Current and Past Fellows-in-Residence

The Fellows-in-Residence who stay at the Women's International Study Center benefit from an environment that is ideally conducive to focused, creative work: respite from the routines and demands of their everyday lives, stimulating interchanges with other Fellows, and the serene natural beauty and rich cultural history of the Acequia Madre House and Santa Fe.  WISC Fellows hail from a broad range of personal and professional backgrounds and pursue an exciting array of projects during their residencies. They all, however, share at least one thing in common: a profound wealth of experience and expertise in their respective fields.

Professor Emerita, Linda Dittmar grew up in Israel. In the U.S. since 1961 (Stanford Ph.D), she taught literature and film studies at UMass--Boston, including two Fulbrights to India. Her writing includes the books From Hanoi to Hollywood and Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism and a memoir in-progress.
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Jessica (Tyner) Mehta is a Cherokee poet and novelist. She’s the author of four collections of poetry including Secret-Telling Bones, Orygun, What Makes an Always, and The Last Exotic Petting Zoo as well as the novel The Wrong Kind of Indian. Prior to her residency at WISC, she was awarded a poetry-in-residence post at Hosking Houses Trust and Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon, England, and Paris Lit Up in France. Jessica is the owner of a multi-award winning writing services business, MehtaFor, and is the founder of the Get it Ohm! karma yoga movement.
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Jo-Marie Burt is a researcher, writer, educator and human rights activist. Trained as a political scientist, she employs ethnographic methods to study political violence, human rights, and transitional justice in Latin America. She is a recognized expert on Peruvian politics, and is author of Political Violence and the Authoritarian State in Peru: Silencing Civil Society (Palgrave, 2007), which received an Honorable Mention for the WOLA-Duke University Book Award for Human Rights in Latin America. She was investigator for the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Currently, she reports on war crimes trials in Guatemala for the International Justice Monitor. Dr. Burt teaches at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a leading human rights research and advocacy organization. She received her Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University.
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Lee Ann Roripaugh is the author of four volumes of poetry: Dandarians (Milkweed, Editions, 2014), On the Cusp of a Dangerous Year (Southern Illinois University Press, 2009), Year of the Snake (Southern Illinois University Press, 2004), and Beyond Heart Mountain (Penguin, 1999). She was named winner of the Association of Asian American Studies Book Award in Poetry/Prose for 2004, and a 1998 winner of the National Poetry Series. The current South Dakota State Poet Laureate, Roripaugh is a Professor of English at the University of South Dakota, where she serves as Director of Creative Writing and Editor-in-Chief of South Dakota Review.
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Stacy Elliott is a writer, filmmaker, artist and archivist who is currently working on a featured-length screenplay based on the life of Martha Graham.
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Stephanie is Professor of Psychology and Women’s Studies at Penn State University. Her research is at the intersection of emotion, gender, and feminist psychology. She focuses on the use of emotion representation to assert or challenge status and power. She is also interested in intersectionality theory and how social psychological research can be more responsive to this perspective. Her experiential learning tool, WAGES (wages.la.psu.edu), illustrates the cumulative effect of apparently minor biases in the academic workplace. Speaking from the Heart: Gender and the Social Meaning of Emotion (Cambridge, 2002), received the Association for Women in Psychology’s Distinguished Publication Award, as did a special issue of Sex Roles on intersectionality (2008) which she edited. She is a recipient of the Carolyn W. Sherif Award, the highest award conferred by Society for the Psychology of Women, which recognizes contributions to the field of the psychology of women as a scholar, teacher, mentor, and leader.
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Alyson Mead studied at Yale, the Slade School of Art in London, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and with iO West, UCB and Tectonic Theatre Project. Her award-winning plays have been staged at Off-Off Broadway and regional theaters around the country and in London, including La MaMa, St. Mark's Church, Judson Church, 8BC, Pasadena Playhouse, Venus Theatre, Women Playwrights Conference, Limelight, the Other Space Theater, the Hudson, Atwater Village Theater, Sacred Fools and the Lillian, among others. She was awarded residencies and fellowships through Ragdale, the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Ireland, Can Serrat and the Women’s International Study Center, won the Bridge Initiative Writing Award and the University of Houston’s 10-Minute Play Festival and has been a finalist for the Henley-Rose Playwriting Competition, the Kenneth Branagh Award for New Dramatic Writing, the Collective: 10 Play Festival, the Cimientos/IATI Theater Play Development Program, NEWvember New Plays Festival and the Teatro Moz Playwriting Competition, and a semi-finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Manhattan Theatre Works’ Newborn Festival and the Wordsmyth Theater reading series. She’s published by Original Works Publishing, and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Ammunition Theatre’s Writing Workshop, the Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Playwriting Unit and the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative.
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Jenny Price is a public writer, artist, and environmental historian. Author of "Flight Maps: Adventures with Nature in Modern America" and “Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A.,” she has published essays and op-eds in the New York Times, LA Times, WA Post, GOOD, and Believer. As a co-founder of the LA Urban Rangers public art collective, she has co-created such projects as Public Access 101: Downtown LA, and has exhibited or performed at venues including MOCA and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. She is co-creator of the Our Malibu Beaches mobile-phone app; and has taught at USC, UCLA, and Princeton University. In 2016-17, she is a Visiting Research Associate at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University-St. Louis, where she is working on a new book—Stop Saving the Planet!: A 12-Step Guide for 21st-Century Environmentalists.
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Alesandra Zsiba is a documentary storyteller, award winning photographer, and a poet at heart. She has studied with and been on the staff of nationally recognized arts organizations such as the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, the National Theater Institute, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, Santa Fe Photographic Workshops, and the School at The International Center of Photography.
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A specialist in American art since 1940, Chad Alligood joined Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art as a curator in 2013. Alongside Crystal Bridges’ President Don Bacigalupi, Alligood curated State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now, culminating thousands of miles of cross-country travel and nearly 1,000 in-studio interviews with artists. Alligood is a Perry, Georgia native who earned his bachelor’s degree in History of Art and Architecture from Harvard University, his master’s degree in Art History from the University of Georgia, and has completed his PhD coursework at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). He served as Adjunct Professor of Art History at Brooklyn College from 2010 to 2012. Alligood received the Kress Foundation Fellowship at the Smith College Institute for Art Museum Studies, and came to Crystal Bridges from Cranbrook Art Museum where he served as the Graham Collections Fellow. At Cranbrook, he curated What to Paint and Why: Modern Painters at Cranbrook, 1936 – 1974. He also served as the managing curator for Alec Soth’s America among other projects. Alligood’s ongoing work at Crystal Bridges focuses on the collection and scholarship of modern and contemporary American art.
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A plant biologist in love with all forms of life, Susan J. Tweit is the author of twelve books, including Walking Nature Home, A Life’s Journey, called a “must read” by Story Circle Book Reviews. Her articles and essays have been featured in magazines and newspapers as varied as the Los Angeles Times, High Country News, Audubon, and Popular Mechanics. Her writing, has been hailed as melding “the passion of a poet with the precision of a scientist,” and has won the EDDIE for magazine writing, ForeWord Book of the Year Award, Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children, the Colorado Book Award, and the Colorado Authors League Award (three times).
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We cannot repair the world by mere reflection: theater must refract and refine. Playwright, composer, lyricist, director, Broadway actor/singer, poet, and all-round energetic sort, DS Magid is a member of Cleveland Play House Playwrights’ Unit, is a Cleveland Public Theatre Artist, and co-founded ICWP's 50/50 Applause Award for gender parity in theater. Magid's works have been seen worldwide and comprise long, short, drama, comedy, musical, SciFi, rock opera, chamber opera, and “Richard Wagner’s Entire Ring Cycle in Ten Minutes with Sock Puppets.”
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During their time at WISC, Betsey and Jen will work on the development of a book about their “Writing Life Stories” project which will include tools for teachers and community leaders to replicate the project in their own communities. The book will be modeled after curricular texts used by middle / high school teachers and community organizations for instruction. The book will use the experiences and models gleaned from the “Writing Life Stories” project to highlight community engaged best practices instruction and how to bring together academic and service learning projects in schools.
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Stanlie James was appointed Vice Provost for Inclusion and Community Engagement in September 2016 at Arizona State Universtiy. She is a professor who holds a joint appointment in the African and African American Studies, and the Women and Gender Studies programs in the School of Social Transformation at ASU.
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Celeste Oram, Jennifer Bewerse, and Rachel Beetz will come together at WISC to create a live performance with audio-video media exploring the cumulative effect of absent-minded actions. The duo performance project Autoduplicity (Rachel Beetz, flute and Jennifer Bewerse, cello) in collaboration with composer Celeste Oram will develop a new musical work while also developing and rehearsing a new concert program during residency at WISC. 
Autoduplicity's debut concert was an exploration of music for bodies and speech—our shared instruments —investigating how these ordinary sounds can be transformed into powerful musical ideas reflective of the human experience. Composer Celeste Oram's recent work looks at similar concepts of music for bodies and identity on stage behind an instrument. The connection of Autoduplicity and Oram's musical interests are a beautiful match. Currently, Autoduplicity is performing their second concert program which explores the hidden complexity of simple sounds.
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Maria Schirmer is an interdisciplinary theatre artist and arts educator who recently completed her Master’s at New York University where she researched the intersection of performance and politics and how art can be used as a tool for social justice.
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Mary Margaret Fonow, Professor of Women and Gender Studies, was named founding Director of the School of Social Transformation in 2008. Her research interests include transnational labor activism, women and work in the global economy, and feminist methodology. Fonow has conducted comparative research on workplace change in U.S., Canada and Australia and has recently concluded a study of women's transnational labor activism in male dominated unions in the metal trades. Fonow provides national leadership for the research training of doctoral students in the field of women and gender studies and is a member of the UNESCO Women and Gender Research Network. She has served on the editorial boards of Gender & Society, NWSA Journal, Frontiers: A Journal of Women's Studies, and the Australian Journal of Sociology.
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Dr. Kimberly M. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and director of the new Interdisciplinary Food Studies program at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. She is co-director of a new living and learning community for STEM scholars, an initiative whose goal is to improve access to STEM research careers for women of color through professional and social networks and social justice empowerment.
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Leyte Winfield is a teacher, mentor, and scholar dedicated to nurturing potential and empowering agency in women of African descent pursuing careers in STEM. She has been on faculty at Spelman College since 2003. During this time, she has established a research program that investigates the relationship between the structure of a molecule, particularly benzimidazoles, and its utility as a therapeutic agent against breast, ovarian, and prostate cancers. Here research has been recognized by the American Association of Cancer Research and the Council for Undergraduate Research and has been funded in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
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Sameena Mulla is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
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Heather Hlavka is an Assistant Professor of Criminology and Law Studies in the Department of Social and Cultural Sciences at Marquette University in Milwaukee.
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Julieth Balanta Zúñiga, Cindy Córdoba, Lizeth Tatiana Meneses Bejarano, and Katherine Granja Orobio will research Afrocolombian Arts. In Colombia, art has been used in unique ways by women to overcome the tragedy of internal armed conflict. The group will explore how these art expressions led by women’s organizations in Cali and Buenaventura helped construct peace building processes.
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Karina Puente is a painter and installation artist specializing in large-scale Papel Picado.
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Dr. Julie Sasse is Chief Curator and Curator of Modern, Contemporary, and Latin American Art at the Tucson Museum of Art.
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Mi’Jan Celie Tho-Biaz, Ed.D., is a Visiting Scholar with the Interdisciplinary Center for Innovative Theory and Empirics at Columbia University; inaugural leadership member with the Aspen Institute’s Franklin Project, as well as The Banff Centre's New Fundamentals in the Creative Ecology; and the lead designer and co-facilitator for the public policy digital storytelling and documentation training with women organizers who labor for social change, at the Steinem Initiative at Smith College.
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Sanchez and Martinez worked collaboratively with each other on two major projects, EKCO Poets and Women & Creativity. During a two-week residency at WISC, they produced poetry and each wrote a professional article about either Women & Creativity or EKCO poets. They also fully developed an organizational plan with priorities for the second decade of Women & Creativity and a national outreach plan for EKCO Poets that includes a framework for publishing the existing body of EKCO work.
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Dana is an activist-scholar-artist and has been the Executive Director of SPARK Movement (www.SPARKsummit.com) since 2011 where she trains and supports girls (ages 13-22) to launch action campaigns, produce theater, create videos and publish writing.
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Lisandra Tena, Nan Elsasser and Rebeca Mayorga (remotely from Spain) will be using this group residency to revise and finesse "Guera" (Mexican slang for white girl), a one woman show written and performed by Lisandra Tena.
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Jean Grow is an Associate Professor in the department of Strategic Communication in the Diederich College of Communication at Marquette University in Milwaukee Wisconsin. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and her B.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Dr. Grow is also the Director of the University Fine Arts Program, a cross institutional collaboration with Milwaukee School of Art and Design. Prior to joining the academy Jean worked as an artists’ representative with advertising agencies such as Leo Burnett, DDB, FCB and J. Walter Thompson; and clients such as Coca Cola, Kellogg USA and Zenith. Jean’s current research focuses on women in advertising. As a scholar she is passionate about giving voice to women and advocating for change.
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Diana de Aguniaga, Monique Anair, Doug Crawford, James Lujan, Gene Mederos, and Jilann Spitzmiller are coming together at the WISC guest houses for a retreat to focus on building a curriculum that will best serve Native Americans, Hispanics, Mexicans and women in their communities. The overall curriculum that is designed during this group fellowship will support women and minorities in the arts and technology. The films will focus on the diverse stories in New Mexico and helping preserve past, present and future stories through multi-media and video.
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Celia Lowenstein has made, over the last two decades, over 50 films. Celia likes to “bend” the documentary genre, incorporating music and dance with a strong narrative filmmaking style. Prior to making films she trained as a psychologist, working on how physical beauty is perceived around the world and how distortions of body image can lead to psychological disorders.
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Allison Goodwin is a teacher and writer, whose scholarly work challenges traditional understandings of religions’ discriminatory teachings about women, other religions/sects, and other groups. Ms. Goodwin has an M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Fiction from Syracuse University, and a B.A. in English literature from Barnard College, Columbia University, and has taught literature, screenwriting, fiction writing, creative non-fiction, and rhetoric at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, National Taiwan University, and Syracuse University. While in residency at WISC, she will be working on an article that proposes that the hundreds of psychological and social studies on the effects of self/other concepts, discrimination, expectations, and stereotypes, provide a means of transforming religions’ negative and limiting beliefs and rules, because they offer concrete evidence that such views and treatment lead to harm.
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Gail Levin is Distinguished Professor of Art History, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at The Graduate Center and Baruch College of the City University of New York. The acknowledged authority on the American realist painter Edward Hopper, she is author of many books and articles on this artist, including the catalogue raisonné and Edward Hopper: An Intimate Biography.
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Dr. Patricia Deldin is currently a Professor at the University of Michigan, Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology. She is the current Chairwoman and Director of Clinical Training for the Clinical Psychology program in the Department of Psychology and one of the Associate Directors of the University of Michigan Depression Center. As one of the founding members, she helped to launch the National Network of Depression Centers—a network of over 20 leading Depression Centers that was created to speed breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of mood disorder.
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Jill Koenigsdorf has been writing since the age of ten. She grew up in Kansas City, Missouri and her first foray into writing took the form of poetry. Jill began her undergraduate degree at Bard College in New York, found her way to Naropa Institute in Boulder, CO and ultimately earned her B.A. from University of California, Santa Cruz in 1980. Her novel, Phoebe & The Ghost of Chagall was published by MacAdam Cage in November of 2012, and is forthcoming in paperback from Dzanc Publishers. Jill is currently at work on her second novel, RADIANCE, which follows three generations of women whose lives have been affected by radium.
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Ozlem Ezer believes reading and writing are inseparable parts of her identity. She studied English Language and Literature at Bogazici University in Istanbul, and received an M.A. and Ph.D. in women’s and gender studies at METU, Ankara and York University in Toronto, respectively. Her deepest passion is for studying women’s lives in their own words, which has led her to the intersection of academic and creative writing. She has developed an expertise in life writing as a result, and her interest in recording and capturing lives significantly shapes her academic and personal writing.
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A cyclist since age three, Alon Raab is a writer, activist and teacher in the department of Religious Studies at University of California, Davis. His true religions are football (soccer) and bicycles- playing, riding, writing and dreaming about them. Alon’s work includes two books on football - The Global Game: Writers on Soccer and Soccer in the Middle East; a forthcoming book on the history and culture of cycling in the Middle East; articles in academic and popular publications; and co-hosting radio shows about his two passions. Alon has also authored pieces in America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the United States, The Oxford Handbook of World Sports, and The Cambridge Guide to Jewish History, Religion, and Culture.
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Geraldine Craig is an artist and writer whose research focuses on the intersections or relationships between textile history, theory and criticism, curatorial work and studio practice. She received Bachelors' degrees from the University of Kansas (Textile Design; History of Art), and her Master of Fine Arts degree from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 1989. She also studied art history and philosophy at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Currently, she is Professor of Art at Kansas State University, where she has taught and been Department Head of Art since July 2007.
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Adrianne Wortzel creates unique and innovative interactive art works exploring historical and cultural perspectives by coupling fact and fiction and deploying their considered mix in both physical and virtual networked environments. She is a Professor of Entertainment Technology and Emerging Media Technologies at New York City College of Technology, the senior technical college in the City University of New York (CUNY) system. She is the Founding Director of StudioBlueLab, an interdisciplinary collaborative lab facility for faculty and student invention, established by a 2004 CUNY Graduate Research Technology Incentive Award and maintained at New York City College of Technology.
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Dr. Punyashree Panda is an Assistant Professor of English at Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar, India. Dr. Panda has a doctoral degree in Native American literature and a Post-graduate diploma in ELT which is equivalent to an American TESOL diploma. She is particularly interested in Native American and Native Canadian Fiction, Postcolonial World Literature, Indian Writing in English, Cross Cultural Communication, and English Language Teaching. She is presently working on a sponsored project on “Twentieth Century Marginal Women’s Autobiographical Writing: A Contrastive Study of India and the United States.”
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Kristin Swenson is a visiting associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia and continues to be affiliated with Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned tenure as a professor of the history and literature of ancient Israel. After taking a fellowship at the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities and moving to Charlottesville, she resigned from VCU to write full-time. She serves as editor for the Society of Biblical Literature's NEH-supported Bible Odyssey website project and is a regular contributor to the religion arm of Publishers Weekly and to The Huffington Post.
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