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WGGP Weekly News

August 23 ♦ Fall 2021 ♦ View Past Newsletters


Director's Welcome

Professor Faranak Miraftab, Acting Director, WGGP  

On behalf of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program (WGGP) at the University of Illinois, I would like to welcome you to the new semester. As you know, Prof. Murphy is serving as Acting Executive Director for the Illinois Global Institute (IGI) this year, and I will serve as the Acting Director of WGGP. I am grateful for this opportunity and look forward to working with you all.

For my brief tenure, I hope to build on the conversations facilitated by WGGP last year on the pandemic, the deepened social inequalities, and how it has modified the way we live. Specifically, we continue this theme by focusing on the feminist micro-politics of care and solidarity. Inviting scholars, activists, and artists through WGGP programming, we hope to shed light on under-the-radar and interstitial practices of care and life-making through which marginalized communities and women resist and challenge the unfair policies rooted in patriarchal-racial-capitalism. The COVID-19 global pandemic has, more than ever before, exposed not only the gross global and local inequalities, but also the indispensability of people’s creative, informal, and reciprocal practices of care to survive despite deep economic and health inequalities. To see poor women and their communities beyond their victimhood, speakers invited to WGGP programs this year will specifically focus on feminist politics of care and solidarity. From Europe’s municipalist movement, to Palestine and Sumud as re-engendering narrative, to solidarity economies of the African diaspora in the Americas (Canada and the Caribbean), and to Chile’s Las Tesis feminist collective (whose performance in the public space against gender-based violence went globally viral), these events and other WGGP programming will, I hope, inspire us to think of the pandemic, as Arundhati Roy puts it, as a portal through which we pass while creating the alternative, more just worlds we so desire. 

The themes of radical care and solidarity have been at the core of my scholarship and past engagement with WGGP, dating back to 1999, when I arrived at this campus. Through the WGGP community, I have found some of my most invigorating friendships, colleagues, and students as I have developed my transnational and feminist urban scholarship empirically based in Latin America, Southern Africa, and the US on citizens’ struggles to attain a dignified urban livelihood. In cities across the world, the informal politics of marginalized communities, with the everyday invisible care work of women at their center, makes life possible and also challenges the unfair policies that place profit-making ahead of life-making. 

WGGP strives to engage students, faculty, and community members through lectures, brown bags, and symposia promoting scholarship that makes a difference in bringing about transformative social change. These include lectures that are carried over from last year; lectures that address the focal theme of the year, feminist politics of care and solidarity; two activist panels on grassroots and artists’ creative practices; and a stimulating presentation on Transitional Justice. Please check our website’s home page to find information on upcoming events that we are hosting or co-sponsoring. The kickoff event for this year will respond to the tragic and urgent situation of women and gender-based violence in Afghanistan. We will inform you of the details of this virtual event via listserv, social media webpage, and other means as soon as we have the details confirmed.

Last year WGGP celebrated 40 years of service at UIUC, creating a vibrant community of students and scholars while encouraging and facilitating research, instruction, and service focused on gender equity and human development. We have many reasons to celebrate the accomplishments of the WGGP community, including our 78 Faculty Affiliates from 12 colleges and 33 departments across campus; our 150+ graduate students participating in WGGP through what was originally a certificate program and is now a graduate minor in Gender Relations in International Development (GRID); our graduate student awards and fellowships, now including two full-year fellowships (the Barbara A. Yates Fellowship and the Rita and Arnold Goodman Fellowship) and the Evelyne Accad and Paul Vielle International Research Award (please note the deadline for applying for funding for AY 2022-23 is February 16, 2022); and an exciting series of public events, lectures, and conversations. Please stay in touch to learn about our faculty affiliates, our current GRID students, and our programming via our website, our weekly newsletter.

If you are new to WGGP, we encourage you to look over our website to learn more about our program. Whether you are an old-timer or new to this campus, please let us know about faculty we should reach out to and invite as affiliates, and share our GRID graduate minor with students in your unit.  I also invite you to “Like” us on Facebook  and “Follow” us on Twitter and Instagram to learn about happenings on campus and around the world related to human development and gender equity.   We are now building connections on LinkedIn.

We are happy to chat with you to discuss any questions you have about our program or about how you can get involved with WGGP.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me at faranak@illinois.edu or our Associate Director, Anita Kaiser, at arkaiser@illinois.edu or (217) 333-6221.  We look forward to hearing from you. 

Finally, please stay safe and be well. 

Warm regards, 

Faranak Miraftab

Acting Director, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program
Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Affiliate Professor (zero percent) at Department of Women and Gender Studies; Department of Geography
Affiliate faculty at the Center for South Asia and Middle Eastern Studies, African Studies, Global Studies, Lemann Center for Brazilian Studies, and Latin America and Caribbean Studies


Call for Proposals-deadline extended to Sep. 24


The Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program (WGGP) will submit its first-ever application for the U.S. Department of Education Title VI as a National Resource Center in International Studies for the AY 2022-2026 period.  We invite University of Illinois faculty and graduate students to submit proposals for possible inclusion in our Title VI application.

WGGP encourages submission for research, teaching, and/or outreach activities that advance innovative approaches to international studies, with an emphasis on the global south and gender.

Funding requests should typically not exceed $20,000 over the four-year funding period.

If you have any questions or wish to talk about proposal ideas, please reach out to WGGP Associate Director, Anita Kaiser at arkaiser@illinois.edu.

Click here for submission details



WGGP Has Moved!!

Coble Hall  
Coble Hall, 801 S. Wright  

WGGP has moved! We will join the Illinois Global Institute (IGI), along with several centers at our new home in Coble Hall. 

Come see us on the corner of John and Wright Street. 



WGGP Social Media

WGGP Social Media

Joining our social media platforms just got easier. 
Visit our Social Media Page then click to follow and connect with us!


Illinois Global Institute News


The Illinois Global Institute (IGI) has issued its August e-newsletter.  If you are not currently receiving emails from IGI, please see links below that may be of interest.

Click here to receive IGI eNewsletters


Click here to receive IGI e-weekly event information



WGGP Programs

WGGP Gender Relations in International Development Graduate Minor

WGGP offers a graduate minor in Gender Relations in International Development (GRID). The GRID interdisciplinary minor is designed to give students the analytical and empirical skills needed to address and critically evaluate human development issues in research and policy analysis, as well as in daily life. As of 2021, GRID Alumni have come from 35 departments across campus and 50 different countries.

To learn more about the GRID minor, please contact Anita Kaiser at arkaiser@illinois.edu or by phone at 333-6221.

Click for more information on the GRID Minor


Certificate in Global Health  
Undergraduate Certificate in Global Health
Joint with WGGP and LAS Global Studies

LAS Global Studies, in conjunction with Women and Gender in Global Perspectives (WGGP), is offering a Certificate in Global Health. This certificate is open to all undergraduate majors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Click for more information on Undergraduate Certificate