Fall 2020 Openings

Please Apply through WorkDay - Job numbers are indicated next to the title.

Groundbreaking Woman Scientist (C2) Oral History Project Research Asst. (WorkDay R0003028))

Pnina Abir-Am, WSRC Resident Scholar

This project explores the pioneering career of Carolyn Cohen (widely known as “C2”), the first woman professor of Biology at Brandeis. She created a research community which grew from three founders to 40 scientists, thus serving as a role model for generations of women and men scientists. C2 also emerged as a spokesperson for the rights of women scientists to gender equality in and out of science, while bringing our knowledge of muscle proteins to new structural milestones, by using cutting edge technologies such as X-ray crystallography and electron microscopy. The project capitalizes on C2's Personal Papers at the Brandeis University Archives.  The project will focus on oral history with C2's colleagues and mentees at and beyond Brandeis.  

The student will conduct interviews both together with the Scholar, and alone, with C2's previous students and colleagues. The student will also transcribe these recorded interviews and analyze their data, ranging from publication analysis to collaboration patterns in C2's lab.  The Student may serve as co-author of two essays for History of Science & WGS journals.


Related Coursework: Classes with content in Structural, molecular, and cell biology.  Prior courses from Women and Gender Studies preferable.

Technical Skills: Experience with oral history and interviewing technical audiences such as scientists. Knowledge of Wordpress to maintain website for project.  Knowledge of how to save and catalog scientific images.

Past Experience: Propor experience transcribing and analyzing interviews by analytical categories would be helpful.


South Korean Feminism and Activism in the US Camptown Military Sex Industry Research Asst. (WorkDay R0003031)

Prof. Yuri Doolan, WSRC Affiliated Faculty

This project uncovers, through archival Korean language documents, the hidden histories of activism and resistance among camptown women working as entertainers and prostitutes for the US military in South Korea since 1945. It distinguishes between the efforts of the sex workers themselves and those of broader South Korean nationalist and feminist movements against US militarism, which often are at odds with each other. While the broader movements utilize and appropriate camptown women's struggles as human evidence of US imperialism in South Korea, the sex workers themselves are not so interested in dismantling the US military empire, and have historically invested in action that improves their daily lives and conditions instead, such as the abolishment of venereal testing and quarantine facilities (colloquially known as the "monkey house"). This project traces how these women's own concerns have shaped the current state of politics and feminisms in camptowns, culminating to an ongoing lawsuit first filed against the South Korean government in 2014 for helping the US military to detain, test, and treat military prostitutes against their will.

Student will help to search for and translate old Korean newspaper articles within digital archive databases that help to trace this hidden history of activism among camptown sex workers. They will have complete input to bring records and documents to me that they think are relevant to the study at hand. They will also help me to translate memoir, and oral histories of camptown sex workers that I have already gathered and digitized from South Korea. Translation work might be done remotely by the student, or in the case of a document that needs extra attention, competed together, to combine the student's advanced language skills with my historical familiarity with the topic.


Related Coursework: Preferred, but not required, that student has taken one of my courses before, i.e. AAPI/HIST 163a, 171a, 186b, or AAPI/WGS 126a, or any other course on sex work or "comfort women"

Technical Skills: Native fluency (written and oral) in Korean language

Past Experience: Experience reading old Korean newspapers, primary source or archival research

On Equal Terms: Tradeswomen Voices, Rear View, & Digital Exhibit Research Asst. (WorkDay R0003032)

Susan Eisenberg, WSRC Resident Scholar

The On Equal Terms Project is a Research and Art Initiative of the WSRC that analyzes, and addresses—often using creative medium—equity issues facing women in historically-male occupations, with a special focus on women in construction. This longterm project is based in a grassroots movement and directly engaged with gatekeepers at the national level. Main projects this fall include: a) Tradeswomen Voices, a 3-part cultural event on Oct. 18 linked to a national conference; b) Rear View, group interviews with longtime activists reflecting on their accomplishments and errors; c) adding content to and creating an index for an interactive online exhibition https://onequalter.ms.

More Detailed Responsibilities:

1) “Tradeswomen Voices”: a 3-part cultural event linked to NABTU’s 2020 Tradeswomen Build Nations Conference (virtual), Will be held October 18, 7pm EST, with lots of pre-planning work gathering and organizing videos from participants and spreading the word. The 2 participatory segments are an OPEN MIC of poetry and spoken word, and READER’s THEATER where tradeswomen will perform an oral history story (from We’ll Call You book), then step out and speak from their own experience in the present. Some of these might be added to the Listening Room of the online exhibit.

2) ”Rear View”: record small virtual group conversations with veteran tradeswomen leaders reflecting on what they thought they'd accomplished at the time, and now in retrospect; and what they underestimated/unexpected obstacles.

3)”On Equal Terms” online exhibition: add significant content material to existing rooms and create an index for the site.

4) “Power”: continue interviews with women who work as high-voltage lineworkers for the spine of a book linking examination of the nuts and bolts of discrimination in “permanent” jobs, with threads about electricity, progress, and power. While in process, publish articles and essays, hopefully one this fall.

5) Archiving: find home for historic artifacts, oral histories, etc. and the online exhibition.

What role will the Student play in the project? Please be specific regarding responsibilities.

  1. Assist with outreach and organizing/gathering videos for Tradeswomen Voices event. Evaluate afterwards for possibly adding some of the material to https:/onequalter.ms 2. Set up and host zoom calls for Rear View. Log topics in the interviews. Discuss highlights that might make a book chapter, article, or short video. 3. Prepare content for material to be added to existing rooms of https://OnEqualter.ms online exhibition. Help to develop an index/guide for the website.


Related Coursework: Some past coursework that deals with any/combo of these topics:  Digital media; Women and Gender Studies (or other coursework that considers equity); Public Policy; Art

Technical Skills: Comfort hosting Zoom; Video editing skills; Audio editing skills; website experience; indexing; log interview. Not necessary to have all of these, so basic knowledge of willingness to learn is preferred.

Past Experience: Basic understanding of how hierarchies and systems of discrimination and exclusion function—whether from personal experience or research/study. AND/OR Experience with Art that has social impact.

Other: Detail-oriented (accuracy is important to credibility); Flexible (because there's an activist component, sometimes things happen that shift priorities a bit); Sense of humor (some of the content is grim--violence is one deterrent from good jobs); Creative--able to see and suggest alternatives.

Cascading Research Group: Graduate SSPs

Building on the success of the interdisciplinary Cascading Workshop last year, the WSRC is sponsoring the Cascading Research Group, 2019-2020. The CRG acts as a forum to present work-in-progress and exchange ideas about empirical projects. Brandeis faculty and WSRC Scholars work with graduate student SSPs to explore the literature, research design and findings.

Application Information

The Student-Scholar Partnership is an exciting, paid mentoring opportunity for Brandeis undergraduate students offering educational and real-world experience. Students are hired for up to 50 hours of meaningful work over the course of a semester and are paid $12 an hour.

To apply, please search for SSP Listings through Workday.

Job ID #s are listed next to the title. If chosen to interview, you may need to submit a writing sample directly to Kristen Mullin in Epstein at the WSRC. The writing sample can be any length or topic (relevant to project is better). It needs to show you can take a thought, put it in on paper and then discuss it clearly and intelligently. Many students have used past graded papers before.

Tips from Past SSPs