Board of Directors

  

Abdulhamit Arvas is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. He is currently completing a book manuscript that explores English and Ottoman sexualities with a focus on abductions of beautiful boys in the Mediterranean during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. His publications on early modern sexualities, genders, race, cross-cultural encounters, and sexual politics in Turkey have appeared in journals including English Literary Renaissance, Journal of Early Modern Cultural Studies, Shakespeare Survey, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies. , and in edited collections such as The Postcolonial World, Trans Historical: Gender Plurality Before the Modern, and The Cambridge History of Gay and Lesbian Literature. He has recently co-edited the tenth anniversary issue of postmedieval: a journal of medieval cultural studies.

Elvis Bakaitis is Interim Head of Reference at The Graduate Center Library. Bakaitis is also a Coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, and co-founded the NYC Feminist Zinefest with Kate Angell in 2012. They taught a course at Service & Advocacy for LGBT Elders with Flavia Rando in 2019, hold a Certificate in Geriatric Care Management from the Brookdale Center for Aging at Hunter College, and are a former family caregiver.

  

Rodrigo Brandao studied Film and Art History at Ithaca College and has over 15 years of experience in the art house, film distribution business. He handled the marketing and PR campaign for the Academy Award-nominated documentary 5 BROKEN CAMERAS and several other award-winning documentaries. He taught workshops on film marketing and distribution for the Tribeca Film Institute in São Paulo, the Brazilian Film Festival in Miami, and the Finger Lakes Film Festival, among others. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brandão now lives in Queens, NY.

  

Jaime Shearn Coan is a writer and PhD Candidate in English at The CUNY Graduate Center, whose research explores practices of collectivity in queer performance during the early years of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. He currently serves as a Mellon Digital Publics Fellow at The Center for the Humanities, and previously served as the 2016-2017 Curatorial Fellow at Danspace Project. Jaime’s writing has appeared in publications including TDR: The Drama Review, Critical Correspondence, Drain Magazine, The Brooklyn Rail, Jacket2, and Women & Performance. Jaime is a co-editor of the 2016 Danspace Project catalogue: Lost and Found: Dance, New York, HIV/AIDS, Then and Now.

Debanuj Dasgupta, Board Co-Chair is Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Debanuj’s research and teaching focuses on racialized regulation of space, and the global governance of migration, sexuality, and HIV. Prior to his doctoral degree, Debanuj worked for over sixteen years within several international development agencies, HIV/AIDS, LGBT rights and immigrant rights organizations in India and the US. In 1994, Debanuj founded the first HIV prevention program for men who have sex with men and gay men in Kolkata, and since relocating to the United States has organized LGBT immigrants & asylum seekers in the New York tri state area. Debanuj serves on the political geography editorial board of the Geography Compass, and on the Sexual Harassment and Anti-Bullying Taskforce of the American Association of Geographers.  He is the recipient of the Junior Scholar Award in Transregional Studies: Inter-Asian Contexts and Connections from the Social Science Research Council; the Ford Foundation funded New Voices Fellowship, American Association of Geographers and National Science Foundation funded T. J. Reynolds National Award in Disability Studies, and the Emerging Activist Award from the International AIDS Society. His scholarly work has been published in journals such as Disability Studies Quarterly, Contemporary South Asia, SEXUALITIES, Gender, Place & Culture, Human Geography, Women’s Studies in Communication  and the Scholar and the Feminist (S&F online). He is the co-editor of Friendship As Social Justice Activism: Critical Solidarities in Global Perspective (Seagull Press/University of Chicago Press), and Queering Digital India: Activisms, Identities and Subjectivities (University of Edinburgh Press/Oxford University Press).

  

Joseph Donica (PhD American Literature and cultural studies) is an assistant professor of English at Bronx Community College, CUNY. He teaches American literature, literary theory, and writing courses. His research covers post-1945 American literature (especially Arab-American literature), urbanism, the histories of technology, and queer studies. He serves on the executive board of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, is a monthly columnist for Screenshot Magazine, and is the chair of the committee awarding the John Leo and Dana Heller book award in LGBTQ studies.

  

Allisonjoy Faelnar has almost 20 years of experience in grassroots organizing, anti-oppression facilitation, social justice theater & performance, creating spaces for holistic healing accessibility, educational human-animal interactions, and expanding the dialogue of intersectionality while challenging us all to manifest our conversations & study into sustainable daily practice. Allisonjoy has been the National Recruiter & Campaign Coordinator for ACORN, Co-Founder of national media justice coalition R.E.A.C.Hip-Hop, National Organizer & touring member of We Got Issues! (a women’s empowerment & leadership organization that combined community organizing skills with multi-disciplinary cultural work & performance), East Coast Coordinator / Road Manager and performer for Mango Tribe, the country’s first & only APIA women & genderqueer interdisciplinary social justice performance ensemble. Her work has been published and performed nationally and internationally. Allisonjoy has led anti-bullying workshops in schools for youth and teachers in NY and NJ. She has organized, created events, facilitated leadership & empowerment trainings and anti-oppression workshops with youth, women, the LGBT community, and people of color. She also administers treatments to animals, some of whom she considers her greatest teachers. Allisonjoy has offered her care all across the United States, and as far away as the Philippines.

  

Monique Guishard is a participatory action researcher, a de-colonial ethicist with expertise in using Brown feminist (Black, Latina, & indigenous feminist epistemologies) to theorize back to conventional research ethics frameworks. Monique is a community college professor committed to student-centered, culturally relevant, blended learning andragogy. Guishard is a member of the Bronx Community Research Review Board (BxCRRB) and a founding member of the Public Science Project.

James K. Harris received a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio (2010) and an M.A. (2012) and Ph.D. (2017) in English from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He teaches courses in composition, African American literature and contemporary fiction. Before coming to Bronx Community College, he taught at The Ohio State University and Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. His research has primarily focused on 20th Century US Ethnic Literature, and specifically representations of youth, adolescence, and coming of age. His recent work appears in the edited collection Future Humans in Fiction and Film (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2018) and is forthcoming in the Journal of Popular Culture. He is currently developing a project at the intersection of game studies and cultural theory, tentatively titled Play Street.

George Lam is an assistant professor of music at York College, where he teaches courses in music theory and composition. George studied music at Boston University, the Peabody Conservatory, and Duke University, where he received his PhD. George is interested in works that intersect music, theater, and the documentary process, and is currently working on The Emigrants, a documentary work for the cello-percussion duo New Morse Code. George Lam is the 2018 composer-in-residence at the Chautauqua Opera Company, and also serves as a co-artistic director of Rhymes With Opera, an NYC-based ensemble that commissions and produces new operas.

  

Velina Manolova is a doctoral candidate in English at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, focusing on queer interventions in racial liberalism in the works of Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin, Carson McCullers, and Lillian Smith. Her essay, “The Tragic ‘Complexity of Manhood’: Masculinity Formations and Performances in James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room” appears in Contemporary Masculinities in the UK and US: Between Bodies and Systems, part of Palgrave’s Global Masculinities series, edited by Michael Kimmel. Manolova teaches critical theory and writing at the Pratt Institute and has previously taught at Baruch College, the City College of New York, and the University of Florida. She is also a founding member of the New-York-based Balkan Queer Initiative.

 

 Rigoberto Marquez is Associate Director of Academic Programs and Community Engaged Learning at Stanford’s Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity.  “Before joining Stanford I was a Provost Postdoctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University and Gerardo Marin Fellow in the School of Education at the University of San Francisco. My research interests include critical theories of race and sexuality in education, queer youth of color, Latina/o(x) youth, community engagement and advocacy, law and policy, critical pedagogy, social justice education, community health and public pedagogy. I earned a PhD in Education (Division of Urban Schooling) from the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies and a M.A. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Proud community college student, earning my A.A. in Liberal Arts from Santa Monica College and transferring to the University of California, San Diego where I earned  a B.A. in Critical Gender Studies and Sociology.”

  

Arianna Martinez is an Associate Professor of Urban Studies at LaGuardia Community College. She received her PhD from Rutgers University in urban planning and geography. She has analyzed the criminalization of Latino immigrant communities in municipalities where both space and citizenship are hotly contested. Martinez’s current scholarship focuses on national immigration policy, the urban transformation and empowerment of Latino communities, and LGBTQ immigrant enclaves. She is happy to call Queens her home.

Shaka McGlotten is Professor of Media Studies and Anthropology at Purchase College-SUNY, where they also serve as Chair of the Gender Studies and Global Black Studies Programs. Their work stages encounters between black study, queer theory, media, and art. They have written and lectured widely on networked intimacies and messy computational entanglements as they interface with qtpoc lifeworlds. They are the author of Virtual Intimacies: Media, Affect, and Queer Sociality, published by SUNY Press in 2013. They are also the co-editor of two edited collections, Black Genders and Sexualities (with Dana-ain Davis) and Zombies and Sexuality (with Steve Jones). Their book Dragging: In the Drag of a Queer Life, forthcoming from Routledge, and their current project, Black Data, have been supported by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, and Creative Capital | The Andy Warhol on Instagram and Twitter @shakaz23.

Shanté Paradigm Smalls (they, them, theirs) is a scholar, artist, and writer. Smalls’s teaching and research focuses on Black popular culture in music, film, visual art, genre fiction, and other aesthetic forms. Dr. Smalls recently finished their first scholarly manuscript, Hip Hop Heresies: Queer Aesthetics in New York City, which won the 2016 CLAGS Fellowship Award for best manuscript in LGBTQ Studies. Hip Hop Heresies is the first of its kind—placing queerness, hip hop, and black aesthetics in conversation with one another to argue that New York City hip hop cultural production from the 1970s to the mid-2010s inherently employs “queer articulations” of race, gender, and sexuality. Hip Hop Heresies is under contract with NYU Press and forthcoming in 2021. Smalls’s writing has appeared in The Black Scholar, GL/Q, QED, Women & Performance, Criticism, Lateral, American Behavioral Scientist, Suspect Thoughts, Syndicate Literature, and the Oxford Handbook of Queerness and Music. Dr. Smalls is currently an Associate Professor of Studies at St. John’s University in New York City. Dr. Smalls received their PhD in Performance Studies from Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, their MA in Performance Studies from NYU, and their BA in English and Theatre from Smith College. To see more, go to Dr. Smalls’s website: http://shanteparadigm.com

  

Lavelle Porter is an Assistant Professor of English at New York City College of Technology, CUNY. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the CUNY Graduate Center, and a B.A. in history from Morehouse College. He has previously worked for CLAGS as Membership and Fellowships Coordinator. His writing has appeared in venues such as The New Inquiry, Poetry Foundation, Warscapes, Callaloo, and Black Perspectives. His research interests include African-American literature,  gender and sexuality, New York City, higher education, and science fiction.

  

Shawn(ta) Smith-Cruz (board co-chair) is an Assistant Curator and Associate Dean at the New York University Division Libraries. She is a Coordinator at the Lesbian Herstory Archives, Chair of the Archives committee on the CLAGS Board, and Advisory Board member to a GALE LGBTQ archival database. Shawn’s focus is telling the stories of Black lesbian through oral histories, archiving, and the blurred lines of fiction. She presented her work on archiving Black lesbians as Keynote to the International LGBTQ ALMS (Archivists, Librarians, Museum Curators, & Special Libraries) Conference: http://lgbtqalms.co.uk/2016/03/23/keynote-shawnta-smith-cruz/. Shawn has a BS in Queer Women’s Studies from CUNY, an MFA in Creative Writing/Fiction, and an MLS with a focus on Archiving and Records Management, both from Queens College. Her current project is curating the narrative of the Salsa Soul Sisters, the first Black lesbian organization in the country, through a zine and traveling exhibit with the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop, Lesbian Herstory Archives, and members of Salsa Soul Sisters. Learn more about Shawn here: https://shawntasmithcruz.com

 

Red Washburn is Associate Professor of English and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Kingsborough Community College (CUNY). Red (them/ them/ theirs) is also Adjunct Associate Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies at Brooklyn College (CUNY). They are a Research Fellow at the CUNY Grad Center fall/spring 2018-2020. They were a Visiting Professor at Vassar College summers 2018-2019. They teach first-year composition, women’s and trans literature, queer literature, creative nonfiction, introduction to women’s and gender studies, feminist and trans theory, queer theory, postcolonial theory, prison studies, women’s and trans history, civil rights and post-colonial history, and social movements in the United States and Ireland, post- World War II, among other courses.

Margot Weiss is associate professor of American studies and anthropology, coordinator of queer studies, and affiliated faculty in feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at Wesleyan University. Acultural anthropologist who specializes in the relationships between queer sexual cultures and US neoliberal capitalism, Margot’s publications include the award-winning Techniques of Pleasure: BDSM and the Circuits of Sexuality (Duke UP, 2011) and her articles have appeared in GLQ, Cultural Anthropology, American Quarterly, Anthropological Quarterly, New Labor Forum, Journal of Homosexuality, and Radical History Review, among other venues. She is currently writing a book on queer left activism and editing a new volume on Queer Anthropology. CLAGS’s financial support and role as a beacon for cutting-edge queer and trans scholarship has been crucial to Margot’s work, and she is honored to serve on the CLAGS Board to contribute to the future of CLAGS. More at margotweiss.com or on Twitter @MargotDWeiss

  

Janet Werther (MFA Sarah Lawrence College; PhD Candidate, The Graduate Center, CUNY) is a scholar, artist, and educator. Janet has performed with the Ballez Company in NYC and creates solo work. Their dissertation theorizes ambivalent queer longings for home in LGBTQ+ performance. Janet has published in Studies in Musical Theatre and PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art. She teaches theatre at Baruch and Marymount Manhattan colleges, focusing on theatre/performance as a lens through which to address representation and social (in)justice. Janet is a fellow at the CUNY Center for Humanities and maintains a youth dance teaching practice developed through a long term relationship with the Brooklyn Arts Exchange (BAX).

  

Laura Westengard is an Associate Professor of English at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) where she also serves as point person of the interdisciplinary Gender & Sexuality Studies concentration. Her research and teaching interests include United States literature and culture after 1900, queer studies, critical trauma studies, intersectional feminism, and gothicism. Her book, Gothic Queer Culture: Marginalized Communities and the Ghosts of Insidious Trauma (University of Nebraska Press), resurrects “insidious trauma” as a productive term to address the accumulated effects of microaggression and unacknowledged institutional violence. It examines how queer culture challenges heteronormative and racialized systems and practices that create traumatic experiences for queer people and demonstrates how queer culture adopts gothicism to acknowledge the effects of microaggression and insidious trauma.

FOR A LIST OF PREVIOUS BOARD MEMBERS PLEASE CLICK HERE