The GCWS is governed by a dedicated Board of Directors. Board members are selected by each participating insitution’s Women’s Studies Program. The Board of Directors are responsible for course development and selection, community outreach, and the financial and GCWS staff governance. The Board is led by two co-chairs. This position changes annually; a new co-chair is elected by the Board each year and serves a two-year term.

2011-2012 Board of Directors

Kalpana Rahita Seshadri
Kalpana Rahita Seshadri (English) is Associate Professor of English at Boston College. She specializes in post-colonial theory, Anglophone literatures, and critical theory with an emphasis in psychoanalysis and Marxism. Her publications include Desiring Whiteness: A Lacanian Analysis of Race (2000), and The Pre-Occupation of Postcolonial Studies (2000).



Carrie PrestonDeborah Belle (Fall) is Professor of Psychology and Director of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Boston University. Her research focuses on the impact of poverty and inequality on individual mental health and family functioning, the ways adults and children make sense of poverty, wealth, and economic inequality, and the stresses that arise at the intersection of paid employment and family life. I am interested in gender differences in social behavior and teach courses on social psychology, the psychology of women, and the psychology of families. She has published numerous books and articles including The After-School Lives of Children: Alone and with others while parents work (1999), Lives in Stress: Women and depression (1982), Children’s Social Networks and Social Supports (1989), among others.

Carrie PrestonAshley Mears (Spring) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University. She studies the intersections of culture and markets.  After receiving her B.A. in sociology from the University of Georgia in 2002, she went on to graduate school at New York University for a Ph.D. in sociology in 2009.  In her teaching and research, she explores how people assign value to things, and focuses on how gender, race, and class inequalities inform the production and change of culture. Her recently published book, Pricing Beauty: The Making of a Fashion Model, examines the production of value in fashion modeling markets.


Faith SmithHarleen Singh
is Assistant Professor of Literature at Brandeis University. Her research interests include colonial and postcolonial theory and literature, specifically nineteenth and twentieth century British and South Asian literature, as well as gende rand Women's Studies, Film Studies, and South Asian Studies. She has published numerous articles in journals and collections such as: Ariel: A Review of International English Literature; South Asian Diaspora; and Sikh Formations, among others.

Sarah Richardson
Sarah Richardson is Assistant Professor of the History of Science and of Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Harvard University.  She received her Ph.D. from the Program in Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.  A historian and philosopher of science, her research focuses on race and gender in the biosciences and on the social dimensions of scientific knowledge. Professor Richardson’s book, Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome traces the history of genetic theories of sex differences from 1900 to the present. She has broad interests and expertise in the history of molecular biology, biomedicine, and genetics, the philosophy of science, science and technology studies, and feminist science studies.


Elizabeth WoodElizabeth Wood is Professor of History at MIT. She is the author of Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2005) and From Baba to Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (Indiana University Press, 1997). She has also published articles on prostitution, trade union organizing of women, and revolutionary theater trials. She has been Program Chair for the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies, AAASS. She is currently working on what she is calling "The Performance of Power" under Putin in Russia today. This spring she received a grant from the Alumni Class Funds, "Bringing Russian and Soviet History into the Digital Age."

Carla Kaplan
Carla Kaplan is the Davis Distinguished Professor of American Literature at Northeastern University. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow and Fellow at the Harvard W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. Her books include Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters (Doubleday) and the forthcoming Miss Anne in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Rennaissance (HarperCollins).


Renee Bergland
Jo Trigilio is Assistant Professor of Women's Studies and Philosophy at Simmons College. She has a special interest in the intersection of theory and practice. She specializes in oppression/liberation theories, including feminist and gender theories, race theories, and queer theory. She is politically active in the queer community of Boston and has served on the board of directors for the National Women's and Gender Studies Association for six years. She is currently leading the Boston Dyke March History and Archive Project.

Christina Sharpe
Sabina Vaught is Associate Professor in the Department of Education. Dr. Vaught's scholarship examines the institutional contexts and dynamics of race, gender, schooling, and power. Her research focus on educational inequity and the political economy of schooling is grounded in Critical Race Theory and feminist theories. Specifically, she has conducted institutional ethnographic studies in a large urban school district and in a state division of juvenile affairs and its prison schools. In 2011, she published Racism, public schooling, and the entrenchment of White Supremacy: a critical race ethnography with SUNY Press and has contributed articles in The Urban Review, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Race, Ethnicity, and Education, among others.

Randy Albelda
Elora Halim Chowdhury is Associate Professor of Women's Studies and Asian Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Her research and teaching interests include transnational and postcolonial feminisms, critical development studies, and human rights advocacy with an emphasis on South Asia. She is the author of Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh (SUNY Press 2011), which was the recipient of the National Women's Studies Association Gloria E. Anzaldua book prize. Her current project is titled, Dissident Friendships: Imperialism, Feminism and the Possibility of Transnational Solidarities..




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The Graduate Consortium in Women's Studies
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 14N-211
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: 617-324-2085