Director's Update

Dear Members of the WSRC Community,

I am delighted to join such an esteemed group of scholars, activists, artists, administrators, and professors.  Professor Karen Hansen’s dedicated work over the last few years has helped foster an integrated community, strengthened even more by her steadfast approach to research and scholarship.  Our shared commitment to women’s studies, gender, and sexuality in our work and teaching helps bridge the transition in the midst of this unusual year, and I remain grateful to the hardworking staff (Mary Ballegeer, Aina Lagor, Susan Metrican, Abby Rosenberg, and Kristen Mullin) for shepherding the center through this year. 

2020 was unique in every respect.  Even as we battled through the global pandemic, the economic upheaval, and the disjointed aspects of virtual lives and work, we witnessed political and social movements that brought to the fore, once again, the continued injustice of our societies.  Our students, colleagues, and friends demanded we rethink how we work, how we structure our communities, and whom we deny in order to forge societies of privilege.  Brandeis University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion framework and the Anti-Racism plan has renewed our institutional commitment to social justice, and I hope all members of the WSRC community will help us build towards, and sustain, such a future.  
As a scholar of colonial and postcolonial narratives, women’s lives in India and the South Asian diaspora, gender, and sexuality, my research has involved both archives and contemporary literature.  I try not to forget that my study of literature stemmed from my love of reading.  It is my aim to bring both criticism and pleasure to my classes.  My current work on violence against women in modern India begins the story with India’s partition in 1947 to parallel the gendered narrative of the culture with a political narrative of the modern nation.  
Admittedly, this current project on violence against women brings little joy, but it prompts me every day to think about resilience, perseverance, and the ability to get beyond the difficulties of our moment.  In 2021, we watched in awe as a young woman, a poet, helped us remember “that even as we grieved, we grew,” and a daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India took the oath as the Vice President of the United States; all this after an assault on the very heart of American democracy.  Today, more than ever, our work on women, gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ethics, justice, diversity, and inclusion has taken on an undeniable salience.  Together, and in solidarity, I believe it is, to paraphrase Ms. Gorman, a hill we can climb. 
Harleen Singh    

Cascading Lives: Stories of Loss, Resilience, & Resistance

The WSRC is delighted to announce that WSRC Director Dr. Karen V. Hansen and her co-investigator, Dr. Nazli Kibria of Boston University, have been awarded the Voices for Economic Opportunity Grand Challenge Grant by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Raikes Foundation. Their proposal, Cascading Lives: Stories of Loss, Resilience, & Resistance, was selected from 1,225 submissions and is one of 28 organizations from 18 states. Please view video here.

Innovative Research Into Gender and Women’s Issues
Working in the arts, humanities, and social sciences and at their intersections, the Brandeis Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) researchers and artists focus on vexing questions related to gender dynamics and inequalities. To illuminate the past and present, via empirical evidence and transcendent insight, the WSRC aims to construct a path to a more equitable future.
The WSRC acts as a nexus of three dynamic, integrated programs that operate on principles of interdisciplinary exchange and cross-generational partnership:
Suffrage and Citizenship

As the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment approaches, the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program, the Women’s Studies Research Center, and the Politics Department at Brandeis are celebrating women’s suffrage.

Covid-19 Response: What's Now, What's Next

Brandeis’ Spring 2021 semester is being conducted in a hybrid fashion, with some students living on campus and taking a portion of their courses in person and some students studying completely remotely. Students, faculty and staff coming to campus should comply with all measures required within the Campus Passport, including testing and taking the Daily Health Assessment. For complete information, visit the COVID-19 Response website.