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Spring 2022

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group

Red Washburn

Spring 2022 Minutes

March 31, 2022, 1-2PM, Zoom

April 28, 2022, 1-2PM, Zoom
May 12, 2022, 1-2, Zoom

The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group is still using Zoom. We focused on Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies, with a focus on Indigenous Studies. We also discussed transdisciplinary studies more generally.

At the first meeting, we began a critical discussion of Tiffany Lethabo King’s The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-1-4780-0636-7_601.pdf. We talked about the field of indigenous studies and talked about King’s work on decolonial feminisms with a focus on critical indigenous and Black studies.

At second meeting, we continued our discussion of King’s work. We focused on cultural studies, archives, and literary criticism. We talked about doing events on campus focusing on Black indigenous studies and civic engagement.

The third and last meeting of the semester we recapped the semester and talked about what we want next year to look like for the WGSS FIG. We talked much about how to continue intersectional, transdisciplinary, and social justice work in academia and in advocacy. I will be on sabbatical, but Dominic Wetzel will be the interim director of WGSS and the WGSS FIG for AY Fall 2022-Spring 2023 until I return in Fall 2023.


Fall 2022

Dear Colleagues,
The Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group will meet via Zoom on Thursday, March 31, 1-2PM. This semester we will be using Tiffany Lethabo King’s The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies.  At out first meeting, we will read the introduction: https://www.dukeupress.edu/Assets/PubMaterials/978-1-4780-0636-7_601.pdf Our other meetings will be on Thursday, April 28 and May 12 1-2PM. See below for the Zoom link for our meetings. I hope to see you at the first meeting. I hope your semester is off to a good start. 
Best wishes,

Red Washburn is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: WGS FIG
Time: Mar 31, 2022 01:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Every week on Thu, until May 12, 2022, 3 occurrence(s)
Mar 31, 2022 01:00 PM
Apr 28, 2022 01:00 PM
May 12, 2022 01:00 PM
Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.
Weekly: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZEqceCrqT0tGNXbwBU39X7Zc_BxGZAwsfqA/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGtqT0jGdOTtxuGRpwMB4_oXenwtiFajY1lngjHNnMKWlTMNd1gKpVFMc_D

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2021 Spring

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies FIG
Red Washburn

Spring 2021 Minutes

April 5, 2021, 2-3PM, Zoom
April 19, 2021, 2-3PM, Zoom
May 10, 2021, 10-11AM, Zoom

The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group is still using Zoom and teach-in videos instead of meetings. We focused on Black Lives Matter, Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies as well as discussed transdisciplinary studies more generally.

At the first meeting, we continued our focus on Black Lives Matter with a feminist focus. On Thursday, March 25, 12-2PM, Dr. Margo Okazawa-Rey, member of the historic Combahee River Collective, gave a talk “What Time Is It?: A Transnational Black Feminist Moment”: https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/play/EY-bqc6MOeB6zLbIVJp2kmGEVyYxJHNWXx-bRsvW6kDzRcImFqDOfj5dFo2mxtye-TRcmVBNn0oqc_ha.n5niz8Ic3COmcQIV?continueMode=true&_x_zm_rtaid=fxscHUQ9SBWX-A1_8F6_kg.1617127538861.64e160c1e5373816b0510a99f1a6dcd0&_x_zm_rhtaid=508&startTime=1616688669000&fbclid=IwAR3t_HCoQx24nI2d9kWcWfLJtuxKo4LkZdG8r8hq3mdzj06ZTLVHZN6fAv8 We, WGS and SICU, also worked with Women Make Movies to show the film Black Feminist for Women’s History Month.  We used this work for our discussion. We debriefed about the importance of transnational Black feminist work now. We also talked more broadly about how to build coalitions with other organizations going forward. We liked working with the National Women’s Studies Association, WSQ, The Feminist Press, the Center for the Humanities, the Center for LGBTQ Studies, other CUNY WGS and LGBTQ Studies programs during this isolated time. We spent much time talking about intellectual solidarity for transdisciplinary work related to social justice.

At second meeting, we discussed Alicia Garza’s lecture about her book The Purpose of Power and her work creating BLMhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-jSp1SScU. We focused on personal politics and lived experiences with race, gender, and other intersecting identities. In addition, we shared our thoughts on experience and authority, connected to the ways in which intellectual, creative, and activist work coalesces. We also discussed to build WGS and Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies on our campus under a larger academic project devoted to transdisciplinary work. We brainstormed about how to use the WGS FIG to connect us to other faculty and write some grants together to promote the work we would like to see thrive on our campus during this moment of austerity.

The third and last meeting of the semester was a panel, “22nd Century Environmental Education: A Transdisciplinary Constructive Dialogue.” This Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies FIG panel, co-sponsored with the Student Union and Intercultural Center, discussed intersectional aspects of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and class as it relates to environmental action and education. Panelists included Wendy Hapgood, Director of Wild Tomorrow Fund, Sachigusa Yasuda, a conceptual artist, and Midori Yamamura, Jason Leggett, Kevicha Echols, Helen Nasser, and Red Washburn.  We discussed environmental racism in the Bronx, racial capitalism and reproductive issues, destruction of habitaats in indigenous communities and Native species, women of color in South Africa, Brazil, and Japan under globalization, trandisciplinary work in WGS and environmental studies, and ways to make our campus more environmentally friendly as part of a larger discussion of systematic anti-corporate change in the world.

2020 Fall

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies FIG

Red Washburn

Fall 2020 Minutes

October 19, 2020, 2-3PM, Zoom

November 23, 2020, 2-3PM
December 7, 2020, 2-3PM, Zoom


The Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group is still using Zoom and teach-in videos instead of meetings. We focused on Black Lives Matter, Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies, and the Social Construction of Whiteness this semester.

At first meeting, we discussed the Jose Munoz Award talk BLM founder Patrisse Cullors did for the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS) in 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TmZfAOBz7uo&t=86s We discussed the role of intersectionality. We also shared our thoughts about art and activism. We focused a lot on representation – how to highlight BLM was founded by Black queer women and how to connect that to current events in our classrooms. We also spent some time  debriefing the CUNY Town Hall on Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies as well as how to re-think the WGS Program to support interdisciplinary programs in Race and Ethnic Studies in CUNY.


At the second meeting, we continued our discussion of Black, Race, and Ethnic Studies connected to Women’s and Gender Studies and Black Lives Matter. We used the National Women’s Studies Association keynote, a virtual conversation between Rep. Ilhan Omar, Barbara Ransby, and Cathy Cohen called “Black Feminism & the Reimagined Politics of Democracy & Accountability”: https://columbiauniversity.zoom.us/rec/play/2hswvW4JMfrbZaLl1xJsVnnprrTlYfeNhhj4NADcKHOS3uJdP4FjWHIH1SVVxw4EXUGuH9phbk3Fylxk.MrKtdpXxPp-Xnnxc?startTime=1604012590000&_x_zm_rtaid=dI4rEZxlQ7mgggJdPBYnCg.1605646809453.a357fa3702f29928099edb7b3e0fc5db&_x_zm_rhtaid=255We also spent a good chunk of time planning an event for colleagues and students, a panel called “The Social Construction of Whiteness,” as a faculty and staff response to how to do ally work on a largely white campus.


At the third meeting, we did a panel, “The Social Construction of Whiteness.” It was co-sponsored by the Global and Environmental Studies FIG. We unpacked the social construction of whiteness and reflected on our lived experiences within this construct. Stuart Parker (Behavioral Sciences), Amy Karp (English), and Dominic Wetzel (Behavioral Sciences) joined Liberal Arts Program Coordinators Red Washburn and Jason Leggett to consider the impact of whiteness across our institution and in our different roles. It was a successful event of about forty people, mostly faculty and some students. See below for the he link to the recording and the questions we asked.




Meeting Recording:



Access Passcode: .Jv&i3SF




How have you thought about movements against the status quo within the frameworks of WGS and a social construction of whiteness?

What does it mean to be a white person within a majority non-white institution?

How do we construct ongoing dialogue around the finding that Kingsborough ranks the lowest among CUNY colleges for faculty retention and promotion of people of color?

What does a white ally do and how does one behave especially in the era of dual pandemics and economic austerity?

How do we construct safe spaces for the work to close equity gaps among faculty and with students in our classrooms?




2020 Spring

April 7, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom
May 13, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom
May 27, 2020, 3-4pm, Zoom

Due to the pandemic, the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Faculty Interest Group transitioned to Zoom meetings. We also used teach-in videos about gender, sexuality, and the spectrum of difference as connected to the pandemic. We will use Theory and Praxis: Women’s and Gender Studies at Community Colleges, edited by Heather Rellihan and Genevieve Carminati when we meet again in person.

At first meeting, we discussed Angela Davis’ and Naomi Klein’s conversation, Movement Build in the Time of the Coronavirus. We focused on the connections between “disaster capitalism,” the prison industrial complex, and transatlantic solidarity. In particular, we talked much about women of color in prison, health and economic disparities, and state violence as well as intimate partner violence and patriarchal households.

At the second meeting, we discussed Arundhati Roy’s The Pandemic Is a Portal. We talked generally about the pandemic as a condition that makes structural inequality, such as sexism, racism, cissexism, classism, heterosexism, and ableism, among others, hypervisible. We shared that times can get better or worse, that we do not know where the portal is taking us. We also focused mainly on talking about healthcare and the virus impacting more BIPOC folks globally because of intersecting identities and oppressions, and tied it to her points about India’s response. We spent some time discussing CUNY’s portal and how it would affect interdisciplinary work in Women’s and Gender Studies.


At the third meeting, we discussed Ruthie Wilson Gilmore’s COVID 19, Decarceration and Abolition, which is three parts:  1) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyTOspzD1ZQ 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xk3K3xLWL_o and 3) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toYvNnhojhM  We discussed the reality of prisoners and their health, with almost 70% of them having the virus without basic human rights to adequate healthcare. We focused on the plight of women of color, including trans folks, and the promise of prison abolition as a corrective to racism and sexism under capitalist policing that does not give resources, homes, jobs, education, and healthcare to at risk communities. We also spent some time talking about funding for WGS at Kingsborough and what we want to do next year.


Fall 2019


October 3, 2019, 1:50-2:50pm, KCTL
October 24, 2019, 1:50-2:50pm, KCTL
November 21, 2019, 1:50-2:50pm, KCTL

At the first meeting, we were getting back in gear. We discussed the state of WGS, focusing on curricular committees, grant initiatives, articulation agreements, and the Liberal Arts self-study. We also talked about working with a number of colleagues in Allied Health, Community Health, Tourism and Hospitality, Foreign Languages, and the Student Union and Intercultural Union more closely. We noted that WGS is slated to be on the next English agenda, and had been included in the Academic Master Plan and College Council work. Lastly, we want to have a campus dialogue about trans and youth rights. We all would like to work with KCTL to plan a discussion and workshop with Tey Meadow from Columbia in the spring.

At the second and third meetings, we did a close reading of the text. We discussed Chapters 1-2, 3, and 6 of Tey Meadow’s Trans Kids: Being Gendered in the Twenty-First Century. We spent much time unpacking gender clinics and stories about gender — how they travel across time and space. We considered intersectional frameworks, the politics of gender in the Trump era, names/ pronouns in schools and communities now, and recent legislation for trans New Yorkers, including in the DOE for kids. We tried to make linkages between scientific and medical work and social and cultural work in these areas as well as connect them to our experiences in the college classroom as professors in the WGS field.


Spring 2019

April 18, 3-4, KCTL

May 9, 3-5, KCTL

May 29, 1:50-2:50, KCTL


We discussed Roderick Ferguson’s The Reorder of Things: The University and Its Pedagogies of Difference.  We focused on academic cuts to interdisciplinary studies that raise awareness about social inequality in knowledge productions, especially in Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and LGBTQ Studies. We reflected on our work within CUNY and how to make sure WGS survives and thrives in this neoliberal climate.

Fall 2018

October 2, 2-4, F115

October 15, 12:40-1:50, KCTL

November 8, 3-4PM, KCTL


We read Tracy Penny Light’s Feminist Pedagogy in Higher Education: Critical Theory and Practice. We discussed feminist pedagogy and research in our lives both in and outside of the classroom. We also discussed the future of Women’s and Gender Studies on this campus and national trends.

Spring 2018

April 30, 3-4PM, KCTL

May 14, 3-4PM< KCTL

June 4, 3-4PM, KCTL


We discussed Alison Kafer’s Feminist, Queer, Crip.  We explored the intersections of queer, feminist, and disability studies with a critical eye on trans and critical race theory. We focused on the “super crip” notion and connected it to time and imaginations of the future.

Fall 2017

Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 1:50-2:50, KCTL

We discussed Lauren Berlant’s Desire/Love. We explored themes of fantasy, behavior, social norms, and roles. We connected these issues to psychoanalytic issues in queer literature and trauma studies. We used these conversations to plan ahead for the Liberal Arts Symposium on love.