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upRising 2020

Online Edition

November 2020

Welcome to upRising

First launched nine years ago, the Clayman Institute's upRising magazine provides updates on the Institute's core activities: conducting gender research, providing feminist mentorship, and translating research. This year, the Clayman Institute has continued to do almost all of its usual activities, with adaptations to suit the COVID-19 era. Of course, this product itself – upRising magazine – normally would be shipped in an envelope to your office or home, where you could display it on a table or share with a colleague. However, we can now employ video and interactivity, and you can share in new ways. Read on to learn more about how the Clayman Institute is relying on resiliency and flexibility, as well as your support, to continue our work. 

Conducting Gender Research

"Within a larger institution dedicated to research, I have always considered the study of gender and equity to be critically important. That’s especially true today, with so many questions about how COVID-19 is impacting women in their professional lives, their families and their safety. We can’t slow down for a moment on the vital work of gender research."

Michelle R. Clayman

Advisory Council Chair

In March 2020, we packed up our laptops and a few papers and headed home to await further instructions. Fellows, staff and students alike quickly made the transition to working from home. We are proud of the flexibility they have shown, and almost all Clayman Institute programs have continued.

Gender and the Pandemic – We commissioned new writing from Clayman Institute affiliates on working from home, gendered effects in the labor market, COVID-19 and protest, working and parenting during shelter-in-place, and more. Read their contributions.

COVID and gender working groups – The Clayman Institute has convened a cross-disciplinary COVID working group for communication and connections among campus researchers. We also have convened a research group focusing on domestic violence experiences during the shelter-in-place orders of the pandemic. 

Anti-racism response – View our statement titled “Our Feminism is Intersectional” in response to social justice movements this summer.

Cultivating Humanities Grant – In a grant awarded as part of Stanford's interdisciplinary Cultivating Humanities and Changing Human Experience initiatives, historians Estelle Freedman and Allyson Hobbs will join Adrian Daub in examining experiences and responses to sexual violence. The group will explore linguistic analysis of oral history narratives of assault across race and other groups; historical interpretation of the varied survival strategies that African American women weighed in the aftermath of sexual violence; and the role of institutions, including universities, in responding to trauma.

From the Director – In October 2020, Director Adrian Daub released a new book, What Tech Calls Thinking, "a lively dismantling of the ideas that form the intellectual bedrock of Silicon Valley." Daub's writing also has been featured prominently in The Guardian and is forthcoming in The Nation.

These excuses are scripts, in other words, developed around domestic, especially female, labor. To explain why being a mom isn't "real" work. To explain why women aren't worth hiring, or promoting, or paying, or paying as much. – from What Tech Calls Thinking

Mentoring feminist scholars

Testimonials from past fellows

View 3-minute video from Aliya Hamid Rao, assistant professor at the London School of Economics and former postdoctoral fellow, and Annelise Heinz, assistant professor at the University of Oregon and a former graduate dissertation fellow.

Susan Heck Interns

The Susan Heck Summer Internship is designed for Stanford undergraduates, teaching them about gender and gender research, funding their own gender-related research projects, providing mentoring by Institute PhDs, and including them in the Institute community over the duration of the summer. In addition to their own research, this summer’s five interns participated via online learning in a weekly Gender 101 workshop led by Postdoctoral Fellow Melissa C. Brown. Read more about their research. (Pictured: 2020 Intern Faatimah Solomon)

Graduate Dissertation Fellows

The Clayman Institute’s Graduate Dissertation Fellowships (GDF) are awarded to outstanding Stanford doctoral students who are engaged in research on women and/or gender. The fellowships provide financial support for top gender scholars as they complete their dissertations, while encouraging interdisciplinary connections for their research. Learn more about current GDFs. (Pictured L-R: 2019-2020 Fellows Grace Zhou, Ruth Wurl, Justine Modica)

Postdoctoral Fellows

The Clayman Institute offers a two-year postdoctoral fellowship. Recent doctoral graduates in the humanities or social sciences whose research focuses on gender with an intersectional perspective are eligible. While in residence at the Institute, postdoctoral fellows participate in Clayman Institute activities throughout the academic year in addition to pursuing their own research. Learn more about current postdoctoral fellows. (Pictured L-R: 2019-2020 Fellows Melissa C. Brown and Michela Musto)

Faculty Research Fellows

Faculty Research Fellows collaborate at bi-monthly discussions, which are scheduled during the academic year. At these presentations, fellows report on their own gender-based research to an interdisciplinary audience of scholars. This year's 12 faculty research fellows represent art and art history, pediatrics, theater and performance studies, law, biomedical data science, and more. Learn more about our current faculty research fellows. (Pictured: 2019-2020 Fellows with Director Adrian Daub)

Translating and amplifying gender scholarship

Sharing gender research with broad audiences has long been a cornerstone of the Clayman Institute's work. After two successful campus events in our newly launched series, Clayman Conversations, we shifted to offering programming that reaches beyond the physical campus. Learn more about how we've been sharing gender research this year.

Clayman Conversations series – Read or watch "Whisper Networks: On the Feminist Function of Rumor" and "Working Girls: Feminist Views on Sex Work."

Clayman Conversations webinars Our three-event summer series included "Debate Me!," "The TERF Industrial Complex" and "Departmentalize Now! The Imperative for African and African American Studies." Stories and podcast episodes available. (Pictured L-R Debate Me! panelists Adrian Daub, Moira Weigel, Nhi Le)

Podcast – The Clayman Institute launched its first podcast, The Feminist Present, now in its second season. Director Adrian Daub and co-host Laura Goode interview academics such as Tressie McMillan Cottom, journalists such as Rebecca Traister, and more.

Gender News – Our email newsletter continues to share developing gender scholarship, events and news. Subscribe or view stories online to learn about faculty fellows research, student interns, events and publications.

Follow us – Keep up with the latest on our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram channels as well as our Web site,

More to Remember from 2020

Guest writers

Alexander Chee, Jia Tolentino and Tressie McMillan Cottom shared their experiences as writers and scholars with students and fellows.

Artist’s Salon explores music composition and AI

Patricia Alessandrini presented a project developed as a tribute to the 19th century mathematician Ada Lovelace. Her interest in musical expressivity and interactivity led to this Artist's Salon featuring computer-assisted composition and performance.

Plaque honoring sexual assault survivors

On the patio of Attneave House, a plaque honoring survivors of sexual assault has been installed, featuring a quote from Chanel Miller.

"At a moment of intense global crisis, the Clayman Institute offers an ideal model of an inclusive, diverse, and generative environment that should be the standard in academia."

Marci Kwon, Art and Art History

Faculty Research Fellow

What's Next?

With daunting funding challenges facing universities and job markets for students largely stagnant, it is crucial we double down on supporting gender scholars, so as to ensure we have a robust pipeline of gender scholars long into the future. The generous support of donors makes our work possible and continues to fund fellows, events, outreach and more. To all of you who have provided support this year and in past years, thank you sincerely from all of us.

To all of those who keep up with our research by reading Gender News, following us on social media, and attending our events, thank you for your participation and support of gender scholarship.

We encourage you to think of new ways to share the work of the Clayman Institute. Forward a video. Share a Gender News story. Recommend a podcast episode. Feature this edition of upRising on your social media accounts. Let others know why you support gender scholarship at the Clayman Institute. We welcome your ideas and passion for spreading the word about the groundbreaking gender research we are honored to facilitate.

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For her leadership and support of the Clayman Institute and for her many contributions to feminist scholarship, we are pleased to dedicate this issue of upRising to Marilyn Yalom. A longtime senior scholar at the Clayman Institute, she served as director from 1984 to 1985. One of America’s leading cultural historians, Yalom studied the history of women as partners in marriage and examined such provocative topics as the history of the female breast and the role women played in the French Revolution and its aftermath. A gifted writer and innovative thinker, Yalom published books that were translated into 20 languages, including A History of the Breast (1997), A History of the Wife (2001), Birth of the Chess Queen (2004), How the French Invented Love (2012), and The Amorous Heart (2018). For more about Yalom, who passed away in 2019, read a remembrance on our Web site.