New Books, New Feminist Directions

This year, the Gender Institute is establishing a book launch series called “New Books, New Feminist Directions,” in which faculty can share and discuss their recent monographs with UB’s Gender Institute community, as well as the wider virtual community. These hybrid events will include a guest commentator who will discuss the significance of the book and its relevance for the field. This series highlights the superb feminist scholarship at UB, while also celebrating a colleague’s achievement.


Katja Praznik

Associate Professor, Arts Management Program

Book cover of Katja's book - Art Work.

Art Work: Invisible Labour and the Legacy of Yugoslav Socialism

Friday, September 23, 2022
3:30 - 5:00 pm (EDT)
Hybrid - 509 O'Brian Hall / Zoom

Register Here:

This Book Launch is part of Gender Institute's Social Reproduction Theory Lecture Series which is sponsored by  The Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy, and co-sponsored by the Arts Management Program.

In Art Work Katja Praznik counters the Western understanding of art – as a passion for self-expression and an activity done out of love, without any concern for its financial aspects – and instead builds a case for understanding art as a form of invisible labour. Focusing on the experiences of art workers and the history of labour regulation in the arts in socialist Yugoslavia, Praznik helps elucidate the contradiction at the heart of artistic production and the origins of the mystification of art as labour.

This profoundly interdisciplinary book highlights the Yugoslav socialist model of culture as the blueprint for uncovering the interconnected aesthetic and economic mechanisms at work in the exploitation of artistic labour. It also shows the historical trajectory of how policies toward art and artistic labour changed by the end of the 1980s. Calling for a fundamental rethinking of the assumptions behind Western art and exploitative labour practices across the world, Art Work will be of interest to scholars in East European studies, art theory, and cultural policy, as well as to practicing artists.

Get 25% discount on Katja's book using  the code: ArtWork25  and ordering through  University of Toronto Press.

This Book launch will also feature Silvia Federici, Feminist Activist, Writer Scholar, and Teacher - who will be discussing her latest book Patriarchy of the Wage: Notes on Marx, Gender, and Feminism
This will be a double book launch will be an intergenerational conversation on the past, present, and future of Social Reproductive Theory. Federici and Praznik will engage in a transgenerational feminist discussion to point out the relevance of social reproduction and the ways feminist interventions in this terrain provide alternatives to capitalist relations.

Get 25% discount with using the code: Silvia for any of Federici's title books at


Headshot of Katja Praznik - wearing a blue dress, long ear rings and red lipstick and looking at the camera.

Katja Praznik
Associate Professor
Arts Management Program

Headshot of Silvia Federici, with short hair looking at the camera.

Silvia Federici
Feminist, Activist,
Writer Scholar, and Teacher


Miriam Thaggert

Associate Professor of English 

Book Cover of Miriam Thaggert's Book: Riding Jane Crow.

Riding Jane Crow: African American Women on the American Railroad

Thursday, November 17, 2022
3:30 PM via Zoom

Register Here:

Riding Jane Crow foregrounds Black women’s experiences as passengers and workers on or near the American train. Focusing on the period from 1860 to 1925, the book reads the train compartment as a contested travel space or problematic work site. To “ride Jane Crow” is to challenge the mythological aura of the railroad in American culture. Reading legal, labor, and travel history; census records and town directories; blueprints, newspapers and town councils records; diaries, short stories, letters, film, and photographs, the book examines the large cultural archive of the railroad in the U.S. and that archive’s notable absence of women of color, studying how the space of the archive replicates some forms of the American train car; both are repositories that inadequately hold the African American woman.

This discussion will feature Madhu Dubey, Professor, Director of Graduate Studies, Black Studies at University of Illinois Chicago, as a commentator.

Get  30% discount on Miriam Thaggert's book using the code: S22UIP and ordering through


Jasmina Tumbas

Assistant Professor of Global Gender and Sexuality Studies

Book cover image of I am Jugoslovenka. The title is in bright pink font over a black and white picture of a woman leaning against a wall.

"I Am Jugoslovenka!” Feminist Performance Politics During & After Yugoslav Socialism  (forthcoming, Manchester University Press, 2022).

Friday, April 8, 2022
2 p.m.
On Zoom.

Watch the event recording here

"I am Jugoslovenka" argues that queer-feminist artistic and political resistance were paradoxically enabled by socialist Yugoslavia's unique history of patriarchy and women's emancipation. Spanning performance and conceptual art, video works, film and pop music, lesbian activism and press photos of female snipers in the Yugoslav wars, the book analyses feminist resistance in a range of performative actions that manifest the radical embodiment of Yugoslavia's anti-fascist, transnational and feminist legacies. It covers celebrated and lesser-known artists from the 1970s to today, including Marina Abramovic, Sanja Ivekovic, Vlasta Delimar, Tanja Ostojic, Selma Selman and Helena Janecic, along with music legends Lepa Brena and Esma Redzepova. "I am Jugoslovenka" tells a unique story of women's resistance through the intersection of feminism, socialism and nationalism in East European visual culture.

The discussion will feature Lindsay Brandon Hunter (UB Department of Theatre and Dance) as the host and Amelia Jones (University of Southern California) as a commentator.

Get 40% discount on Jasmina Tumbas's book "I am Jugoslovenka!" Feminist performance politics during and after Yugoslav Socialism by using the promo code - JUGOSLOVENKA40 and ordering through Manchester University Press website.


headshot of a woman with short hair , wearing a black top with white stripes looking at the camera.

Jasmina Tumbas
Assistant Professor
Department of Global Gender &
Sexuality Studies
University at Buffalo

headshot of a woman with short hair, wearing black glasses, long ear rings and a nose ring. looking at the camera smiling.

Amelia Jones
Robert A. Day Professor
School of Art and Design
University of Southern California


headd shot of a woman smiling at the camera with short brown hair.

Lindsay Brandon Hunter
Associate Professor
Department of Theatre
and Dance
University at Buffalo


Victoria W. Wolcott

Professor of History

Book cover image of Living in the Future features two children, one black and one white, smiling at the camera.

Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement  (forthcoming, University of Chicago Press, 2022)

March 8, 2022
Time: Noon
On Zoom

This New Books, New Feminist Directions event will feature Victoria W. Wolcott, Professor of History at UB, whose book Living in the Future: Utopianism and the Long Civil Rights Movement  (University of Chicago Press, 2022) reveals the unexplored impact of utopian thought on the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement.
Professor Tracy E. K'Meyer from the Department of History at the University of Louisville will offer commentary.

Get 25% discount on the Victoria W. Wolcott's book Living in the Future  and also on Tracy E. K'Meyer's book To Live Peaceably Together: The American Friends Service Committee's Campaign for Open Housing, by using the promo code - UCP22 and ordering through University of Chicago Press website.

From University of Chicago Press: 

Living in the Future reveals the unexplored impact of utopian thought on the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement.
Utopian thinking is often dismissed as unrealistic, overly idealized, and flat-out impractical—in short, wholly divorced from the urgent conditions of daily life. This is perhaps especially true when the utopian ideal in question is reforming and repairing the United States’ bitter history of racial injustice. But as Victoria W. Wolcott provocatively argues, utopianism is actually the foundation of a rich and visionary worldview, one that specifically inspired the major figures of the Civil Rights Movement in ways that haven’t yet been fully understood or appreciated.
Wolcott makes clear that the idealism and pragmatism of the Civil Rights Movement were grounded in nothing less than an intensely utopian yearning. Key figures of the time, from Martin Luther King Jr. and Pauli Murray to Father Divine and Howard Thurman, all shared a belief in a radical pacificism that was both specifically utopian and deeply engaged in changing the current conditions of the existing world. Living in the Future recasts the various strains of mid-twentieth-century civil rights activism in a utopian light, revealing the power of dreaming in a profound and concrete fashion, one that can be emulated in other times that are desperate for change, like today.

woman with long grey hair wearing glasses, red lipstick and a red shirt look at the camera.

Victoria W. Wolcott
Department of History
University at Buffalo

woman with shoulder length brown hair smiling at the camera wearing a brown top.

Tracy E. K'Meyer
Department of History
University of Louisville

FALL 2021

Stephanie Vander Wel

Associate Professor of Music

Book Cover Image of Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls featuring a woman holding a guitar near a campfire.

Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women's Country Music 1930-1960

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - Noon - Virtual

Recording at:

The first of New Books, New Feminist Directions event will feature Stephanie Vander Wel, Associate Professor of Music at UB, whose book Hillbilly Maidens, Okies, and Cowgirls: Women’s Country Music 1930-1960 (Illinois 2020) was named by PopMatters as one of the top nonfiction books of 2020. Professor Nadine “Dean” Hubbs from the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Michigan will offer commentary.


A photograph of Stephanie Vander Wel sitting in an empty auditorium surrounded by red chairs.

Stephanie Vander Wel
Associate Professor
Department of Music,
University at Buffalo

Headshot of Nadine "Dean" Hubbs, Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Music, University at Michigan.

Nadine "Dean" Hubbs
Professor of Women's and Gender Studies and Music,
University of Michigan

From the Illinois Press:

From the 1930s to the 1960s, the booming popularity of country music threw a spotlight on a new generation of innovative women artists. These individuals blazed trails as singers, musicians, and performers even as the industry hemmed in their potential popularity with labels like woman hillbilly, singing cowgirl, and honky-tonk angel.

Stephanie Vander Wel looks at the careers of artists like Patsy Montana, Rose Maddox, and Kitty Wells against the backdrop of country music's golden age. Analyzing recordings and appearances on radio, film, and television, she connects performances to real and imagined places and examines how the music sparked new ways for women listeners to imagine the open range, the honky-tonk, and the home. The music also captured the tensions felt by women facing geographic disruption and economic uncertainty. While classic songs and heartfelt performances might ease anxieties, the subject matter underlined women's ambivalent relationships to industrialism, middle-class security, and established notions of femininity.