The UC-wide consortium in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Histories of the Americas (WGSHA) brings together faculty and graduate students who work regionally on North America, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and temporally across the centuries.
The consortium aims to foster intellectual community among faculty and graduate students located on different campuses who specialize in diverse subfields within WGSHA. The consortium will provide a space to share research across rank, explore emerging fields in WGSHA, and foster interdisciplinary exchanges between those who self-identify as historians and scholars trained in other fields who incorporate historical approaches in their research and teaching.
Second, the consortium strengthens our collective pedagogical offerings at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Graduate students will have the opportunity to meet faculty from across the UCs who might serve on committees and as mentors. Through symposia and the creation of new digital tools, the consortium also will facilitate the exchange of syllabi, readings, effective and innovative pedagogical approaches in the classroom, as well as best practices for research and mentoring.
Third, the consortium provides opportunities to cross traditional geographical boundaries in conceptualizing women's, gender, and sexuality histories. Although the co-authors of this grant primarily specialize in early North American and U.S. history, our work and that of those who attended our planning meetings encompasses transnational historical developments (empire, immigration, political economy, settler colonialism), as well as national histories outside of the United States. By bringing together scholars specializing in regions throughout the Americas—including Canada, Latin America, and the Caribbean—consortium members will encourage one another to take intellectual risks and to incorporate transnational perspectives in ways that go beyond superficial acknowledgement of limitations of nation-bound histories.
Finally, the consortium will highlight the collective expertise of UC faculty and students interested in offering perspectives on contemporary issues—such as sexual harassment and violence, kinship and migration, women in politics, interracial relations, and cultural representations of women—to the many audiences that the UC system serves. As members of a public institution of higher education, we want to help shape public discourse and understanding of difficult and controversial issues in our areas of expertise. As part of our public outreach, we will also spearhead more robust and coordinated celebrations of Women's History Month across the UC system.
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