Featured Faculty Research:
WGS Faculty Director Helen Elaine Lee was educated at Harvard College and Harvard Law School. Her first novel, The Serpent's Gift, was published by Atheneum in 1994 and her second novel, Water Marked, was published by Scribner in 1999. She finished Life Without, a novel about the lives of ten people who are incarcerated in two neighboring U.S. prisons, and The Hard Loss, a novel about a DNA exoneree's first week of freedom after twenty four years of incarceration for a crime he did not commit. Stories from Life Without have appeared in Callaloo, Prairie Schooner, Hanging Loose, Best African American Fiction 2009 (Bantam Books), and solsticelitmag.org. Helen is a member of the Board of Directors of PEN New England, and she serves on its Freedom to Write Committee and volunteers with its Prison Creative Writing Program. She has written about the experience of teaching creative writing in prison in a New York Times Book Review essay, “Visible Men”.
Emma J. Teng specializes in Chinese studies and Asian American studies. Her latest book, Eurasian: Mixed Identities in the United States, China and Hong Kong, 1842-1943, was published by the University of California Press in 2013. This work examines ideas concerning racial intermixing, gender and the lived experiences of mixed families in China, Hong Kong, and the US between 1842 and 1943. The book offers a comparative analysis of ideas concerning racial identity, citizenship, nationality and gender in the three sites. Listen to a radio interview on New Books in East Asian Studies.
T. L. Taylor - researches the interrelation between culture, social practice, and technology in online leisure environments in the field of internet and game studies. She examines such topics as the ongoing struggle over the gendered construction of play through the lens of male-dominated pro-gaming, network play and social life, values in design, intellectual property, co-creative practices, and avatars. Her recent works include an exploration of esports and the professionalization of computer gaming, and the coauthored Ethnography and Virtual Worlds: A Handbook of Method about the use of anthropological methods for understanding gaming culture, behavior, and the construction of identity.
Heather Paxson - is currently working on an examination of “alternative” practices of domestic economy across working- and middle-class households to investigate the widespread nature of economies of sentiment and everyday social transactions that are also economic — e.g., playdates as a bartered form of child care, informal loans and resource-sharing, vegetable gardening and wild foods foraging, and bargain-hunting — whose unsung centrality to “how people get by” has the potential to challenge received wisdom about capitalism and class.
Manduhai Buyandelger is working on an ethnographic study of parliamentary elections in Mongolia, with specific emphasis on the experience of female candidates. Her upcoming book on the subject will highlight the “unconventional and creative strategies” women politicians in Mongolia have employed to meet the challenges of the postsocialist era, and the ways in which women’s early electoral failures in Mongolia helped spawn a women’s movement there.
Lerna Ekmekcioglu focuses her research on ethnic and religious minorities and the ways in which minority-ness and gender interplay, with special attention to the dynamic by which minority populations negotiate difference from and sameness with, the majority group. She has a particular interest in the histories of genocide, and in pursuing the links between genocide and post-genocide, especially from a gendered perspective as well as the impact of sexual violence during mass atrocities and “war babies.” Her book project, entitled Surviving the New Turkey: Armenians in Post-Ottoman Istanbul, analyzes the ways in which survivors of the Armenian genocide who continued living inside Turkish borders crafted themselves a new presence to be able to co-habit peacefully with the perpetrator society. Here she argues that gender played a crucial role in Armenian ways of accommodating the new Turkishness and that an in-depth look at the Armenian feminism of the time reveals the limits of this project.
Sally Haslanger has broad philsophical expertise. Her work in feminist theory focuses on objectivity and objectification, and Catherine MacKinnon's theory of gender. Her recent work is on the social construction of categories such as gender, race, and the family, on social explanation and social structure, and on topics in feminist epistemology.
The founder of WGS, Ruth Perry's work in gender studies informs her research and interests in balladry, orality, women’s cultural traditions, and the Scottish Enlightenment. She has written many books and articles about 18th C. English literature and culture and teaches literature classes on Jane Austen, on “Reading Fiction,” and on feminist literary criticism for WGS.
Bruno Perreau works in the fields of critical social and cultural studies, with a specialization on gender and sexuality in contemporary France. He is more specifically interested in how the manufacture of the law hinges on the making of personal and group identities. His latest book, The Politics of Adoption (MIT Press, 2014), shows how the belief in a French nature, driven by heteronormative family norms, has become the backbone of citizenship in France. He questions debates in bioethics as well as political conflicts over gay marriage and filiation.
Diana Henderson's areas of research and interest include gender studies, Shakespeare, early modern poetry and drama, modernism, media studies, and world drama. Related works in gender studies include Passion Made Public: Elizabethan Lyric, Gender, and Performance and Viriginia Woolf: Reading the Renaissance, among others.