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MemberLeah Claire Allen

Leah Claire Allen is Assistant Professor in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies (GWSS) and English at Grinnell College. Her current book project In Praise of Bad Critics revisits feminist critics from the 1960s and 1970s who have been labeled “bad critics” or “bad feminists” both within and outside of feminist circles. Her Autumn 2016 article in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society argues that Andrea Dworkin, a quintessential “bad” critic and feminist, is an unexpected ancestor of queer theory. This article won the 2017 MLA Women’s Caucus Florence Howe award for outstanding feminist scholarship. Professor Allen’s research seeks to assess the methodologies and pedagogies that founded academic feminism with the aim of tracing the surprising history of contemporary queer and transgender theory in the forgotten and dismissed figures of the feminist past. At Grinnell, Professor Allen teaches Introduction to GWSS, Theory and Methods in GWSS, Masculinity in American Literature, the capstone Senior Seminar in GWSS, and Queer and Trans Literatures.

MemberMariela Mendez

I am an Associate Professor of Latin American, Latino, and Iberian Studies and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Richmond. My research engages comparative literary studies and feminist and queer theories to interrogate representations of genders and sexualities in print culture throughout Latin America. In particular, I address the various ways in which women writers have used the press to craft alternative spaces of cultural, aesthetic, and political intervention that disrupt heteronormative ideologies. I teach at the intersection of Latin American Studies, Transnational Feminisms, Queer Theory, and Feminist New Materialisms, and I am also interested in the political potential of a transnational feminist critical practice.