1136 Lane Hall
204 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI
Phone: 734–764–9537
Fax: 734–764–9533


Current Faculty Seed Grant Recipients

Fall 2014

Sue Anne Bell

(School of Nursing)
Gender mainstreaming in U.S. disaster preparedness and response: A policy monitoring analysis

Disasters occur when a hazard impacts vulnerable people. As the nature and scope of disasters in the U.S. increases, more attention needs to be given to the complex and gendered needs of individuals in a disaster situation. Using a gender mainstreaming approach, we propose to conduct a policy monitoring analysis of U.S. disaster planning policies. The results of this analysis will be used to identify gaps in disaster preparedness with respect to race, class and gender; influence future policy reform; and provide a foundation for further research into a gendered approach to disaster preparedness and response.

Amy Chavasse

(School of Music Theatre & Dance)
Sola, Dances by and for Women

“In its most treacherous moments, the world of an artist is wrought with self-doubt and fear. The ability to produce, to create something out of nothing with sparse funding and support, support, is a daunting feat.” - Melanie Weisen, Art Breaker blog, Tampa Fl. August 24, 2015

Sola brings together six women choreographer/performers from across the U.S. to perform original works in five cities in 2014-15. As a creative enterprise launched by and for women dance artist, it confronts the limitations that exist for professional women working in the field of contemporary dance and academia. Andee Scott, an Assistant Professor of Dance at the University of South Florida, spearheaded the first phase of the project as a mechanism to highlight the biases that exist against women choreographers. Finding ways to be uniquely seen and heard from the first moments in their training throughout their careers, both professionally and academically is an ongoing imperative. Sola is a mechanism that promotes ways to be disobedient to the dominant narrative through lively, vibrant, complicated and luscious performance.

“We all have to take ownership over our field and how we want to exist in it and how we want to be represented in it. We have a right to shape it.” - Andee Scott, Sola Project founder

Clare Croft

(Department of Dance)
Emerging Voices in Queer Dance

Emerging Voices in Queer Dance is a week-long artistic residency culminating in two public dance performances with work by young artists who use dance to ask questions about the assumptions that charge the embodiment of gender and sexuality. Featuring work choreographed and performed by queer-identified women, men, and trans artists, Emerging Voices will challenge gender-constricting assumptions within the dance world. Dance is a field in which—despite being largely populated by women and often queer identified people—heteronormative and misogynist assumptions about bodies, relationships, and normativity persist in cultural institutions and in representational systems. The work presented in Emerging Voices will draw attention to these restrictive structures and physically imagine other ways of being in the world, in motion, together.

Vanessa K. Dalton

(Obstetrics and Gynecology Department)
The Impact of Method Choice on Contraception Continuation in Ghana

In Ghana use of modern contraception is low, despite desires to limit and space births. Although knowledge and ever-use of modern contraception is high in Ghana, discontinuation is also high. Matching the needs of family planning clients to the best method is key to ensuring continuation. However, too often, the desires of women have not been taken into account when designing programs to increase contraception usage. The relationship between method choice and contraceptive discontinuation is not straightforward and warrants more intensive investigation. This study seeks to elucidate the impact of method choice and continuation of a cohort of Ghanaian women.

Aileen Huang-Saad

(Department of Biomedical Engineering)
Examining the Effect of Entrepreneurial Education Pedagogy on the Development of Women in STEM

The recent growth in entrepreneurship education (EntrEd) beyond business fundamentals and firm-creation has generated a growing interest in EntrEd and outcomes, specifically in engineering. The 2011 NSF I-CORPS program has established a core entrepreneurship curriculum that is being adopted across universities. This curriculum integrates business content with specific pedagogical approaches: on-line learning, flipped classroom, collaborative learning and problem-based learning. To date, there has been limited research in entrepreneurial pedagogy itself and what is available tends to be gender-neutral. The goal of this project is to examine how this approach to EntrEd influences the development of women in STEM.

Holly Hughes

(Stamps School of Art & Design )
Preaching to the Perverted: A Hybrid Memoir

Preaching to the Perverted is a hybrid memoir project mapping Hughes’s experiences at the center of the “Culture Wars,” when her queer feminist work was defunded by the National Endowment for the Arts and targeted by the religious right as one of the “NEA Four.” The project has three components: a print collection built around her acclaimed but unpublished performance “Preaching to the Perverted,” an audio book, and a digital archive created at the Duderstadt Media Center.

Aliyah Khan and Sherie Randolph

(Departments of AfroAmerican and African Studies, and English Language and Literature; Departments of AfroAmerican and African Studies, and History)
Black Feminism Think Tank: A Symposium of the DAAS African American Studies Workshop

The Black Feminism Think Tank, sponsored by the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies’ African American Workshop at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, is a one-day symposium on March 20, 2015, that will explore the theoretical and political frameworks that Black feminists have posited to challenge the intersectional oppressions of race, class, gender, sexuality, imperialism, and colonialism. This symposium will bring together a range of scholars in a collective attempt to map key questions, concepts and debates regarding Black feminism’s theoretical breadth, and, ultimately, political and social praxis.

Julie R. Posselt

(School of Education)
Competitiveness & Support in STEM Graduate Education: Examining Consequences of Organizational Culture for Mental Health by Gender, Race, & Sexuality

Considerable attention has been paid to the emerging female advantage in education, but “durable inequalities” persist in many science and engineering fields. Professor Posselt will study relationships among competitiveness, support, and mental health in STEM graduate education. A rigorous concurrent mixed methods design includes (1) quantitative analyses of the tendency for female, queer, and underrepresented minority students to disproportionately bear risks of anxiety and depression associated with competitiveness and low support, and (2) qualitative analyses of experiences and notions about support held by of women in STEM doctoral programs that graduate women and underrepresented minorities at higher rates than their disciplines, nationally.

Gayle Rubin

(Departments of Anthropology and Women's Studies)
Valley of the Kings: Leathermen in San Francisco, 1960 - 1990

This is a study of a gay subculture that coalesced around motorcycles and associated iconographies in the late 1940s, and specifically, of the emergence and trajectories of these gay “leathermen” in San Francisco. Since the 1960s, this population has been closely identified with a formerly industrial and working class neighborhood undergoing a profound process of physical and social reconstruction. The leather population offers a “queer eyed” view of these urban processes. In addition, the study covers the early impact of the AIDS epidemic, and the medical frameworks in which the behaviors of these men were initially understood.

Robert Wyrod

(Department of Women's Studies)
The Gender Question on China’s Second Continent African Women in the New Era of Chinese Development

The goal of this project is to understand how the massive growth in Chinese development aid to sub-Saharan Africa is affecting African women. The project examines this issue in Uganda, a country that has received much Chinese aid. The first phase focuses on the official view of the impact of Chinese development assistance through interviews with Chinese, Western, and Ugandan officials. The second phase moves to the micro-politics of Chinese development assistance and examines how such aid affects the lives of women in one village. This preliminary research will lay the groundwork for future research exploring whether Chinese aid benefits African women or, in fact, exacerbates gender inequalities.

Damon R. Young

(Screen Arts & Cultures)
Making Sex Public: Cinema, Sex and the Social

This IRWG Seed Grant will support Professor Young's final research for his book manuscript, Making Sex Public: Cinema, Sex and the Social. This study analyzes the new kinds of political and allegorical significance that accrued to women’s bodies and gay, lesbian and queer sexualities as cinema began to imagine them in new ways from the late 1950s through the late 1970s. During this period, representations of and narratives about sex proliferated on French and American screens, and women’s and queer bodies and pleasures became especially charged sites of political contestation, aspiration and allegory.

Ruth Zielinski

(School of Nursing)
Implementation and Evaluation of Home Based Life Saving Skills

Women in South Sudan have one of the highest maternal mortality rates worldwide. Having a skilled birth attendant improves outcomes, yet most women in South Sudan give birth at home unattended. Home Based Life-Saving Skills (HBLSS) is a community based program that builds on women’s knowledge and tradition in a participatory manner through discussion, demonstration and practice. This project proposes to evaluate the outcomes of the prior HBLSS training done with eight traditional birth attendants (TBAs) in 2013, and to do advanced training for these women and HBLSS training for additional TBAs.