Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts


Please join us in congratulating Nancy Tuana on a new NSF grant that she will lead at Penn State – the Megapolitan Coastal Transformation Hub (MACH) project. This $19.9 million grant links more than a dozen universities (with Rutgers as the lead) to pursue a five-year study through the NSF’s Coastlines and People program. The MACH project will conduct research that supports the development of climate-resilient decision-making frameworks to equitably support coastal communities. In addition to facilitating interdisciplinary science, MACH will link researchers with coastal stakeholders and decision-makers to facilitate the co-development of dynamic adaptation policy pathways for equitably navigating a deeply uncertain future.

It is not often that we hear about feminist philosophers being funded by the NSF, so this is particularly exciting! The interdisciplinary work that we do in WGSS is clearly important on so many levels. Many congratulations, Nancy!

WGSS affiliate Manini Samarth’s article on Anita Brookner’s subversive feminism has been recently published in a special issue of Études anglaises – N°2/2021 “’Due Influence’: Anita Brookner’s Legacy”.

Congratulations, Manini!

WGSS’s Aparna Parikh recently guest-edited and wrote the introduction for a themed issue out in the journal ACME: An International Journal of Critical Geographies. Titled From the Margins Within, papers in the issue look at life-making practices by those at urban margins within the global South, setting up a platform for South-South conversations. The cover image for the special issue is one of her drawings, which was also published as part of a paper titled “Insider-outsider as process: drawing as reflexive feminist methodology during fieldwork” published in cultural geographies.

Congratulations, Aparna!

Congratulations to Sarah Damaske, Associate Professor of Labor & Employment Relations, Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies for publishing two books this year: The Tolls of Uncertainty: How Privilege and the Guilt Gap Shape Unemployment in America (Princeton University Press, 2021) and The Science and Art of Interviewing, with Kathleen Gerson  (Oxford University Press, 2020).

We’re impressed that you have two books out in such a short period of time!

Congratulations to Laurie Spielvogel, Teaching Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, on being awarded The Undergraduate Program Leadership Award for 2021!

The Undergraduate Program Leadership Award is meant to recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated exemplary leadership benefiting an existing Penn State undergraduate degree program. The goal of the award is to recognize those individuals who have major responsibilities for the delivery of undergraduate education within a unit and who are providing leadership that has transformed or revitalized the undergraduate program within the unit in some way.

Join us in congratulating Susanne Klausen, Brill Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, on the recent publication of her new essay, “Pining for Purity: Interracial Sex, the South African Immorality (Amendment) Act (1950), and ‘Petty’ Apartheid,” in The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism, eds. Chelsea Schields and Dagmar Herzog (Routledge 2021), Chapter 19. 

Drawing on interdisciplinary perspectives from cultural, intellectual and political history, anthropology, law, gender and sexuality studies, and literary criticism, The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism combines regional and historiographic overviews with detailed case studies, making it the key reference for up-to-date scholarship on the intimate dimensions of colonial rule.

The Routledge Companion to Sexuality and Colonialism is essential reading for students and researchers in gender, sexuality, race, global studies, world history, Indigeneity, and settler colonialism.

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and English, has published a book chapter, “‘Downhill from Everywhere’: Plastic Pollution Coalition and the Force of Art”, co-authored with Dianna Cohen, CEO of Plastic Pollution Coalition.

The article appears in Plastic Ocean: Art and Science Responses to Marine Pollution (DeGruyter, pp. 19-35).


Congratulations to Alicia Decker for her recent contribution to the Netflix docuseries How to Become a Tyrant!

Ruling with an iron fist requires an aspiring dictator to know the playbook for absolute power, as history’s despots prove in this sardonic docuseries. Dr. Decker, Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, African Studies, and History, appears in Episode 3 on Idi Amin, “Reign Through Terror” .

Check it out here:

How to Become a Tyrant | Netflix Official Site

Join us in congratulating C Libby on the publication of their new article in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly:  “The Historian and the Sexologist: Revisiting the ‘Transvestite Saint.” We are honored to work in a department with colleagues who are engaged in such important, ground-breaking conversations! Well done, Libby!

It can be read online at the link below.

Dara Walker, assistant professor of African American studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; and history in the College of the Liberal Arts, has been named a postdoctoral fellow for 2021 by the National Academy of Education (NAEd), an honorary educational society whose mission is to improve education policy and practice by advancing high-quality research. Walker is one of 25 scholars selected from a competitive pool of 249 applicants.

Funded by a grant from the Spencer Foundation, the fellowship program supports early career scholars working in critical areas of education research. During the nonresidential fellowship, Walker will work on her upcoming monograph, “High School Rebels: Black Power, Education, and Youth Politics in the Motor City, 1966-1973.”

Read the article here: