Four selected to receive CSWS Travel Grants

June 9, 2016 — CSWS took in a record number of travel grant applications during the spring-term 2016 submission period. Out of 32 UO faculty and graduate applicants, two faculty members and two graduate students were selected to receive CSWS Travel Grants at $400 apiece to support travel related to their professional work.They are Shabnam Akhtari, assistant professor, Department of Mathematics; Analisa Taylor, associate professor of Spanish, Romance Languages; Irene Awino, PhD candidate, School of Journalism and Communication; and Amy Billingsley, PhD candidate, Department of Philosophy.

These small grants for faculty, staff, and graduate students, provide partial support for travel to present papers that relate to women and gender at a conference, or for a professional activity related to women and gender. The next submission deadline for CSWS Travel Grants is November 7, 2016.

Travel grant awardees from the application period ending May 9, 2016 include:


  • Shabnam Akhtari

    Shabnam Akhtari

    Shabnam Akhtari, assistant professor, Department of Mathematics, will lead a working group doing research on a project at  the conference WIN-E2: Women in Numbers Europe-2 ( This workshop will have the dual objectives of carrying out simultaneous research projects during the conference that result in on-going collaborations and mentoring junior women in mathematics. The conference brings together “established researchers, young faculty, and advanced graduate students and will highlight and advance the scientific goals and research agendas of women who are active and successful researchers in number theory.”

  • Analisa Taylor, associate professor of Spanish, Romance Languages, will travel to Philadelphia to present her paper “Taking Poetic License with Criminal Injustice: Ethnocide, Femicide, and Testimonio in Mexico,” at the Modern Language Association Annual Convention for a special session on “The Mexican Legal Code and its Glitches.”
    Analisa Taylor

    Analisa Taylor

    Abstract: “In Entre anhelos y recuerdos (1997), the late Marie Odile Marion chronicles state-sponsored environmental destruction and violence against Mayan women in the Lacandon Rain Forest in the latter half of the twentieth century. In this book, Marion recounts the 1993 femicide of 12-year-old Nuk García Paniagua by an American citizen, Leo Bruce (nephew of the prominent anthropologist Robert Bruce), who had purchased the girl from her father, the famed spiritual leader Chan K’in Viejo. Chan K’in Viejo was the main informant of the elder Bruce’s ethnographic work, and served as a bridge between Lacandon Mayan society and the outside world. Her incomplete depiction of these events illuminates the conflicting legal and ethical responsibilities of the testimonio writer as ethnographer and as witness—torn between protecting the identities of real people and calling out unprosecuted atrocities. Although Marion does not name names and is vague with crucial details, we can fill in what the text leaves out with what we know from Nuk’s family, from my interviews with Martha Figueroa Mier, who led the prosecution against Bruce and tried in vain to have him extradited to Mexico when he was inadvertently freed from the Ocisingo prison by EZLN militants in 1994. This paper considers how far Marion’s ethnographic testimonio goes to unravel the jurisprudential fault lines—communal, state, national, international—that harbored Leo Bruce’s impunity; it also suggests ways in which an indigenous feminist jurisprudence (along the lines developed by Sarah Deer within the context of Federal Indian Law in the US) would address the legal glitches and the coloniality of power that often prevent indigenous women from full subjecthood under the law in Mexico.”


Gradute Students

  • Irene Awino, PhD candidate, School of Journalism and Communication, will travel to Leicester, UK to present her paper “Gender blindness in a post conflict situation: A qualitative analysis of laws and institutions in Kenya” at the conference “Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward” organized by the International Association for Media and Communication Research.Abstract:  “While several UN resolutions of the 20th century were meant to advance feminist visions for peace and security, this paper argues that many of the laws passed continue to reinforce gender blindness in their interpretation and implementation. Studies have highlighted the gendered nature of war, how it affects men and women differently and how gender relations underpin power dynamics that perpetuate conflict. These endeavors have resulted in myriad resolutions that tend to mainstream gender in peace-building efforts. This paper argues that the plethora of laws and institutions have not served to prevent violent conflicts. In particular, women often suffer physical violence as well as structural violence that result from war and this situation continues to date despite the many laws passed. This study is an ideological analysis of different statutes that inform the peace processes and human rights regime in Kenya after the postelection violence of 2008 that left 1,500 people dead and 600,000 displaced from their homes. The transitional peace process included the creation of a Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission, reparations for victims, comprehensive institutional reforms and trials for persons deemed most responsible for the atrocities. A number of legal and constitutional frameworks were established during the transitional period to deter future violence. This paper also examines gender mainstreaming in institutions mandated to ensure peace-building and post conflict reconstruction. I specifically analyze how legal frameworks and instruments are built into a gender blind macro system where gender specific disadvantages are rarely accepted or recognized by mainstream understandings of conflict and reconstruction. Gender blindness here refers to the disregard to gender differences entrenched in social, political, economic, cultural and religious contexts. A textual/ideological analysis is employed to dissect selected portions of the Kenyan Constitution, the 2008 Inter Party Peace Deal and the Truth Commission Report to establish how laws and institutions reinforce gender blindness through ‘straightforward and simplistic’ gender interpretations that in turn do very little to eliminate gender inequality but reinforce stereotypical perceptions of social relations during post conflict situations.”
  • Amy Billingsley, PhD candidate, Department of Philosophy, will travel to the University of Arizona in Tucson to deliver her paper, “Refusing to Pass as an Academic: Trans Subjugated Knowledge,” at the conference “Transgender Studies: An International Transdisciplinary Conference on Gender, Embodiment, and Sexuality” organized by the University of Arizona (UA) Institute for LGBT Studies and UA Transgender Studies Initiative.Abstract: “In Sandy Stone’s ‘The Empire Strikes Back,’ she recommends that transsexual people refuse to pass and instead write themselves into discourse. Stone’s focus was trans people overcoming historical institutions such as medicine that restrict the ability of trans people to speak. Now that more trans people have found our way into the gates of academic knowledge production, Stone’s emphasis on refusing to meet the terms of gatekeeping institutions remains useful for pursuing scholarship invested in trans liberation. In this essay, I argue that engaging in trans scholarship often requires refusing to pass as a proper academic in one’s discipline, and that this refusal allows for a more pluralistic approach to trans studies inclusive of trans subjugated knowledge. First, I draw from Linda Alcoff’s ‘Philosophy’s Civil Wars’ to discuss my home discipline’s history of gatekeeping what counts as “real” philosophy. Next, I argue that Philosophy’s tendency towards gatekeeping, combined with its low number of trans scholars, renders it generally hostile to centering trans knowledge that is crucial for trans liberation. In this context, I suggest the practice of refusing to pass as a proper academic is necessary for practicing trans scholarship in historically conservative disciplines. This includes engaging with trans cultural production from outside academia, which I call trans subjugated knowledge following Patricia Hill Collins’ work. I conclude by discussing how refusing to pass as an academic informed my course design process for teaching a ‘Transgender Philosophy’ in Fall 2015, and for teaching ‘Trans WorldMaking through Literature’ in Summer 2016.”