The Sexualities Project at Northwestern (SPAN) holds an international competition for a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in social scientific approaches to sexuality studies. Fellows are affiliated with both the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program and a department at Northwestern. Fellows pursue a program of independent scholarship under the guidance of a faculty mentor and teach two undergraduate courses each year. They also assist in the organization of on-campus educational activities such as an annual workshop.
Abram J. (AJ) Lewis completed his PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Gender, Women’s and Sexuality Studies at Grinnell College. AJ’s research and teaching interests include queer and feminist theory, LGBT history, trans studies, postsecular studies, women of color feminisms, and the new ontologies. His project, “The Falling Dream: Unreason and Enchantment in the Gay Liberation Movement,” examines queer activist challenges to secularism and reason at the end of the social movement era. He is interested in how experiments with madness, spells, psychic powers, psychedelics, and otherworldly forces helped expand possibilities for thinking and acting during the early onset of neoliberalism. AJ’s writing has appeared in Radical History Review, The Journal of the History of Sexuality, and The Scholar & Feminist Online. AJ is also the recipient of the 2016 Gregory Sprague Prize from the American Historical Association’s Committee on LGBT History. AJ will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies and History at Northwestern.
Courses at NU
Winter 2017: GSS 321 Queer Feelings; Gender, Sexuality, and the Politics of Affect
Spring 2017: GSS 321/HIST XXX Race and Sexuality in the US, 1940-Present
Mitali Thakor will complete her PhD in 2016 from MIT's Program in History, Anthropology, and Science, Technology & Society (HASTS). Her dissertation research covers the design and use of new digital techniques to locate child pornography online, from 3D avatars to image recognition software. Mitali's ethnographic fieldwork in the Netherlands, Thailand, and the U.S. explores partnerships and tensions between international police, border control, computer scientists, UN bureaucrats, and activists as they develop algorithmic solutions to cases of exploitation and trafficking.
Mitali is broadly interested in feminist STS, queer studies of punishment, digital anthropology, critical race studies on borders and migration, and public discourses around technology, software design, sex work, sexual exploitation, and civic empowerment. She holds a B.A. in Feminist Studies and Anthropology from Stanford and has previously worked in Thailand and the Philippines. Mitali works for East Coast Solidarity Summer, an educational program for radical South Asian American youth, and also organizes on issues of sexual violence and prison abolition. You can read more about her work at www.mitalithakor.com and follow her @mitalithakor. Mitali will be a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies and Anthropology at Northwestern.
Courses at NU
Winter 2017: GSS 363/ANTHRO XXX Queer Robotics: Cyborgs & Fantasy in Postcolonial Sci-Fi and Anthropology
Spring 2017: GSS 341/ANTH 3XX Borders: Sex, Race, & Techniques of Border Control
Kai M. Green is a writer, scholar, poet, filmmaker, abolitionist, feminist and whatever else it takes to make a new and more just world. For the past six years, he lived in Los Angeles building locally with Black LGBT communities, while also working to complete his dissertation, “Into the Darkness: A Black Queer (Re)Membering of Los Angeles in a Time of Crises.” Kai completed his graduate work at The University of Southern California in the Department of American Studies and Ethnicity. He also received graduate certificates in Gender Studies and Visual Anthropology. Kai is invested in developing models of healthy and loving Black masculinities. Through writing and organizing Kai has become a strong, visible voice in the Black Trans community and in the LGBT community generally. As a leader, teacher, and scholar, he is committed to raising consciousness around self-care, self-love, sexual health, emotional health, sexual and state violence, healthy masculinities, and Black feminism. He believes that writing and story telling are revolutionary acts, especially for those who are often erased by heteronormative and Eurocentric histories. His goal is not simply to be a voice for the people; his goal is to always be making space and room for others to share their own truths and find their own voices. Kai is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies and African American Studies at Northwestern.
Courses at NU
Winter 2015: African American Studies 225: “Queer in the City” (cross-listed with Gender & Sexuality Studies)
Aaron Norton recently completed his PhD in Psychology from UC Davis, where he was also a Graduate Fellow for the Center for Science and Innovation Studies and the Program in Science & Technology Studies. Aaron’s research interests include feminist-STS approaches to the study of gender and sexuality, attitudes toward LGBT people, and the biopolitics of HIV-risk categorization and prevention. For example, his dissertation traces the science, ethics and politics of male circumcision’s emergence as an HIV-risk category and prevention strategy. He has published articles in BioSocieties, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Sex Roles, Sexuality Research & Social Policy, and from a prior life, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Aaron is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies and Sociology at Northwestern.
Courses at NU
Winter 2015: “Sexuality and HIV/AIDS,” co-listed as Gender & Sexuality Studies 332 and Sociology 376
Previous Postdoctoral Fellows
Kirsten Leng's dissertation examined the role sexual science played in German and British feminists' sexual politics from 1880-1914. Her work documents how feminists' engagement with sexual science enabled them to both advance demands for sexual reform and contribute to the creation of sexual knowledge. However, her work also illuminates how sexual science limited the aims and reach of feminist sexual politics. While at Northwestern, she is beginning a new project that examines the transformation of German and British feminist sexual politics and sexual science from 1914 to 1939 in the face of generational shifts, legal changes to women's status, technological and scientific innovations, and exceptional political events such as war, revolution, democratization, fascism, and mass emigration. In 2013-2014, Dr. Leng was an ACLS New Faculty Fellow with the Department of History and Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Columbia University. Currently, Kirsten is an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts — Amherst in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Courses at NU
Winter 2012: History 300-33: "Sex and European Feminism, ca. 1800-1918"
Evren Savci's dissertation project was a multi-sited, multi-method analysis of contemporary urban queer subcultures and politics in Turkey, and what these sites reveal about the mechanisms of abjection of the modern westernizing Nation-State, especially the roles played by processes of sexualization, racialization, secularization, criminalization and gendering of citizen subjects within the context of national aspirations for "civilization." Currently, Dr. Savci is studying practices of Islamic matrimony, cousin marriage, and polygamy that were outlawed or strongly discouraged by the new Republic, yet are still practiced today, to examine what these "failures" tell us about Westernization. Dr. Savci is currently an Assistant Professor in the Women's and Gender Studies Department at San Francisco State University.
Courses at NU
Winter 2012: Gender & Sexuality Studies 390 / Religious Studies 359: "Gender, Sexuality and Islam"