1136 Lane Hall
204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Current IRWG/Rackham Graduate Student Research Award Recipients (2012-13)
What Makes Sex Pleasurable? Women's and Men's Experiences of Solitary and Partnered Sexual Pleasure
Previous research suggest that sexual pleasure is a multifaceted construct, encompassing not only physical pleasure but a number of partner- and context-related factors. In the current study, I will use focus groups to explore LGBQ and heterosexual women's and men's experiences of pleasure during solitary and partnered sexual situations. My qualitative analysis will focus on how individuals define sexual pleasure, with attention to variation between and within gender, sexual identity, and age groups.
In Their Own Words: Exploring Family Pathways to Housing Instability
This is a qualitative study utilizing narrative methodology to better understand the needs and experiences of mothers experiencing housing instability. One-on-one interviews will be conducted with 24 women with dependent children who are receiving emergency housing support from an agency in Detroit. A narrative approach recognizes women as the experts of their own lives, and provides insight into and identification of life events that contribute to future housing instability. This will result in an ability to develop proactive, client-informed interventions that reduce future housing instability, thus improving the health and well-being of families at risk for housing instability and homelessness.
The Extremely Precocious Child: Gender and the Construction of the Child Prodigy in Russia, 1880s-1960s
This dissertation examines the gender construction of child prodigies in and through the responses they evoked in scientists, artists, educators, and the lay public of Russia from the late-19th century to the 1960s. Through a series of case studies, the project analyzes how gender conceptions have structured the scientific, literary, and artistic representations of child prodigies of both sexes and how, in turn, these representations played a key role in the solidification of sex-gender (in)equality and difference, simultaneously threatening and reasserting the stability of the social order in late Imperial Russia and the Soviet Union.
Lauren Brooke Morris
Resulting In This
As a female choreographer, my artistry relies upon the connectivity between the mind and body, expressing my individual experience through contemporary concert dance. My work, Resulting In This, focuses on the memories woven through the generation of female wisdom in my family. My fascination with memory began as I witness both of my grandmothers struggle with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. My goals are to explore the concepts of orientation and disorientation and how women suffering from memory-loss diseases can become lost within their own identity. My methodologies will be established through studio practice with my cast and the collaborators.
Of Women, Faith, and Nation: Protestantism and the Kyrias School of Girls in Korça, Albania, 1891-1933
My project concerns the entry of women into an Albanian-nationalist public sphere, through three empirical articles: education, religion, and the press. I look at the way in which the cultural transfer prompted by Protestant and Albanian activist collaboration at the end of the 19th century, prompted the institutionalization of novel ideas on the role(s) of educated, and (sometimes) working women in a burgeoning nation. I situate my investigation around the first Albanian-language school for girls, in the Ottoman town of Gorice, in the last two decades of Ottoman imperial dominion in the Balkan Peninsula.
The most fruitful angle of the combined American Protestant-Albanian religious-nationalist project, which envisioned the construction of an independent Protestant Albanian nation, extended to the ideologically mitigated induction of women into a public sphere that linked education and the rising press, in the spirits of Protestant religious activism.
(Women's Studies; Psychology )
Cultivating Mindfulness: Implications for Perceived Discrimination, Emotional Regulatiion, and Academic Well-being among Latina Students
U.S. Latinas/os disproportionately experience college tradition. I attempt to address this problem by examining the interrelated processes of racial discrimination, sexual harassment, emotional regulation, and academic engagement. Specifically, I propose that emotional regulation mediates the relationship between mistreatment and academic well-being. In order to prevent the adverse emotional and academic consequences of racialized and gendered mistreatment, I propose that two Buddhist practices- mindfulness and loving-kindness- can (a) be cultivated via a mobile phone application, and (b) affect the ways in which discriminated individuals process emotional reactions to mistreatment, thus in turn minimizing the impact of mistreatment on academic engagement.
Cooperative Battlegrounds: Farmers, Laborers, and the Search for Economic Alternatives My project examines the construction of the Amalgamated Housing Cooperative in the Bronx in 1927 and the Ocean Spray Cooperative in Massachusetts in 1930. Doing so will bridge the space between two groups of radicals- rural white Protestant farmers and urban white Jew and Catholic ethnics- who sought solutions to the immense scarcity and need of the Progressive era in cooperatives. Such a comparison links production and consumption, thus allowing for a gendered history of labor that takes into consideration the unwaged labor performed by men and women in the pursuit of alternatives to capitalism in the early 20th century.
(Women's Studies; History)
La Voix des Femmes (The Voice of Women): Feminist Expressions and Translations
This is a visual art and sound exhibit that incorporates video and audio recorded interviews, visual art, and prose to tell an integrated multimedia history of Haitian women's family, labor, activism, and migration in the 20th century, The project responds to the archival silences in the written historical record, by providing a material and multisensory narrative of Haitian women's lives. Through collaborative work and participation of Grace Sanders (University of Michigan), Haitian artist Stéphane Martelly (Université de Montréal), and Haitian women activists from Port-au-Prince and Montreal, the exhibit encourage audiences and participants to consider the intersection between memory, voice, and art. This public history project will debut at the University of Michigan in March, 2013.
(Germanic Languages and Literatures)
Trümmergefühle: Emotional Encounters in the Shadow of Defeat
Toward the end of World War II and in the war's aftermath, an incredible number of German civilians began writing diaries. These subjects wrote in the face of the radical openness of the postwar moment and its political, social, and cultural uncertainty. My project takes such texts as cultural products that work through the anxiety-producing unknown of the present and the writer's place in a new postwar order. Diaries written by civilian women offer a particularly rich site for analyzing these shifts and the way writing was used to explore social, political, and national issues (often through gendered and racialized terms).
Histories of an Event: The Ugandan Asian Expulsion of 1972
My dissertation research examines the intersection of racial thought and urban governmentality in struggles over gender, community, and consumption in Uganda from the 1950s through the 1970s. I analyze how struggles to shape gender and community boundaries were central to conflicts over commerce and the control of urban space in the decades preceding the expulsion of Indians from the country in 1972. Through interviews with expellees in London as well as previous archival research, I aim to understand how ideas of gender and youth were remade as residents of one small town (Kabale) navigated racialized, classed, and gendered urban infrastructure during these tumultuous years.
A Balancing Act: How Young Women Negotiate Divergent Sexual Discourses from Peers
For young women, sexual explorations may be facilitated by the hookup culture of college campuses, emphasizing casual sexual encounters, yet complicated by traditional gendered sexual norms. Sex within long-term, romantic, committed, and heterosexual relationships for women is most aligned with traditional femininity, yet it contradicts the hookup culture. How do young women in college negotiate these potentially conflicting sexual discourses? Because peers are influential sexual informants, I seek to examine how peers contribute to young women's sexual attitudes regarding traditional gender norms and investigate how these attitudes, in turn, are linked to sexual health (e.g., condom use self-efficacy, sexual assertiveness).
(Slavic Language and Literature)
Worse than Feminist? Gender, Art, and Activism after the Orange Revolution
The Ukrainian activists publicly contesting the meaning of women's rights are surfacing controversies over "feminism" in Ukraine that span the entire postcommunist world. National debates between "feminists" and self-proclaimed "antifeminists" in Ukraine are also about defining the nation, determining rights, and legitimizing identities. By investigating the aftermath of the Orange Revolution, I reveal how this new generation of grassroots activists utilizes the artistic process to make claims about gender as a signifier for broader civic grievances during a time of radical regime change. Throughout, I ask how culture and protest shape one another. Each case study examines a different contemporary group in Ukraine who uses creative media (visual, digital, performance, literary) to draw attention to social and economic inequality. I demonstrate how these art-activists' diverse methods reposition gender as both an expression and reformulation of national discourse.