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The Feminist Wire celebrates a multiplicity of feminist expressions from a variety of editors and writers that span genders, sexualities, professions, incomes, races, ethnicities, abilities, ages, and geographies.
Tamura Lomax is an educator, writer and believer in social justice. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Religion where she specialized in History and Critical Theories of Religion, and more specifically, African American Religion. She also developed expertise in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, African American and Diaspora Studies, and Black British and U.S. Black Cultural Studies. Her research is concerned with race, gender, representation, religion and black popular culture. She is specifically interested in the ways that linguistic and representational technologies of power construct and institutionalize ideas of race and gender and how these ideas not only establish notions of innate difference, but ultimately affect black women and girls in their everyday lives, sometimes igniting epistemic and/or material violence. She recently published Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Cultural Productions (Palgrave Macmillan, June 2014), a co-authored edited volume with Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant and Carol B. Duncan, and is finishing up her first single authored monograph, Jezebel Unhinged: Loosing the Black Female Body in Black Religion and Black Popular Culture (Duke University Press). She is co-founder, along with Hortense Spillers, of The Feminist Wire. To reach Dr. Lomax, please email Rae Antoinette.
Monica J. Casper is Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. She writes about gender, race, health, bodies, sexuality, motherhood, reproductive politics, trauma, and disability. She is author of the award-winning book The Making of the Unborn Patient: A Social Anatomy of Fetal Surgery, co-author of Missing Bodies: The Politics of Visibility and The Body: Social and Cultural Dissections, and co-editor of Corpus: An Interdisciplinary Reader on Bodies and Knowledge and a forthcoming volume on critical trauma studies. She is currently researching the biopolitics of infant mortality and maternal-child health. With Lisa Jean Moore, she founded and co-edits the NYU Press book series Biopolitics: Medicine, Technoscience, and Health in the 21st Century. Monica’s essays and stories have appeared in Trivia: Voices of Feminism, Slow Trains Literary Journal, Florida Review, Canyon Voices, Mojave River Review, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Spilling Ink Review, The Linnet’s Wings, Vine Leaves, Conscience, and more. For more information, visit www.monicajcasper.com.
Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black troublemaker, a black feminist love evangelist, a prayer poet priestess and has a PhD in English, African and African-American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies from Duke University. Alexis was the first scholar to research the Audre Lorde Papers at Spelman College, the June Jordan Papers at Harvard University, and the Lucille Clifton Papers at Emory University, and she is currently on tour with her interactive oracle project “The Lorde Concordance,” a series of ritual mobilizing the life and work of Audre Lorde as a dynamic sacred text. Alexis has also published widely on Caribbean Women’s Literature with a special interest in Dionne Brand. Her scholarly work is published in Obsidian, Symbiosis, Macomere, The Routledge Companion to Anglophone Literature, SIGNS, Feminist Collections, The Black Imagination, Mothering and Hip Hop Culture, The Business of Black Power and more. Alexis is the author of an acclaimed collection of poems 101 Things That Are Not True About the Most Famous Black Women Alive and poetic work published in Kweli, Vinyl, Backbone, Everyday Genius, Turning Wheel, UNFold, Makeshift and more. She has several books in progress including a book of poems, Good Hair Gone Forever, a scholarly monograph on diaspora and the maternal, and an educational resource called the School of Our Lorde. She is also the co-editor of a forthcoming edited collection on legacies of radical mothering called This Bridge Called My Baby. Alexis is the founder of Brilliance Remastered, a service to help visionary underrepresented graduate students stay connected to purpose, passion, and community, co-founder of the Mobile Homecoming Project, a national experiential archive amplifying generations of Black LGBTQ Brilliance, and the community school Eternal Summer of the Black Feminist Mind. Alexis was named one of UTNE Reader’s 50 Visionaries Transforming the World in 2009, was awarded a Too Sexy for 501-C3 trophy in 2011, and is one of the Advocate’s top 40 under 40 features in 2012.
Heather Laine Talley‘s teaching and research interests center on gender and sexuality, medicine, and the body. Her writings on topics as diverse as philanthropy, disability, and romance have been published in a range of edited volumes and academic journals. Heather earned a Ph.D. in sociology and a graduate certificate in gender and sexuality studies from Vanderbilt University. Her book Saving Face: Disfigurement and the Politics of Appearance (2014, New York University Press) explores a wide-range of surgical interventions—from reconstructive surgery on cleft lips to face transplantation, from facial feminization to makeover surgery television and explores the consequences of refiguring aesthetic intervention in vital terms. As an engaged scholar, her analytic lens informs her activism with a range of community based organizations including Act Like a Grrrl, a Nashville based organization which invites girls to share and transform their personal experiences through writing and the arts, and the Midatlantic Burn Camp. In her work with children and adolescents, she uses the sociological imagination as a tool for fortifying self image and building political efficacy. Currently, she lives in the South and works alongside LGBTQ efforts pursuing justice through state and federal policy and queer wellbeing through grassroots connections.
Sikivu Hutchinson is a senior intergroup specialist for the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission. She received a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University and has taught women’s studies, cultural studies, urban studies, and education at UCLA, the California Institute of the Arts, and Western Washington University. She is the author of Imagining Transit: Race, Gender, and Transportation Politics in Los Angeles, Moral Combat: Black Atheists, Gender Politics, and the Values Wars, and the forthcoming Godless Americana: Race and Religious Rebels (Infidel Books, 2012). She is also the editor of blackfemlens.org, founder of the Black Skeptics and a senior fellow for the Institute for Humanist Studies.
Mecca Jamilah Sullivan is from Harlem, New York. She holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Pennsylvania. Her creative and scholarly writing has appeared internationally in publications including Callaloo, American Fiction, Best New Writing, Crab Orchard Review, Bloom, Lumina, Amistad, TriQuarterly, The Minnesota Review, Baby Remember My Name, Robert Olen Butler Fiction Prize Stories, Baobab: South African Journal of New Writing, American Visions, Palimpsest: Journal of Women, Gender, and the Black International, GLQ: Lesbian and Gay Studies Quarterly, and others. She is the winner of the James Baldwin Memorial Playwriting Award, the Charles Johnson Fiction Award, and scholarships, fellowships, and other honors from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mellon Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Downtown Urban Theatre Festival, the Yaddo Colony, the New York State Summer Writers’ Institute, the Center for Fiction in New York City, and Williams College, where she recently held the Gaius Charles Bolin Fellowship. She is currently Postdoctoral fellow in African American and African Diaspora Literature at Rutgers University, and, in 2014, will begin as Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at UMass, Amherst. Her scholarly research focuses on poetics and identity women’s literatures of the African Diaspora. Her short story collection, Blue Talk and Love, is forthcoming.
Aimee Meredith Cox, PhD, is a cultural anthropologist and Assistant Professor of Performance and African and African American Studies at Fordham University. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan where she also held a postdoctoral fellowship with the Center for the Education of Women. Dr. Cox’s research and teaching interests include expressive culture and performance; urban youth culture; public anthropology; Black girlhood; and Black feminist theory. She is currently completing a book entitled, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship.Shapeshifters is an ethnographic exploration of the performative strategies young black women in low-income urban communities use to access various forms of self-defined economic and social mobility. Dr. Cox is the current co-editor of Transforming Anthropology, the peer-reviewed journal of the national Association of Black Anthropologists. Dr. Cox is also a choreographer and dancer. She trained on scholarship with the Dance Theatre of Harlem, toured extensively as a professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble/Ailey II, and is the founder and creative director of The BlackLight Project, a youth-led arts activist organization currently working in partnership with the Sadie Nash Leadership Project.
Aishah Shahidah Simmons is an award-winning Black feminist lesbian documentary filmmaker, activist, cultural worker, writer and international lecturer. An incest and rape survivor, she is the creator of the Ford Foundation-funded, internationally acclaimed and award-winning feature length film NO! The Rape Documentary. Alice Walker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Color Purple, says, “If the Black community in the Americas and in the world would save itself, it must complete the work that [NO!] begins.” Simmons is the 2015-2016 Sterling Brown Professor of Africana Studies at Williams College. She is also a 2016-2018 Just Beginnings Collaborative Fellow. Previously, she was an Adjunct Professor in the Women’s and LGBT Studies Program at Temple University, an Erma Taylor O’Brien Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies Department at Scripps College, an Artist-in-Residence at the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture and a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago, and an Artist-in-Residence at Spelman College’s Digital Moving Image Salon. Her essays and articles have been published in several anthologies including the recently released Dear Sister: Letters from Survivors of Sexual Violence anthology edited by Lisa Factora-Borchers and the forthcoming Queering Sexual Violence: Radical Voices from Within the Anti-Sexual Violence Movemen anthology edited by Jennifer Patterson. Her cultural work and activism have been documented extensively in a wide range of media outlets including in a wide range of media outlets including The Root, Crisis, Forbes, Left of Black, In These Times, Ms. Magazine, Alternet, ColorLines, The Philadelphia Weekly, National Public Radio (NPR), Pacifica Radio Network and Black Entertainment Television (BET). She has screened her work, lectured extensively, taught classes, and facilitated workshops and dialogues at colleges and universities, rape crisis centers, juvenile correctional facilities, and government sponsored events throughout the United States and Canada, and in countries in the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia. You can follow her on twitter @AfroLez.
Shubhra Sharma joined the Connecticut College faculty in 2010 as the Vandana Shiva Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies. At Connecticut College, Shubhra teaches courses on transnational women’s movements and feminist ethnography such as “Chutney-Popcorn: Bollywood, Globalization, and Social Reform,” and “Traveling as Feminist.” Before coming to Connecticut College, Shubhra served as Associate Director and Senior Lecturer in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. She is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards, including a research fellowship with the Global Feminisms Collaborative at Vanderbilt University. Shubhra’s first book, “Neoliberalization” as Betrayal: State, Feminism, and a Women’s Education Program in India, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2011. Here, she analyzes how feminism as expertise played an important role in translating the “woman condition” into the “woman question” for the purposes of governance (by national and transnational authorities); how feminism as expertise displayed a form of “disciplining politics” vis-à-vis women “who will not articulate their needs in political terms”; and how subjectivities constituted through a form of “disciplining politics” challenge such politics in discourse and practices of everyday life. Shubhra uses betrayal as an allegory of/ for such challenges and tells many stories of such betrayal in context (Chitrakoot and Delhi, India). Currently Shubhra is examining the shifting (or not) nature of imaginations about self, family, and nation amongst the Indian diaspora community in Canada, especially those who have migrated there from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to understand what constitutes the linchpin of cultural identity building within this community in its transnational movement. Shubhra has also worked as a research anthropologist for a cutting-edge design firm based in Dallas, TX. She currently resides in New York City with her partner. She will be on sabbatical from TFW from May 2015-December 2015.
Hakima Abbas is a political scientist, policy analyst and activist. She has been active in struggles for social justice on issues of self-determination, race, class, gender and sexuality for over fifteen years. Her work as a trainer, strategist and researcher has focused on strengthening and supporting movements for change in Africa and the Middle East. Hakima is the editor and author of various publications and articles, including: Aid to Africa: Redeemer or Coloniser? and People-led Transformation: African futures. She currently serves as a board member to the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Eastern Africa office, the African Sex Workers Alliance and Greenpeace Africa. You can follower her on twitter at @HakimaAbbas.
Mason Casper-Milam, 13, loves to read, sing, write, and sketch. She dreams of moving to Paris and starting a successful fashion line. She enjoys playing with her dog, Beaumont, competes in Science Olympiad, and sings with the Tucson Girls Chorus. Mason loves to write for The Feminist Wire and finds happiness in speaking out for what she believes in.
Tanisha C. Ford, Ph.D. is an award-winning writer, intellectual, and activist designing her own brand of “Haute Couture Intellectualism.” She is currently writing a book, Liberated Threads: Black Women and the Politics of Adornment. She is an Assistant Professor of Women, Gender, Sexuality Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Follow her on Twitter @SoulistaPhd.
Heidi R. Lewis (on sabbatical) is an Assistant Professor of Feminist & Gender Studies and a core faculty member of Race & Ethnic Studies at Colorado College. Her teaching and research focus on feminist theory, gender and sexuality, Black Studies, Critical Media Studies, Critical Race Theory, Critical Whiteness Studies, social justice, and activism. Her essay “An Examination of the Kanye West’s Higher Education Trilogy” is featured in The Cultural Impact of Kanye West, and her article “Let Me Just Taste You: Li’l Wayne and Rap’s Politics of Cunnlingus,” developed from an essay she wrote for NewBlackMan, is forthcoming in the Journal of Popular Culture. She is currently revising an article that examines Rihanna’s “Pour It Up” and drafting a manuscript that explores constructions of Black gay men on television. She holds a BS in English Studies from Robert Morris University, an MA in English Literature from Ohio University, and a PhD in American Studies, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, from Purdue University. Since 2003, she has held teaching appointments at Ohio University, Ohio Dominican University, Columbus State Community College, Purdue University, and Ivy Tech Community College. She has given talks at the Gender and the Brain Conference, the Frauenkreise Project (Germany), the Educating Children of Color Summit, the Sankofa Lecture Series, the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, the Gender and Media Spring Convocation at Ohio University, and the Conference for Pre-Tenure Women. She is also a regular presenter at conferences conducted by professional academic organizations, including the National Women’s Studies Association, the Popular Culture/American Culture Association, the American Studies Association, the Critical Ethnic Studies Association, the National Council for Black Studies, and the Society for Multi-Ethnic Studies: Europe and the Americas. She has also been a featured contributor on NPR’sHere and Now, KOAA news in Colorado Springs, and NPR affiliate KRCC radio. She and her husband, Antonio, live in Colorado Springs with their two children, A.J. and Chase, and their cat Max. Learn more by following Heidi on Twitter at @therealphdmommy and Facebook. She will be on sabbatical from TFW from May 2015-February 2016.
Born to a South African freedom fighter mother who fled from the Apartheid regime to Namibia under self-imposed exile, Edward (Eddie) Ndopu is a dis/abled queer femme afropolitan living in Ottawa, Ontario. Named by the Mail and Guardian Newspaper as one of their Top 200 Young South Africans, he is a social critic, anti-oppression practitioner, consultant, writer, and scholar.After graduating from the African Leadership Academy. Eddie won a scholarship to attend Carleton University in Canada where he is currently furthering his commitment to social justice advocacy. He is the founder of the Global Strategy for Inclusive Education and is known for his activism on the educational rights of children with disabilities in developing countries.Eddie is a regular on the international conference circuit. He has participated as a discussion leader at the World Youth Meeting in Italy, given a Master’s Tea at Yale University, and delivered a keynote address at the International Association of Special Education’s Twelfth Biennial Conference.An alumnus of the British Council’s Global Changemakers Programme, he has consulted for the World Economic Forum where he was commissioned to produce a white paper on the role of business in addressing youth employability and education.As an anti-oppression practitioner, Eddie’s work pertains to disability justice, queer subjectivities, trans embodiment, black consciousness, anti-colonial resistance, and afropolitanism in relation to epistemic violence and structural discrimination. He is currently the administrative coordinator of the GLBTQ Centre for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Carleton University. Eddie also serves on the board of Carleton University’s Institute of Research, Education, Accessibility, and Design (READ). (on sabbatical)
Andrea Plaid is the associate editor of the award-winning race-and-pop-culture blog Racialicious. She is also an associate producer of the renowned web series Black Folk Don’t. Her work on race, gender, sex, and sexuality can be found in the following publications: On The Issues, Bitch, AlterNet, RH Reality Check, Penthouse, Corset Magazine, In These Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post,New American Media, and the 2011 anthology Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism, edited by Jessica (Yee) Danforth. She is also a recurring commentator at Huffington Post Live, and has appeared on GRITtv. She participated in Harvard’s Feminist Coming Out Day 2011 as a guest panelist, and is the proud owner of A. Magdalene’s Touch.
Harsha Walia is a South Asian activist and writer based in Vancouver (Indigenous Coast Salish Territories) in Canada. She has been active in anti-racist, migrant justice, Indigenous solidarity, feminist, anti-imperialist, and Palestine solidarity movements for over a decade, including with No One Is Illegal, South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy, Defenders of the Land, Women’s Memorial March Committee for Missing and Murdered Women, Olympics Resistance Network and more. She is formally trained in the law, is the co-creator of a short film, and is the author of the upcoming book Undoing Border Imperialism. Find her @HarshaWalia.
Monica Torres is an English and American Studies major who concentrates in Latina/o Studies and is writing her way into a career. As a college senior committed to institutional diversity, most of her battles are fought on paper, online, and in committees. Currently, her thesis is exploring the commodification of Latinidad through experimental fiction. She loves food and feelings, and has written for Creative Loafing Tampa about both. You can find her @MoniFierce and her personal blog misterracoon.tumblr.com.
Duchess Harris is the author of two books, Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton/Obama (Palgrave Macmillan) and an edited volume with Bruce Baum, Racially Writing the Republic: Racists, Race Rebels, and Transformations of American Identity (Duke University Press).
Professor Harris was a Mellon Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from PENN in 1991 with a degree in American History and Afro-American Studies. Six years later, she earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota. She was one of two graduates in a class of sixteen to be nominated for the American Studies Association National Dissertation Prize. She spent her final year in grad school as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School.
In 1998, Harris joined the faculty at Macalester College. She became the first Chair of the American Studies Department in 2003 and was granted tenure in 2004. She earned a Juris Doctorate in January 2011, and has an expertise in Civil Rights Law. She was promoted to the rank of Full Professor in May of 2013. The rank of professor is the highest of the standard academic ranks in the United States, and is held by 29.5% of U.S. academics. Please visit her website to learn more about Professor Harris and her work.
Audrey Silvestre is a queer feminist of color from Los Angeles, California. She is co-founder of the collective Conciencia Femenil. With this collective, Audrey has presented at several conferences around the issue of institutional violence and community accountability. Audrey is also a mentor for ImMEDIAte Justice, sharing her passion and knowledge for media justice with the next generation. Currently, she has devoted her time and passion towards the revitalization of Third Woman Press. She holds a B.A. in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies and is working towards her M.A. in Chicana Studies at CSU Northridge.
Niki Herd earned degrees in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona and Antioch University. Nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize, she is the recipient of fellowships from Cave Canem and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Her work has been supported by the Astraea Foundation and the DC Commission on the Arts, and has appeared in several journals and anthologies. Her first collection of poems, The Language of Shedding Skin, was published by Main Street Rag in 2010 as part of the Editor’s Select Series. She currently lives in Washington, DC.
Nina Sharma is a writer from Edison, New Jersey. Her work has been featured in Teachers & Writers Magazine, Drunken Boat, Certain Circuits Magazine, The Feminist Wire, Reverie: Midwest African American Literature, and Ginosko Literary Journal. She recently was awarded a fellowship from the Vermont Studio Center and nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her nonfiction. She is formerly the Director of Public Programs at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and with Quincy Scott Jones, she co-created the Nor’easter Exchange: a multicultural, multi-city reading series. She has an MA from Columbia University’s American Studies, Liberal Studies program and is currently attending their MFA in writing program, concentrating in nonfiction. She was awarded a fellowship to teach in Columbia’s Undergraduate Writing Program, where she is a lecturer in the interdisciplinary pilot program, University Writing: Human Rights.
Vanessa Lynn Lovelace is a Black student activist, poet, would be writer, and educator. She is a PhD candidate in Political Science with an emphasis in Feminist Studies at the University of Connecticut. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she has been a student activist since her days as an undergraduate at the University of California – Santa Cruz. Her areas of interest are on the gendering of Black bodies, theories of liberty and justice, postcolonial feminism and feminist political methodologies. Her dissertation focuses on advocating for Black conceptions, interpretations and exhibitions of liberty and freedom. She is currently involved with Moral Monday CT.