FGS ’20 Senior Spotlights

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



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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.

Some Final Thoughts on the 2019 #FemGeniusesinBerlin

Top (L to R): Matthew FitzGibbon, Bella Staal, Kelsey Mattox, Cam Kaplan, Samuel Vang, Maggie O’Brien, Avia Hailey, Nizhooni Hurd, Alexander Jobin-Leeds, and Lauren Hough; Middle (L to R): Miles Marshall, Professor Heidi R. Lewis, Cameron Bacher, Nicole Berlanga, and Eileen Huang; and Bottom (L to R): Caroline Livaditis, Maysie Poland, Mekael Daniel, Dana Maria Asbury (Course Associate), Mimi Norton de Matos, and Zivia Berkowitz

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 Triota President, 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 (2015 was 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,” the 2019 #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:

  1. The weather hitting 90F degrees, something I’m pretty sure never happened in years past, and doing so several days each week.
  2. Bella’s cube bear.
  3. 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).
  4. Lauren’s RBF and fierce modeling skills.
  5. Avia’s phone fan and ridiculous pranks.
  6. Zander playing Captain Save ‘Em, and gettin’ hollered at all along the way.
  7. Eileen’s “hey.”
  8. Nicole being almost entirely silent then shakin’ up the space with the loudest, most hilarious laugh you ever did hear.
  9. 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.
  10. Discussing the advantages and risks of comparative analysis.
  11. Mimi’s sneakin’ in and slam-dunking the graffiti workshop brainstorming session.
  12. Miles’ hair flips, especially because they don’t even have a lot of hair, and lessons in lipstick.
  13. Caroline “showing off” her knowledge of the German language (see below).
  14. Matt trolling the entire class almost the entire time and then agreeing to draw a troll during our graffiti workshop.
  15. DeAira Cooper, 2015 #FemGeniusesinBerlin alum, coming to visit.
  16. 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 here to view a slideshow, and follow us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook to see more pictures and videos!

Jewish Berlin Tour” by Nizhooni Hurd
Topography of Terror” by Zander Jobin-Leeds
Jasmin Eding” by Avia Hailey
German Colonialism Walking Tour” by Mimi Norton de Matos
Each One Teach One e.V.” by Maysie Poland
RAA Berlin” by Nicole Berlanga
RomaniPhen e.V.” by Samuel Vang
Pořajmos Walking Tour” by Cam Kaplan
Synchronicity with Sharon Dodua Otoo” by Maggie O’Brien
Rebellious Berlin Walking Tour” by Bella Staal
FHXB Museum” by Lauren Hough
The Memorial to Homosexuals Persecuted under Nazism” by Cameron Bacher
Queer Berlin Walking Tour” by Miles Marshall
Schwules* Museum” by Eileen Huang
Trans*sexworks” by Zivia Berkowitz
Graffiti Workshop with Berlin Massive” by Mekael Daniel
Urban Nation Museum for Urban Contemporary Art” by Caroline Livaditis
Street Art and Graffiti Walking Tour” by Matt FitzGibbon

To read and/or listen to the finales and view the indices and slideshows for previous FemGeniuses in Berlin, click here



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By Mekael Daniel

“Touch” is an excerpt from Queer Space Invaders Manifesto written and illustrated by Emily Burnham, Mekael Daniel, Miles Marshall, and Halle Schall for Block 7 FG114 Introduction to Queer Studies taught by Dr. Rushaan Kumar. This course aims to use an interdisciplinary approach to wrestle with the changing nature of LGBT and Queer as categories and to develop a critical consciousness on LGBTQ issues that recognizes how gender and sexuality are informed by experiences of race, class, and nationality.


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Sexplorations Cover

Created by Zivia Berkowitz (Editor), Skylar Owens (Editorial Assistant), Hailey Corkery (Journalist), Fran Grandonico (Journalist), and Mekael Daniel (Graphic Designer)

“Through a feminist lens, Sexplorations takes a journalistic approach to engaging with conversations surrounding sex and promoting consent-oriented forms of pleasure and intimacy […] If you have been sexually active for years or are just beginning your sexual journey, looking for ways to enhance your sex life or want to be informed, Sexplorations is for you.”
—Zivia Berkowitz, Editor

Click here to read Sexplorations!

Sexplorations ToC

To You Written by Mekael Daniel FGS’20

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What happens when you build a relation-ship that is destined to sink before it floats?
What happens when you surround yourself with mental moats?
This story is a story of a small boat
housing two people
that have no

To You, is a mini poetic play. More importantly, it is a black queer love story.
Written and Directed by Mekael Daniel
Starring Eden Alemayehu and LaNiah Moon




(Q and B are on opposite sides of the stage. They look unsettled. Both are carrying string (or rope). Q starts making her way to center front stage, leaving a trail of string behind her, but stops a quarter of the way there)


To You, Q,

You who caught my string.

You who is contained on this machine

Our relationship only lasted two gigabytes

By that, I mean our relationship is held on a screen

(Holds up phone)

The pictures and videos only barely capture your sheen,

Your smile…

(Looks at screen sentimentally)

I wish I could’ve been with you a while


On that,

I ponder,

These truths I seek

But no words can I speak

(Puts away phone)(starts walking to Q with string in hand. When they intersect, they walk in a semicircle around one another (Interlocking the string) and walk about talking distance away from one another) 

To you who left me weak


You who caught my string.

You who helped me sing.

When I first saw her, I melted


To say that her eyes contained the sky would be a lie

Her Beautiful, Beautiful darkness belied

Infinite universes

Which birthed these words

That asked her to do these verbs

With a certain nerd


(Turn to Q)

I guess that’s a roundabout way of saying, I’d like to chill sometime

And I’m not tryna pressure you

Just can’t stop thinkin bout you

You ain’t even really have to be my girlfriend

I just wanna know your name;


We can hook up,

We can hang out,

We can just… chill…


Oh you’re a direct one.


I’m Q, rhymes with few


Q-could be my boo?


Not with that rhyme. I know you spittin lines but I don’t even know your name, foine.


I’m B, but, you can call me fine if you want.


I’ll let you know off top that my name rhymes with few cause few women impress me


Then why are you still standing next to me?


Pshhh be quiet fool.

(Awkward Pause)

But I guess that’s true, I dig you


You into me, I’m into you, so what it do?


What you mean “What it do”? what do you do?


I’m a drifter

A trickster

Sentimental hipster

And a Skipper

With a lil bit of hopeless romantic on the side


Do you like have any hobbies or…


I told you. I’m a part-time Skipper


Like skipping hopscotch?


No, Its hard to describe…

Imagine this.

The metronome of metal on wood

The sound of

Wind in your ears

Wind in your hair

Wind in our sails


Lines rope around metal

Connecting two entities

An invisible line connecting you to me

As we rock rhythmically

Waves ever so gent-l-y (enjambment)

Dizzying me

Soft noises of sea foam fizzling


(Interrupting excitedly)

I’m assuming I’m on a boat?


Yes. A sailboat. Wanna try out your sea legs sometime?


How can I say no?

(At marina)



These ropes and sticks are kind of beautiful lookin


We call these ropes, lines


That’s oddly artsy

Lines, movement, motion


Is it oddly artsy or is art just oddly packed full of sailing references?


… Both?




(Looking around)

I mean, why not?

All these lines, and yet we both have such little time


Little time?


This city aint mine

I gotta go home soon

So… Yeah, little time


So what does that mean?


(Picking up string)

You caught my string.

It means,

sometimes I find life ties with others

Making my lifeline composed of intricately twined timelines


There’s a lot of timelines in this universe,

We are all travelers, honey


(Bursts out)

Yeah, but I don’t come from money

Does that wanna make you call me honey?

(Hesitate, vaguely gestures towards strings)

If we keep up this dance

Our lines will form patterns

That you can’t un-weave


Now that, I don’t believe.

So what if you don’t come from money

This is just little thing,

Just a little fling!

Don’t you want no expectations between us,

No future dreams?


Considering…. Considering…


Here’s the thing

You leave soon, its either that or we end it


… I still wanna send it

B Laughs and embraces Q



Did you just say ‘send it’?

Q is such a qtpie!

Can you be more cheesy?


Can you be more dreamy?


Gurl, stop!

But this is fun, I guess…


And what’s wrong with a little fun?


Whats wrong with a lil fun?

To romance art thou numb?

What if I fall for you?


Isn’t it true that you’re only here for a few?

I don’t think love after three weeks is love so true


Infatuation maybe


Yes! But aren’t these moments fun?


I guess on the ocean is a wonderful way to meet

Under the summer sun

Exhausting our infatuation in the heat

The golden hour begins


See, I love this.

This vibe is so mellow

Swinging on the ocean

while the sun hangs low

and becomes an orange moon


Your eyes reflect her light

and illuminate the gloom

that was here before me and you

between these two entities,

the flowers of companionship bloom


How cute

It’s getting late, we should head back, but I’ll see you later?


Yes! Tomorrow, maybe?


Tomorrow it is.


A little kiss, maybe?


Yes, and thank you for asking

Lights fade out before they kiss. A stunted silence follows. A light focuses on B, staring pensively at their phone



These minutes eventually turn to hours, into days

Lost in your gaze

This glittery haze

Together we sway,

My tongue yearning for your sweet

And, entangled, we say not a peep

Our hearts beat, tongues bend and twist

Without you there’s this abyss

This nighttime loneliness

And lately

I keep telling myself it’s a temporary phase

That these feelings change

But if I’m being honest

I’m trying not to fall for you

In the middle of the night resist calling you

Stalling our inevitable blues

Nighttime loneliness

This inevitable abyss

The loneliness of nights without you

A second light focuses on Q


The loneliness of nights without you

B turns to tie random sections of the string together 


A second light focuses on Q as she talks


My loneliness when resisting calling you

Why do I resist calling you?

You’ve taught me the ocean blue

Your incredible hues

How to sing the blues

To sing of moons, mountains, and you

So why do I resist calling you?

Or is it resisting falling for you?

Our lifelines are already tangled too

And, these last few days with you are a hallowed few

But, I gotta think of myself, boo.

You don’t want me to love you

So why should I?


Lately I been hearing symphonies,

Having epiphanies,

that love is from within me

So I don’t need your love, B

I don’t need you to call me

Don’t want you to fall for me

B, Finished with the string, watches Q finish her speech solemnly. Q goes and starts attempting to untie the strings



These last few days area hallowed few,

I truly want to spend them with you

But I’d rather not fall for you, see

Its stressful wondering if I should call you

And when you leave, we’ll only have screens to communicate

Long distance won’t work for me

Our tangled lives will rush by

But, I still I want to see you again, please.

Q: Still by the strings

See, recently I’ve been meditating on us, trying to contemplate

I’ve said what I said, but I’ll try to elaborate

I have to put myself first, or else I lay prostrate

To these demons out here tryna tell me my place

Tryna take up and restrict my space

So I’m standing strong

With all my facets

And If you don’t want me to be with you now

I don’t want to see you in the future.

I still care about you

And I’ll still remember your hues

Remember those ocean sunsets with you…


Going to strings

My future is uncertain

my hearts been hurtin

when I think of losing you

and ill be honest that I freeze when making decisions such as these

I like you, that’s for sure

But long distance still holds no allure

So I’ll make peace before

We go our ways

Before the concept of us gets lost in the haze


Before we start to loathe these absent-of-you days


So, is this goodbye?

Our final sigh

It feels wrong, but what feels right?


Tonight is our final night

Our final flight

Being with you has been a dreamy delight

But those saccharine dreams are over

This lil moment in life has been a four leaf clover

But clovers wilt and die

Go into the ground and turn to soil

Over you have I toiled

With you I’ve been spoiled

I’ve been learning

Experiencing your treatment

How you kiss my feet

You’ve raised my standards

Oh my god you’re so sweet

So I’ll say goodbye now,

Plant the seed of this lesson in ground

Watch as my future blessings compound

Due to this moment in history, profound


And I’ll watch you leave

And remember how sunlight weaves through your hair

Please turn your eyes to me,

I just want one more time to see your face so fair

Before we both get up out of here,

Before I watch the shore sway rhythmically away

Before the light fades

And cold creeps

I want to lay with you, to sway with you


Ok, just for this one moment, I’ll stay with you