The Sociology of Gender Brownbag (or FemSem) meets every Thursday from 12:30 to 2pm in Social Sciences 2435 (unless otherwise noted).

Fall 2018 Calendar 

If you’d like to request a presentation date, please email Nona Gronert at

Nothing from December 16, 2018 to January 16, 2019.

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  • Current Students

    Maria Azocar

    Maria is a Sociology PhD student with research interests in law and gender. Maria is originally from Chile, where she did her BA in Sociology at the University Catolica de Chile (2005). Before coming to the US, she held a position as a Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Diego Portales (UDP). Currently she is a research fellow at the Instituto de Investigacion en Ciencias Sociales (ICSO-UDP). Her master thesis analyzed the implementation of court reforms in Chile, the gendered stratification of the legal profession in the country, and the construction of a gendered legal expertise by legal policymakers. Maria worked as a volunteer in Fondo Alquimia, an organization that funds feminist activist groups in Chile. Currently she works at WORT Radio, where she hosts the show “En Nuestro Patio,” a program with news and music for the Latino community in Madison (every tuesday at 7pm, 89.9 fm). She is happy to share and discuss her work.

    Özlem Altiok

    Özlem's research and teaching interests include capitalist development and its discontents; gender and other social inequalities; migration; and environmental sociology. She is completing her dissertation on the entanglements of politics, religion, and gender in Turkey. This work consists of three papers that analyze some key reforms from the 1920s, and include an ethnography that explores the appeal of complimentarity discourses. Since 2010, she has been a full-time lecturer jointly hired by Women's Studies and International Studies at the University of North Texas in Denton. She loves learning/teaching, playing with her daughter, and traveling.

    Yun K. Cho

    Yun, a doctoral student in Sociology, comes from a hard science background, having studied Environmental Science, Biology, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. After noticing the distinct lack of women in engineering, she became interested in researching women in male dominated fields, cultural and institutional changes through interactions and relationships, and higher education as a workplace as well as an educational institution. She is completing her master's thesis in Sociology using cross-national interview data on women scientists and engineers in academia in South Korea and Madison. Her thesis research explores how mentoring relationships support individuals' strategies and facilitate cultural transformation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

    Alexis Dennis

    Alexis is a graduate student in Sociology. Her research interests include autoethnography, microsociology, gender, race and ethnicity, and urban and community sociology. Her research has focused on Black women and their lived experiences particularly in both their personal and professional lives, their relationships to mainstream feminism, and their conceptualizations of community. She is especially interested in the upward mobility of poor racial groups and their experiences as they break into the middle-class. She explores aspects of alienation and the families/communities they are compelled to create within and outside of professional and familial communities. Her current work examines the experiences of working class women of color who work and/or are students in the academy and how they struggle to make meaning of race and class membership in predominantly white, privileged spaces.

    Katie Fallon

    Katie Fallon is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at UW-Madison. She is interested in urban spaces, race, gender, and human geography. Katie is currently working on a few different projects: (1) an analysis of how raced and gendered bodies are situated within hierarchies of beauty; (2) a project with Casey Stockstill about how single, heterosexual, professional women in New York City approach finding a partner; (3) an ethnographic exploration of the UW Madison metro bus system; and (4) an analysis of how urban studies graduate departments have attempted to increase racial and gender diversity of faculty and graduate students.

    Pilar Goñalons

    Pilar's main areas of interests include stratification, gender, migration, race and ethnicity, and feminist theory. She is a PhD candidate in Sociology currently working on her dissertation about the role of paid domestic workers in new configurations and discourses of inequality in Spain. She is working on a paper that looks at the relationship between hiring domestic workers and the division of housework labor and another piece looking at the discourse of gender equality in relation to domestic workers. Broadly speaking, Pilar is interested in examining processes of inequalities between women in relation to other mechanisms of stratification.

    Nona Gronert

    Nona is a Sociology graduate student. Her research interests include gender, sexuality, and criminology. After noticing undergraduate peers' disagreements over verbal consent to sex, she decided to research college students' perceptions of sexual consent. She hopes to build upon this research by further investigating conflicts within undergraduates' sexual scripts. For a taste of her research, check out her post on Sociological Images.

    Garrett Grainger

    Garrett L. Grainger is a PhD student in the department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation research incorporates theoretical models/findings associated with intimate relationships, life course, emotions, gender, and social stratification. More specifically, he contributes to life course scholarship by exploring the impact of institutional inclusion on relationship stability/longevity amongst gay and lesbian couples transitioning into retirement. To this end, Garrett utilizes a multi-method design that incorporates survey data and in-depth interviews to illuminate the processes associated with this status transformation. Garrett earned his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013) and B.S. from the University of Central Florida (2010).

    Jamie Hawkins

    Originally from Wisconsin, I moved to California when I was 18 and have lived there for the last 10 years. I taught preschool in both San Luis Obispo and San Francisco before returning to school full-time. I graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in 2013 with a degree in Sociology. During my senior year I completed an original research project examining parent expectations of preschools- examining access, race and class factors. My academic interests include education, stratification, gender, and sexuality. I recently returned from living in Istanbul, Turkey for the last six months where I studied at Boğaziçi University. My non-academic interests include traveling, biking, reading (mostly memoirs), and yoga.

    Yangsun Hong

    Yangsun is a Ph.D. student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She is interested in synthesizing of theories across disciplines, particularly the sociology of gender, social psychology, and political/health communications. As a recipient of 2013 graduate student research grant from the Global Health Institute at UW-Madison, she is currently working on her project entitled “How to practice intersectionality in quantitative health research." Her research assumes that individuals’ structural experiences from having multiple positions in marginalized social categories (class, gender, race, sexuality, and citizenship) directly and indirectly influence health-related behavioral choices through affecting psychological processes, skills, and environmental constraints. This study attempts to expand the uses of intersectionality in health research to include psychological processes and behavioral outcomes.
    Yangsun has also been studying how experiences of political disagreement are differently associated with varying forms of political participation and how social capital, social networks and political conversations relate to political participation, particularly in social movements, of men and women. | website

    Annabel Ipsen

    Annabel Ipsen is a doctoral student in Sociology with a regional focus on Latin America. Her research interests include: gender, labor, migration, and economic change and development. Currently she is doing pre-dissertation research on foreign migrant workers in the agricultural sector on the triple border of Chile, Peru and Bolivia. Her previous research includes a project on temporary workers in the citrus industry in Argentina and Uruguay and an investigation on supply chain development with local farmers in the fruit export industry in northern Chile.

    Gina Longo

    Gina is a Sociology PhD student with research interests in citizenship, immigration, and intersectionality. She holds a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from Florida Atlantic University. Her dissertation, "Torn Between Rights and Vows:The Effects of Spousal Immigration and Citizenship Processes on US Citizens" analyzes the intersections of citizenship, marriage migration, and social location. She examines the ways in which a foreign spouse’s journey through the US immigration and citizenship processes changes the US citizen spouse’s relationship to the state and challenges their citizenship rights; drawing on interviews of US marriage migrant couples and textual analysis of a support forum for US citizen spouses.

    Hannah Miller

    Hannah is a PhD student in sociology and is interested in gender, education, and stratification. Her dissertation examines how gender, racial/ethnic, and socioeconomic inequalities in educational achievement and attainment vary across U.S. high schools, and how disparities in instructional and relational resources relate to achievement and attainment inequality. Her other work has examined the discourse of parent involvement in Title I school-parent compacts and policies; parent-teacher relationships in low-income, predominantly Latino schools; and low-income college students' decisions about academic pathways.

    Kellea Miller

    Kellea is a UW-Madison Sociology PhD student with a focus on international women's rights. She holds a B.A. in Public Policy and Feminist Studies from Stanford University and an M.S. in Sociology from UW-Madison. For the past 10 years, Kellea has worked with international human rights organizations including the Global Fund for Women, the International Accountability Project, and the Fund for Gender Equality at UN Women. She teaches women's self-defense and can sing one song in Quechua.

    Naama Nagar

    Before going to grad school, Naama worked on budgetary gender mainstreaming in Israel and volunteered with feminist peace organizations. She wrote her thesis on Inter-Cultural Dialogues, a student-led course in the Sociology department. Her dissertation will look at gender aspects of the social movements which mobilized in Wisconsin and in Israel during 2011 (and since).

    Mytoan Nguyen Akbar

    Mytoan Nguyen Akbar has broad research interests in racial and ethnic studies as these issues relate to globalization and migration. Her dissertation about the return migration experiences of Vietnamese Americans (in both the "1.5" and 2nd generation) extends current research on how migration can have consequences for both sending and receiving communities, especially for transnational kinship networks, cosmopolitan expatriate communities, and career advancement in a post-financial recession era. The situated context of migration across borders leads to new social and occupational hierarchies that are fertile ground for intersectional studies of race, class, and gender dynamics.
    Website |

    Jason Orne

    Jason's research agenda focuses on the intersection between race and sexuality. His current project studies interracial relationships and sexual stratification in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood. He is also a scholar of identity management, especially coming out. He uses qualitative methods, including ethnographic participant observation, in-depth interviewing, and autoethnography. He received his M.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his B.A in Humanities and Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. He can be found online at | Curriculum Vitae

    Madeleine Pape

    Madeleine is an Australian graduate student in Sociology at UW-Madison. Her current research is exploring the gendered dimensions of participatory budgeting.  In particular, Madeleine is interested in feminist models of participatory democracy and citizenship, and the ways in which participatory budgeting interacts with the larger project of gender equality.  Madeleine is also working with Australian scholar Helen Forbes-Mewett on a project looking at crime and international students, with a focus on the specific experiences and vulnerabilities of female international students. Madeleine's other major area of research interest is gender equality and sport. To learn about the extent of gender inequality in the sporting world, follow her blog at:

    Johanna Quinn

    Johanna is interested in intersectionality as a theory and method for sociological inquiry. Her research examines United State's teachers as a gendered and racialized labor force and seeks to understand their experiences of teaching in a stratified labor market. Her work investigates how changing relations of accountability and authority in schools and policies like No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Race to the Top (RTTP) impact teachers' work and lives.

    Casey Stockstill

    Casey Stockstill is a Sociology graduate student. Casey is doing a long-term ethnographic project about the shared fates of children from low-income families and their caregivers. She has two additional projects: an experiment that examines how multiracials’ presentations of their racial background affect their perceived status and competence, and an interview-based project with Katie Fallon about how single, heterosexual, professional women in New York City approach dating.

    Di Wang

    Di has been a feminist activist in China for years. Now she is a PhD student in Sociology at University Wisconsin-Madison with research interests in the areas of gender, social movements and new media, particularly in the emerging new wave of feminist and queer movements in China.

    Jaclyn Wypler

    Jaclyn is a graduate student in the departments of Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison. Her research interests include agrofood systems, gender, and communities. Jaclyn is currently doing fieldwork with sustainable women farmers in the rural Midwest, looking at how these farmer fare in communities dominated by conventional male farmers.

    Katie Zaman

    Katie is a Sociology PhD student with research interests in political economy, international development, women's empowerment, and QCA methods.  She has worked in Bangladesh as a Fulbright Fellow, and has won FLAS fellowships for both Bengali and Indonesian. Katie is a consultant for international development projects, specifically gender-related programs and project evaluation. For her dissertation, Katie is examining the causal complexity of women's empowerment in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh using crisp set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (Ragin, 2000). | homepage | CV

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