Graduate Collaboratory Fellows

The Graduate Collaboratory Fellows Program supports UC Davis graduate students engaging in feminist collaboration that exemplifies FRI’s four values of inclusivity, intersectionality, justice, and transformation. We are particularly interested in collaborations that challenge traditional hierarchies of knowledge. Collaborations could include feminist-informed community-based research, productions or events, team science, convergence research, or research exploring citational and/or archival practices as collaboration. This program is designed to support graduate students with fully formed research projects or who are drawing on already established collaborations. Currently, the Fellows Program supports graduate students with up to $2k in research funds, as well as all of the benefits that come from an affiliation with FRI--access to a collaborative working space, research networks, and a team of FRI staff committed to helping amplify feminist research on campus and beyond.

Applications for 2020-2021 will be posted Winter quarter.

Project Summaries

Gharsahs and pandoras boxes: building speculative worlds with refugee kids

The Gharsahs and Pandoras Boxes collaborative emerges out of the work that people living in syria and people living outside of syria do to keep people alive. As a result of the Syrian War and refugee crisis, more than 6 million children from syria have become refugees. Supported by networks such as Jusoor and the American University of Beirut's Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service, and inspired by the collective efforts of women like Ola Al-Junde, Sabah Al-Halaq, Fadwa Burhan, and Ghalia Al-Rahaal (Hunna: Mothers of Revolution), many of these children have come of age by being taught by these women to "plant" (hadith: if when the hour comes, there is a plantling in your hand, plant it). The Gharsas and Pandoras Boxes collaborative seeks to collect, curate, and proliferate the fruits of their labor, advocating for humanitarian education, which we consider to be social and political pedagogical and organizational practices that advance what we call "kids desire to study" (Mohamad Al Jounde). Together, we research how to proliferate life to refugee children in different places. Music From Hope, for example, teach us how to use music to strengthen community “from within” by connecting children to their already present powers and abilities (Monson 1997, Miller 2012). This summer's collaborative research includes davis, san diego, lancaster, almhult, istanbul, toronto, mexico city, and tijuana. The collaborative will produce digital content in the form of blogs, academic articles, videos, as well as the digital prototypes/pilots of the gharsah and pandoras box animated series, pandora's speculative boxes podcast, and planters of gharsah oral histories. By sharing these stories, we hope that migrant and host communities alike will get a glimpse of what migration, beauty, and return really mean (Karim Qabrawi). 


Victoria Brykalski
Ph.D. Candidate
Sociolcultural Anthropology

Reclaiming Pride in Sacramento: Documenting the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots with Still Here Alliance for Trans Rights

On Sunday, June 9, Still Here Alliance for Trans Rights led a protest of Sacramento Pride.  This project, with help from Feminist Research Institute fellowship funding, will produce a documentary short film about the protest and its surrounding context.  The film will focus on the experiences of four #StillHere organizers: Ayotunde Ikuku, Breanna Martin, Thongxy Phansofa, and Nghia Winn, with videography by Salgu Wissmath.  The film will engage with the worldvisions and actions of a queer, trans, femme, and decolonial liberation movement, as it swells up in one city, even as it transcends time and space.  


Mia Dawson
Ph.D. Student
Geography Graduate Group

Forest Tales: Future Forests

Anuj Vaidya at Sage Hen Creek
Anuj Vaidya in the forest at Sagehen Creek

'Forest Tales: Future Forests' is a practice-as-research project located at one of the key sites of my dissertation research – the Sagehen Creek Field Station in the Tahoe National Forest. The field station is changing the culture and the conversation around how we relate to forests and fires in the Western Sierras by building a coalition around art, business, management, policy, and science ( Funded by the Feminist Research Institute fellowship, I will participate in the ‘Future Forests’ project and work towards a series of art-based events in the Sacramento Valley region that would bring vulnerable and under-represented communities from the area into the conversation around forests and fires, both as knowledge-holders and as stakeholders in the ecology of the region. The events would bring community members together with scientists, policy makers, etc., for ceramics workshops where they would create collaborative sculptures, and share stories and strategies around fire management from diverse cultural perspectives. These sculptures will then be fired at the controlled burns that take place in the forest. These events will also become a site for collecting stories from various stakeholders that can be used to produce a podcast. Eventually, the sculptures, and the stories that accompany them, can then travel to different locations, bringing the conversation around forests and fires with them.


Anuj Vaidya
Ph.D. Candidate
Performance Studies

The Women of Color Feminist Futures Archive

This Feminist Research Institute fellowship will fund a digital collaborative counter-archive that posits a just, feminist future for women of color (WOC). In partnership with the AfroSurreal Writer’s Workshop and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation (VONA), the Women of Color Feminist Futures Archive will be a collection of artifacts that illuminate a feminist and anti-racist future. The project’s one-year plan includes a fall collaboration with the AfroSurreal Writer’s Workshop to create a call for Submissions that will circulate through the VONA network, which is exclusively artists of color; two creative writing workshops, one at UC Davis with undergraduates and another in Sacramento at black-owned Underground Books; and in spring, the curation, production, and launch of the web-based counter-archive. My central goals with this project are to not only use queer and feminist theory to inspire writers and activists alike as to the kind of future that could be possible but also to give any feminist a clear, creative answer to the “what are the alternatives” question.


Jasmine Wade
Ph.D. Student
Cultural Studies Graduate Group