Sa Whitley and MT Vallarta to join WGSS

The Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Prograrm extends a warm and enthusiastic welcome to these fantastic fellows joining us next year:


Sa Whitley will join WGSS as a new member of the Society of Fellows. Whitley is a black queer feminist scholar from Silver Spring, Maryland with an MA in African American Studies and a PhD in Gender Studies from UCLA. Currently, they work as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women and the Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Brown University (2020-21).

As a black feminist ethnographer of capitalist urbanization and black queer spatial imaginaries, their research and community organizing projects examine housing justice movements, financialization, urban planning strategies, and the politics of historic architectural preservation. Their forthcoming book manuscript entitled The Collective Come-Up: Black Queer Placemaking in Subprime Baltimore maps the collective efforts of black queer and transgender women who strategically renegotiate their relationship to private property and real estate markets after predatory experiences and dispossession during the subprime foreclosure crisis. Throughout their dissertation fieldwork in Baltimore, Maryland, Whitley was a Visiting Grad Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University and a Part-Time Faculty Member in the Department of Humanistic Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Their research has been supported by the UC Consortium for Black Studies and the Center for the Study of Women.


MT Vallarta is the 2021-2023 Guarini Dean's Pre-to-Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies with an appointment in WGSS. They are a Ph.D. candidate in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside where they research feminist theory, queer theory, and contemporary Filipinx poetics. Their dissertation, Knowing, Feeling: Toward a Queer Filipinx Poetics, investigates the anti-imperialist tradition of queer Filipinx poetry, how this critical art practice incites and aggravates our capacity for transformative change and is fundamental to political mobilization. Their research has appeared and is forthcoming in The Velvet Light Trap, VICEThe Asian American Literary Review, and others. A Kundiman Fellow, MT is also a poet and has creative writing published and forthcoming in Blanket Sea, Nat. Brut, Apogee Journal, TAYO Literary Magazine, and others.