2017-18 Seed Grant Projects
Feminist Activist Scientists and Their Archives
Project Leaders: Sara Giordano and Rana Jaleel (Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies)
Project Description: Feminist activists have impacted the course of scientific research and what counts as scientific knowledge. Examples include Black Panther efforts to provide community healthcare, ACT-UP activists changing the course of the NIH, women the world over protesting corporate destruction of indigenous lands, and mostly forgotten feminist attempts to reproduce without men. This project is dedicated to unearthing past efforts and developing methodological practices to document how people have engaged with scientific production and to integrate that knowledge within future scientific endeavors. We will work to build and house alternative archives for feminist and other people-based public health, environmental, and science initiatives.
Linking Lack of Sanitation, Water, Menstrual Hygiene and Energy to Gender Disparity in Rural Kenya
Project Leader: Maureen Njoki Kinyua (Civil & Environmental Engineering)
Project Description: This project examines the intersections of water, gender, health, education, the environment and agriculture using feminist theory to recognize that a woman’s or girl’s quality of life in rural Sub Saharan Africa (SSA) is positioned within a global social and environmental context. This project will evaluate the effect of waste characteristics and operating conditions on methane production and pathogen inactivation in a latrine-anaerobic digester system treating feces, urine and menstrual blood. This project brings together social science and engineering to address issues of public health, especially for women in a culturally and sustainable way, and contributes to the scientific understanding of the link between waste mismanagement, environmental degradation, and gender disparity.
Women Immigrants and Access to Citizenship
Project Leader: Jeannette Money (Political Science)
Project Description: Why do women migrants choose to apply for citizenship in the host state? Citizenship permits immigrants to participate in the host society’s political processes and to express their own political demands. This project hypothesizes that demand for citizenship is a function of two sets of variables: the degree of difficulty in obtaining naturalization in the host state, and explanatory factors like gender roles in the home society and the host society. Women are central to the family in all societies so their access to and choice of citizenship is likely to be important to the immigrant family’s ability to integrate.
Interdisciplinary Comparative Feminist Research on Discourses of Gender and Adolescence
Project Leaders: Liz Constable (Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies), Corrie Decker (History), and Jenny Kaminer (Russian)
Project Description: This collaborative, comparative project contributes to a growing body of interdisciplinary scholarship on figurations of adolescence – the time when teenagers in many societies experience most acutely the existence of contradictory discourses about gender identity and sexual subjectivity. What roles do discourses of youth, gender, and sexuality play in public policies, in social practices, in cultural narratives, and in the lives of young people, in past and present globalizing movements? We propose to conduct a feminist analysis of these discourses within a comparative transnational and transcolonial framework.
Empowerment or Further Assault on Female Autonomy? Exploring Issues of Race, Class, and Power in Post-Sexual Assault HIV Prevention
Project Leader: Jessica Draughon Moret (School of Nursing)
Project Description: In addition to the trauma of sexual assault, women may experience additional trauma through their encounters with healthcare providers for post-sexual assault care. Post-sexual assault care includes HIV prevention treatment, yet many women do not receive this treatment. This project builds off a quantitative parent study examining factors theoretically associated with accepting and adhering to post-sexual assault HIV prevention treatment, and focuses on how issues of race, class, and power have impacted whether post-sexual assault prevention treatment was offered, accepted, and completed. The results of this study will inform the creation of an intervention to improve HIV prevention treatment follow-up as the continuation of a developing program of research.
Women’s Work: Feminist Perspectives on Food Waste, Sustainability, and Environmental Design
Project Leaders: Claire Napawan (Landscape Architecture) and Sahoko Yui (Geography)
Project Description: By applying feminist perspectives to environmental design, our research addresses food waste management as an important component of sustainability efforts and to elevate the significance of women’s work. Global food waste is the third largest carbon emitter and can result from a range of household and cultural practices (as well as the result of large‐scale agricultural systems). Environmental design has neglected to address domestic practice (and women’s role related to it) as a potential opportunity for improving community sustainability. This project studies the traditional domestic practices that fall predominantly within women’s purview, and draws linkages between it, cultural practices, food waste management, and community sustainability.