Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies
Department Chair:
Greggor Mattson

Administrative Assistant:
David Divins

Department Email:

Phone: (440) 775-8923
Fax: (440) 775-6698

Rice Hall 29
10 N. Professor St.
Oberlin, OH, 44074

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring '07

Phyllis Jones Award - Spring '07

The Spring 2007 recipients were:

  1. Kyla Neilan
    Third World Studies and Environmental Studies Major

    Project Title: Valuing Women's Gardens: Women's Role in Sustainable Agriculture in Mali

    Project Description: My research paper examines the interlocking issues of malnutrition and women's oppression in rural Mali, West Africa. Through interviews with women in rural Malian villages, I explored the environmental, nutritional, and social values of women's agriculture there: gardens. Through biodiversity, gardens help ensure an ongoing harvest and regular source of income to Malian gardeners. They contribute to human development by raising the status of children by broadening access to a more nutritious diet, which in turn improves health and allows kids to do better in school. Gardens, specifically women’s gardens, give mothers a greater income to spend on their children’s needs, and also free women from restrictive financial dependency on a husband’s limited income and potentially limited generosity. Collective gardens, by allowing women to own land and gain leadership experience, strengthen the foundations needed to build a more egalitarian society in Mali, one which people of all genders will have a greater stake in sustaining.
  1. Emma Rubin
    Comparative American Studies Major

    Project Title: The First Uprising: How Zapatists Women Demanded and Won a Place in the Movement

    Project Description: In this project, I explore women’s participation in military and civilian wings of the Zapatista Army of National Liberation (EZLN) in Chiapas, Mexico. I have found that the EZLN has taken significant steps to recognize women’s voices and demands, and subsequently instituted changes in “traditional” gendered practices, reconciling demands for “autonomy” with demands for gender parity. In this paper, I examine women’s demands and the arguments through which they ground their claims to rights, as well as men’s narratives of transformation, and offer some possible explanations as to why Zapatista men may be receptive to women’s demands, or at least feel themselves forced to accommodate women. These explanations include: the EZLN’s model of decision-making by consensus, Mayan constructions of gender, the relationship articulated between word and law, the EZLN’s views on identity and difference, and the EZLN’s particular construction of the meaning autonomy.