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Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality

Research Clusters

Gender, Health, and Human Well-Being

In response to global health emergencies affecting girls and women and drawing upon expertise among Rice faculty across the disciplines, this cluster brings together faculty working on girls' well-being; children's health; breast cancer, cervical cancer, and the human papillomavirus [HPV]; populations at risk for HIV-AIDS; new reproductive technologies and the medicalization of the life cycle; relationships among social class, ethnicity, and disease; gender disparities in physical and mental health; and gender and public health culture.

In spring 2008, the Center sponsored a lecture series on Gender, Health, and Human Wellbeing. Invited speakers included: Anne Fausto-Sterling, Professor of Biology and Gender Studies at Brown University, who delivered the first Marian Fox Martel Lecture on Gender and Science, and Donna Haraway, Professor, The History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Gender and Urban Life

As an outgrowth of the Center's Social Science initiative, this cluster brings together faculty working on gender, race, and ethnicity as coordinates of urban histories and cultures and on comparative urban studies. Current faculty research on gender in urban life includes representations of the Katrina disaster in New Orleans; domestic workers in London and New York; ritual, politics, and the city of medieval Cairo; piety and women's political organization in Lebanon and Bangladesh; sexual identity in the cultures of organizing in Mexico's northern border cities; and new cultural formations for girls and young women in global urban cultures. This cluster also addresses gender perspectives on urban migration and women's roles in urban networks and community organizing.

Women and Global Poverty

This cluster addresses the devaluation of women as a key component of global poverty. The journal Feminist Economics and the Pilot Program in Poverty, Social Justice, and Human Capabilities are its linchpins. This cluster includes research on women's lives in the context of international and domestic economic processes; the history and changing conditions for women in market and non-market work; women's labor in informal and sustainable economies; women and welfare; capacity-building for women and girls; and women's local and global political organizing.

On February 27, 2009, the Center's Poverty, Social Justice, and Human Capabilities Program hosted a colloquium on Gender and the UN Millenium Goals with Caren Grown as guest speaker.

Sex, Race, and Nation

The Center's core and affiliated faculty have a strong record in research on gender, sexuality, and the nation state. Ongoing projects develop transnational feminist perspectives and explore sexuality and race in colonial histories and the movement of capital. Several faculty members are researching the racialized political and cultural economies of marriage and divorce and new formations of sexual identity and representations of the body. Others are examining heterosexuality as a legal structure, a national institution, and cultural norm; the sex, gender, and racial components of welfare, immigration, and citizenship; forms of female citizenship; and women's organization of political communities.