My amazing students sent me the most beautiful video showing me lots of love and sharing their enthusiasm for In Audre’s Footsteps! I cried for so long, and I am so full of gratitude, excitement, love, and joy! Thank you and lots of love to each and every one of them (in order of appearance): Jazlyn Tate Andrews (2015 #FemGeniusesinBerlin and In Audre’s Footsteps co-author), Niyat Ogbazghi, Alejandra Hernandez (2016 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Malone DeYoung, Atiya Harvey (Fall 2017 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Mae Eskenazi (2016 #FemGeniusesinBerlin and In Audre’s Footsteps‘ audiovisual engineer), Sakina Bhatti, Njeri Summey, Kali Place, Cheanna Gavin (2016 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Lexi Davis, Nan Elpers, Emma Martin, Eileen Huang (2019 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Kay Adams (Fall 2017 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Maya Patel, Hailey Corkery (2017 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Avia Hailey (2019 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Tess Gattuso, Ivy Wappler (2016 #FemGeniusesinBerlin), Lindumuzi Jabu Ndlovu, Judy Fisher, Christie Ma (organizer of this beautiful offering), Salem Tewelde, and Jade Frost (2015 #FemGeniusesinBerlin and In Audre’s Footsteps copyeditor). Words can’t express my appreciation, but I feel it deeply in all of my being!
I also want to sincerely thank each and every person who purchased a copy of In Audre’s Footsteps and allowed us to share these amazing, supportive photographs! Y’all are the real MVPs!
Join us in celebrating the FGS graduating class of 2022!
My name is Sage Reynolds (she/her), and I am a transfer student originally from Colorado Springs. After taking Feminist Theory with Dr. Lewis and producing a feminist magazine, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my CC academic career to the FGS major. This journey has been a challenging one yet extremely rewarding. FGS has provided me with a worldview and perspective that I will carry with me throughout my life! This Summer, I continued my FGS journey; I traveled to Copenhagen and took a class on Prostitution and the Sex Trade. Now, I am beginning my thesis work, which seeks to broaden our understanding of what constitutes a comprehensive sex education by arguing that pop culture and media studies have significant, accessible pedagogical possibilities. If you are debating whether or not to major or minor in FGS, do it, you won’t regret it!!
Avia Hailey She/her/hers. I call Colorado Springs home but I’m from Binghamton NY. I was first introduced to FGS through my FYE with Dr. Lewis. The class was so phenomenal that I was hooked from there. I went to Berlin the summer after freshman year, and then I kept taking all the course and before I knows it I was a major. Being an FGS student changed myself. It taught me how to grow, reflect, and love myself. It also taught me how to value the communities I’m apart of and give back in intentional ways. All the lessons and people I’ve met because of FGS are invaluable. My capstone project is going to be about looking at the ways language specifically poetry, can empowered marginalized communities. This summer I got married 😊 and I worked my first full-time job. This year I’m excited to make lasting memories with the people I call home. I am grateful for Dr. Lewis and all the advise and loves she’s given to me in order to help me become who I am today. I am also eternally grateful for my partner who pushes me to be my best and loves me unconditionally.
My name is Daya Stanley. I use the pronouns: She, her, hers. And I am from Chicago, Illinois. I use this summer to explore my interest in the arts. Most of my exploration was done through working for CC Mobile Arts. It’s a new art program that brings free art programming to different communities around Colorado Springs. Although the work is often frustrating, it helped me realize what roles best suited my artistic goals.
As an artist or at least someone who enjoys the arts, I value and promote the arts being accessible to everyone, especially Black and Brown people. Our communities have always had art. But in the formalization of fine art culture and spaces, we often ignored or flat out denied access. And that does sit right with me as many great artists never get to see their first gallery opening because they look, or sound like me.
Hello! My name is Sakina. My path into FGS has seemed like one that was almost accidental, but at the same time, very destined. I didn’t plan to major in FGS (and I’m pretty sure I got bamboozled into it, but that is another conversation) but as I have come to understand the things I find to be important, I don’t think there is any other place on campus where I would be able to learn and engage with topics that interest and excite me. All things considered, I’ve found a home in this community, and I don’t think I would be as happy about being a CC student without the love and support of everyone here. I’m super excited to spend this last year in person and look forward to spending time with people who haven’t gotten to see because of the pandemic, as well as meeting new people! ❤
My name is Eileen Huang(she/her/hers). I am from Chaozhou in Southern China. I became a FGS major after taking Feminist Theory with Dr.Lewis in my first year. Upon becoming a FGS major, to me, taking classes focused on transnational feminism has taught me ways to pursue and critically engage with intellectual traditions of transnational feminists. During these past three years as a major, I have been very grateful for all the guidance, and tremendous care and support I received from the FGS community, from all the professors and my peers. My capstone project will be focusing on the identities, embodied knowledge and representation in the mundane everyday Chao embroidery practice carried out by the embroidery artisans, XiuNiangs. I will be looking into the relationship between the Chinese state’s representation of Chao embroidery as a “good tradition” and the situated and embodied practices of XiuNiangs.
I’m Skylar, my pronouns are they/them/theirs and I’m from Minneapolis, Minnesota. I started with FGS as my FYP and continued taking FGS classes throughout my college career because they left me with a sense of purpose to what I was learning. Being a student with this department has given me an incredible capacity for critical thinking. It allowed me the skills and confidence to start the Minneapolis People’s Pride this summer – a non-corporate pride event – which hosted a people’s closet, performers, and vendors whose partial profits went towards various mutual aids in the twin cities. With this event, I also began a queer skate sesh that met at least once a week to offer a place for those who are gatekept from the space of skating. This year I am excited to be dancing, whether in adjuncts, dance workshop, or while teaching dance fitness classes at the gym!
I have to start by saying that the five-year anniversary of the course started out with a bang for a few reasons:
It’s the first time the course has been full. In fact, we exceeded the maximum enrollment limit of 16 by one student;
two of my students were able to secure funding to come conduct research—Judy Fisher, Feminist & Gender Studies Major ’20, 2019-2020 TriotaPresident, 2018-2019 Shannon McGee Prize winner, and Fall 2017 #FemGeniusesinBerlin alum came to conduct transnational studies of American Indigeneity; and Mekael Daniel, Feminist & Gender Studies Major ’20 and 2019-2020 Triota Vice President came to conduct transnational studies of Blackness;
and we were joined by my niece-cousin-boo from Memphis, TN, Kelsey Nichole Mattox, who turned 18 and graduated from high school recently. So, her presence was especially meaningful. In fact, she had never gotten on an airplane until she traveled here, excitedly letting us know, “I decided to go all the way!”
Judy and Mekael arrived the same day I did, and we trekked to Radebeul (near Dresden) to attend the Karl May Festival so Judy could observe, think about, and examine Native American participation in predominantly white festival culture in Germany, as well as white Native American hobbyism. Imagine the raised-eyebrows of every single one of my friends and comrades in Berlin when I told the about this—haha. Judy and Mekael also went to the Great Indian Meeting at the El Dorado theme park in Templin the following weekend to continue Judy’s work. Shoutout to my colleague, Dr. Santiago Ivan Guerra (Associate Professor of Southwest Studies at Colorado College), for introducing Judy to the significance of hobbyism in Germany, illustrating the collective efforts necessary for critical theory work.
Also, it’s worth pointing out that it’s been a while since the #FemGeniusesinBerlin were so full of #BlackGirlMagic (2015was the last time, to be exact), and I couldn’t have been more excited about that. One adorable and powerful manifestation of that was Avi(a) leading several rounds of “Deep Truth, Truth,” a game that allowed her to bond with her classmates, especially her roommates, but also with Dana and I one day during lunch. “Deep Truth, Truth” starts with someone asking another person if they’d like to share a deep truth or what one might refer to as a “regular” truth. A “regular truth” could be anything from sharing your favorite color to a song that you hate; however, a “deep truth” is usually something that one might not share in a group like this, because lots of us don’t know each other well enough to be comfortable with that kind of vulnerability. Then, once the person being questioned decides what kind of truth they want to share, the questioner asks a question. After the question is answered, the person being questioned then gets to ask another person in the group a question. I got to ask and answer twice (one truth and one deep truth), and learned a lot about the students that day. Neat stuff.
In “short,” the2019 #FemGeniusesinBerlin were such a great bunch even though we most certainly hit a few snags along the way. Here are some (definitely not all) of the most memorable moments:
The weather hitting 90F degrees, something I’m pretty sure never happened in years past, and doing so several days each week.
Bella’s cube bear.
Mekael, Judy, and I being photographed by a stranger (with consent) at the Karl May Festival and finding the very poorly-filtered but very cute photograph on social media (posted with consent).
Lauren’s RBF and fierce modeling skills.
Avia’s phone fan and ridiculous pranks.
Zander playing Captain Save ‘Em, and gettin’ hollered at all along the way.
Nicole being almost entirely silent then shakin’ up the space with the loudest, most hilarious laugh you ever did hear.
Vang asking to sit on our roof (which would most certainly result in his untimely death), asking about transporting beer back to the U.S., telling us he got “hemmed up by 12” (which turned out to mean he was approached by some ticket-checkers on the subway and allowed to continue his trip with a mere warning…side eye), telling folks about sex stores, and gettin’ hollered at for almost every single thing all along the entire way.
Discussing the advantages and risks of comparative analysis.
Dr. W. Christopher Johnson, Assistant Professor of History and the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto and husband of our Course Associate Dana Asbury, coming for a visit and joining us for a few sessions.
I could go on and on and on. I will never forget this group. Such a great summer through it all, which led to my new phrases: Must be June. Must be Berlin.
2019 FemGeniuses in Berlin Podcast Index: Click hereto view a slideshow, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see more pictures and videos!
Created by Laura Ayre (Editor), Madi Doerre (Journalist), Cassis Schafer (Journalist), and Avia Hailey (Graphic Designer)
“Our intention is to provide a glimpse of women in marriage from a transnational feminist standpoint […] Among other things, our primary vision at SPLIT is to encourage our readers to question which institutions they are conditioned to participate in and for what reasons those institutions are deemed socially legitimate. We wish you good luck in your journey going forward, and we hope that you find yourselves as curious and inspired as we were when creating this publication.”
—Laura Ayre, Editor