The Gender Institute’s Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship was established in 2012 to fund graduate student research related to women and gender outside the U.S. It was founded and funded exclusively by Professor Isabel S. Marcus, co-founder and co-director of the Gender Institute (1997-2003) and recipient of the 2012 University at Buffalo Award for Outstanding Contributions to International Education.
Recent projects include a study of ‘care work’ among migrant women workers in Lebanon; research at the Jamaican Memory Bank, an audio archive in Kingston that includes interviews of women who belonged to the religious movement known as Bedwardism; a study of contemporary coalition-building among Kurdish and Turkish women; research on gender inequity in the Polish civil service.
Azalia P. Muchransyah’s project aims to illuminate the status of media activism, especially documentary film, in contemporary Indonesia as well as to explore the potential of documentary media to contribute to the transformation of HIV activism and advocacy in the face of the paradoxes around HIV/AIDS in key population members related to Indonesian prisons. Situating HIV media in the history of humanitarian advocacy, her research looks into existing global studies to answer the question: What is the role of media in HIV advocacy and activism in Indonesia? Central to this project is an investigation of the capacity of documentary to illuminate paradoxes of HIV advocacy in Indonesia and address specific prison setups. Using an approach drawn from both visual anthropology and the history of activist media production, Azalia’s project consists of a written dissertation and a film. The Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship will help her cover the travel expenses to Jakarta to conduct her HIV research with activists, organizations, formerly-incarcerated people, people who inject drugs, LGBTQ people, and women.
Gabriella Nassif's research centers on migrant domestic workers in Lebanon. She is both a scholar and a development practitioner whose academic research is concerned with understanding the comparative racialization, and subsequent valuation of migrant domestic workers, and whose praxis takes up the (de)valuation of care work in Lebanon more broadly. She currently works with the Institute for Women’s Studies in the Arab World and also with the Lebanese American University, where she is the managing editor of the journal Al-Raida. With support from the Marcus Fellowship, Gabriella will return to Lebanon to complete her doctoral research.
Alexandra Prince's project concerns the history of the turn of the 20th century Jamaican religious movement known as Bedwardism. A majority female movement, the history of Bedwardism has been mired in misrepresentations and allegations of insanity that have prevented both popular and scholarly considerations of Bedwardism as proto-black nationalist group principally comprised of black women. With support from the fellowship, she will be traveling to Kingston to conduct research at the Jamaica Memory Bank, a governmental organization that maintains audio interviews with the last surviving members of the Bedward's church, the Native Free Baptists. This is in support of her history dissertation project which examines the embedded gendered and racialized assessments within historical charges of religious insanity.
The Gender Institute is pleased to award the 2018-2019 Isabel Marcus International Research Fellowship to Elif Ege, Ph.D. Candidate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Karolina Kulicka, also a Ph.D. Candidate in Global Gender and Sexuality Studies.
This award supports Ege's research or her project, Feminist Intimacies around International Mechanisms: Pitfalls of Feminist Coalition-Building between Kurdish and Turkish Women in Turkey. She will use the funds to conduct the last part of her dissertation fieldwork on feminist coalition-building practices in Turkey. Her research in Turkey conducted with Kurdish and Turkish women's rights activists focuses on their mobilizations around international women’s rights mechanisms (such as CEDAW-Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) from a ‘grounded’ approach to discuss the possibilities and limitations of feminist coalition-building under the growing shadow of nation-states and national divisions.
Kulicka will use the award to support her trip to Poland in summer 2018, where she will be researching her project, “The Problem That Has No Name:” Mechanisms of Organizational Gendering in the Polish Civil Service. Her research brings to light those forces behind gender inequity that are invisibly engrained into seemingly gender-neutral organizational policies, practices and cultures. Using the example of the Polish state administration (often labelled as the most women-friendly in the world), her project analyzes how seemingly genderless institutional rules (e.g. political neutrality, professionalism), every-day work practices, spatial arrangements, new technologies, or the norms of the “right” looks can have a discriminating effect on female workers.
Natalia Pamula, Comparative Literature
Project: "Collective Intimacy and the Promise of Invulnerability: Representations of Disability in Polish Literature, 1945-1989"
2017 Solidarity Fellowships
Elif Ege, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Research on how Kurdish women construct transnational connections at a local level
Karolina Kulicka, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Research on gender in Polish bureaucracies
Anne Marie Butler, Global Gender and Sexuality Studies
Project: "Unintelligible Bodies: Queerness in Contemporary Tunisian Art"
Mehwish Sarwari, Political Science
Project: "UN Responsivness to Wartime Sexual Violence"
Salwatura Prabha Manuratne, English
Project: "Modern Incarnations of Figures of Violence in Asian and Asian Canadian Literature and Film"
Eman Abu-Sabah, Nursing
Project: "Jordanian Health Care Providers' Responses Toward Intimate Partner Violence"
2013 Honorable Mentions
Maria Fernanda Glaser Danton, Global Gender Studies
Morani Kornberg-Weiss, English
Beth Kuberka, Romance Languages and Literatures
Nuning Parwaningrum, Global Gender Studies
The Gender Institute Isabel S. Marcus International Research Fellowship to be awarded in 2020 to a UB graduate student to support research by and/or about women outside of the United States.
Application deadline for 2020 award will be February 19, 2020.
Applications must include:
1. Application cover sheet, available here
2. Cover letter (1 page maximum)
3. Statement of research interests, accomplishments, and career goals (500 words)
4. Academic transcripts
5. Writing sample (5-10 pp.)
6. Resume or c.v.
7. Two letters of recommendation
The Gender Institute must be acknowledged in any publications or exhibitions that are enabled or enhanced by the fellowship. Applications should be sent to the Gender Institute Fellowship Review Committee at email@example.com. Please use the subject line: "Isabel Marcus Fellowship Application."