Jeff Masten

Jeff Masten

The years 2005-08 were a time of terrific growth for Gender Studies at Northwestern, in several areas.  We doubled the size of our tenure-line faculty, adding two new joint positions -- in Gender Studies/English (Nick Davis) and Gender Studies/Sociology (Héctor Carrillo).  These positions significantly expanded our faculty expertise, teaching, and research in sexuality, transnational sexualities, HIV/AIDS, film, and queer theory. We also welcomed Mary Dietz (Gender Studies/Political Science) into one of our long-standing senior positions, confirming our strong core commitment to feminist theory, and added a continuing lecturer position with Jillana Enteen, bringing additional expertise in transnational sexualities and media.  In our graduate program, a second major area of accomplishment, we instituted the first ever Northwestern graduate fellowships in Gender Studies, recruiting, in our first cohort, students who have now gone on to a tenure-track position and a UK Fulbright Fellowship.   We also launched our Gender Studies Doctoral Colloquium, for the discussion of graduate-student research and writing.  During this period, we also had record-breaking cohorts of students writing senior honors theses, with a very active Undergraduate Board, under the leadership of Associate Director Amy Partridge, undertaking a multi-year student focus on transgender issues and representations.  Among a series of nationally and internationally prominent visiting faculty and speakers, event highlights included a visit by legendary poet and essayist Adrienne Rich as a Kreeger Wolf Distinguished Visiting Professor.  Rich read and spoke to a delighted standing-room-only crowd of more than 250 students, faculty, and members of the Evanston/Chicago community.  We also worked to update the interface of GS with its larger audience, giving the GS website its first ever revamp, incorporating resonant quotations from the scholarly work of our faculty, and publishing our first professionally produced newsletter to reach alums, faculty, and students with the good news of the expansion of our faculty, graduate, and undergraduate programs.