Tahereh Aghdasifar, Institute of Liberal Arts

Tahereh's dissertation, "Queering the Quotidian: Everyday Female Homosociality in Iran," is an exploration of female homosociality and female-female desire in Iran through the sites of the bra shop, public bath and gym locker room. Utilizing affect theory and a Lefebvrian analysis of space and rhythms, she considers what spaces of female homosociality with communal nudity may provide females, and how shifting economic and political patterns affect these spaces. 

Samantha Allen, Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Samantha's areas of study include feminist theory, queer theory, affect theory and psychoanalysis. Her dissertation reads practices of sexual fetishism in conversation with Silvan Tomkins' theory of affect as a way to revisit Freudian theories of perversion and fetishism.

Monique Carry, Sociology Department

Monique Carry's dissertation, "Safe Space between a Rock and a Hard Place?" A Search for Resilience among African American and Latina Lesbian and Bisexual Women," explores positive adaption through sexual identity acceptance and disclosure among African American and Latina women, while taking into consideration how cultural experiences with discrimination and community acceptance affect well-being.

Amy Cobden, Anthropology Department

Amy Cobden's dissertation is on behavioral endocrinology of bonobos, of interest mainly due to their use of sexual behaviors in conflict management.  She interconnects her work in evolutionary theory with feminist theory.

Derrick D. Cohens, English Department

Derrick Cohens is interested in African American literature and (black) gay/lesbian literature/theory as interventions that refuse to prioritize race or sexuality, allowing each category to manifest itself while calling attention to their tenuousness.

Perry Guevara, English Department

Perry Guevara studies representations of gender and sexuality on the Renaissance stage with reference to Queer Theory, Ecocriticism, Posthumanism, and histories of science.

Taryn Jordan, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Taryn D. Jordan is a graduate student in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research interests lie in Blackness, queer theory, decolonial theory and affect theory. Taryn has invested her life in social justice work.  She seeks to blend her political work and academic interests into a productive relationship where struggle and theory mutually inform one another creating the conditions for an intellectual and political spiral. 

Nikki Karalekas, Department of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Nikki is broadly interested in how feminists and queer theorists (often implicitly) conceive of the power of law, especially in relation to foreclosing or fostering political and sexual freedom. Her dissertation, Strip Clubs and the Legal Everyday: Rethinking the Feminist Turn Away from Law, explores this interest through a comparative case study of different legal approaches to strip club policy and reform. Nikki has taught courses on gender, sexuality, and the law and is interested in teaching courses about the sex industry, urban sexuality, and feminist political and legal theory. 

José Arnaldo Larrauri-Santiago, Spanish & Portuguese Department

Jose Larrauri-Santiago's dissertation, "Rupture, Diversity, Excess: Homosexual Discourse in Contemporary Puerto Rican Literature," examines the evolution of  homosexual discourses in tandem with the development of Puerto Rican literature, culture, and national identity debates.

Joe Madura, Art History Department

Joe Madura's recent work has focused on contemporary queer minimal art, performance, and photography, including curatorial work on the Andy Warhol polaroid show at the Carlos Museum, "Big Shots," about which he spoke at a Studies in Sexualities gathering in December 2008.

Ronald Mendoza-de Jesús, Departmet of Comparative Literature

Ronald works in the fields of Latin American literature, 20th century French and German thought, literary and political theory, with increasing interest in Queer Theory.

Emily Parker, Philosophy Department

Emily Parker's dissertation is titled "Feminist Aporetics: On Negativity and Alterity," and reflects her interests in feminist theory and psychoanalysis, the relationship between the queer and the feminist, and philosophy and the body.

Janelle Peters, Graduate Division of Religion

Janelle Peters' dissertation, "Leveling the Playing Field: Egalitarian Athletic Metaphors and Head-Coverings in 1 Corinthians," addresses gender performance in early Christian communities in the Roman Empire. Awards include the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship, the University of Chicago Fuerstenberg Fellowship, and the Southeastern Regional Society of Biblical Literature Kenneth Willis Clark award for best graduate student paper. She has presented at the annual meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature (2007-10), the North American Patristics Society (2009), and the American Academy of Religion (2008). She has also given papers at the Second Enoch Graduate Seminar (2008), which was held at Princeton, and the First Annual Emory Studies in Sexualities Graduate Student Conference (2010). Among her publications are: "The Spring as a Civilizing Mechanism in Daphnis and Chloe," Ancient Narrative (forthcoming); "Book," III. New Testament. Encyclopedia of Bible and Its Reception (forthcoming); "Hellenistic Iconography and Imagery in Daniel 12:5-13," Journal for the Study of Pseudepigrapha (2009): 127-145.

David Ritchie, Department of Comparative Literature

Dave's work and fields of interest include Deconstruction, Psychoanalysis, Aesthetics, Critical Theory, Political Theory, and Queer Theory. Within these fields, he concentrates on the major figures such as Derrida, Nietzsche, Benjamin, Wilde, Winnicott, Klein and Sedgwick.  Focusing primarily on American and German literature, Dave's work deploys a variety of critical tool sets in the exploration of the psychologies of everyday political life.

Sarah Stein, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Sarah is a PhD Candidate in the department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Sarah Served as a Studies in Sexualities Conference Co-Organizer in 2013. She received her JD from Emory University as a pursuit concurrent with her graduate coursework. Her current research explores gender, sexuality, and race through the concept of home as it operates in homelessness services. She is more broadly interested in the nexus between sexuality and survival.

Mark Smith, Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department

Mark Smith studies asexuality (a lack of sexual attraction to others) online and offline.  He has focused on "discovery" and "coming out" narratives, or how asexuals found out and told others about asexuality.  His work also accounts for sexual/asexual interactions and how orientational prefixes (such as bi-, demi-, hetero-, homo-, trans-, pan-) operate in an asexual context.

Mairead Sullivan, Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Mairead has a BA in Religious Studies and Women's Studies from The College of the Holy Cross and a MSW from Boston University. Mairead spent several years working in LGBT and Women's health prior to coming to Emory in 2010. Mairead's research interests include embodiment, phenomenology, psychoanalytic theory, and queer theory. Specifically, Mairead is interested in how experiences of the body inform understandings and articulations of gendered identities.

Lauran E. Whitworth, Department of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Lauran is a PhD candidate in the department of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies at Emory University, where she is also completing a certificate in Film & Media Studies. Lauran holds an M.A. in History of Art from The Ohio State University and B.A. degrees in English and Art History from the University of Georgia. Her areas of scholarly interest include feminist film theory, queer theory, and contemporary visual culture, including LGBTQ print culture. Lauran’s dissertation, “The Nature of Liberation: Representations of Nature and Sexual Politics in Contemporary Film and Culture,” examines depictions of nature in ecofeminism, the Radical Faeries movement, and contemporary EcoSexuality.​