for vital scholarship and activism? 

Karsonya (Dr. Kaye) Wise Whitehead is an Associate Professor of Communication and African and African American Studies in the Department of Communication at Loyola University Maryland and the host of Today With Dr. Kaye on WEAA 88.9 FM, and was recently voted as the 2018-19 “Best New Voice” in News and Media by Baltimore magazine and is the recipient of the 2019 Collegium Visionary Award. She writes a bi-monthly column, “Dispatches from Baltimore,”  for the Baltimore Afro newspaper and is the author of four books including RaceBrave: new and selected works, which was selected by the Baltimore Sun as one of the 2015 Top Ten Summer Reads; Notes from a Colored Girl: The Civil War Pocket Diaries of Emilie Frances Davis, which received both the 2015 Darlene Clark Hine Book Award from the Organization of American Historians and the 2014 Letitia Woods Brown Book Award from the Association of Black Women Historians; and, Letters to My Black Sons: Raising Boys in a Post-Racial America. She is a K-12 master teacher in African American History; an award-winning curriculum writer and lesson plan developer; an award-winning former Baltimore City middle school teacher; and, a three-time New York Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker. Whitehead created the Say Her Name syllabus, the Clinton syllabus, the Trump Syllabus K12, and the A Day Without A Woman Syllabus. She was the guest editor for the fall 2016 special “#BlackGirlActivism” edition of Meridians journal. Dr. Whitehead can be reached by e-mail, via twitter @kayewhitehead, or at her website She lives in Baltimore with her family. 

Janet R. Jakobsen is Chair and Claire Tow Professor of Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies at Barnard College, Columbia University.  She served for fifteen years as Director of the Barnard Center for Research on Women (BCRW), and she has also served as Barnard's Dean for Faculty Diversity and Development and Chair of the President's Committee on Online and On-Campus Learning (COOL). As Director of BCRW, Professor Jakobsen founded the webjournal, Scholar & Feminist Online, along with the New Feminist Solutions series of activist research projects with community-based organizations, such as the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Queers for Economic Justice, the New York Women’s Foundation, and A Better Balance: Work and Family Legal Center. She is the author of Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diversity and Feminist Ethics and with Ann Pellegrini she co-wrote Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance and co-edited Secularisms. With Elizabeth Castelli she co-edited Interventions: Academics and Activists Respond to Violence. Her current book project, Why Sex?: Religion, Secularism and Possibilities for Justice, is forthcoming from New York University Press. 


Fighting with Fire: Forging an Agenda for Academic Freedom
WGS has been part of the vanguard in the struggle for open discourse in the academy and beyond. Central to NWSA's commitment to academic freedom is the recognition of the work of administrators and staff as feminist educators. We will build models of engagement to ensure that our work can continue to enrich the civic sphere. 
Karma R. Chávez is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas - Austin. She is co-editor of Text + Field: Innovations in Rhetorical Method (Penn State Press, 2016), Standing in the Intersection: Feminist Voices, Feminist Practices in Communication Studies (SUNY Press, 2012), and author of Queer Migration Politics: Activist Rhetoric and Coalitional Possibilities (University of Illinois Press, 2013).     

Marlo D. David received her PhD in English from the University of Florida in 2009. Her research has focused on contemporary African-American cultural studies as well as feminist gender and sexuality studies. Marlo’s interdisciplinary research traces the ways black writers, artists, and performers respond to inter- and intra-racial representations of blackness and contemporary American politics in the post-Civil Rights era. Her work offers ways of interpreting African-American literature, performance, and popular culture that emphasize the multiplicities of black identities and challenge stereotypes that stigmatize black people, particularly black women and girls. Marlo’s current book project, Mama’s Gun: Black Maternal Figures and the Politics of Transgression, examines the ways African-American writers and performers use methods of vernacular signification to modify controlling images about black mothers in contemporary American culture. By identifying a new literary trope and five new categories of maternal signification in her book, Marlo provides alternative ways of reading transgressive mother figures that are deemed “bad mothers” within dominant discourses. Her work is applicable in the fields of U.S. literary studies, American Studies, African-American Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies. In addition to her current book project, her essays have been placed in Tulsa Studies of Women’s Literature, Black Camera: An International Film Journal, The African American Review, and Home Girls Make Some Noise: A Hip Hop Feminist Anthology. 

Robin Hackett is an Associate Professor of English and Women’s Studies at the University of New Hampshire. Her publications include Sapphic Primitivism: Productions of Race, Class and Sexuality in Key Works of Modern Fiction (Rutgers UP, 2004), and the edited collections Affective Materialitites: Reorienting the Body in Modernist Literature (U of Florida Press, 2019), and At Home and Abroad in the Empire: British Women Write the 1930s (U of Delaware Press, 2009). 

Breakout Session: Change the Culture not Create Mini-Me's: Successfully Mentoring Faculty of Color

Marisha Humphries, University of Illinois at Chicago
Marisha L. HumphriesPh.D. is an Associate Professor and a licensed clinical psychologist in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois at ChicagoShe received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Howard University, and her Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Humphries’ research seeks to develop an integrated approach to studying African-American children's normative and prosocial development, and utilizing this research to create culturally and developmentally appropriate school-based behavior promotion programs. Her work examines African-American children's emotional and social competence, and the ways in which schools can support children's development in this area. Dr. Humphries work in social and emotional competence extends to higher education. She engages with faculty to facilitate their teaching; with a specific focus on the connection between social emotional competence, diversity, and learning. Dr. Humphries’ work considers the contextual and cultural factors associated with children, families, and schools.  

Breakout Session: Protecting, Supporting, and Retaining: Helping Trans* and GNC Faculty, Staff, and Students Thrive in your Department
Cáel Keegan, Grand State Valley University 
Rachel Levitt, Kansas State University
Harlan Weaver, Kansas State University
Cáel M. Keegan is Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Liberal Studies at Grand Valley State University. He is the author of Lana and Lilly Wachowski: Sensing Transgender (University of Illinois Press, 2018) and Secretary of the Queer Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies. His writing has also appeared in Genders, Queer Studies in Media and Popular Culture, Transgender Studies Quarterly, Mediekultur, Spectator, and the Journal of Homosexuality. He has been interviewed on LGBTQ art and cinema by Michigan Radio, the AdvocateNBCVice and Slashfilm and appears in the Vice Guide to Film’s episode on “New Trans Cinema.” Keegan teaches courses in transgender, queer, and feminist theories, popular and visual cultures, American studies, and LGBTQ cultures/identities/histories.  
Rachel Levitt is an Assistant Professor in the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Department at Kansas State University. Dr. Levitt earned their PhD in American Studies from the University of New Mexico with dual graduate certificates: one in Women Studies and the other in Race and Social Justice. At Kansas State Dr. Levitt serves as the Chair of the Queer Studies Committee and Co-Chair of the LGBTQ* Faculty Staff Alliance, they also serve on the Transgender Taskforce and the coalition of Affinity Group Leadership. Their research focuses on the subjects and objects of queer liberation. Drawing on queer studies explorations of law and violence they question constructions of figures like the “bullied subject” on whose behalf we are collectively being mobilized. 
Harlan Weaver is an Assistant Professor of Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at Kansas State University. He is currently completing a book titled Bad Dog (Washington University Press) on what he terms the “interspecies intersectionalities” at work in contemporary discourses regarding pit bull-type dogs and animal shelter and rescue practices. He has published articles in Catalyst: Feminism, Theory, TechnoscienceGLQTrans*gender Studies QuarterlySomatechnicsAngelaki; and Emotion, Space and Society. His research has been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Science Foundation, The Animals & Society Institute, Uppsala University, and Kansas State University.