Nessette Falu, Ph.D. candidate in Anthropology and participant in the CSWGS Graduate Certificate Program, was recently awarded the Sarah Pettit Doctoral Fellowship in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies at Yale University. Nessette will serve as a Visiting Assistant in Research in the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences for the 2013-2014 academic year. The Fellowship provides Nessette with funding for her doctoral research as well as the opportunity to participate in programming for LGBT Studies at Yale.
Nessette's dissertation investigates how self-identified black lesbians (lesbicas negras) in Salvador-Bahia, Brazil draw upon everyday self-advocating and self-legitimizing practices and ways of knowing the self that serve to contest the subjugation of their bodies and sexuality by gynecologists. Her project explores personal narratives of sexual health, encounters with the biomedical apparatus, and sexual politics in personal, social, and religious contexts in order to illuminate the racialized, sexualized, and gendered dynamics of Afro-Brazilian lesbians' care of the self.
The Sarah Pettit Fund was established in 2003 as a permanent endowment to honor and perpetuate the memory of lesbian activist Sarah Pettit, who earned her BA from Yale in 1988. Pettit died in 2003 in the midst of a high profile career as a writer, editor, and LGBTQ advocate.
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