Current Students

Samantha Allen

Samantha Allen

Samantha holds a BA in Women's & Gender Studies and Linguistics from Rutgers University. Her research interests include feminist theory, queer theory, affect theory, and psychoanalytic studies. Her dissertation uses Silvan Tomkins' theory of affect as a vocabulary for understanding practices of sexual fetishism.

Ayisha Al-Sayyad

ayishaAyisha's primary interests lie in queer theories, rural sex politics in the American South, transnational human rightsdiscourses, and sexuality in the Arab world. Ayisha earned her Master's in Women's Studies from the University of Arizona in Tucson where she completed a thesis on representations of queer Arab Muslim women deployed by gay nationalists and queer resistance movements. From this research, which employed ethnographies to read against transnational incitements for universal sexual equality, Ayisha continues to be interested in thinking about how oral history informs theories of subjectivity. She plans to complete field work in Lebanon for her dissertation on (queer) sexual politics, rights-seeking, and ideologies of transgression. In brief interludes between academic terms, as well as the occasional extended hiatus, Ayisha prefers to spend her time on the roof-top of a New Orleans Creole-revival on Royal Street.

Stephanie Alvarado

Stephanie Alvarado

Stephanie's research is centered on studying the criminalization and policing of Latinas and immigrant bodies through a reproductive and social justice lens, while examining the impact on the national discourse about these groups in terms of policy formation, social justice movements, and media representation. Stephanie holds a BA's in Psychology and Latino Studies from NYU.

Suyun Choi

Suyun Choi

 Suyun graduated from Seoul National University with BA in Aesthetics and Ewha Womans' University with MA in Women's studies in South Korea. Her research is centered on women's migration within Asia by redirecting attentions from structural understandings of inequality within nation-states to the lived experience of inequality in transnational space. She is also interested in transnational feminism emerged from gendered migration in Asia with critically examining categories of women and Asia represented in current transnational discourses.

Chanel Craft

chanelChanel's research interests include hip-hop feminism, womanism, black feminism, and the prison-industrial complex. She holds a B.A. in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and an M.A. from the Women's Studies Institute at Georgia State University.

Rachel Dudley

dudleyRachel is a third year PhD Student working in the general areas of Black Feminist Studies and Feminist Disability Studies. She plans to explore lines of inquiry pertaining to African-American women, Health, and the body.

Abidemi Fasanmi

Abidemi Fasanmi

Abidemi, holds a MD degree from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Nigeria and a Masters in Global genders from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom. She was also a 2012-13 Hubert Humphrey fellow at the Rollins School of Public health, at Emory University,  She has 10 years' experience in the public health field, specifically in the areas of health promotion,HIV prevention and policy, health and community systems strengthening and maternal and child health. She worked in several technical and managerial capacities in International non- governmental organizations in Nigeria and the UK on projects sponsored by CDC, PEPFAR, Global funds and other uni and bilateral donor agencies. Her interests are in the area of gender violence, bio-politics, religion and health particularly in Africa.

Hemangini Gupta

BA University of Mumbai; MA University of London - School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)


My dissertation project tracks the self-making practices of young migrant women entering entrepreneurial work in Bangalore—an emergent “Start Up City”—as part of India’s new middle classes created by neoliberal reforms in the 1990s. I argue that in the postcolonial context, imperatives to maintain and uphold caste and class-based gender norms shape a very different experience of neoliberalism from the advanced economies in which it has typically been analyzed. My current and future research projects are committed to understanding the classed, gendered and postcolonial frictions that reshape dominant understandings of neoliberalism as it travels globally.

​Current interests: Anthropology of gender and class; feminist anthropology; urban theory in the global south; neoliberalism; risk; immaterial and affective labor

Olivia Hendricks

Olivia Hendricks graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Lawrence University in 2012. Her research interests currently include women's poetry, suicide, and antipsychiatry, particularly in relation to feminist and Foucauldian theory. These interests are shaped by her current employment creating the Self Agency in Youth (SAY) Program, which provides teenagers and college students with resources to construct youth-led groups addressing educational equality and various forms of diversity. Additional interests include violin and the Hmong language.

Jordan Johnson

Jordan's research interests include interrogating the relationship between bodies and environments in the rural U.S. South, exploring how marginalized groups function within agricultural communities and the ways in which rural knowledge contribute to environmental debate and critiques of agribusiness, consumerism, neo-liberalism, and homonormativity.  Jordan holds BAs in Feminist Studies, English, and Spanish from Southwestern University.

Taryn Jordan


Taryn D. Jordan is a graduate student at Emory University seeking a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Atlanta, Georgia . Her research interests lie in Blackness, queer theory, decolonial theory and affect theory. Taryn has invested her life in social justice work.  She seeks to blend her political work and academic interests into a productive relationship where struggle and theory mutually inform one another creating the conditions for an intellectual and political spiral.



Nikki Karalekas

NikiNikki holds a BA in African-American Studies and Anthropology from Smith College and a MA in Women's Studies from San Francisco State University. Her areas of study are feminist politics and law. She is interested in criticisms of law in contemporary feminist and queer theories. Her dissertation explores these criticisms through a case study of the legal reform of the strip club industry.

Ryan Kendall


Ryan Kendall is a first year PhD student. She has a BA in English with a concentration in Rhetoric and Composition from the University of North Texas. Currently, her research interests involve the relations between sex, sexuality, behavioral science, neuroscience, and psychoanalysis. 



Stephanie Koziej


Stephanie Koziej is a Fulbright grantee from Belgium who studied law and philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven and who now is a visiting student at the Humanities Centre of Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. Her major research interests lie in the philosophy and intellectual history of love, sexuality and psychoanalysis. She is particularly interested in the dichotomy between normal sexuality and sexual deviance/pathology/perversion; the problematic relationship between love and sexuality and subjects such as: rape, hysteria, attachment, the different DSMs, mourning rituals, sublimation; and authors such as Freud, Lacan, Krafft-Ebing... In her free time she is a jazz singer and songwriter who she plays the piano and ukulele.



Ingrid Meintjes

IngridIngrid hails from South Africa and is an HIV/AIDS activist, development practitioner and gender scholar. She holds a BA in Government and African Politics from the University of Notre Dame, as well as Social Science Honors and Masters degrees in Gender and Development Studies from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Her professional work has included policy development in HIV/AIDS care and public mental health. During her studies at WGSS, Ingrid hopes to explore further the embodied intersections of health, social exclusion, sex and gender. Specifically, she is interested in new possibilities emerging from the 'biological turn' in feminist scholarship: complicating our understanding of biological sex variance holds epistemic and practical value for the health sciences in particular, and commensurately, for social justice imperatives related to re-forming policies that (re)marginalize and pathologize bodies which confound binary sex normativity. 

Noemi Y. Molitor

Noemi is currently completing her dissertation `Re-Imagining Migration through Visual Art: Queer Movements through Time and Space'. The project traces artistic reconfigurations of migration in contemporary Germany, specifically through painting and drawing. Works by Katharina Grosse, Katrin Plav'ak and Petja Dimitrova frame migration as a perpetual movement through time and space rather than a one-directional movement from one nation-state to another. As such, they all move beyond nationalist frames of perception in particular ways. While queer figures emerge that re-write essentializing tropes of racio-cultural Otherness and transcend the geopolitical restrictions assigned to unwanted migrants in the work of Plavcak and Dimitrova, in Grosse's work, space and time become malleable and mobile entities through the creation of multi-dimensional, heterochronic pictorial fields that enable color to literally travel anywhere.

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Noemi's artist page can be found here:

Kristin Petersen

kristinKristin graduated magna cum laude from the University of Southern California with degrees in journalism and economics. She next attended New York University's Draper Interdisciplinary program, and received her master's degree in the spring of 2008 with an emphasis in gender politics. Currently, Kristin's research focuses on issues of reproduction, human rights, and cultural narrative.

Allison Bird Pilatsky

kristinOriginally from New York, Bird graduated with degrees in English Literature and the Study of Women and Gender, as well as a concentration in Archival Studies from Smith College in Northampton, MA in 2012. She works primarily in the field of disability studies with an emphasis on bioethics and feminist science studies. Her other research interests include queer and feminist theory, lived religion and spirituality, and literary studies.

Sarah Stein

B.A., University of Virginia
J.D., Emory University (2013)

sarahSarah is a concurrent degree student in Law and Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is interested in investigating the relationship between gender and the legal, social, and geographical aspects of property ownership. In her legal studies, Sarah has researched the legal formation and survival of Community Land Trusts, a form of homeownership that aims at preserving affordability by geographic location. She plans to integrate this work into her developing doctoral research. Sarah is also actively involved in academic and popular discussions of abortion access in the United States and Mexico.

Mairead Sullivan

Mairead SullivanMairead has a BA in Religious Studies and Women's Studies from The College of the Holy Cross and a MSW from Boston University. Mairead spent several years working in LGBT and Women's health prior to coming to Emory in 2010. Mairead's research interests include embodiment, psychoanalysis, and feminist and queer theory.  She is currently writing a dissertation entitled: "Strange Matter: Thinking Breastedly in Feminist and Queer Theory."

Natalie Turrin

Originally from Toronto, Canada, Natalie received a B.Sc. in Genetics and an M.A. in Women's Studies from the University of Western Ontario. Her research interests include feminist science studies, clinical research, public health, and science and technology studies.

 Samantha VanHorn

Samantha Vanhorn

Originally from Hawaii, Samantha received her BA and MA in psychology from New School University in New York City. Her current research interests include studying any differences that may be observed in body image across varying sexual orientations of women. She plans to explore lines of inquiry pertaining to psychology, public health, and anthropology and is concurrently pursuing a doctoral certificate in bioethics.

Lauran Whitworth

Mairead Sullivan

Lauran is a PhD candidate in the department of Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Emory University, where she is also completing a certificate in Film & Media Studies. Lauran holds an M.A. in History of Art from The Ohio State University and B.A. degrees in English and Art History from the University of Georgia, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. Her areas of interest include feminist film theory, queer theory, and contemporary visual culture, including LGBTQ print culture. Lauran's dissertation, "The Nature of Liberation: Representations of Nature and Sexual Politics in Contemporary Film and Culture," examines the role of representations of nature in liberation movements-from ecofeminism, to the Radical Faeries, to contemporary feminist and queer theory. She is particularly interested in the spatio-political dimensions of utopic thought and its circulation in contemporary art and film. Lauran has intermittently taught high school English and Humanities; she remains committed to exploring innovative forms of teaching and learning.

Rachel Weitzenkorn


Rachel is a PhD candidate working on a dissertation titled “Looking at Infants: Expression and the Boundaries of Empirical Evidence.” Rachel’s dissertation explores the ways researchers conceive of evidence in theories of psychological pathology through the case of infant research. Her dissertation combines her background in neuroscience and ongoing training in psychoanalytic theory and method. Rachel’s interests include history medicine, affect theory, theories of embodiment, and feminist science studies.