Research at Brandeis

Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center Announces Fulbright Award for 2021-2022

Visiting Scholar at the WSRC Donna Dodson will work as an artist in residence from February to May 2022 at Tricky Women, one of the cultural institutions of Q21/ MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, Austria. Worldwide TRICKY WOMEN/TRICKY REALITIES is the only animation film festival which focuses on animation movies made by women and as such it is dedicated to the production of female animation filmmakers. Dodson received a Fulbright Award to complete her professional project “Amazons, Goddesses and Wonder Women”. The project involves translating Dodson’s wood sculptures into digital avatars, writing the storyboard and script and making a short animated film, The Amazons Among Us: An Animated Antidote to Gender Misconceptions of Women.

Donna Dodson is one of over 800 U.S. citizens who will conduct research and/or teach abroad for the 2020-2021 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in the Visual Arts from the U.S. Department of State and the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. Fulbrighters engage in cutting-edge research and expand their professional networks, often continuing research collaborations started abroad and laying the groundwork for partnerships between institutions. Upon returning to their home countries, institutions, labs, and classrooms, they share their stories and often become active supporters of international exchange, inviting foreign scholars to campus and encouraging colleagues and students to go abroad.
“Donna’s sculptures in wood use form, texture, and grain to reveal the essence of her subjects, and their solid, smooth, sensuous curves invite us to touch and experience them more deeply. Her work embodies the highest ideals of the Brandeis community, and we are proud of her and grateful to the Fulbright Commission for her selection as a U.S. Scholar,” former Vice Provost for Research Edward Hackett said of Dodson’s work.

2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the first peace treaty between the U.S. and Austria. Both Austria and the U.S. embrace international law and the universality of human rights with a focus on women’s rights. Dodson’s U.S.-Austria research between women artists and scholars is essential to fostering collaboration between the two countries. Austria is currently leading an international dialogue on women in animation at Tricky Women and through its annual Film Festival for International Women’s Day. Dodson’s film will be included in the Austrian Film Festival and her research will contribute to the international feminist conversation.

Dodson recently completed a two year project as a Visiting Scholar at the Brandeis University Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) which focused on the Amazons of the ancient steppes. Her research into art history, archaeology and amazons in pop culture such as Wonder Woman led her to create a new series of wood sculptures that re-imagine Albrecht Durer’s “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” as Amazon warriors. Her four new wood sculptures premiered at the Boston Sculptors Gallery May 5-June 6, 2021 in a solo exhibit titled, “Amazons Among Us.”

Working with Catriona Baker, an award winning American filmmaker and Chair of Animation at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dodson will now animate all four characters for a short film and submit it to the Tricky Women Film Festival in 2023. Dodson will continue as Resident Scholar at the Brandeis University WSRC from 2021 to 2024, and so this collaboration will build bridges between the academic, feminist and artistic communities in Boston and Vienna. Dodson anticipates screening the animated film at the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Arts at Brandeis University in 2023 and hosting an interactive sculpture and animation exhibit or virtual program at the WSRC in 2024.

Learn more about the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University.

Amazons, Goddesses and Wonder Women