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

Leah Freed Memorial Prize - Fall 2006 Recipients

Leah Freed Memorial Prize - Fall 2006 Recipients

The Fall 2006 recipients are as follows:

  1. Francesca Lichauco
    East Asian Studies Major

    Project Title: Oral Histories of Female World War II Hostages

    Project Description: If history is a story dominated by a male perspective, then the chapters of war are particularly devoid of the stories of the millions of women who were a part of such events. Moreover, the voices that can help us understand the causes of war and share its most poignant moments are those of immigrants, perpetual foreigners who are forced to take on the burdens of their adopted nations but rarely offered its bounty in times of peace. I am chronicling the stories of two women who wore the physical appearance of "the other" in their respective nations and thus were left hostages to the consequences of stereotyping, paranoia, and World War II interment camps. The first narrator, a family member of mine whose biography I have been working on for the last year and a half, is a white American woman who became Filipina at a young age, all the while surviving the difficulties of living in Japanese-occupied Manila during World War II as thousands of Americans and Filipinos were left to die in prison camps. The other narrator is an Ohio-residing Japanese American who spent a portion of her childhood in the World War II prison camps that the United States government forced its American citizens of Japanese descent to live in. I wish to focus on discovering what similarities exist between these two women on opposite sides of the same war as explored through oral history interviews grounded in the experience of becoming hostages in their homelands during World War II.
  1. Emma Rubin
    Comparative American Studies Major

    Project Title: Community Health Work in Context

    Project Description: My project is an interdisciplinary qualitative study of community health workers, or CHWs--health workers who live in the communities they serve.   My project focuses on the theory and practice of community health, as defined by members of two sets of community health workers: promotoras de salud (health promoters) in the El Paso, Texas region and community doulas (birth assistants) working with teen mothers on the South side of Chicago.   I will focus on how CHWs define and identify health and healing, aspects of social context relevant to health and healing (including gender), community needs and community resources.   While public health studies seek to measure the "effectiveness" of community health workers, few if any scholars deal with their definitions, stories, or critiques.   My goal is to study the role of CHWs in their communities, based on their own understandings, and to record their priorities for social change and community development.   Do they articulate critiques to mainstream medical and public health discourses?   How?  I also hope to understand how CHWs' personal and community investments influence their roles as CHWs, and vice versa.   What shapes their subjectivities, and how are their subjectivities important to their visions and understandings of health and community?

  2. Rowan Shafer
    Environmental Studies Major

    Project Title: The Empowering Voices

    Project Description: The Empowering Voices Project is the program developed from my private reading with Dr. Meredith Raimondo in cooperation with the Lorain County Rape Crisis Center and their supporting agency, The Nord Center. Over the course of one year I will be exploring the research question, 'How can the production of knowledge and/or narrative concerning sexual violence benefit survivors?'. In conjunction with my work as a Rape Crisis advocate I will be conducting qualitative research to investigate this question, employing feminist research methodologies that are ethical and empowering to research participants. My study is designed to be collaborative, utilizing methods of participatory action research, (PAR) in which participants design the process, methods, and products of the research in partnership with the research coordinator.

    The Empowering Voices Project is a collaborative initiative that invites self-identified survivors of sexual violence in North East Ohio to share their stories. Participants will join in the production of a publishable book that narrates these experiences and includes educational materials participants deem of use. The book will be distributed throughout North East Ohio in hopes of increased awareness and dialogue about issues of sexualized violence. This research project is designed to answer questions while simultaneously providing support, education, and advocacy to survivors as well as educational benefit to the community.