Practicum Spotlight

In their Junior and Senior years, FGSS Majors embark on an intensive capstone experience through internships, research projects, or field research that brings their studies in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies into complex work environments. Two quarters of practicum workshops help students prepare for and reflect on their experiences, modeling forms of collaboration and social justice ethics. Although most of our class of 2020-21 conducted their work remotely, their work extended to New York City, Cape Town South Africa, and throughout the state of California.

Chanté Cottman, Class of '21

Our Family Coalition (San Francisco, USA)

"Meeting Gert and Michael was not only a profound experience of queer relation, but it underscored the importance of intergenerational dynamics. I would argue that they were in fact keepers of queer lineage simply by passing on their lived experiences with us but also for creating physical sources of queer presence through the quilts. The opportunities that the internship awarded me were incredibly impactful and I was able to learn a lot about on-the-ground work being done to improve not only our education system but also our local kinship networks. Similarly, as we develop an accessible queer memory, we will tranform our ability to interact with the past, present and future." -Chanté Cottman

Christina Misaki Nikitin, Class of '21

Queer Musics Research (Cape Town, South Africa)

"With the threat of various environmental and epidemiological calamities in this time and age, as well as the digitalization of human interaction in general, conducting research and ethnography through virtual means is an inevitability. This experience has taught me that distance and separation is not also an inevitability with virtual communication. Rather, my interview with Sky was one of the most intimate, enlivening dialogues that I have ever had. The skills necessary to engage in dialogue, particularly in dialogical performance, are critical for any ethnographer wishing to use their platforms for transformative justice. I am indebted to Sky for all that she has taught me, and I hope to carry this experience with me in my pursuit of academia as a profession." -Christina Misaki Nikitin

Ethics and Experience

"When undertaking activist and community-engaged work, we need to take time to clarify our intentions, positions, and goals. No project is 'finished' when the research is complete or the internship comes to an end; reflection is an essential part of understanding the value of this experience. This course uses directed writing to envision, organize, synthesize, and communicate knowledge gained from an experiential practicum. Writing towards an experiencein the form of proposals, cover letters, project statements, timelines, etc.helps both students and the communities they work with see the project clearly. Writing reflectively after a project provides insight into what students have learned, allowing them to process challenges as well as strategies. Collectively, the Junior and Senior practicums create a diverse, concrete archive of projects that helps to guide future students."

-Dr. Maxe Crandall & Dr. Selby Wynn Schwartz, 2020-21 Practicum Leaders