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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.

MemberBess Williamson

Bess Williamson is a historian of design and material culture, focusing primarily on works and influences of the last half-century. She received her PhD in American History from the University of Delaware, and holds a Masters in the History of Design and Decorative Arts from Parsons The New School for Design/Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. She is particularly interested in social and political concerns in design, including environmental, labor, justice, and rights issues as they shape and are shaped by spaces and things. Her current book project, Designing an Accessible America, traces the history of design responses to disability rights from 1945 to recent times. Her writing has appeared in Winterthur Portfolio and American Studies, with reviews in Design and Culture and Design Issues. At SAIC, Williamson teaches a range of design history courses, from introductory surveys of modern design history to graduate seminars on issues in design, politics, and technology. She is the coordinator of design history offerings in SAIC’s Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism.