Chair's Welcome Message

Dear Feminist Studies and LGBTQ Minor Students,

Please join me as we welcome the 2019-20 academic year! Despite the tumultuous global political circumstances, we celebrate our growing and vibrant Feminist Studies community.


Professor Matt Richardson returns to UCSB from the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies and English at the University of Texas at Austin. Last semester, he was a Visiting Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Dartmouth College. Matt completed a Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies with a Designated Emphasis in Women’s and Gender Studies from UC Berkeley. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Bennington College, and a BA in Psychology from Dartmouth.


With Professor Leila Rupp as Mentor in what was the Women’s Studies Program before we became the Department of Feminist Studies, Matt held the UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (2005-2006) as the Lionel Cantú Fellow in Queer Studies. Earning the competitive Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for Junior Faculty, Richardson was also a Research Scholar in the Black Sexual Economies Project at the Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital at Washington University School of Law. He is author of The Limit of Black Queer Memory: Black Lesbian Literature and Irresolution (Ohio State University Press, 2013) and co-editor of Black Sexual Economies: Race and Sex in a Culture of Capital, published just this month by University of Illinois Press ( I thank my colleagues for their persistent work to bring Professor Richardson back to UCSB and look forward to our many new collaborations with him.


We have other celebrations to start off our year, too. Hull Chair Professor Eileen Boris’s book is also newly published. Making the Woman Worker: Precarious Labor and the Fight for Global Standards, 1912- 2019 (Oxford University Press; will also be available for purchase at the Book Launch and Lecture October 18th at 2pm in HSSB 4020 sponsored by the Comparative Gender History Group, Feminist Futures, and the Hull Chair. Eileen will deliver “How Did an Americanist End up Writing Transnational History?”


Also just published on September 25th is the zine becoming undisciplined, organized by Feminist Studies graduate students Jordan Victorian, Megan Spencer and Allie Pierce, written to speak from/to what it means, feels, and looks like to be Black in relation to the university. The zine includes poetry, prose, visual art, and photography from fifteen black graduate students and artists. It is available freely, open-access at Learn more about the zine and its guiding vision at


Professor Eileen Boris is serving as the Graduate Director in Feminist Studies, and we again congratulate Professor Mireille Miller-Young, outgoing Graduate Director, on her Harvard Fellowship in the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research as an Advancing Equity Through Research Fellow to work on her next book Ho: Hustling, Hypersexuality, and the Erotics of Race.


Professor Leila Rupp is continuing as Associate Dean of Social Sciences working with our supportive Dean, Charlie Hale. Leila is leading the Center for Feminist Futures Initiative, aimed to facilitate intergenerational collaborative research with public impact. Each quarter addresses timely questions: “Why do white women vote for Trump” (Fall, organized by Professor of Political Science and Feminist Studies affiliate Pei-te Lien), “Is Title IX Broken?” (Winter, organized by Professor of Feminist Studies Laury Oaks), and “What is the Future of Transgender Politics?” (Spring, organized by Professors of Feminist Studies Matt Richardson and Jenn Tyburczy). See further details and news at:


Professor Jenn Tyburczy is our Undergraduate Committee Chair, LGBTQ Minor Director, and Co-organizer of the New Sexualities Research Focus Group


The department extends a warm return to our current graduate students and official welcome to our new graduate students, Patricia Morales (MA Latin American and Latino Studies, University of Illinois at Chicago) and Katie Von Wald (MA Gender/Cultural Studies, Simmons University).


We are grateful for all of the undergraduate teaching expertise this fall in our courses by University of Northern Iowa Emeritus Professor and Lecturer Catherine MacGillivray and Teaching Associates Anna Wald, Bella Restrepo, and Amoni Thompson. We further welcome the 2019-20 cohort of Feminist Studies Honors Researchers and Feminist/LGBTQ Studies Researchers: Casey Glasser, Mikayla Knight, Lisette Lerma, Hanna Kiefer and Marissa Scofield, Sam Vega and Alex Moynihan.


In the front office, we thank Feminist Studies graduate Marily Lopez for her years of advising and service and wish her well in the Development Office at Lotusland Botanic Garden. Marissa Scofield and Janet Espinoza-Huacuja are continuing as our excellent peer advisors. Many thanks to Sonya Baker, our Business Officer, and Crystal Carlos, our Student Affairs Advisor, for maintaining as much balance and humor as possible throughout the major systems changes at UCSB.


Wishing you feminist solidarity throughout 2019-20,