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 14, 2018 to January 14, 2019.

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  • Current Students

    Nadia Assad

    Celeste Benson
    Celeste's primary research area is the comparative politics of family and fertility change. She is a PhD candidate in sociology and her dissertation employs crossnational welfare state theory to examine gender and family welfare regimes across US states.

    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.

    Nicole Butkovich Kraus
    Research interests: Xenophobia and nationalism, stratification, race/class/gender theory, and quantitative methods. Nicole was recently selected by the Social Science Research Council to speak as an expert on Russian data in the webinar "By the Numbers: Quantitative Data Sources in Eurasian Studies" and for the SSRC's Field Building Workshop: "Youth and Social Stability in Eurasia". She is a graduate affiliate of the University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty. Recent research projects include: "Xenophobia in the Russian Federation: A Multilevel Analysis" with Theodore P. Gerber, "Pride versus Prejudice: Xenophobia and National Identity in Russia" with Yoshiko M. Herrera, and "The Construction of Xenophobia: Geography, Gender, and Generation of Nation" (dissertation in progress).

    Nikki Graf
    Nikki’s interests include gender, stratification, education, and political sociology. Her master’s thesis examined intergenerational effects on the labor force participation and socioeconomic attainment of men and women, with a particular focus on how mother’s employment and attitudes toward work relate to children’s employment and status outcomes in adulthood.

    Lillian Hsiao-Ling Su
    Lillian is a doctoral student in Anthropology with a regional focus in China and Taiwan. Through the ethnographic study of two Chinese markets, her current project "Flexible Governance: State, Market, and Intellectual Property Rights in the People’s Republic of China" explores the complex role of the state in the intersection of development and the rule of law—specifically copyright and trademark laws—by looking at how female shopkeepers practice intellectual property everyday in the marketplace.

    Yangsun Hong

    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.

    Nicole Kaufman
    Nicole Kaufman is researching organizational groups working with former prisoners as an instance of societal incorporation of new members. Her dissertation places organizational responses to prisoner reentry in the larger processes of state devolution, the negotiation of the role of religion in public life, and the targeting of women as special correctional subjects. The study compares ways that types of religious and secular organizations in Southern Wisconsin envision the integration and incorporation of their clients-- especially women ex-prisoners-- as citizens in the community, and how their vision affects the programming they offer. Her master's thesis "Congregating the Movement" examined the development of the environmental racism claim through cases built on civil rights laws that would build the foundation of the Environmental Justice Movement. | Website

    Julie Keller
    Julie is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology. Her research interests include im/migration, gender and rural sociology. Her dissertation, "Life in Limbo: Transnational Migration, Masculinities, and Laboring In-Between," analyzes the intersections of citizenship, gender, and place. She examines a migration network between central Veracruz, Mexico and rural western Wisconsin, U.S., drawing on interviews and notes from months of fieldwork at each end of the journey to show how undocumented temporary immigrants manage the in-between. | Website

    Gina Longo

    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, I worked on budgetary gender mainstreaming in Israel and volunteered with feminist peace organizations. I am currently writing a dissertation on Inter-Cultural Dialogues, a student-led course at the Sociology department which I am fortunate enough to work with as a project assistant. My PhD thesis will look at gender aspects of the social movements which mobilized in Wisconsin and in Israel during 2011 (and since). I'd love to connect with people via twitter: naamangr and my developing English blog is:

    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.

    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

    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.

    Lillian Hsiao-Ling Su
    Lillian (or Hsiao-Ling) is a dissertator in cultural anthropology with a regional focus in China and Taiwan. Through an ethnographic study of Xinyang Market (Shanghai), and Haining China Leather Market in Haining (Zhejiang Province), she explores the changing legal consciousness of Intellectual Property Rights in the two markets by examining how market people's understandings of copyright and trademark laws are shaped in the intersection of the state, the rule of law, and the changing property regimes. Before starting fieldwork research in mid-March, she is expending the theoretical perspective of the project by analyzing the construction of the value of counterfeit and trademarked commodities with a left-feminist approach in connection with larger economic and political processes and the social distinctions they create and reinforce.

    Elizabeth Wrigley-Field
    Elizabeth's dissertation is on race and layoffs in the United States over the last 30 years. Her other research is on mortality selection -- the phenomenon that old-age statistics can be distorted because the disadvantaged rarely live to old age -- and its implications for research on health inequalities.

    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. For her dissertation, Katie is examining the causal complexity of women's empowerment in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. | homepage | CV

Events older than 2010 are listed here.