Feminist Research Alliance

Founded in 2010, the Feminist Research Alliance Workshop advances and energizes interdisciplinary conversation and collaboration among feminist scholars locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. At our convivial meetings, faculty, graduate students, and visiting scholars present and discuss research-in-progress.  A fertile space for idea-incubation, the workshop also is community-building, enabling students and faculty to network with potential committee members, mentors, and colleagues beyond the boundaries of their home departments. All events are free and open to the public.


Matthew H. Sommer .

Matthew H. Sommer

Professor of Chinese History
Chair, Department of History
Stanford University

Abortion as a Topic for Feminist Historical Research: The Case of China

Tuesday, May 7, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

What is the history of abortion and how should that history inform, and be informed by, feminist political goals? Professor Sommer will address these issues from the standpoint of his research on abortion in Late Imperial China.

Read Professor Sommer's article "Abortion in Late Imperial China: Routine Birth Control or Crisis Intervention?"

Fernanda Negrete.

Fernanda Negrete

Assistant Professor
Romance Languages and Literatures

Symptom and Sensation: Clinical Aesthetics in Experimental Literature and Art

Wednesday, March 13, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Professor Negrete, recipient of a Gender Institute Faculty Research Award, to work on her book, Symptom and Sensation: Clinical Aesthetics in Experimental Literature and Art, will join us to present research findings from the project.

Emily Grijalva.

Emily Grijalva

Assistant Professor
Department of Organization & Human Resources

Gender and Leadership Emergence

Thursday, March 7, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Professor Grijalva, recipient of a Gender Institute Faculty Research Award, for the research project, “Gender and Perceptions of Leadership Emergence: An Updated Meta-Analysis”, will join us to present research findings from the project.

Megan Holland.

Megan Holland

Assistant Professor
Director, Educational Administration Master's Program
Educational Leadership and Policy

Being a School Counselor: Professional Identity in a Woman-Dominated Profession

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
12:00 - 1:30 pm 
207 UB Commons 
UB North Campus

Professor Holland, recipient of a 2018 Gender Institute Faculty Research Award, for the research project, “Caring Too Much or Just Enough? Gendered Experiences of School Counselors,” will join us to present preliminary research findings from the project.


FALL 2018

"Innovative Ways to Change the Culture of STEM"

Coleen Carrigan.

Dr. Coleen Carrigan
Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Science, Technology and Society (STS)
California Polytechnic State University

Thursday, Sept 13, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

Using ethnography, Dr. Carrigan, investigates the historical and cultural dimensions of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and why these high-status fields appear impervious to desegregation. Carrigan shares the findings from her research to foster welcoming environments for underrepresented groups in STEM and transform the powers of technology to advance social justice.

"Abortion Fund Services Recipients: Challenges and Hardships"

Gretchen Ely.

Gretchen Ely
Associate Professor
School of Social Work

Thursday, Oct 4, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

The presentation highlights the undue burdens experienced by abortion fund service recipients, through a discussion of a secondary data analysis of The National Network of Abortion Funds’ Tiller Memorial Fund data spanning 2010-2015. Study findings indicate that people who received financial aid to pay for unaffordable abortions are facing dire personal circumstances when trying to access abortion services. 

"Pay Equity Report for Feminists"

Glenna Bett.

Glenna Bett
Deputy Director, Gender Institute
Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Physiology and Biophysics

Thursday, Oct 18, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

UB recently undertook an analysis of the pay of tenure track faculty, to determine if there was any gender bias in pay. This study was performed jointly by the Faculty Senate and the UB administration.  In this presentation, Dr. Bett will present the findings of this study, and discuss what the analysis indicates about pay at UB.  

"Sephardic Jewish Legends of Lilith from Spain and the Spanish Americas"

Sharonah Fredrick.

Full article: Disarticulating Lilith
by Sharonah Fredrick (Asmar Volume)

Sharonah Fredrick
Clinical Assistant Professor
Romance Languages & Literatures

Thursday, Nov 8, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

The sexual image of Lilith, (Adam’s spurned and vampirical first wife) in the Judeo-Spanish Kabalah, and the tales of her exile from Eden, became a metaphor for the Jews and Muslims expelled from Spanish soil after 1492. Gender-wise, the Lilith legends were transformed in the New World. There, crypto-Jewish and crypto-Muslim refugees -many of them female- reworked the stories, viewing the female vampire, Lilith, as a more benevolent being. That Early Modern (1492-1700) and “colonial” reimagining of Lilith is still light years away from the later, post-1960’s feminist construction of Lilith as a symbol of female emancipation. What exactly do the Judeo-Spanish and Hispano-Muslim tales of Lilith say, and how different are they from contemporary imaginings of one of mythology’s first divorced women?


Karen Atala with person in the country of Chile.

Image credit: Jhonny Aguirre

"Judge Karen Atala’s Transformative Vision and her LGBT Rights Child Custody Case: Shamanic Justice and International Human Rights in Chile"

Ana Mariella Bacigalupo 
Professor, Anthropology

Wednesday, May 2, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

In her LGBT custody case, Chilean Judge Karen Atala drew on the discourse of international human rights as well as the power obtained from a shamanic vision which transformed her sexuality to challenge the Catholic moral criteria used by the Chilean Supreme Court to deny her custody of her children because of her lesbianism. Atala’s case furthers understanding of the role that religion and spirituality play in sexual identities, legal practice and notions of justice.

Abigael Candelas de la Ossa.

"Merely diversifying?: Intersectional experience in resources for survivors of sexual violence"

Abigaël Candelas de la Ossa
Assistant Professor, Linguistics

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
12:00 - 1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
UB North Campus

FALL 2017

Marla Segol.

Marla Segol

Wednesday, December 6
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
North Campus

Marla Segol, Associate Professor of Jewish Studies, will present  “Sacred Sexuality in North America: Roots and Shoots,” a chapter in progress from her book project.

In this essay Segol compares models for sex magic ritual, from late antique, medieval and contemporary sources. The first part of this paper examines Jewish esoteric sources from late antiquity to early modernity. This includes the 5th-7th C Shiur Qomah (Measurement of the divine body), The Sefer Bahir (Book of Clarity) which includes at least two layers, dating to the early 10 and 12 C, the 13 C Zohar, and finally Moshe Cordovero’s 16 C the Prayer of Moses. The second part of this paper examines how-to books written by women, including Tantra for Dummies and Barbara Carellas’ Urban Tantra. The third section analyzes Segol's interviews with women teaching sacred sexuality. These divisions show the ancient and medieval roots of sex magic in the discourses that model it, and how contemporary women change some of its applications in the context of New Age Religion.

Hershini Young.

Hershini Young

Wednesday, November 8
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons, 
North Campus

Hershini Young, Professor of English, will talk about her new book, Illegible Will: Coercive Spectacles of Labor in South Africa and the Diaspora (Duke UP 2017).

Using a series of Southern African historical performances, Illegible Will explores how scholars have read the archive for evidence of black will. The book insists on the illegibility of the motivations and desires of black historical figures. Instead it argues for queer imaginative conjuring or alternate performances of agency that while not necessarily empirically true, reconceptualize the relationship between historical process and narrative to offer us outlines of history’s afterlife. Focusing on the vulnerability of the material body, Illegible Will argues for new forms of relationality where the meaning of black will is forged out of collaborative imaginative performances that bear the trace of forgotten surrogations.

Glenna Bett.

Glenna Bett

Wednesday, October 25 
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
North Campus

Insights on Writing Successful Grants 
Dr. Glenna Bett, Vice Chair for Research in Obstetrics and Gynecology, will guide students and faculty through the basics of writing a successful proposal.

Irus Braverman.

Irus Braverman

Wednesday, October 18
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
North Campus

Irus Braverman, Professor of Law, will preview her forthcoming book, Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink.

Dr. Irus Braverman is Professor of Law and Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. Her work is in the intersection of law, anthropology, science and technology studies, and the environment. She is author of Planted Flags: Trees, Land, and Law in Israel/ Palestine (2009), Zooland: The Institution of Captivity (2012), Wild Life: The Institution of Nature (2015), and Coral Whisperers: Scientists on the Brink (forthcoming 2018). Her edited collections include The Expanding Spaces of Law: A Timely Legal Geography (coedited, 2014), Animals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities (2016), and Gene Editing, Law, and the Environment: Life Beyond the Human (2017).

Despina Stratigakos.

Despina Stratigakos

Wednesday, October 4
12:00-1:30 pm, 207 UB Commons
North Campus

Despina Stratigakos, Professor of Architecture, will discuss the emergence of Architect Barbie in her book Where Are the Women Architects? (Princeton UP, 2016).

For a century and a half, women have been proving their passion and talent for building and, in recent decades, their enrollment in architecture schools has soared. Yet the number of women working as architects remains stubbornly low, and the higher one looks in the profession, the scarcer women become. Law and medicine, two equally demanding and traditionally male professions, have been much more successful in retaining and integrating women. So why do women still struggle to keep a toehold in architecture? Where Are the Women Architects? tells the story of women's stagnating numbers in a profession that remains a male citadel, and explores how a new generation of activists is fighting back, grabbing headlines, and building coalitions that promise to bring about change.

An excerpt will be pre-circulated that will feature the origins of Architect Barbie and how Despina Stratigakos and Kelly Hayes McAlonie persuaded Mattel to include such a doll in its Barbie “I Can Be” series of career dolls.