Lis Valle-Ruiz ||  Kristen Navarro ||  Kirsten Mendoza ||  Allison McGrath
Ben Galina ||  Nancy Chick ||  Sherry Brewer ||  Raquelle Bostow

Lis Valle-Ruiz

I am a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University in the Homiletics and Liturgics Program in the Graduate Department of Religion. I hope to complete the WGS graduate certificate program in Spring of 2015. I love that the WGS program has given me language, theoretical frameworks, and expanded the possibilities of what until recently has been my intuitive practice of feminist pedagogy.  I am also an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), actress, artistic director, and life-long student and educator, as well as mother of two sons.

Kristen NavarroKristen Navarro

I am a Ph.D. student in Vanderbilt University’s English department. I specialize in early modern drama, film, and queer theory. I teach undergraduate classes that focus on writing, literature, queer and feminist identities, and popular culture.

Kirsten MendozaKirsten Mendoza

Kirsten received her B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she graduated with English Honors distinction. She later received her Masters from Loyola University in Chicago and is presently a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University. Her ongoing research in sixteenth and early-seventeenth century drama and literature focuses on reading political and sexual subjection in light of rape depositions of the period. In particular, she interrogates the construction of consent along the co-constitutive lines of gender, race, and desire. Kirsten is extremely appreciative of having the opportunity to work with fellow fem-colleagues by contributing to this feminist pedagogy guide!

Allison McGrathAllison McGrath

I am currently a fourth year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. Broadly speaking, my research focuses on issues pertaining to gender, feminism, race and ethnicity, bodies and embodiment, media and technology, as well as social movements. I am currently in the process of collecting data for my dissertation, which examines the ways in which feminist anti-violence organizations strategically interact with the mass media to foster cultural change around violence against women and rape culture.

Ben Galina

I am a fourth-year student in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Vanderbilt University. My scholarly work focuses on the construction and deployment of gender, sexuality, and sickness in contemporary Latin American literature. This research frequently converges with my pedagogical pursuits, both in the classroom and at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, where I work as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. Outside of the university, I dedicate myself to helping young people transform their visions of the world through Concordia Language Villages‘ language immersion summer camp. Ultimately, I believe that radical pedagogy is the practice of radical scholarship.

Nancy Chick

Until mid-March, 2015, I was an assistant director at the Vanderbilt Teaching and Learning Center and affiliated faculty in the English Department and Women’s & Gender Studies Program.  (I loved every single thing about my work there. I left only because I got an offer I couldn’t refuse.)  In the WGS Program, I taught an upper-level Women in Popular Culture course, as well as the first two courses for the WGS Certificate, Gender & Pedagogy and the Feminist Approaches proseminar. I’ve long been interested in feminist pedagogy and how it can inform teaching and learning across campus–and even beyond: I taught literature online for over a decade, a great opportunity to challenge (and accomplish) this goal.  (See Chick and Hassel, “‘Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Virtual’: Feminist Pedagogy in the Online Classroom.”)

Sherry Brewer

I am a second-year Master’s of Theological Studies student at Vanderbilt Divinity School and am also seeking a Graduate Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. I am interested in how the stories we tell–religious stories, personal stories, cultural stories–shape who we understand ourselves to be and how we see the world. Studying feminist pedagogy allows me to deepen my understanding of classroom experiences as an integral part of the liberative process of re-shaping and re-telling, even re-writing, the stories that we live by.

Raquelle Bostow

I am a Ph.D. student at Vanderbilt University in the Department of French & Italian. In my second year of graduate school, I decided to focus my research on issues of sex, gender and sexuality after taking a French feminism course in my department. My subsequent studies in the WGS program have broadened my horizons, teaching me about American traditions in feminism and the world of feminist pedagogy. After taking these courses, I realize that, as a teacher, I am not responsible for “emancipating” my students or creating a utopian environment, but for giving them the space to discuss experience, appreciate viewpoints of others, and contemplate change.