New postdoctoral fellows join Clayman Institute

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New postdoctoral fellows join Clayman Institute

by Gender News staff on Thursday, September 12, 2013 - 2:52pm

The Clayman Institute for Gender Research is pleased to welcome two new postdoctoral fellows, sociologist Alison Dahl Crossley and historian Ashley Farmer. The two scholars will spend their time with the Clayman Institute working on their own research, translating gender research for a broader audience, and participating in our ongoing interdisciplinary collaborations to advance gender equality.

"We are thrilled the have two outstanding academics join our team," said Andrea Rees Davies, Director of Programs and Research for the Institute. "One of the most exciting things we do here at the Clayman Institute is support emerging gender scholars.They bring new methodological perspectives to the Institute and push us to understand gender research in new ways."

Alison Dahl Crossley

Alison Dahl CrossleyCrossley’s research focuses on the continuity of contemporary feminism, particularly how young feminists fuel the movement during periods that are not amenable to social movement mobilization. In her dissertation, “Social Movement Continuity and Abeyance: Feminist Mobilization on U.S. College Campuses,” she explores the cultural, structural, and organizational features of the U.S. feminist movement.

“The Clayman Institute has an excellent reputation for forward-thinking research and disseminating information about gender inequality to a large audience,” she said.

Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, Crossley spent her undergraduate years studying Women’s Studies at Smith College. After graduation, Crossley moved to London to study topics related to feminism and the media at the University of London, Goldsmiths College. Then it was back home to Minnesota to advise a vibrant university feminist student organization and serve as research assistant at the National Youth Leadership Council. Crossley spent the next seven years at University of California, Santa Barbara working toward her MA/PhD.

Ashley Farmer

Ashley FarmerHistorian Ashley Farmer was drawn to the Clayman Institute’s commitment to diversity in addressing issues. “I appreciate (Clayman’s) ability to pull from different disciplines and sources to address some of our most pressing social issues,” she said.

Farmer’s scholarship interprets how women of color have historically organized around issues of gender inequity and how they have incorporated gender equality as part of movements dedicated to ending racial and economic disparities.

Farmer grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, and went to college at Spelman in Atlanta, where she studied French and Spanish. During graduate school at Harvard, she transitioned to African American history.

Her dissertation, “What You’ve Got is a Revolution: Black Women’s Movements for Black Power” examines African American women's intellectual contributions to the black power movement. Farmer examined the political speeches, pamphlets, and drawings of women in organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Congress of African People. She argues that African American women developed gender-specific political identity models that connected their gendered interests to black power ideology.

Ultimately, Farmer explained, her research shows that African American women successfully promoted gender equality as a central component of radical movements for racial equality.

A new chapter

Both Farmer and Crossley will write book manuscripts based on their dissertations during their time at the Clayman Institute. 

Crossley hopes to embark on new projects and collaborations related to feminism and reinvigorating the “stalled revolution.” Farmer will continue her work developing digital media curricula and programming focused on women’s historical and contemporary activism. 

Both scholars expressed eagerness to participate in the Voice & Influence Program, an opportunity, they noted, that would undoubtedly help with their future academic careers. “It offers a unique opportunity for me to learn vital workplace skills that are not always taught in academic settings,” Farmer said.

The two scholars will also contribute to the Redesigning and Redefining Work initiative, and write articles for Gender News.