Affiliate Associate Professor, University of Washington Seattle
Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies
Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Faculty Associate, University of Washington Seattle
Center for Human Rights
B.A. and M.A. Women Studies, San Francisco State University
Ph.D. Sociology, University of California Santa Barbara
Mailing: Box 358530, 18115 Campus Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011-8246
In general my classes focus on politics, poverty, and resistance in the Third World, typically through the lens of gender. I passionately believe that as citizens of the most powerful country in the world we are in part responsible for global policies implemented in our name. It is therefore my goal to enable students to understand the historical record regarding transnational policies and empower them to envision and create alternatives at all levels.
My classes always include a variety of different types of texts including: fiction, memoir, social science, film, and journalistic. I try and center the voices of the under represented and provide students access to the various ways that peoples' lives are impacted by political economic policies that benefit elite sectors of society and restrict and repress others. I also spend much of my courses exposing students to small and large scale examples of grassroots resistance to political, economic, and social injustice. Ultimately I hope that students are inspired to remain engaged in politics and translate personal political frustration into mobilization for social justice.
Recent Courses Taught
BCUSP 104/107 Place and Displacement in the Americas: Human Rights, Culture, and Ethnicity (co-taught with Professor Jennifer Atkinson)
BIS300 Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Social Movements
BISGST 303 History and Globalization
BIS 310 Women, Culture, and Development
BIS 490/BCULST 589: Culture and Resistance in the Americas
My research focuses on gender, revolution/resistance, and feminism in Latin America and the diaspora. I am interested in how, why, and when women participate in revolutionary struggles, how, why, and when they organize as feminists, and how these two types of movements are related to one another. My most recent book is an edited collection titled Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas (SUNY Press, 2014). Taking Risks is an interdisciplinary edited collection where contributors narrate stories of activism and activist scholarship. The essays are based on our textual analysis of interviews, oral histories, ethnography, video storytelling, and theater. We discuss many activist projects: the underground library movement in Cuba, theater exposing the femicide in Juárez, community radio in Venezuela, video archives in Colombia, exiled feminists in Canada, memory activism in Argentina, sex worker activists in Brazil, rural feminists in Nicaragua, and domestic violence organizations for Latina immigrants in Texas. In addition to sharing the social movements centered in each chapter, as editor, I asked the contributors to speak to two themes: telling stories and taking risks. The contributors - scholars/activists/artists - come from many disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, anthropology, psychology, theater, history, literature, feminist studies, and cultural studies. Additionally, we come from several different nations in the Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, and the US.
In 2009, They Used to Call Us Witches: Chilean Exiles, Culture, and Feminism was published by Lexington Books. They Used to Call Us Witches is a socio-political history which focuses on how leftist Chilean women exiles organized and articulated resistance in the anti-Pinochet solidarity movement of the 1970s and ‘80s with specific attention to culture, emotions, and gender. It also addresses the development of exile feminism in the diaspora in the post-dictatorship period. The book focuses on the case of Chileans in Vancouver, British Columbia. They Used to Call Us Witches was awarded the Pacific Sociological Association’s Distinguished Scholarship Award in 2011.
My first book is entitled The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba (Rutgers University Press, 2004.) In it I discuss the ways that women participated in revolutionary movements in all three countries. I argue that women used traditional gender norms and all of the attendant assumptions about passivity to maneuver in hostile territory in ways distinct from that of men. As a result women strengthened revolutionary movements in ways that men could not. However, often their contributions were overlooked or even stifled which led to a frustration that in some cases was translated into feminism in the wake of the revolutionary movements.
Taking Risks: Feminist Activism and Research in the Americas. SUNY Press. 2014.
They Used to Call Us Witches: Chilean Exiles, Culture, and Feminism. Lexington Books. 2009.
The Revolution Question: Feminisms in El Salvador, Chile, and Cuba. Rutgers University Press. 2004.
"Women and Transnational Development." Encyclopedia of Gender and Society. Edited by Jodi O'Brien. Sage Publications. 2008.
"Feminist Activism in Latin America," in The Encyclopedia of Sociology. Edited by George Ritzer. Blackwell Publishing. Vol no. 4: 1685-1689. 2007.
"Women and Revolution," in Revolutionary Movements in World History: From 1750 to the Present. Edited by James DeFronzo. ABC-CLIO. Vol 3, R-Z: 936-940. 2006.
"Culture and Resistance: A feminist analysis of revolution and development'," in Feminist Futures: Re-imagining Women, Culture and Development. Edited by Priya Kurian, Kum-Kum Bhavnani, and John Foran. Zed Books. 2002.