Tennessen Scholars

In conjunction with its 50th anniversary year in 2018-19, the Center for 21st Century Studies awarded six graduate-student scholarships named for long-time Center Deputy Director Carol Tennessen. Tennessen Scholars attend all C21 events, help foster engagement among the Center’s active graduate student community, and contribute to the Tennessen Scholars blog.

Current Tennessen Scholars:

Krista Grensavitch (pronouns in use: she/her/hers) is a PhD Candidate in History and holds an MA in Women’s & Gender Studies, also from UWM. Her dissertation explores the intersection of Feminist Pedagogy, Material Culture Theory, and the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Responding to the so-called “Material Turn” within the discipline of history and, more widely, in the humanities, her dissertation argues that continuing the work of bell hooks’ engaged pedagogy, which places an emphasis on developing and maintaining well-being, is best done by incorporating objects in teaching and learning. Drawing from her own teaching experience, Krista explores and complicates ideas relating to authority, unknowability, and identity within the higher ed humanities classroom. By presenting her research and dissertation in various formats, including video, text, and audio, she hopes to ensure that the ideas and insights she offers are accessible and transferable.

Joni Hayward is a doctoral student in Cinema, Media, & Digital Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her research focuses on the intersections of eco-cinema and ecological thought within the histories of documentary and pedagogical film. Her doctoral work explores the ways in which cinema shapes knowledge about environmental issues and natural resources from industrial, corporate, and public standpoints, thus raising questions about efficiency, control, and agency.

Charmaine Lang is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African and African Diaspora Studies with a certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies. Her dissertation research examines the self-care practices of Black women activists in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has simultaneously pursued doctoral studies and gained valuable professional experience. She has served as the Interim Executive Director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice and the Director of the Reproductive Justice Collective. She believes that the voices of Black women are essential in creating new narratives and practices that will facilitate a balance between activism, scholarly pursuits and wellness.

As a writer and researcher, Charmaine explores the ways Black women thrive in oppressive and emotionally taxing environments. As a current Fellow in the Echoing Ida Program and the NWSA Women of Color Leadership Project, she works to amplify the voices and experiences of Black women.

With her leisure time, Charmaine enjoys Chicago style stepping, reading novels and narratives by and for Black women, traveling domestically and internationally and pursuing new food experiences.

Josh Rivers is a Ph.D. student in Anthropology who studies the intersection of queer community, institutions and video games with a particular focus on massively-multiplayer online games. His work seeks to synthesize anthropological theory and methodologies with practical questions of ethics and institutions in order to better address the struggles societies face in our increasingly digital realities.

Leila Saboori is a PhD candidate in Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Adopting a multidisciplinary approach, her dissertation focuses on comparative histories of oil, architecture, and urban modernity in the Persian Gulf region. Located at the intersection of oil and space, her research highlights the role of oil as the key agent in transformations of the 20th-century landscape.

Ariel Teal is an MFA candidate in Film, Video, Animation & New Genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She primarily works in moving image and performance to explore femininity, sexuality, and trauma. Currently, she is working on her thesis, an experimental documentary about embodiments of self on the internet and the attempt to reconcile virtual life with reality. Teal is also the program manager for the UWM Union Cinema.