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The Diversity Research Café

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Diversity Research Café with Dr. Cristina Alcalde

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The Diversity Research Café experience is intended to incubate new interests, curricular offerings, insight into classroom approaches, research ideas, and collaborative projects. The Diversity Research Café​ is a space for faculty, staff and graduate students to join an inclusive interdisciplinary community of scholars sharing research, pedagogy, and insights about diversity, gender, women, and sexuality in a relaxed setting.

In October 2019, The Diversity Research Café welcomed Dr. Cristina Alcalde, who fostered a discussion on “Feminist Practices and Intersectional Approaches in the Service of Institutional Change: Challenges and Opportunities.” Dr. Alcalde asked, What are some of the contradictions of working within academia and towards inclusivity? How can we apply our research interests, methodologies, and feminist practices to bring about institutional change? Efforts that place the responsibility of diversity, equity, and inclusion on one individual, program, or office are less likely to succeed in the long term than those in which these efforts are embedded throughout and among groups and policies.  Moving beyond individual persons, programs, or offices requires developing and deploying allies and strategies, and access to resources, across differences of identity, discipline, ideologies, and career and life stage. Dr. Alcalde’s discussion referenced her research on gender violence, migration, exclusion, and race and racialization as a Gender Studies scholar and anthropologist and as an administrator to foreground challenges and opportunities in applying feminist practices and intersectional perspectives in working towards structural change from within the university system.

Dr. M. Cristina Alcalde is Professor of Gender and Women's Studies and Marie Rich Endowed Professor at the University of Kentucky. She currently serves as Associate Dean of Inclusion and Internationalization in the College of Arts and Sciences, and is Director of the new Online Graduate Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion. Her research areas include gender violence, migration, exclusion, and race and racialization. She has been an invited visiting professor in the Gender Studies Program at the Pontificia Universidad Católica in Peru and in the Gender Studies Program at the Ludwig Maximilians University in Germany. Her most recent book isPeruvian Lives across Borders: Power, Exclusion, and Home (2018), and other books include The Woman in the Violence: Gender, Poverty, and Resistance in Peru (2010) and Provocations: A Transnational Reader in the History of Feminist Thought (2015, with Susan Bordo and Ellen Rosenman). She has also published widely in articles and book chapters. Her current research project examines contemporary Chinese-Peruvian experiences of identity, belonging, and exclusion both in Peru and transnationally.

Recent Diversity Research Cafés

​Dr. Duchess Harris

On April 25, 2019, The Diversity Research Café welcomed Dr. Lisa Bowleg, Professor of Applied Social Psychology at The George Washington University, Washington, DC, and Director of the Social and Behavioural Sciences Core, DC Center for AIRS Research.  Dr. Bowleg discussed "The Intersectionality Tool Kit," a project funded by the WK Kellogg Project to develop equitable policies for women and children. Dr. Bowleg also leads "Team Represent," a multidisciplinary research team that uses innovative theoretical perspectives — such as intersectionality, resilience, and social ecological theories — and multiple research methods — qualitative, quantitative, mixed methods, and geospatial analytics – to develop culturally-relevant programs, interventions, and policies to reduce health inequities and improve health and wellness for people in understudied Black communities.

Diversity Research Café Past Events

​Dr. Rebecca Davis

Dr. Duchess Harris, the 2018 Greater Philadelphia Women's Studies Consortium Scholar in Residence, was the invited speaker at the April 2018 Diversity Research Café, leading a discussion on "Teaching in the Era of Black Lives Matter." Dr. Harris, Chair of the American Studies Department at Macalester College, MN, earned her Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota and held postdoctoral fellowships at the Institute on Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota Law School and at the Womanist Studies Consortium at the University of Georgia. She received her Juris Doctorate in January 2011, with an expertise in Civil Rights Law. In 2015, The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers chose her to receive "The Profiles in Courage Award."  Her publications include Hidden Human Computers:  The Black Women of NASA and Black Lives Matter, co-authored with Sue Bradford Edwards, and Black Feminist Politics from Kennedy to Clinton/ Obama.

In September 2018, ​ ​The Diversity Research Café welcomed Dr. Sharon Block, Professor of History at the University of California, Irvine, to discuss "De-Policing the Classroom: Teaching Race, Sexuality, and Colonialism.  From large lecture classes to graduate-level seminars, what choices can instructors make to reframe how learning happens?  How do our classroom structures promote or inhibit full engagement as we teach controversial and traumatic subjects such as genocide, human enslavement, and sexual violence? Dr. Block shared her expertise in the digital humanities in a discussion of a variety of pedagogical choices than can tie historical subjects to students' modern concerns as instructors strive to reach students across political, ideological, and academic spectrums.

In October 2018, The Diversity Research Café welcomed Dr. Aída Hurtado, Professor and Luis Leal Endowed Chair in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, who discussed "Feminism in the Age of Trump," an event co-sponsored by the UD ADVANCE Institute. Feminism's hard-won battles and revolutionary changes are under threat as elected officials pass legislation that removes many of the advances of the last 40 years. What role should feminist mobilization play in future social change? What did we learn from the 2017 Women's March?  Dr. Aída Hurtado's discussion engaged brainstorming and possibility, informed by her research as a social psychologist focused on intersectional feminisms, processes of racialization, and Latinas/os educational achievement.

Dr. Rebecca Davis, Associate Professor of History at University of Delaware, with a joint appointment in Women & Gender Studies, was the invited speaker at the February 2018 Diversity Research Café on “Sexing in Public: History, Podcasting, and Our Political Moment."  During the gathering with faculty, graduate students, and community members in the Memorial Hall Dome, Dr. Davis discussed the origins of the podcast and the importance of making history relevant with storytelling as the foundation, as in her work as producer and editor of the podcast “Sexing History.”

As political battles rage over sexual assault and workplace harassment, reproductive rights, and gender equality, “Sexing History” invites listeners to hear how voices from the past grappled with similar issues—and what we can learn from them.

In an article in The Review by Senior Reporter Bianca Thiruchittampalam, Dr. Davis noted the podcast format is a refreshing and effective approach to telling stories.  “Listening is a very personalized experience,” Davis says. “I think there’s something that’s simultaneously private and connected about a podcast. I think there’s an artistry to it.” In the podcast, Dr. Davis addresses the politics of sexual harassment and assault, the #MeToo movement and the sexualization of women in the workplace, gender, and race.  Click here to read the full article in The Review.

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The Diversity Research Café
  • Department of Women & Gender Studies
  • 34 West Delaware Avenue
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • University of Delaware
  • Phone: 302-831-8474