TRIC Winter Updates

the Block U installation covered in snow

Year-One Activities

We launched our collective plans by creating an in-state cohort of Intersectional Pedagogy Fellows. With Mellon funds, and in special partnership with Utah State University’s Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research, we have gathered 14 scholar-teachers who together represent Utah State University, Weber State University, Salt Lake Community College, and the University of Utah.

From the University of Utah:

  • Alborz Ghandehari: Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies (class and gender dynamics within contemporary Iranian popular struggles and their international solidarities) 
  • Lisa Diamond: Professor of Gender Studies and Psychology (development and expression of sexual and gender diversity over the life course; biological mechanisms through which sexual and gender stigma influence physical and mental health; couple and family relationships of sexually-diverse and gender-diverse individuals) 
  • José Francisco Gutiérrez: Assistant Professor of Education, Culture and Society (critical approaches to the study of mathematics; cognition and development; relational equity and mathematics learning)
  • Crystal Rudds: Assistant Professor of English (African American literature; Black feminism; urban cultural studies; housing and geography)
  • Ashley Cordes: Assistant Professor of Communication (Indigenous studies; digital media; critical/cultural studies; environmental storytelling)
  • Ramón Barthelemy: Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy (equity and inclusion in physics and astronomy; LGBT persistence in physics; student motivation in STEM)

From Utah State University:

  • Mario Suárez : Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies (queer/trans theory; intersections of race, gender identity, sexuality and class in K-12 STEM spaces and curricula
  • Adena Rivera-Dundas: Assistant Professor of English (Black feminist epistemologies; personal narrative; affect studies)
  • Cree Taylor: Lecturer in English (critical race theory; Black feminist thought; pedagogies of care)
  • Rachel Wishkoski : USU Libraries (intersectional literacy pedagogy; qualitative methods)
  • Beth Buyserie : Director of Composition and Assistant Professor of English (critical pedagogies; intersections of language, knowledge and power; queer theory and critical race theory)
  • Rachel Turner : Assistant Professor, School of Teacher Education and Leadership (social studies in the classroom; narrative inquiry; qualitative methods)

From Weber State University:

  • Alex Collopy, PhD: Educational anthropologist and scholar of disability studies in early childhood education

From Salt Lake Community College:

  • Bernice Olivas: Assistant Professor of English, Linguistics & Writing Studies (intersection between writing and marginalization; recruitment, retention, and mentoring of first-generation students)

Intersectional pedagogy co-facilitators:

  • Kilo Zamora: Instructor (Lecturer) of Gender Studies at the U and Social Change Facilitator (gender justice politics; community organizing; queering identities in nature; and faculty advisor for the internship program)
  • Christy Glass: Professor of Sociology at USU, Interim Director of the Center for Intersectional Gender Studies and Research (workplace justice, social inequality, and gender and sexuality)
  • Kathryn Bond Stockton: Distinguished Professor of English at the U, Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation (queer theory/queer of color critique; theories of race and racialized gender; twentieth-century and contemporary literature and film)

This group of 14 met throughout the year as a bonding cohort, joined at each event by at least 20 other invitees across the U and the greater community, to attend a set of workshops designed to advance the concept and practice of intersectional teaching. As part of Black History Month, we designed and offered a February 2022 webinar, Intersectionality Here & Now, featuring scholars Mecca Jamillah Sullivan (Georgetown University), Andrea Baldwin (Virginia Tech University), Christy Glass (Utah State University), and Wanda Pillow (University of Utah). The panel noted that it has been 33 years since Kimberlé Crenshaw introduced “intersectionality” as a necessary analytic for grasping the intersecting impacts of race, gender, and sexuality. It could be argued, the webinar stated, that no other concept has been more utilized, misunderstood, and maligned in academia and politics. Intersectionality Here & Now reflected on this history to think with the debates surrounding intersectionality, leading to the question: how are we teaching it so as to practice it?

The intersectional pedagogy workshops that followed:

  • Critical Disability Studies, led by Nirmala Erevelles (University of Alabama), March 24, 2022
  • Intersectional Design/Classroom Approaches, led by Mario Suárez (Utah State University), Sept. 15, 2022
  • Queer/Trans Color of Critique, led by Jules Gill-Peterson (Johns Hopkins University), October 27, 2022
  • Carceral Studies, led by Erin Castro (University of Utah), November 17, 2022
  • Environmental Anti-Racism and Decolonial Justice, led by Hi’ilei Hobart (Yale University), March 2, 2023

In addition, Transform, at the request of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion—for their first-ever Day of Intersectionality—led a panel addressed to graduate students, focusing on how they might begin designing intersectional teaching.  This event, entitled What It Is and How to Craft Intersectional Pedagogy Across All Disciplines, was offered on October 6, 2022 to a standing-room-only audience. Panelists were from gender studies, physics, the Utah Prison Education Project, and psychology (namely, Dr. Ramón Barthelemy, Physics; Dr. Lisa Diamond, Gender Studies & Psychology; Cydney Caradonna, graduate student in Educational Leadership & Policy and leading member of the Utah Prison Education Project; and Dr. Kilo Zamora, Gender Studies faculty). Graduate students have also participated in each and every intersectional pedagogy workshop for our fellows.

Year-Two Activities

Starting in January 2023

We are already planning and issuing invitations surrounding Intersectional Research.

We will fund up to six Intersectional Signature Initiatives that exemplify intersectional research conducted by multi-scholar groups—entities such as the Utah Prison Education Project, the Gender-Based Violence Consortium, and the Disability Studies’ Critical Race Meets Critical Disability Initiative (all led by University of Utah scholar-activists). We will issue invitations to these and other groups at the end of Year One. Awardees will organize at least one “idea exchange” meeting that incorporates scholars from the University of Utah alongside local, regional, and national partners. We will also strongly encourage awardees to produce a short digital artifact in which they reflect on their progress and process.  These can then be resources for anyone doing intersectional community research and for teachers explaining intersectional research in (under)graduate courses. 

Deeply expert intersectional scholars populate Transform. To support and expand this interest at the U, we will fund a cohort of up to ten Intersectional Research Fellows from all areas of campus. Applications are now open and the TRIC Mellon Coordinating Team will assess them in mid-January 2023. We seek to support a broad range of scholarship, creating a cohort of fellows with a track record of intersectional scholarship or creative work, as well as those seeking to make their research and creative projects more intersectional. Selected scholars can use their funds to support graduate or undergraduate students or cover direct costs associated with their research, such as transcription, materials, payments for participants, or research-related travel. Scholars may also use their funds to create events that feature intersectional researchers at the regional and national levels, putting them in conversation with each other and with our students. As with the Intersectional Signature Initiatives, Intersectional Research Fellows will be asked to consider producing a short digital product that presents reflective aspects of their research work—to be used as a resource or teaching tool.

Outside of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation, there are few physical and intellectual places that bring together scholars who do intersectional research.  We seek to create a physical space for scholars (at the U and other Utah Institutions) to interact socially and professionally over intersectionality. In Year Two, therefore, we will host an “intersectional place-in” in the University of Utah’s NEXUS suite. (NEXUS, the iNterdisciplinary EXchange for Utah Science, welcomes this vision.)  We will strongly encourage intersectional researchers to use this space, stressing that all researchers (locally and regionally) are welcome to join the place we’re establishing, through our TRIC, to work and connect. Sections for quiet writing, areas for conversation, and spaces where scholars can ask for feedback are part of our plan. Creating a space—indeed, a place—to forge community with others who do intersectional work is critical in PWI institutions like the University of Utah.

Intersectional research co-leads:

  • Annie Isabel Fukushima: Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies at the U, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research
  • Claudia Geist: Associate Professor of Gender Studies and Sociology at the U, Associate Dean for Research in the School for Cultural & Social Transformation
  • Kathryn Bond Stockton: Distinguished Professor of English at the U, Dean of the School for Cultural and Social Transformation