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IRWGS Graduate Certificates Awarded in 2015 - 16

IRWGS Graduate Certificates Awarded in 2015 - 16

Congratulations to the following students who earned the graduate certificate at IRWGS in 2015 - 16:

Grace Delmolino: Department of Italian 

Field: Gender, language, and law 

Examiners: Marianne Hirsch & Martha Howell

Grace Delmolino is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. Her research interests include Boccaccio, Dante, Petrarca, legal and economic history, and gender studies. Her dissertation, titled “The Legislation of Sex: Canon Law, Gender, and Humanism in Boccaccio’s Decameron,” offers a historicized reading of the intersection between law, literature, and gender in the works of Giovanni Boccaccio. This work on medieval law and literature is guided by an interest in contemporary critical and feminist theory: in addition to her concentration in Comparative Literature and Society, she is pursuing the certificate in feminist scholarship at Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, where she was awarded the 2014-15 IRWGS Graduate Fellowship. She is also one of twelve Teagle Fellows in the academic year 2014-15 and currently serves as Senior Assistant Editor of Digital Dante.


Elizabeth Dolfi: Department of Religion 

Field: Feminist and Queer Studies of American Religious History

Examiners: Josef Sorett & Janet Jakobsen

Liz Dolfi entered the doctoral program in Religion at Columbia University in 2012 in the North American Religions subfield. She is primarily interested in feminist and queer studies of American Religious History, with an emphasis on twentieth-century evangelical media. She received her MA in Religion and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Yale Divinity School in 2012, and her BA in Religion and Women's Studies from Vassar College in 2009.


Christopher Edling: School of the Arts/Program in Nonfiction Writing

Field: Gender, Transnational Feminism, and Anthropological Approaches to Bride Abduction in Central Asia

Examiners: Lila Abu-Lughod & EC Crandall

Chris Edling earned an MFA in nonfiction at the School of the Arts. He spent three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Armenia. Between 2009 and 2012, he began to research bride kidnapping, a practice common in that region of the former Soviet Union. Chris is spending the 2015-2016 academic year in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on a Fulbright fellowship in order to develop a book project. 


Susanna Ferguson: Department of History 

Field: Women’s History and Feminist Theory in the Modern Middle East

Examiners: Lila Abu-Lughod & Neferti Tadiar

Susanna Ferguson is a PhD Student in the History of the Modern Middle East, with interests in women and gender, histories of thought, and genealogies of feminism in the Arab world. She is also a certificate candidate at Columbia's Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality (IRWAGS) and a Graduate Fellow of the Women Creating Change project at Columbia’s Center for the Study of Social Difference. Her dissertation tentatively focuses on the transformation of the concept and practice of tarbiya in Egypt and Mount Lebanon at the turn of the 20th century, when the term began to invoke new notions about education and childrearing which would help to shape Arab feminist trajectories into the 20th century.


Nicole Gervasio: Department of English 

Field: The Ethics and Politics of Representing Sexual Difference in Queer and Feminist Theory    

Examiners: Sharon Marcus & Rosalind Morris

Nicole Gervasio is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her dissertation is on the ethics of representing mass political violence in contemporary postcolonial literature. Her work focuses on intersections between queer, postcolonial, and feminist theory in relation to themes of survival, embodiment, and trauma in literatures of the Global South. She also has a B.A. in English and Growth & Structure of Cities from Bryn Mawr College and has been the recipient of Mellon Mays, Beinecke, and Javits Fellowships.



Gulya Rikhsieva: Department of Art History 

Field: Memory/trauma studies, human rights, and postmodern feminism in the visual arts

Examiners: Marianne Hirsch & Rosalyn Deutsche



Lucie Vágnerová: Department of Music 

Field: Technology, gendered labor, race, music, sound, and postcolonialism.

Examiners: Ellie Hisama & Alondra Nelson

Lucie Vágnerová is a PhD candidate in Historical Musicology at Columbia University. Her dissertation, titled "Sirens/Cyborgs: Sound Technologies and the Musical Body," explores composers’ work with sound technologies that challenge traditional notions of the body in music, such as vocal filters, technologies of acousmatic address, gesture controllers, and other wearables. Focusing on women composers in the United States, Lucie studies constructions of electroacoustic and electronic musical bodies that challenge gendered technological and epistemological paradigms. She is broadly interested in critical theory, feminist musicology, the social life of technologies, and the intersection of commercial and listening practice. Lucie has presented her research at the University of California Berkeley, Stony Brook University, Harvard, Columbia, and Lancaster University. At Columbia,she has taught Masterpieces of Western Music, Critical Approaches to Music Technologies, and Sexing Sound Art. Lucie is a member of the editorial board of Current Musicology and Assistant Editor of Women & Music: A Journal of Gender and Culture.


Ibai Atutxa: Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Field: Contemporary Southern European democratic struggles, legal epistemologies, mass media, feminism and queer theory, continental philosophy, and cultural studies

Examiners: Elizabeth Povinelli & Ana Paulina Lee

Ibai Atutxa is in the Latin American and Iberian Cultures department at Columbia University.  In his current research work he approaches the collapse of legal and media discourses regarding oil spills, toxic assets and of the following criminals: the homosexual, the terrorist, the migrant and the insolvent, in contemporary Spain and Europe.He holds a B.A. in Basque Philology (Deustuko Unibertsitatea) and two M.A.s in Comparative Literature and Contemporary Philosophy respectively (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona).  He has also received an M.A and M.Phil. from Columbia University. His research interests include contemporary Southern European democratic struggles, minor literatures, legal epistemologies, mass media and the formation of lateral socialities. His theoretical framework is built upon feminism and queer theory, continental philosophy, and cultural studies.


Daniel da Silva: Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures

Field: Lusophone world, exploring feminist and queer articulations through performance, music, film, literature and political struggle at transformative moments throughout the XX and XXI centuries

Examiners: Ellie Hisama & Elizabeth Povinelli

Daniel da Silva is in the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures at Columbia University in the City of New York, completing a PhD in popular culture, performance and queer theory in the Portuguese-speaking world, where he was also awarded an M.A. and M. Phil. Previously, he received his B.A. in History at Rutgers University, Newark, with a concentration in Lusophone Studies. Before returning to academia, Daniel da Silva served as a director of new media and marketing for independent music labels, artists and publicity firms in New York, representing a broad spectrum of artists, from Chavela Vargas and Cesaria Evora to Bjork and Anhoni, among many others. Performance continues to form and transform his work, and in good years he can be found fronting the New York based band Vovete: thisisVovete.com. 


Shenila Khoja-Moolji: Department of Curriculum and Teaching

Field: Girlhood Studies; Gender, Culture, and Human Rights

Examiners: Lila Abu-Lughod & Ellie Hisama

Shenila Khoja-Moolji is a scholar of gender and education with a focus on South Asia and immigrant diasporas. She is working on her first book that traces the discursive production of educated female subjects in the context of colonial India and postcolonial Pakistan. Shenila’s work has appeared in Signs (in press), Gender and EducationComparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle EastFeminist Teacher, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, Girlhood Studies, and Journal of Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, as well as in the form of several book chapters. Shenila will join the University of Pennsylvania’s Program on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism, and the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies as a postdoctoral fellow in Fall 2016. 


Alessia Palanti: Department of Italian

Field: Feminisms, Gender, Sexuality, Queer Theory, Cinema 

Examiners: Marianne Hirsch, Ellie Hisama

Alessia Palanti is a PhD candidate in the Department of Italian and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society. She recently received her IRWGS certificate, and has been awarded the 2016-2017 IRWGS Graduate Fellowship. She is writing her dissertation on 21st century Italian women’s cinema that focuses on women’s lives and experiences from a female perspective. Her project traces the development of Italian feminisms and their place in the international landscape of feminist inquiry into gender and sexuality through an analysis of contemporary film, and examines the influences and possibilities of female subjectivity in visual media and representation. Alessia's work has been published in the Journal of Modern Italian Studies, "Revising History: Elvira Giallanella’s Umanità and the Editing of Gender," and in the Pirandello Society of America Journal, "Scripting il 'cielo di carta': The Men behind the Curtain in Paolo and Vittorio Taviani's Cesare deve morire."