The Department of Gender and Women’s Studies is delighted to introduce our new assistant professors and Chancellor's postdoctoral fellow, who will all be joining us this fall.
Damian Vergara Bracamontes comes to us from Yale University with a Ph.D. in American Studies and a graduate certificate in Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. A scholar of Latinx studies, critical prison studies, and queer of color critique, he focuses on Mexican and Central American migration in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. His dissertation, entitled "The Administration of Illegality and Mexican Migrant Life," traces the rise of a new regime of immigration enforcement that, he argues, has transformed illegality over the last thirty years from a legal category into a social, political, and economic condition that significantly shapes migrant everyday life. Professor Vergara Bracamontes has a longstanding record of work with community organizations and has taught widely on topics such as migration, migrants and borders, and LGBTQ History. This fall he will be teaching GWS 387: The History of Sexuality in the U.S.. Read more here.
Emma Velez holds a dual-title Ph.D. in Philosophy and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Pennsylvania State University, where she was an Andrew Mellon Dissertation Fellow. She specializes in Latinx feminisms, decolonial theory, critical theory, and continental philosophy. Her dissertation is entitled "Learning from Las Tres Madres: A Decolonial Feminist Approach to Re-thinking the Self, Epistemology, and the Ethico-political." Her article on decolonial feminism and intersectionality has appeared in the Journal of Speculative Philosophy and she has also co-edited two special issues of journals on the topic of decolonial feminisms with Nancy Tuana -- one for the journal Critical Philosophy of Race and the other for Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy. Professor Velez has taught extensively in gender and feminist studies; this fall she is teaching GWS 395: Latinx Feminisms. Read more here.
Sawyer Kemp will hold the inaugural Chancellor's Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Transgender Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, for the 2020-21 academic year. They come from UC Davis, where they completed their dissertation in early modern trans studies on "Shakespeare and the Politics of Accessibility.” Their goal is to make a case for transhistorical analysis grounded in contemporary transgender activist and social issues like homelessness, state violence, and medical care. Their most recent article, ‘Transgender Shakespeare Performance: A(n) Holistic Dramaturgy, is forthcoming next month in the Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies special issue on trans studies. Dr. Kemp will be teaching GWS 395: Trans Approaches to Early Modern Studies for GWS in Spring 2021.