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List of Candidates September 2023

Dear AtGender members,

As you know, AtGender is looking for new board members. The elections will be organized during the AtGender General Assembly (on Wednesday, September 6th 2023). We are sharing with you a list of candidates for board members and their motivation letters.

AtGender team.







Helen Aadnesgaard is a recent graduate of Utrecht University & The University of York


Helen Aadnesgaard

I have recently completed my RMA in Gender Studies at Utrecht University. I primarily researched the urban poor in South Africa, many of whom are African im/migrants, analysing their socio-political concerns from their own viewpoint. My work avoids disciplinarity and instead I weave together cross-disciplinary theories to attempt alternate ways of researching/writing. During my studies I focussed on non-hierarchical modes of encounter and honouring diverse epistemologies.

Highlights from my research include: researching the intimate labour and care work of queer people with disabilities, conducting participant-to-participant semi-structured interviews; developing a situated feminist research praxis; doing fieldwork in South Africa alongside the shack-dwellers movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, and critically reflecting on my own whiteness and that of the institution.

Prior to my RMA studies, I worked in the non-profit sector as a Business Developer where I honed my skills in project management, communications and the ability to work independently and in a team. I co-devised the syllabus for a teaching and mentoring programme for women, facilitated workshops, mentored interns and junior team members and was interviewed by the media. In 2020, I collaborated with an architecture studio to write and produce a short film documentary on the legacy of Apartheid spatial planning. I was also published in Agenda Journal.

From 2015, I worked in advertising and communications as a copywriter, brand strategist and social media specialist where I led my own team and trained junior staff. Throughout my career, I was drawn to impact-based work and my career naturally progressed from corporates to non-profits. I am an internationally awarded copywriter with comprehensive skills communicating ideas in a meaningful way to my audience. I graduated my BA with distinction, won the top achiever prize for my class and returned to my university as a guest lecturer.

Thanks to my non-traditional career path, I have a varied skillset and pride myself on my adaptability and willingness to learn. I consider myself a generative disruptor, remaining critical of tradition and normativity. My thinking and doing is informed by African feminism and decoloniality and I am on a never-ending quest to decolonise my imagination. I am solution-focussed without rushing thoughtful analysis and strongly believe my work needs to contribute to the communities it is located in. English is my first language and I speak isiZulu, isiXhosa, Afrikaans and Dutch.

I am a great fit to be an ATGENDER board member due to my experience in project management and development in the NGO sector, working closely with the boards of organisations. I am excited by critical thinking, empathetic modes of research and care-full (full of care) decision-making. I am also committed to de-centring European and Western epistemologies. I am a team player and look forward to being an active member of the ATGENDER community.






Liz Ablett, is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow, Sociology, University of Newcastle, UK

Liz Ablett

I have been a member of Atgender (either institutionally or individually) for some time and have contributed to several Atgender activities. In 2020, I was invited to give an online talk for Atgender on the theme: Early Career Academic Life During the Pandemic: Challenges to and Strategies of Feminist ECR in Europe, which received positive feedback from the attendees and was a brilliant experience to engage in cross-border ECR solidarity and community during the lonely months of the pandemic. This year, I was invited by existing Atgender Board members to help co-organise Strand 6 Affects, Emotions, Moods in Pedagogies and Demarcations at the Atgender Spring Conference. I have also given a paper (with a colleague) about anti-gender movements at the 2022 Atgender conference in Milan.

I have a strong commitment to cross-European (and transnational) feminisms and queer scholarship and bring principles of transnational and intersectional solidarities to my research practice, teaching and organising with colleagues. As such, I am committed to the Atgender’s vision and would love the opportunity to direct my scholarly and organisation skills towards supporting its work. I am a feminist ethnographer who primarily draws on Dorothy Smith’s feminist research approach, Institutional Ethnography, to understand power and injustice in political institutions and processes. As a feminist teacher, I am particularly excited about the opportunity to support the ‘Teaching with Gender’ book series given my interest and current work in feminist and queer pedagogies. My postdoc research thus far has had a strong European and transnational focus, using ethnography and qualitative approaches to examine and build resistance to violence against political women in Europe and ongoing anti-feminist and anti-gender mobilisations in Europe. I am active in inter-disciplinary and transnational Institutional Ethnography communities, engaging in teaching, research and as a co-founder of the UK and Ireland Institutional Ethnography Network. I am therefore also very keen to help organise the next Atgender conference and contribute my strong organisational skills along with my experience working with others across disciplines, country contexts and languages. A conscientious and collaborative colleague committed to solidarities across injustices, I have participated in numerous collective approaches to organising – be that via academic activism helping to organise a boycott of casualised teaching, or through more formalised organising committees for feminist research groups. As a committed collegiate ECR feminist, I would therefore also enjoy supporting the work of the ECR group and support external communication. I would love the opportunity to continue this organising work within an organisation whose feminist values I share.







Kayden J Schumacher (They/Them/Theirs or He/Him/His) is a PhD researcher, Global Learning: Gender, Equality, and Diversity Department, in Coventry University, UK.

Kayden J Schumacher

Education, inclusion, & connection are vital for growth & living a happy fulfilling life. I’m applying for the ATGENDER board because my experience in research & practice aligns with the mission of ATGENDER. I’m currently a PhD scholar completing a studentship in Global Learning & Educational Attainment at Coventry University. My research focuses on trans & gender diverse students’ experiences in the English education system. Additionally, I’m a research assistant analysing various aspects of EDI like pronouns & LGBTQI+ supports. When not researching, I teach undergraduate psychology students on
multiple modules. Currently, I’m redesigning new gender & sexuality modules for 1st year psychology students. As a trans & sexually queer person having the opportunity to share my research & myself with students is very rewarding.
I’ve served as a school counsellor in diverse educational settings within ostracised communities, designed, implemented, & evaluated innovative student experiences, virtual & in-person, social/emotional counselling programs & delivered curriculums like IB & AVID. Taking a multifaceted approach supporting marginalised & refugee students at dual language & Montessori schools with many barriers to their education has instilled lessons in empathy,
counselling, teaching, budgeting, collaborating with professionals, fundraising, & more. I’ve taught counselling lessons using restorative practices & utilised this framework within the school culture & served on the board of Restorative Services, an organization working with
young offenders in restoring harm caused. These experiences have given me invaluable opportunities combined with my work in a unique range of educational environments.
Academically, I’ve focused on psychology, gender studies, fitness, counselling, & theory. While in my undergraduate at a global inclusive university I pursued a double major
& competed on 2 university athletic teams teaching me effective time management, work ethic, perseverance, & trust with teammates. Here I cultivated communication skills, engagement with diverse communities & fostered non-judgmental listening skills. I’ve incorporated various aspects of education into practice. Through this work I’ve gained experience in research, teaching, tutoring, admissions, non-profits, coaching, test prep, ELL,
several positions around student life & wellness, & activism. These positions allowed me to build rapport with students & colleagues learning valuable skills surrounding student support.
By completing degrees & working in different countries I’ve engaged with a global community. My passion, dedication, enthusiasm and aim to invoke change in issues of
gender, sexuality & feminism can benefit ATGENDER. I aspire to conduct research, build solidarity & support people in multifaceted ways. Striving to support the journeys of those most marginalised & aid their ability to enrich & enhance their lives drives me to apply for
this ATGENDER position!







Mariaclaudia Cusumano is a Ph.D. Candidate in Environmental Sociology  Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, “Kore” University of Enna, Italy.

Mariaclaudia Cusumano

 As I express my interest in becoming a member, I am delighted to highlight the significance of my background in environmental studies and ecofeminism.

My journey in academia and activism has been deeply rooted in my passion for environmental sustainability and ecofeminist principles. Recognizing the interconnectedness of gender and environmental issues, I have sought to explore the synergies between these two critical fields. Through my research, I have come to understand the profound impact of gender roles and power dynamics on environmental policies, resource management, and climate change.

By integrating ecofeminist perspectives into my studies, I have been able to shed light on the disproportionate burden that environmental degradation places on marginalized communities, particularly women and gender-diverse individuals. This understanding has fueled my dedication to addressing environmental injustices and promoting intersectional approaches to sustainability and social equity.

Joining ATGENDER would provide me with an invaluable opportunity to collaborate with fellow academics, activists, and practitioners who share a similar vision for a more just and sustainable world. I am eager to engage in discussions that bridge the gap between gender studies and environmental research, fostering an inclusive dialogue that promotes the rights and well-being of all beings, human and non-human alike.

Furthermore, I believe that my background in environmental studies and ecofeminism aligns harmoniously with ATGENDER’s mission to confront power structures, acknowledge historical and present inequalities, and work in solidarity against intersecting oppressions. My commitment to ecofeminism compels me to recognize the ways in which patriarchal systems perpetuate environmental degradation and inhibit progress towards a more sustainable future.

Thank you for considering my application, and I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to contribute to ATGENDER’s mission of promoting gender research, education, and documentation in the pursuit of a more just and inclusive world.









Nadia Jones-Gailani is an Associate Professor of Gender Studies; Department of Gender Studies, CEUPU, Austria.




Nadia Jones-Gailani

I’m currently the Chair for the Department of Gender Studies at Central European University in Vienna. As you will see from my curriculum vitae, I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto in 2013 before moving on to two postdoctoral position between 2013-2016. I established myself at CEU in 2016, and have been fortunate to remain with the university through its tumultuous political exile from Budapest, Hungary and reestablishment in Vienna, Austria. As a historian of gender who specializes in transnational histories of migration from Global South to Global North and cartographies of religious diasporas, I offer a profile that adds to your current focus around critical trans studies and decolonial pedagogy. My teaching and research record demonstrates a commitment to postcolonial, decolonial and transdisciplinary feminist approaches to rethinking borders, boundaries and borderlands.

As an experienced and versatile undergraduate and graduate instructor who has designed and taught a wide range of lecture- and seminar-based courses on gender in Canada, the US, Hungary and Vienna, I believe that I have developed a network and strengths that will be of use to ATGENDER as an organization, and will in time facilitate better connections between the European and Canadian fields of gender studies. The unique challenges of teaching in a global classroom are particularly acute at Central European University. In my capacity as supervisor for MA and PhD candidates, I encourage students to participate in the decolonizing of all spaces of knowledge-production within the academy. I have developed a number of new courses in our department that focus on postcolonial feminisms and the decolonizing of gender studies as a field. Answering student calls for syllabi that better reflect their backgrounds and experiences, these courses are designed as a pedagogical study of how and why decolonizing methods and methodologies are critical feminist tools. At the same time, these courses also demonstrate to students the flaws in the current rush to “decolonize” uncritically within the academy. Drawing upon an interdisciplinary and transnational approach, I bring a focus on decentering ‘grand narratives’ to the classroom. Addressing the margins of history and introducing more feminist, women and queer authors and texts into the classroom helps students from underrepresented groups and regions to identify with, and engage, critiques of modernity, capitalism and colonization. By de-centering an Anglo-centric and male-centered canon of works, we make it possible in particular for indigenous women and women of colour to take up space in classroom discussions and as future researchers.

As I hope that my academic and professional record demonstrates, I am committed to the core motivations of ATGENDER in supporting student and junior research in the interdisciplinary field of Women’s Gender, Transgender, Sexuality, Queer Studies, and Feminist Research in addition to being in a permanent position from which I can better encourage transnational cooperation and promote women’s sexual and LGBTQI rights, equality and diversity in Europe. I take very seriously my role in one of the leading Gender Studies Departments in Europe that continues to offer partial scholarships to students from all over the world to receive a training in interdisciplinary feminist and gender studies. I believe that I have the capacity and enthusiasm to take on this role and to use my position to further the mission and vision of the organization.