An Interview with Prof.Lisa Marie Rollins

By Sage Reynolds

Lisa Marie Rollins contains multitudes.[1] She is a writer, director, professor, scholar, and artist. She is a Black woman who is pushing the boundaries of theater to transform reality, reject institutional frameworks that have been historically oppressive, and create new worlds that elicit a sense of belonging for all bodies that move through the world. Prof. Rollins is a theater professor at Colorado College and the block plan helps make time for both her artist self and academic self. This duality, Prof. Rollins expressed, makes her whole and full; she cannot be one without the other and thus rejects the fragmentation that academia and research can generate. Currently, a lot of her work focuses on ancestral histories; Prof. Rollins is interested in exploring and thinking about Black women excavating their own work, bodies, identities, and histories. This work mostly takes the form of playwriting. Prof. Rollins has written and directed many plays – Love is Another Country is the most recent play she wrote which reflects on the past and acknowledges the present through the navigation of Black women’s generational trauma and the systemic deaths of Black people by police. Professor Rollins’ main research question at play is: if we acknowledge how much world-making potential the theater has to offer, how do we transform reality and create one that is not based on this world?

This image is from the panel with Prof. Rollins and the directors, actors, and co-creators of “Love is Another Country.”

          Reflecting on Professor Rollins’ research/scholarship with a feminist, methodological framework in mind was not a difficult endeavor. Most of what Prof. Rollins had to say about her work and research processes was heavily informed by a feminist methodological view. As I listened to Prof. Rollins speak about how she views her work and how she wants it to be viewed and interacted with, it was clear that her research/scholarship is continually pushing, rejecting, reimagining, and critiquing traditional forms of knowledge production. Professor Rollins claims a sense of intentionality within her work, which is key to challenging the dominant methodologies of theater. She notes how her research is challenging traditional theater epistemology by using collective knowledge to create new realities while also valuing the ways that Black women have been using theater for years. I see Prof. Rollins’ scholarship as a director and playwright as resisting dominant forms of knowledge production because one of Prof. Rollins’ essential “research methods” is dreaming. I see dreaming as a contribution to feminist methodology because the institutions of academia and theater cannot control a person’s dreams – as Professor Rollins said in the interview: “I can dream all I want, you have no control over what my dreams do and what theater is for me, I can change reality if I want to” (Rollins). Dreaming as a part of research is to push against the boundaries of research and power because it takes seriously embodied, intimate, and collective forms of knowledge that come from excavating oppressive, systemic patterns. Prof. Rollins seeks to combine the theater with dreaming in order to center a work of reorientation, reimagination, and rebuilding of the structures that her work simultaneously shatters.

This work of reimagining, which is pivotal to understanding Prof. Rollins’ research/scholarship, challenges Western thought and power – knowledge from a distance – and centers embodied and collective forms of knowledge. Professor Rollins declared that she is an artist that works in collaborative ways – mentorship, providing opportunities to the theater – because she “is so interested in the ways in which other people’s minds work” (Rollins). Professor Rollins then uses this collective knowledge to think about intimacy – a form of embodied knowledge. “Love is Another Country” explores the way in which being intimate with one another can be an act of resistance because capitalism isolates humans. From a feminist methodological framework, intimacy is a form of collective and embodied knowledge to be taken seriously, and Prof. Rollins’ research/scholarship does just that.




Works Cited

Rollins, Lisa Marie. Personal Interview. 9 December 2021.

Whitman, Walt. “Song of Myself (1892 Version) .” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,


[1] This wording is inspired by Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself.”

How has FGS Shaped Your Time at CC?

By Anya Quesnel

Every class I have taken in the FGS program has been an important stepping stone in my personal development. FGS classes push me academically and emotionally and are spaces in which I learn language to articulate who I am and what I care about. The FGS program has in many ways anchored me during my time at Colorado College. The critical lenses I have been exposed to help me to express the tensions I feel and see here and, ideally, move through this campus more actively, creatively and aware of the vastly different ways we experience CC depending on who we are.

I am very grateful that my first class at CC (then called FYE) was Dr. Heidi R. Lewis’ Introduction to Feminist and Gender Studies. Under Dr. Lewis’ instruction, I understood the importance of good citational practices and understanding the responsibilities of being a newcomer to any academic field. For me, this course informed everything that came after it, both in and outside of the classroom. I felt a similar consequential shift in block one of this semester after taking Critical Disability Studies with Dr. Nadia Guessous. In as least fluffy terms I can use to describe what FGS classes have done for me, they have made it such that I cannot unsee the world.

Given how strongly I feel about the impact of the FGS department during my time at this college, I was curious about the experiences of my peers. I connected with a few FGS-affiliated students at different stages in their CC careers to find out more about the impact these classes have had on their experiences on campus and beyond:

Sage Reynolds, Senior FGS major, Content Creator at the Monthly Rag

Sage says that FGS encourages her not to take her peers, professors and other members of the CC community for granted.

“FGS has helped me move through the world with a propensity to ask questions, to critique my own knowledge and to curate a curiosity about the instruction of this knowledge. FGS has helped me exist at CC in a thoughtful way- a way in which I think about how I am positioned in this institution and outside of it.”

Lena Fleischer, Junior, Computer Science Major

Although Lena has not yet taken a FGS class, she feels the impact of the department on wider campus culture.

“FGS feels present to me on this campus. The language of ‘I hear you’, ‘I see you’ and people who are really thoughtful about listening to people’s experiences… I think there’s a big theme of listening at CC and I feel like this is a skill that’s nourished by the FGS department. Sometimes I feel like FemGem gets a bad rep because people think that to be critical all the time is a negative thing. Some of the smartest people at this school are FemGen people!”

Pardes Lyons-Warren, Senior, FGS Major

Pardes believes that FGS classes have influenced every sphere of their life at CC and find themselves more critical and attuned to the ways power structures co-create campus culture. They also find that what they have learnt in FGS classes particularly anchors them in other classes.

“I feel empowered to identify and call out instances of inequity and oppression in many CC spaces. FGS classes have given me compassion in academics and helped me to find ways to decolonize my own areas of intellect. FGS has shaped everything from my writing style to what I consider “appropriate” to turn in for an essay to how to treat my brain and how to have beautiful discussions.”

Daniel De Koning, Junior, Film Major

Daniel took LGBTQ Social Movements in the United States with Dr. Rushaan Kumar. As part of the class he worked on the Colorado Springs LGBTQ+ Oral History Project.

“I learned a lot about the processes of interviewing and archiving, especially the importance of treating interviewees as people, not as subjects we need to complete a project. I appreciated working together with my classmate Zivia, who became a good friend. I was excited to see the final project in its finished state, it felt good to know that we participated in the making of such an important archive.”

Saluja Siwakoti, Alum, FGS Minor

Saluja graduated from CC in 2021. She reflects that the transition into post college life has been a challenge, especially coming from intentionally caring spaces like FGS.

“This is the everyday work: to be cognizant of the stakes of my words, my actions, my communities, my priorities have in the world and I think FGS gave me the tools to identify those things. I feel like the classes I’ve taken with Dr. Guessous, Dr. Kumar and Dr. Lewis stick with me every day. I wish I could run back to CC and sit in on a class with intentional people and professors. We don’t just learn about feminist epistomologies- FGS challenges us to live them everyday. We come to realize that our voices, our intuition, our vulnerability matter and our care matter and that we are doing labour by coming together and thinking in these ways. FGS helps me imagine the world I want to live in. My next step is to really trust the education FGS provided me with and go with what my heart says: to prioritize my communities and the things that bring me joy.”

It goes without saying that I encourage anyone reading this who has not yet taken an FGS to do so – not so that you can say you took an FGS class and feel feministy but so that you give yourself an opportunity to be deeply moved and be left with the question what now?

FGS ’22 Senior Spotlights

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!