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IRWGS 2019 – 2020 Graduate Fellows

Congratulations to our 2019 – 2020 IRWGS Graduate Fellows Diana Newby (Department of English & Comparative Literature) and Tiana Reid (Department of English & Comparative Literature). Fellows are selected annually, based on the excellence of their scholarship and their commitment to women’s, gender, and sexuality studies.


Diana Newby is a 4th year PhD candidate in Columbia’s Department of English & Comparative Literature. Her research sits at the intersection of 19th century literature, science, and affect theory, with a particular focus on old and new materialisms in the Victorian novel. Her dissertation project, “Passive Passions,” examines Victorian writing—particularly women’s writing—that challenged Western Enlightenment dualisms of reason/emotion, body/mind, self/other, and human/environment. Diana’s tenure with IRWGS has helped her draw out important affinities that these 19th century reformulations of embodiment, identity and agency share with contemporary new materialisms and feminist and queer affect studies. Her goal is to bring together literary and theoretical archives that make possible a non-normative understanding of embodied subjectivity as passive and relational.

In her teaching, Diana is also committed to disrupting normative knowledge formations and centering issues related to feminisms, gender, sexuality, and the body. At Columbia, she has taught two sections of University Writing-Readings in Gender and Sexuality, and she has taught social justice-focused writing and literature classes at two women’s colleges (Mills and Barnard). She has taken the IRWGS Feminist Pedagogy class with Marianne Hirsch, completed a certificate in Innovative Teaching at Columbia’s Center for Teaching and Learning, and will soon fulfill the requirements for the IRWGS graduate certificate with a syllabus and bibliography on “Women Writing Bodies.” When she isn’t teaching, reading, or writing, Diana can be found running in Central Park, testing out new vegetarian recipes, or playing with her cat, The Bug.

As an IRWGS Graduate Fellow, Newby hopes to organize events that explore points of contact between queer and feminist theory and affect studies, building on existing Institute programming like the Bodily series. She is also interested in creating more opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations between graduate students, faculty and visiting scholars, as well as exploring engagements with artists, writers and activists from beyond the academy.


Tiana Reid is a sixth-year PhD candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. Her dissertation uses what W. E. B. Du Bois called “world-work” as a jumping-off point to pay attention to gendered perspectives on accumulation, labor, reproduction, and imagination during the middle of the last century. In 2015, she was awarded a four-year doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her writing has appeared or will appear in publications including American Quarterly, Bitch, Canadian Art, Feminist Formations, Flash Art, The Nation, The New Inquiry, The Paris Review, T: The New York Times Style Magazine, VICE, and Vulture. Former editorial assistant at Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, she has been an editor of The New Inquiry and a member of the editorial collective for Women & Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory since 2017. She has presented her work at conferences including the American Studies Association, the Modern Language Association, and the National Women’s Studies Association.

Reid holds a graduate certificate in Feminist Scholarship from Columbia’s Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and taught the course she developed at IRWGS, “Hauntings: American Poetry in the 1980s,” in Spring 2019. Most recently, Reid has been working on a new biannual magazine of gay communism called Pinko which launches Fall 2019. As an IRWGS Graduate Fellow, Reid is looking forward to continuing a feminist and queer study that distrusts what “woman” means and signifies, which is of course to also understand that the word indexes different things in different places, in different languages, and at different times.

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The Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality is the locus of interdisciplinary feminist and queer scholarship and teaching at Columbia University.

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