Honouring GSFS & GWS Students Graduating in the Class of 2021


Published: 12May2021

The IGSF is very proud of our graduating students in the Class of 2021.

Since there will be no traditional commencement ceremony this year, we wish to honour the tremendous contributions our graduating students have made to Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies at McGill in other ways. We hope that wherever you are headed after McGill, gender, sexuality, feminist and social justice studies will continue to support and inform the life and work from here.

Books have brought us together and grounded our conversations. We will be providing graduating GSFS Majors and students in the Graduate Option in Gender and Women’s Studies with a copy of a book from Montreal’s Metonymy Press,, to mark this achievement.

We extend warm congratulations to our GSFS graduates, who are listed below.

Class of 2021


Hyeyoon Cho: Mothering Survival

My honours thesis explores the history of reproductive politics in South Korea from the 1960s to the early 2010s, by examining the biopolitical motivation behind population policies and family planning. My research is particularly interested in historicizing how reproduction has been enlisted as an instrument of the state’s modernist project, which is by definition gendered, classed, ableist and an ongoing product of struggles between multiple actors. I pay attention to the intersectional, historical account of women and queer communities who have been marginalized in the discourses of reproductive politics. Joining feminist scholarship and activism on reproductive justice, I investigate the assumptions that have become normative in reproductive politics and how they have been mobilized to oppress certain group of women. In doing so, I hope to broaden what reproductive justice could mean in the current Korean context, when the recent call for an amendment to anti-abortion law took place in 2019. By going beyond the pro-choice/pro-life framework, my thesis ultimately tries to imagine a queer, decolonial and feminist agenda that can rework the ideas of reproduction, kinship and family.

Abigail Drach: “What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank”: Whiteness, Girlishness, and Biopolitics

Exploring the racial, gendered, and social dimensions of Anne Frank’s ubiquity in American culture, I theorize the relationship between Jewishness and whiteness in contemporary American culture. Anne, as a metonymic figure for the white Jewish beneficiary of American multiculturalism (despite the fact that her family was denied refuge in the United States during the Holocaust), is an instructive case study in the ambivalent racial status of white American Jews since World War II. With a methodological framework of Black feminist theory and girl studies, this presentation first analyzes the whiteness of European-American Jews as constructed through visible, gendered, and classed characteristics. Then, using contemporary theories of biopolitics and necropolitics, I examine how some American Jews’ inclusion in whiteness is necessarily predicated on the exclusion, exploitation, and violent treatment of Black, Indigenous, and Brown populations through American white supremacy. Critiquing activist approaches that seek to include more groups within the fold of whiteness, I ultimately aim to demonstrate how we must dismantle the insidious racial hierarchies that structure all aspects of American society.

Meera Raman: The Revolution will be Aestheticized: An Analysis of the Summer 2020 Black Lives Matter Instagram Activism

I examine the advantages and disadvantages of the Summer 2020 Black Lives Matter activism that took place on Instagram. Through an analysis of Instagram posts, alongside activist theory, I aim to present an argument that highlights the importance of Instagram’s aesthetic dimension in online activism. I present some of my findings of my data set of Instagram posts, giving detailed explanations on the effects that they produce, and describe why this activism happened so largely on the Instagram platform. It is my aim, through my thesis, to provide a resource to activists and researchers alike who wish to pursue Instagram activism as a productive tool for social justice.



Aaron Beeman
Sarah Belec-Wolf
Chloe Blanchet
Ruchama Botat
Joanne Chio
Hana Darling-Wolf
Julia Israel
Serena Lisus-Reiter
Natalie Olivares
Margaret Ovenell
Evelyne Piret
Keira Seidenberg
Katherine Sheeser
Anna Sixsmith
Jacqueline Tam
Alexandra Smith Taylor
Arabella Vaillancourt
Madeleine Wolberg


Graduate Students in the Option in Gender and Women’s Studies

Golshan Golrizfard: PhD in Sociology with GWS Option, Queering Islam? QTMuslims in Toronto, Canada

Raziyeh Javanmard: MA in Education and Society with GWS Option, Exploring Profeminist Masculinity Studies through Postmodern Literature: Youth Engagement, Fictional Practice and Feminist Pedagogy

Julie Levasseur: MA in French with GWS Option, Traduire un féminisme ambivalent : l’exemple de Difficult Women de Roxane Gay, suivi de la traduction Des femmes à problèmes

Rachel Pacione: MA in Education and Society with GWS Option, Re-Imagining International Gender Equality Development Education: 'Building Bridges as we Walk'

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