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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. Her call to the movement is through radical teaching, publishing, and critical space-making. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in Religion where she specialized in Black Religion and Black Diaspora Studies. She also developed expertise in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Black British and U.S. Black Cultural Studies. 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 diasporic people in general and Black women and girls specifically in their everyday lives, sometimes igniting epistemic and/or material violence. Her scholarship interrogates these intersections by placing special emphasis on North American slavery, social movements of the 1960s, and contemporary social movement, religion and popular culture.
In 2011, she, along with Hortense Spillers, co-founded The Feminist Wire (TFW), an online publication committed to feminist, anti-racist, and anti-imperialist socio-political critique. Today, Dr. Lomax is the CEO and visionary for TFW. Her vision is to create space for justice work through critical conversation, exchange, mass-mediation, and dynamic accessible education. Her hope is to bring academic expertise to the streets and vice versa. Since its founding, TFW has published over two thousand intersectional and justice centered scholarly essays, including the original Black Lives Matter herstory by Alicia Garza in 2014, organized the very first university conference on Black Lives Matter, and coordinated various forums on topics such as Black (Academic) Women’s Health; Assata Shakur; Trayvon Martin; Disabilities; Race, Racism and Anti-Racism in Feminism; and Mumia Abu-Jamal, Race, Gender and the Carceral State. In addition to online publishing, TFW has a book series with the University of Arizona Press: The Feminist Wire Books: Connecting Feminisms, Race, and Social Justice.
Dr. Lomax believes that cultural representation, sexual subjectivity and safety are inclusive in the social justice project and that Black religion has consistently been both a great signifier and source of meaning in this undertaking. That is, to engage in a discourse on Black human rights is to first imagine Black people as whole persons with inherent worth and dignity, and second, to take seriously the functionality of Black religiosity in the journey from freedom to captivity to neo-coloniality. With this in mind, her work moves between religion, popular culture, politics and the body. In 2014 she published Womanist and Black Feminist Responses to Tyler Perry’s Cultural Productions (Palgrave Macmillan), a co-authored edited volume with Rhon S. Manigault-Bryant and Carol B. Duncan, and is presently finishing up her first single authored monograph, Jezebel Unhinged: Loosing the Black Female Body in Black Religion and Black Popular Culture (Duke University Press). In 2017 she curated #BlackSkinWhiteSin and “Black Bodies in Ecstasy: Black Women, the Black Church, and the Politics of Pleasure,” and co-organized “Our History, Our Future: a Multigenerational Human Rights Conference” at Boston University. 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 and Inclusion in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Arizona. She is also Professor of Public Health and an affiliated faculty member in Africana Studies and the School of Sociology. 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 Critical Trauma Studies: Understanding Violence, Conflict, and Memory in Everyday Life. She is currently writing Babylost: An Infant Mortality Alphabet Book, based on her decade of research on racial health disparities and infant and maternal mortality. 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 creative writing has 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, Moonsick Magazine, 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.
Macy Casper, 15, is a student, musician, and writer. She enjoys creatively expressing her opinions through her writing. Her mother, Monica Casper, is her inspiration and teaches her daily what it means to be a strong, independent woman in a society that can be cruel and demeaning. As a high school student, Macy has a younger, unique perspective on life and the problems pressing on the backs of young feminists and activists. She swims for the Rincon University High School swim team and enjoys traveling around the world and learning about different ways of life. She is most intrigued by issues of inequality, reproductive rights, and immigration. She finds her passion in writing about the injustice she sees in everyday life. Currently, Macy is working on a project about depression and anxiety in students and children. She finds happiness singing with Tucson Girls Chorus, visiting Seattle, and spending time with her puppy, Beaumont.
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 is an Assistant Professor of Feminist & Gender Studies and an affiliate of Race, Ethnicity, & Migration Studies at Colorado College. Her teaching and research focus on Feminist Theory, 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, was recently published 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, their cat Max, and their new puppy Philly. Learn more by following Heidi on Twitter at @therealphdmommy and Facebook.
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.
Her work as a human rights activist led her to speak at The 2015 Grammy Awards, The United Nations and the U.S. Institute for Peace. She is a member of the Speaker’s Bureau for Rape, Abuse, Incest, National Network (R.A.I.N.N.), the largest anti-sexual assault organization in the U.S., and an Advisor for Freedom United, global initiative to end human trafficking.
Her work as a writer, speaker, performing artist and activist has been featured in many media outlets, including the New York Times, LA Times, Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, Wall Street Journal and CNN. Brooke has published several award-winning poetry books and released three CDs of original music to critical acclaim. You can explore her work at brookeaxtell.com.
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.
Angela Kong, Jade Frost, and Jazlyn Andrews (pictured L to R) are all Class of 2017 Feminist & Gender Studies majors at Colorado College. They all served as 2016 summer interns, and will be continuing their work, focusing especially on the Personal Is Political column, during the 2016-2017 academic year. Regarding their studies, Angela’s senior capstone project will entail her presenting a one-woman theatre performance that explores the experiences of Asian American women; Jade’s will entail her writing a collection of short stories in the tradition of Black women writers; and Jazlyn’s will conduct an intersectional examination of DC Comic’s Catwoman character.