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Colloquia Series

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November 2022 - Dr. Camelia Suleiman: To be Maqdisi in Jerusalem: Palestinian Women Education

Recorded on Friday, November 18, 2022 as a part of the GenCen Colloquia Series at Michigan State University. 

To be Maqdisi in Jerusalem: Palestinian Women Education

Founded in 1925 on Mt. Scopus in today’s East Jerusalem, the Hebrew University only recently opened its gates to the Palestinian youth from East Jerusalem. In response, they came. The overwhelming majority of these students are women. What does it mean to these young women to study at the Hebrew University, Israel’s most esteemed university, and in the Hebrew language? How do they make sense of their lives in a space which deprives them of many of their other human rights? Through ethnographic research conducted at the Hebrew University since Fall 2019, I try to answer these questions. Aiding me in my analysis is a belief in interdisciplinarity and its underlying humanistic premise as the most viable research approach in complex situation such as Jerusalem.


Camelia Suleiman has a Ph.D. in (Socio)linguistics from Georgetown University.

Suleiman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at Michigan State University, where she led the Arabic program from 2012-2020. She teaches courses in Global Studies and Women's Studies, and many of her students have received nationally recognized scholarships. She also has spent time as a visiting professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

A true believer in the superficiality of disciplinary boundaries, she draws in her research and teaching from cultural studies, post-structuralism, anthropology and history. Her research emphasizes the importance of seeing the world through the eyes of the communities she studies. Her interests and publications are in Sociolinguistics, Communications, and Middle East Studies. A Palestinian herself, a steady stream in her writing is the fate of Palestinians in the aftermath of the Nakba, and the encounter of the Palestinian narrative with Zionism, Orientalism and in today’s world, American xenophobia.

Suleiman is on the editorial boards of the following journals: Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, and the Journal of Social Distress and Homelessness. She is also on the advisory board for the journal of Analysis of Current Trends in Antisemitism.

October 2022 - Dr. Carla A. Pfeffer: (Re)producing Normative Bodies and Social Citizens

Recorded on Friday, October 21, 2022 as a part of the GenCen Colloquia Series at Michigan State University.

(Re)producing Normative Bodies and Social Citizens: Medical Decision-Making around Withholding Testosterone in Transgender and Nonbinary Pregnancy

Medical expertise and authority often serve as foundations upon which patients’ uptake of medical advice is built and possibilities for health-focused behavioral changes in the patient’s life are motivated and compelled. This expertise and authority, however, do not emerge in a social vacuum and are often constructed and operationalized through processes of medical social control, surveillance, and technologies. In the case of pregnancy, healthcare providers dispense advice and protocols around nutrition, exercise, pharmaceutical and substance use, mental health, and the need for regular medical monitoring to protect the health and wellbeing of, essentially, two patients—the pregnant person and the fetus. But what happens when medical science doesn’t yet have all the answers about how particular patient behaviors may impact health outcomes for both the pregnant person and the fetus—particularly when the potential impacts of some behaviors may create potentially-divergent health outcomes for the pregnant person and fetus? How do patients and providers understand and weigh relative health risks and benefits as they formulate, dispense, or work to interpret and enact medical advice at this complicated intersection? How might assessment of health risks, and concomitant medical advice for behavioral change, reflect historical and ongoing social practices for creating “ideal” and normative social citizens?

Pfeffer and colleagues draw upon in-depth interview and focus group data from a three-year international study of 70 transgender men (residing across the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, and Bulgaria) about their intentions and experiences around pregnancy, as well as 22 healthcare providers (practicing across the U.S., U.K., Australia, and Italy) who focus on transgender health and working with transgender patients along a diverse cross-section of specialty areas (e.g., psychotherapists, general practitioners, endocrinologists, midwives, lactation consultants, OBGYNs, fertility specialists).


Carla A. Pfeffer is Director of the Consortium for Sexual and Gender Minority Health, Associate Professor in the School of Social work, Affiliate Faculty in the Department of Sociology, and Core Associated Faculty in the Center for Gender in Global Context at Michigan State University. She completed her PhD and MA in Sociology, Graduate Certificate in Women's Studies, and MSW in Social Policy and Evaluation at the University of Michigan, where she received interdisciplinary, multi-method training in the social sciences and humanities. Her research is at the intersection of critical inquiry into contemporary families, genders, health, sexualities, and bodies considered marginal, as well as social actors’ management of stigma and discrimination processes. Her research has been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and American Council of Learned Societies. Her book, Queering Families: The Postmodern Partnerships of Cisgender Women and Transgender Men was published by Oxford University Press (2017). Her scholarship has received awards from the National Council on Family Relations and the American Sociological Association sections on Sex and Gender and Sexualities. In her previous faculty position at the University of South Carolina, she was Associate Professor of Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies and served as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. In the American Sociological Association, she has served as elected Chair of the section on Sexualities and Secretary-Treasurer of the section on Body and Embodiment. 

September 2022 - Dr. Christy Zhou Koval: The Natural Hair Bias in Job Recruitment

Recorded on Friday, September 30, 2022 as a part of the GenCen Colloquia Series at Michigan State University.



The Natural Hair Bias in Job Recruitment

"Across four studies, we demonstrate a bias against Black women with natural hairstyles in job recruitment. In Study 1, participants evaluated profiles of Black and White female job applicants across a variety of hairstyles. We found that Black women with natural hairstyles were perceived to be less professional, less competent, and less likely to be recommended for a job interview than Black women with straightened hairstyles and White women with either curly or straight hairstyles. We replicated these findings in a controlled experiment in Study 2. In Study 3A and 3B, we found Black women with natural hairstyles received more negative evaluations when they applied for a job in an industry with strong dress norms. Taken together, this paper advances research on biases in the labor market in the age of social media use and highlights the importance of taking an intersectional approach when studying inequity in the workplace."


Christy Zhou Koval is an assistant professor at the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University and a Core Affiliated Faculty/Staff member of the Center for Gender in Global Context.  She received her Ph.D. in Management and Organizations from the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University, and her H.B.A. in Business Administration and M.Sc. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. Her research focuses on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, stereotyping and bias, and intergroup relations. Her work has been published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Research in Organizational Behavior, Psychological Science, Social Psychological and Personality Science, and Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. She has won the Dorothy Harlow Best Paper Award and was a runner-up for the Saroj Parasuraman Outstanding Publication Award at the Academy of Management GDO division. Prior to MSU, she was a faculty member of the Management department at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Business School.


March 2022 - Dr. LeConte Dill: "#BlackGirlBe"

#BlackGirlBe: Cultivating Wellness Beyond Resilience

 For Blackgirls, resilience is not a goal; it is a given. Drawing on years of multi-sited ethnographic, autoethnographnic, and poetic research, this colloquium talk book centers Blackgirls as knowledge producers and into knowledge production around their strategies of wellness.


A scholar, educator, and poet, Dr. LeConté J. Dill is an Associate Professor of African American and African Studies at Michigan State University. Guided by Black Feminist epistemologies and using qualitative and arts-based research methods, Dr. Dill has a commitment toward transdisciplinary, community-accountable scholarship. Her work focuses on the safety, resilience, and wellness strategies of urban Black girls and other youth of color.

Born and raised in South Central L.A., Dr. Dill earned her B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College, her Master of Public Health degree in Community Health Sciences from the University of California Los Angeles, her Doctor of Public Health degree from the University of California Berkeley, and was a Post-Doctoral Fellow in Health Policy in the Satcher Health Leadership Institute at Morehouse School of Medicine. Her scholarship is critically informed by years of working in partnership with youth and community organizers, health educators, and policy advocates at community-based organizations and public health departments on issues related to chronic disease prevention, violence intervention, and juvenile justice. A Research Associate at the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Dill also previously served on the faculty at several schools and programs of public health across the U.S.

Dr. Dill has been writing creatively from a young age. She was a Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop Fellow in 2016, a Small Orange Press Emerging Woman Poet Honorable Mention in 2019, and an Honorable Mention for the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize in 2021. Dr. Dill also integrates poetry into her ethnographic research with participants in what she has coined as “participatory narrative analysis.” Dr. Dill’s scholarly and creative works have been published in a diverse array of spaces, such as the Du Bois ReviewAmerican Journal of Public HealthJournal of Adolescent ResearchJournal of Poetry TherapyPoetry MagazineThe Feminist Wire, and Mom Egg Review.

Dr. Dill is deeply committed to teaching and mentoring. She actively works to amplify students as co-learners and co-scholars. Recently certified as a mindfulness instructor, Dr. Dill’s emerging work around “centering wellness” integrates meditation, poetry, and somatics for students, other researchers, and community partners.

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