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Office: Ross Hall
Dr. Samantha L. Vandermeade received her Ph.D. in Gender Studies from Arizona State University in 2020 and joined the Gender and Women’s Studies department in UW’s School of Culture, Gender, and Social Justice as an Assistant Professor in the fall of 2020.
Her dissertation, “Using the Master’s Tools to Dismantle the Master’s House: Gendered and Racialized Citizenship, Pro-Immigrants’ Rights Advocacy, and White Privilege in the Borderlands,” examined pro-(im)migrants’ rights activism and advocacy among middle-class White women in Phoenix, AZ. Utilizing a feminist, intersectional analytical lens and drawing upon critical race studies, Whiteness studies, and citizenship theory, the project explored study participants' understandings and enactments of their racialized and gendered citizenship in the context of their activism. The project ultimately found that these White women face thornily difficult ethical questions regarding how to wield the rights entailed in their gendered citizenship and their White privilege on behalf of marginalized, Latina/o/x, non-citizen migrants when those rights and privileges draw their power from very same systems that work to oppress the migrants they seek to aid. The project also makes the case that White women’s lives, as well as their experiences of citizenship and activism, are inherently and fundamentally intersectional and should be analyzed as such.
Dr. Vandermeade’s larger research interests and teaching focus on intersectional feminist theory; critical Whiteness studies; immigration and the borderlands; xenophobia; (anti)racism; gendered and racialized citizenship; race and rurality; social justice activism; gendered labor and social reproduction; and feminist pedagogy.
She is also the author of two forthcoming publications. The first, “The Ally’s Tools: Wielding Gendered and Racialized Power within Antiracist Praxis,” will appear in a co-edited anthology, Feminists Talk Whiteness. The second, entitled “Resisting burnout: bell hooks’ pedagogy of hope and teaching antiracist feminism online at the University of Wyoming during the Covid-19 pandemic,” will appear in a special issue of Feminist Pedagogy dedicated to bell hooks.