The University of Houston

Friends of Women's Studies
Monthly E-Newsletter


Spring 2012 


In This Issue 

WGSS 2012 Graduation

WGSS Postdoc Heads to


The Resilient Soul: 
   Insight into the Refugee
   Experience June 26th

Friends Night Out

  June 3rd @ the Alley



Board of Directors
Susana Monteverde,

Andrea Georgsson, VP
Vilma Allen, Treasurer
Dina Alsowayel
Maida Asofsky
Christine Attar 

Abenaa Brewster

Ann Lacy Brown

Heather Brown 

Cindy Clifford

Sarah Cooper

Anneliese Davis

Diana Espitia
Gabriela Gerhart

Eleanor Gilbane
Zita Giraldo
Sarah Gish
Elizabeth Gregory
MaryScott Hagle
Chinhui Juhn
Katha Knippa

Alecia Lawyer

Gin-Ru Lee MSW
Nicole Longnecker

Bess MacInnes
Teddy McDavid PhD
Beverly McPhail
Adrian Melissinos

Terry Morales
Leigh Owen

Beverly Robinson
Mia Rogers
Jo Rosenblum King
Rebecca Rush
Carey C. Shuart
Katherine Veneman

Grads with Prof. de los Reyes.

Congratulations to Our 2012 WGSS Graduates! 


This year's luncheon honoring our graduating WGSS minors and those who have completed their Women's Studies graduate certificates gathered students, faculty, and supporters.   History prof Landon Storrs' rousing remarks sent the group forward with a clear sense of the challenges facing women and society today and of the importance of their efforts for positive change. Congrats to all!

Graduating Minors 
Julia Aiguier, Laura Hernandez, Ashley Lozano, Sarah Muska, Savannah Ober-Mawed, Sophia Paz, Ana Serrano, Crystal Villegas,Christopher Alanis, and Brittany Tate

Graduate Certificates Completed: Tracy Butler,Carlos Cantu, Maria Corsi,
Annette Escamilla, Laura Garza, Jennifer Lowe, Grace Loudd, Fabian Van Onzen

WGSS Postdoc Heads to Wellesley

These past two years we've been happy to have among us the most recent in a long line of great postdoctoral fellows, Sima Shakhsari.  The postdocs, supported by the Friends of Women's Studies and a dynamic set of individual donors dedicated to expanding the work of feminist scholars to grow new visions for a better world, bring new insight and energy to the WGSS Program and the Houston community.

Sima arrived in Fall 2010 with a new PhD in Anthropology from Stanford.  Her dissertation, on gender and cybergovernmentality in the Iranian blogosphere, is the source of her recent featured article in Feminist Review and on its way to becoming a book.  Her next project explores the dynamics of the policing and "rightful killing" of transgender subjects in the "war on terror."  While in Houston, Sima has taught courses on Women in the Muslim and Arab Worlds and Transgender Migration, along with two sections of our Intro to Women's Studies course. She's been an invited speaker at conferences around the country, in Canada and in the UK.  Along with her scholarship and teaching, Sima played key roles in our 2010-2012 speakers series and in organizing our Spring 2011 Feminist Pedagogy symposium.  She's been a terrific colleague and we know she'll do great things in her new position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Women's & Gender Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts.   Go Sima!


Thanks as ever to our strong-minded Postdoc donors:  

Carey C. Shuart,  Melanie Gray, the Joan Hohlt & Roger Wich Foundation, Bess MacInnes / Evan Kirchen & Youths' Friends, Ann Harithas, Nina Karohl & the Edward H. Andrews Foundation, Gay Roane, Beverly Robinson, Ellen Susman, MaryScott Hagle, Sallie Morian, Vilma Allen, Ann Lacy Brown, Audrey Crawford, Zita Giraldo, Barbara Karkabi, Sue Kellogg, Adrian Melissinos, Teresa Morales,  Jere Pfister & Carolyn Phillips

To give the Postdoc Staying Power, please follow the link and give generously. The committee is reviewing an amazing set of applications for the incoming postdoc now, and we look forward to introducing the 2012-14 fellowship holder soon.

The Resilient Soul: An Insight into the Refugee Experience

Place: Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library, UH

Date: Tuesday, June 26th, 11:30-1:30pm

Dr. Sophia Banu (Baylor College of Medicine) & 

Caitriona Lyons (Texas State Refugee Coordinator)

Lunch served with confirmed RSVP (to, 713-743-3214. The program is free, though donations are welcome.


Please join the Houston Refugee Women's Collaborative for a panel discussion entitled The Resilient Soul: An Insight into the Refugee Experience, on June 26. World conflicts cause global migrations, and in 2010 the UNHCR estimated there were 15.4 million refugees and 27.5 million people displaced within their country by war and natural disasters. About 1.5% of these refugees resettle annually across the US (264,000 in 2010), including Houston, which has a vibrant international community. While male refugees learn the language and ways of the new world fairly quickly through work and community interaction, refugee women are often isolated at home with children, still dealing with the traumas that brought them here. The HRWC works to aid their transition.

The Resilient Soul panel will give Houstonians a sense of the refugee dynamic in Houston, both the difficulties refugees face and the strengths and skills they bring to our community. After the panel, please join us for lunch and conversation at each table with resettled Houstonians.   

Friends Night Out

What We're Up Against 
Sunday, June 3, 7:30pm  More... 
Join the FWS at the Alley Theatre for a performance of the black comedy "What We're Up Against," written by Theresa Rebeck and directed by Scott Schwartz. This play explores the glass ceiling dynamics in an architectural firm and gender politics in the corporate workplace more widely. If you can't make it on Sunday, the play runs through June 10th. 
Contact Info 
Program Manager                 Director, WGSS                      Postdoctoral Fellow                   Academic Advising
Amanda Moore                      Elizabeth Gregory                  Sima Shakhsari                          Maria Corsi/Tracy Butler
713-743-3773                        713-743-0932                        713-743-1339                             713-743-3214