In this issue of the Monthly Rag I would like to highlight some senior FGS majors. Our last first block!
Mekael Daniel (FGS ’20) I am Black and Comely look upon me because I am Black, Because the sun hath looked upon me because I find poetry lovely Because I’m sweet as honey
Hello! My name is Malone DeYoung and I am a Feminist and Gender Studies major from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Since FYE when Heidi told me my paper about Hillary Clinton was sexist, I can say that I’ve grown a lot. Some things I’m proud of are bringing a current events class to the county jail, participating in FemCo, and being the only CC student ever to work at the same calling job coercing alumni to donate to our school for all four years. Some of my other highlights include never speaking in Nadia’s class and dreaming about my essays every night for Dr. Kumar. Something I look forward to this year is explaining to adults what I will be doing with my major after graduation. That said, my sage advice to CC students would be to major in FGS, or at least minor.
Hi! My name is Hailey Corkery and I am a senior double majoring in Sociology and Feminist and Gender Studies from Reston, VA. This past summer, I interned at an immigration firm in New York City and I hope to someday go to law school to study civil rights law. I’m very excited to spend my last year at Colorado College working on my senior thesis, leading Ellement (one of CC’s acapella groups), and hanging out with my wonderful friends!
I’m Judy Fisher and I am a senior FGS major from Oklahoma. I’m a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and I spent part of my summer in Germany conducting research for my senior thesis which focuses on transnational representations of Native people. I’m excited to end my undergraduate experience where it began, in the FGS department, with wonderful professors and mentors like Heidi who I’ve known since day 1 at CC and with some of the friends I made in bridge.
I’m Susanna Penfield, a current senior double majoring in Political Science and Feminist and Gender Studies. Born and raised in central Vermont (in a town with a population smaller than CC), I appreciate fiery fall foliage, houses with no neighbors, and the taste of local maple syrup. On campus, I serve as co-chair of the Student Title IX Assistance and Resource Team (START), prose editor for Leviathan literary magazine, vice president of Cutler Publications – the board that oversees student journalism at CC – and member of the Cutthroat Rugby Team. On weekends, catch me hanging with my roommates and our pet snake.
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!
Research shows that American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) students have the highest postsecondary dropout rates & lowest postsecondary graduation rates. Research estimates that anywhere from 75-93% of AI/AN students drop out of college before completing their degree.
To the non-traditional students. Students far from home. Students from the rez. Students from smalls towns & urban areas. Students with financial aid & 3 jobs. To students who don’t need financial aid. Students who had to return home. Students who want to return home but can’t just yet. To students with more responsibility than some of our peers will ever understand. To students struggling with mental illnesses, addiction, trauma. Students who have lost the energy. Students who are angry. Students who are tired. To students doing this for their ancestors, for their grandmothers, their parents, their nieces & nephews. To the students proving how hard it is to kill the Indian:
You feel like you do not belong here not because you are not worthy.
You feel like you do not belong here because you do not belong here.
Is this not a remnant of boarding schools where our grand were forced to speak English?
Is this not assimilation?
We will NEVER belong here as long as administrators & officials refuse to critically address the presence of Indigenous people on their campuses.
Colleges & universities that proclaim to uphold values of diversity and inclusion will always fall short when they refuse to address their stake in settler colonialism & the continued dehumanization of Indigenous people on the land that their campuses stand on.
To Native students:
You do not belong here because they never wanted you to be here.
Halito! My name is Judy Fisher and I am a Choctaw woman from Oklahoma and a Feminist and Gender Studies Major (’20). I began my time at CC with Intro to FGS and quickly fell in love with the studies and department. I am thrilled to begin my first year as the editor for The Rag. I would love to increase engagement with this publication and make it more collaborative by creating a few special edition issues in cooperation with student groups concerning various themes, issues, and events, as well as incorporating more multimedia content. I am excited about the possibilities this school year brings for The Rag and I hope you appreciate the issues to come![Photo credit: Clifford Chirwa CC ’20]
This podcast—led and produced by Kai Mesman-Hallman—provides some final reflections on the Block 4 2017 section of Hidden Spaces, Hidden Narratives: Intersectionality Studies in Berlinwith Professor Heidi R. Lewis. Throughout the block, the #FemGeniusesinBerlin have taken walking tours, visited museums and cultural centers, and met with activists and artists in the city to conduct situated examinations of how the identities of marginalized people and communities in Germany (especially in Berlin)—such as Black Germans, Turkish Germans, migrants, refugees, victims of Neo-Nazi terrorism and police brutality, and LGBTQI communities—are constructed, particularly how these constructions are dependent on racism, heterosexism, colonialism, imperialism, and other forms of oppression. Additionally, we examined how these communities resist, reject, revise, and reproduce these narratives as they construct their own subjectivities.
Kai is a junior at Colorado College majoring in Psychology, and is originally from San Diego, CA. She is especially interested in consciousness and the ways our brains’ processing and collecting information can shape our beliefs and thoughts. She spends her free time with her dog and watching conspiracy theory videos.
Joining Kai in her discussion are Uma Scharf—a Baltimore, MD native and junior at Colorado College majoring in Neuroscience, and Drew Ceglinski—a Bath, ME native and junior at Colorado College majoring in Geology.
Block 4 2017 FemGeniuses in Berlin Podcast Index:
Click hereto view a slideshow, and follow us on Instagram and Twitter to see even more pictures and videos!