A year of the Feminist & Queer Happy Hour

This year I launched the Feminist & Queer Happy Hour in Providence and continued organizing and co-hosting monthly events in Providence. This year we got a logo thanks to the work of Margaret Middleton which we then used all over our event pages as well as our cat approved swanky buttons.

Each month we (me and some co-hosts) hosted one happy hour in Boston and one happy your in Providence, at different venues across both cities. In Providence we hosted events in places including Ogies, Riff Raff Bookstore and our now permanent home Saint Monday. In Boston we rotated venues as well but were regulars at A4Cade in Cambridge and Remnant Brewing in Somerville.

Based on a $5 suggested donation at the door, we raised the following amounts for local non-profits each month: 

  • Feb. Boston FQHH raised $101 for the Boston Abortion Support Collective
  • February Providence FQHH raised $83.00 for Youth Pride RI 
  • March Providence FQHH raised $100 for Black and Pink 
  • April Providence FQHH raised $50 for Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure
  • May Boston FQHH raised $95 for Black Lives Matter and the Flint Water Crisis
  • June Boston FQHH raised $75 for Hyde Square Task Force
  • June Providence FQHH raised $55 for SAGE RI
  • July Boston FQHH raised $175.00 for Girls Rock Campaign Boston
  • July Providence FQHH $65.00 for Girls Rock! RI
  • August Boston FQHH raised $81.00 for Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston
  • August Providence FQHH raised $65.00 for Planned Parenthood in RI
  • September Boston FQHH raised $100 for BAGLY 
  • October Boston FQHH raised $110 for Silver Lining Mentoring
  • October Providence FQHH raised $125 TGI Network of RI
  • November Providence FQHH raised $100 for AMOR RI
The funds we raised for events in Providence and Boston in 2018 totaled $1380.00!

It was really fantastic to see feminist and queer members of the community come together once a month. I definitely made some great new friends too which means a lot since I've spent most of my time working from home since moving to Providence two years ago. It was truly a joy to get to know folks from TGI Network, Bagly, Silver Lining Mentoring and the Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure who came to talk to us at the happy hour about the important work they do. One of our biggest donors for prizes for the raffle was Good Vibrations in Cambridge who came through with amazing prizes on several occasions. They even joined us for a few events to table and talk to people at the happy hour about things like the various sex toys they sell as well as their workshops about things like consent and BDSM in the bedroom.

These events couldn't have been pulled off without the support of Jana and Audi in Providence and Jasmine and Brenda in Boston. Looking forward to what 2019 holds in store for us and the $FQHH community. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to learn about future events, check out some of the thoughtful thank you letters we've received and see photos from past events. Looking forward to organizing more events in 2019!  


Jasmine and I pose with one of the raffle prizes




I'm a post-doctoral fellow with the International Studies Assocation!

In January of this year I recieved a call from the Executive Director of the International Studies Assocation, Mark Boyer, to inform me that I'd been selected to receive the ISA James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellowship for 2018-2019. It was very welcome news following an incredibly challenging fall 2017 because of things going on in my personal life, including losing my father in November. The award will make it possible for me to develop my dissertation manuscript into a book as well as continue my research by focusing on the LGBTQ NGO aspect of the converation about Queering Women, Peace and Security. My department published a short piece about the fellowship and Peggy Karns gave me a copy of the last book James N. Rosenau published before he died, People Count! Networked Individuals in Global Politics which was very kind. 

I was pleased to have the opportunity to give a visting lecture as a post-doctoral fellow in November at the University of Connecticut, where ISA is housed. While at UConn I spoke with students in the Sexualities, Activism, and Globalization course and we had the opportunity to think through what queer inclusion means together. The folks at ISA made such a wonderful flyer for the event too! (Click thumbnail for larger image.)

For this fellowship there is no residency requirement so it was my first time meeting most of the ISA staff. We all gathered for lunch and then I spent a bit of time exploring campus before preparing for my afternoon talk. After the talk I went out to dinner with Mark as well as Kristy Belton who I've been working with during my fellowship. Everyone is gearing up for the next ISA convention in Toronto in April 2019 so the office is covered in Canadian flags. Canadian flag on the wall, on the coffee mugs - everywhere! There is also a massive timeline on the whiteboard with notes for the upcoming 60th anniversary celebration next year.

During my visit to Storrs, Connecticut I stayed at the Daniel Rust House and can not recommend the place enough. They place is in the middle of the countryside and they also made me the most wonderful breakfast to get my day started. If you are ever looking for a place to stay near UConn, look no further! 

Daniel Rust House in Storrs

In addition to continuing to publish about lesbian, bisexual and transgender women's experiences in conflict-related environments I will also be writing an interview series for the Professional Resource Center at the International Studies Association website. About the series: "Broadening Engagements with International Affairs is a new interview series hosted by the ISA Professional Resource Center and written by ISA James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellow Jamie J. Hagen. The series highlights interviews with content developers of websites, podcasts, and newsletters finding new ways of engaging with scholars researching pressing issues in international affairs today."

I've published three of the interviews for the series so far including an interview with Elmira Bayrasli of Foreign Policy Interrupted, Kim Yi Dionne who is an editor at The Monkey Cage and Stephen McGlinchey who is Editor in Chief of E-International Relations (E-IR). I'm looking forward to the opportunity to continue to conduct interviews in early 2019.

The community I've found over the course of the past four years going to the convention have entirely shaped my understanding of the many ways that IR benefits from queer, feminist and indigenous engagements in ways that make IR scholarship political and aware of the everyday experiences of people rather than what can seem like outdated theories developed by and for white men. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to continue my academic research with the support of the ISA. 




My doctoral dissertation defense (in pictures)

On May 16th I defended my dissertation. For the most part I was able to enjoy the experience, though the actual defense portion with my committee was a little intimidating! As I work through my revisions I wanted to reflect on the experience. 

Because of my experience presenting about this work at multiple conferences over the years I felt very prepared to speak for half an hour about my work. Mostly I saw the experience as an opportunity to speak to the public about something I'm passionate about and what to share with others so I wasn't terribly nervous. At the same time, as you can imagine it was a much anticipated moment when my advisor turned to me and said,  "you're a doctor!" 

I don't often go to the University of Massachusetts Boston campus anymore so simply finding the room where I was to defend was a new experience. At first I was in the totally wrong building, somehow near the art studio classrooms, but some students sent me in the right direction! I knew I was getting close when I started to see the signs:



When I finally got to the correct room I decided it was important to take a pre-defense selfie. I also wanted to send a pic to Margaret who was out of town at a conference, but pumping me up all the same. After the brief selfie sesh, I made my way to the room where I was to make my defense. It was a new room in a new building where I'd never been before, but I quickly settled in because I actually only got there about ten minutes before my defense was schedule to begin!


 Fortunately my friends Jason and Sophie were there, so we chatted which helped to settle my nerves before the big event. As you can see by my stance here, I was channelling all of the calming energy I could muster before beginning the presentation. Also thanks to Jason for taking many photos during the presentation.  I asked Sophie to audio record the presentation as well, but I'm not quite ready to listen back.


We had some minor hiccups with getting all the committee members situated, and then it began. I wowwed the crowd, they were riveted, enthralled and spellbound.


A mere 30 minutes later, I rounded the corner and hit them with the conclusion. The audience listened with rapt attention as my slideshow came to a close, hand gestures in full force.



After the presentation came the 30 minutes for questions. This is the moment where you hope there are lots of questions about something you've just spent five years working on. Good news! They had questions and even better news: I had answers. 






After the questions I breathed a sigh of relief, gave a side eye to my friends, and took a much-needed seat.


The actual defense where I chatted with my commitee members has no photographic evidence because everyone was kicked out of the room for this top secret discussion. My committee members each talked to me about questions and concerns they had about my manuscript, future writing prospects and what's next for me after the defense for about half an hour. The time flew by and although I was advised to simply see the experience as an opportunity to get valuable feedback, the situation had a me a little tense.

At this point I was asked to leave to room and roam the halls like a normal person for an indeterminate time until they called me back in with their decision on the biggest pass/fail of my life. Cue elevator music.



Friends, guess what? They all decided to pass me! And now I'm:


Dr. Jamie J. Hagen, PhD

I immediately started to talk to my advisor about timeline for edits and what I needed to do next and he basically looked at me like I was bonkers and asked me to please go leave and have some fun somewhere else now. Cut to the nachos I had at Taco Party afterwards with Jason: 


The reality that I've come to the end of my doctoral program is still settling in. In less than a few weeks I begin my post-doctoral work as the ISA James N. Rosenau Post-Doctoral Fellow and will work on turning my dissertation manuscript into a book. Until then, I'm doing my best to enjoy a little down time this summer with lots of travel, adventures with friends, petting of cats, time with Margaret and even more vegan nachos before a busy fall of writing, writing, writing. 


My Writing Top 10 of 2017

This year in writing was predominantly defined by my dissertation project that persists, always on my mind in one way or another. I allowed myself two years for the dissertation research and writing so with this timeline in mind I'm planning to finish and defend the dissertation next year. But this year I've also found time to publish a few articles and begin to imagine a life post-dissertation defense while applying to a number of fellowships. The 10 projects that stand out the most to me in looking back on this past year include:

  1. I wrote my teaching philosophy and received feedback from over a dozen academics at the ISA teaching pedagogy workshop.
  2. I published the piece "Queering women, peace and Security in Colombia" to the Queer/ing In/Security section in Critical Studies on Security about how sexual orientation and gender identity matter to peace and security work.
  3. I completed and then transcribed all of my interviews for my dissertation research! 
  4. In published a piece for the Establishment about being a queer femme feminist and the (my first!) tattoo I got last year. 
  5. I applied to many things with long applications, including four post-doctoral fellowships. I have learned one was not successful but I will continue to learn about the rest in 2018. 
  6. In November I learned that my application to a fellowship was successful: beginning next semester I will serve as a Topol Fellow working on the Topol Peace Data Initiative at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Continuing to apply for things after rejections that came earlier in 2017 makes me especially grateful for the successful application to this fellowship.
  7. I wrote an article for Rewire about abortion as a human rights using Ireland as a case study.
  8. I wrote an article for NYLON on why people shouldn't host counter-protests at Planned Parenthood.
  9. I was part of a series of posts about sexual violence in higher education for Conditionally Accepted. I contributed a piece about the need to address gendered assumptions and think intersectionally about sexual violence when discussing it in the classroom. 
  10. I passed the half-way point in my dissertation draft and am scheduled to complete the draft in March.

My plate is already full when it comes to projects for 2017. I'm currently in the middle of two different book chapter drafts, half-way through the dissertation and have two more book chapters to work on before the summer. As I mentioned I'm also going to be working as a Topol fellow most likely creating a tool-kit intended for researchers and activists.

While I have many deadlines and goals before me I know the only way I remain motivated to do this work is by connecting with community, online and off. Here's to being grateful for the miracle of everyday and to showing up again the next day. 




Reflecting on the "Conditionally Accepted" series about sexual violence

Earlier this year Eric Anthony Grollman put out a call for contributions. Eric wanted to use their column "Conditionally Accepted" as a space to interrogate sexual harassment and assault and higher education.

Eric writes:

Apparently, we do not want to hear survivors, we do not want to believe them, we do not want to recognize them as credible sources on their own experiences. So they have to find their own spaces to share their stories. (See also this Washington Post series.)

So in the spirit of amplifying the voices of the marginalized, “Conditionally Accepted” will feature guest blog posts about sexual violence over the next six months. Yes, we are devoting half the year to this oh-so-important topic, though we know six months is hardly enough. Several guest bloggers from different career stages and academic and social backgrounds contributed to our call for blog posts on rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking and intimate partner violence in higher education. Some people reflect on a personal experience, some offer teaching and research tips, and others offer advice for effectively supporting survivors and ending campus sexual violence.

This series of blog posts will certainly not solve all the issues, but it is at least one way to amplify the voices of survivors -- and, to be certain, that is an important first step.

My contribution to the column was published earlier this month. In my piece I wrote about how assumptions about gender must be challenged in discussions about survivors and perpectrators of sexual violence. But after it was published it made me curious to look back at all the pieces published following the initial call for contributers. Here is what I found 

About halfway through typing this list I had to stop and take a break because I was brought to tears.

I was moved to reflect on the space created for so many victims/survivors and allies in higher education. I was moved to see that Eric persisted with the series even after being asked to stop publishing so many pieces on the topic. I was moved to see stories shared, challenges acknowled and solutions suggested. But I also had the wind knocked out of my by some of the comments: people continuing to reject rape culture, people who dismiss the trauma of sexual violence on campus, people totally unwilling to acknowledge white supremacy and privilege in how sexual violence persists.

Yet these essays say that we resist this ignorance and silencing. They say I am not alone and nor are you. And perhaps most importantly they also say we need to listen, learn and acknowlege the toll that sexual violence is taking on our campus community including students, faculty, and staff. Navigating this road at our various instittutions can be very lonely and challngeing, but for today in visiting these essays I'm reminded of how many of us are in this together and grateful to call myself a part of this "Conditionally Accepted" series. 

 Update: Below are the links to the final few pieces in the series that were published after my blog post: