In 2007, the editorial team introduced the Gender, Place and Culture Annual Award for New and Emerging Scholars with funds supplied by Taylor & Francis. The award is targeted at emerging researchers in feminist geographies who are trying to establish research careers and create research momentum.
The editorial team of Gender, Place and Culture is pleased to announce the award winners of this annual award, valued at a maximum of US$1,500. This year the editors agreed to share the award between two candidates who both were deserving in terms of their financial need and the quality of their intended presentations. They are: Carla Macal Montenegro, Doctoral Candidate at University of Oregon, United States and Ashleigh Rushton, Doctoral Candidate at Massey University, New Zealand.
Congratulations and best wishes for your continued work in the field of feminist geography!
Carla Macal Montenegro will use the award to present a paper at the following conference:
The Conference of Latin American Geographers, Tuscon Arizona, May 20 to 22 2021.
Title and abstract of Carla’s paper:
“Fue el Estado!”: Justice for the Guatemalan 56 Girls and Embodying Emotional Geographies
As a decolonial feminist geographer (Zaragocin 2019) in the Global North interested in centering the voices and stories of the most marginalized my work is grounded on feminist and decolonizing geographies. I am also part of the Central American diaspora and feel a rooted responsibility in sharing the stories of Central Americans experiencing the ongoing violence of colonization and imperialism (Speed 2019). On March 8th, 2017 community-based collectives and organizations came together as a way to respond to state oppression and demand justice for the 41 girls in Guatemala, who were burned to death at Hogar Seguro Virgen de la Asuncion. This paper focuses on the oral testimonies from one of the organizations, 8 Tijax and their autonomous collective work supporting families of the 41 girls who were murdered and 15 who were left physically and emotionally injured. One of the many ways, the collective builds community with the families and other organizations is through the creation of ceremonial altars. Disruptively, on September 11, 2019 Guatemala state officials removed the altar of the 41 girls that was placed in Guatemala’s central park. Their justification for removing the altar was to celebrate Guatemala’s Independence Day, leaving the case of the 41 girls as a tragedy of the past. Feminist organizations, families, and overall the people of Guatemala were enraged that protests erupted and a new altar commemorating the 41 girls has been placed in the same location. Using feminist and emotional geographies frameworks I plan to explain: How do contested sites build on the narrative to recuperate a collective historical memory (memoria historica)? And How do Abya Yala (Latin American) indigenous feminist epistemologies complicate state sites through decolonization?
Carla Macal Montenegro is a PhD student in Geography at the University of Oregon. She is studying the interconnections between borders, colonialism, and feminist geography. She received a Masters in Social Work from USC in 2012 and a B.A. in Sociology from UC Irvine in 2008.
She is an educator involved in a pedagogy of liberation. She enjoys reciting social justice poetry and is the creator of Ixoq Arte an herbalist project reclaiming ancestral indigenous knowledge. She was raised in East Los Angeles and was born in Guatemala.
Ashleigh Rushton will use the award to present a papers at the following conference:
RGS-IBG Annual International Conference, London, Great Britain, September 1 to 4, 2020
Title and abstract of Ashleigh’s paper:
The gendered landscape of the Kaikōura/Waiau earthquake
Natural hazards, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, cyclones, floods, fires and volcanic eruptions, are increasing in number and complexity, leading to substantial disasters. Inquiry into how social constructions of gender shape people’s experience of disaster has been a growing area of research since the mid-1990s, however little research has been conducted on men’s experience of disaster events. This paper will present results of qualitative semi-structured interviews that were conducted with 19 men who have been affected by the 2016 Aotearoa New Zealand 7.8Mw earthquake. Theories within the geographies of emotion literature were utilised to analyse men’s stories of the earthquake. It was recognised that two years following the earthquake men still lived with emotional trauma yet, due to sets of understandings about masculinity/ies, continue to supress their emotional distress and to conceal vulnerabilities. This presentation discusses men’s emotional responses to the Kaikōura/Waiau earthquake and demonstrates that by using the geographies of emotion literature in disaster research, scholars may understand the subjective lives of those affected by natural hazard events and develop policies and programmes that build resilience among this population group.
Ashleigh Rushton is a doctoral candidate in her final year of studies at the Joint Centre for Disaster Research (JCDR), Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand. She is from the Northeast of England but moved to New Zealand to undertake her PhD. She is a human geographer with a BA in Human Geography and a MSc in International Disaster Management. Her interests lie in how gender relations shape peoples experiences of disaster events. Her current research is a qualitative enquiry that examines men’s experiences of the 7.8 Mw Waiau/Kaikōura earthquake sequence that occurred in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2016. This research explores the gendered behaviours and actions that underpin men’s responses to and recovery from a disaster through the lens of masculinity. Her PhD is funded by the commonwealth scholarship commission.