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List of Candidates June 2022

Dear AtGender members,

As you know, AtGender is looking for new board members. The elections will be organized during the AtGender General Assembly (on Thursday, June 16th). We are sharing with you a list of candidates for board members and their motivation letters.

AtGender team






Alena Sander, PhD in Social and Political Sciences and Feminist Development Studies from Université catholique de Louvain and University of Jordan. Alena’s interests cover international cooperation, Norths/Souths power relations, resistance and social movements, human and women’s rights, civil society.

Alena Sander

As an early career researcher who obtained her PhD in Social and Political Sciences in the sub-field of feminist development studies in December 2021, I am currently looking to become more engaged in an academic association in the field of gender, feminist or women’s studies. This is for three reasons:

Firstly, in 2020, I had the pleasure to participate in ATGENDER’s first online conference during the pandemic. The conference happened during a time of uncertainty for many of us. As I was listening to the presentations with my then two-year-old toddler playing by my side, I remember being particularly impressed by the constructive atmosphere where participants empowered each other instead of tearing each other down – which, unfortunately, is often the case at other academic conferences. Through my candidacy, I would love to be a part of such a community, and help promote and spread solidarity, support and provide safer spaces for gender researchers within ATGENDER and beyond.

Secondly, also following ATGENDER’s newsletter and e-mail distribution list, I am aware of the various topics that ATGENDER and their members’ cover. I would be happy to contribute my expertise in combining gender and development studies, my interest in research topics such as neo-liberalism, feminist resistance and women’s rights as well as my personal engagement for parenthood and women in academia to ATGENDER.

Thirdly, due to my family ties to Eastern Europe, especially Hungary, I am closely following current political developments, which include the ban of gender studies in public Universities and the harassment of gender scholars with great concern. Becoming involved with ATGENDER’s board would allow me to position myself as a gender scholar and give a louder voice to my activism.

I am available for the upcoming three-year term and am looking forward to being a part of ATGENDER beyond my regular membership. Thank you for considering my candidacy.







Karolina Szpyrko is a PhD researcher in Media and Communications at the University of Sussex, interested in subjects such as social movements, gender, queer theory.

Karolina Szpyrko

I am truly excited to submit this application for a position of a board member at ATGENDER.

I am a doctoral researcher at a pre-submission stage, as well as a curator and a cultural animateur with a keen interest in social sciences, political and cultural studies and a proven record in managing projects centred on promoting access to media and academic publishing.

This opportunity to support and co-create the board not only aligns with this profile, but also offers a tantalizing prospect of promoting a more horizontal publishing culture and nurturing wider circulation of knowledge among European and global academic communities. As such, it promises the kind of challenge I am looking for at this stage of my career. I am certain that my diverse academic skills, experience in publishing and a huge dose of passion will prove an asset to the projects of the Association.

I believe I can offer the following skills developed through my work experience:

·       Experience in developing both academic and cultural projects outside of academia including conferences, festivals and exhibitions centred on topics of freedom of expression and dialogue between communities. In all these projects I created out-of-the-box visual marketing materials.

·       Experience in promoting Open Access to scientific information, peer support networks and fostering sustainability of community media showcased during my tenure as a general editor of Excursions, postgraduate journal at the University of Sussex.

·       Experience in administrating, coordinating and leading live discussions online showcased during my work at the UNESCO’s 64th meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council of the International Programme for Development of Communication which took place virtually on the 11th and 12th of June 2020. I also coordinated an urgent action of translation of “Journalism, Fake News & Disinformation” into 10 new languages.

·       Highly developed interest in media diversity and gender equality and a proven track record in activist engagement in projects promoting awareness of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights. Among many I helped develop the F-Rated (films directed/written by women) project.

With reference to my previous professional background and interdisciplinary experience I am confident that my work would provide a valuable contribution to the board.







Maryna Shevtsova is a Senior Postdoc, KU Leuven and a Postdoctoral Fellow/Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology, University of Ljubljana.


Maryna Shevtsova received the PhD degree from Humboldt University, Political Science Department.

Maryna Shevtsova

I offer my candidacy for the place of one of the Board members at ATGENDER and express my motivation to contribute to the growth and development of the vibrant academic sisterhood.

A Ukrainian feminist and human rights activist, I have a background in Gender Studies and Political Science. My research focuses on LGBTQ and feminist movements in Eastern European countries (post-Soviet space) and Turkey. I am currently working on a 5-year research project on anti-gender movements and resistance against gender and sexual equality in Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine as an MSC EUTOPIA scholar at the University of Ljubljana (2021/23) and Senior FWO Fellow at KU Leuven (2021/2026).

I have been combining my research activities with civil society activism in Ukraine for the last ten years and have volunteered or worked as a project coordinator and consultant for human rights NGOs in Ukraine, Georgia, and Poland. I also was lucky to have received research fellowships in the USA (Fulbright), Sweden (Swedish Institute), Turkey (Erasmus +), and Finland (Aleksanteri Institute). Sharing the values and the vision of ATGENDER association, I would like to use my network to disseminate feminist knowledge to academic and broader audiences within and beyond the European borders. I am particularly keen to engage more with colleagues and activists from non-EU, particularly Eastern Partnership countries, and make the voices of feminist scholars from post-Soviet countries heard more in Western academia.

For five years in a row, I was one of the Berlin Summer School in Methods in Social Sciences organizers, bringing together more than 60 MA, PhD students, early-stage postdocs, and around 30 professors worldwide. I enjoy organizing training sessions, academic and non-academic gatherings, and larger events. I would be happy to add my experience and put my efforts into organizing ATGENDER events and the 12th Feminist conference.

Finally, this year I have been lucky to benefit from the ATGENDER mentorship program, which helped me preserve my mental well-being and supported me in my professional activities. I am motivated to pay back and contribute to the maintenance of such programs for the future and act as one of the mentors to younger scholars (whether I am elected to the Board or not).

Thank you for considering my candidacy. I also want to express my gratitude for being a member of the association. Whoever is elected for these four positions, I am happy to be able to enjoy membership in it and contribute with my everyday work to the production and dissemination of feminist knowledge in broader Europe and beyond.









Tereza Hendl is Research Associate at the Institute of Ethics, History and Theory of Medicine, Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich (LMU) and also a Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Co-Lead at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Augsburg. German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded project “META – mHealth: Ethical, legal and societal aspects in the technological age.”


Tereza Hendl received the PhD degree in Philosophy (Macquarie University, Australia).





Tereza Hendl

I am a feminist philosopher and bioethicist, investigating concerns of justice, vulnerability, empowerment and solidarity. I received my foundational education in Gender Studies, Feminist and Queer Theory at the Charles University in the Czech Republic, I hold a PhD in Philosophy from Macquarie University (Australia), and I currently work as a Postdoctoral Researcher and Project Co-Lead Project Co-lead on the project “META – mHealth: Ethical, legal and societal aspects in the technological age” at the University of Augsburg and Research Associate at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (Germany). As a scholar concerned with structural issues of justice, I have been active in debates interrogating coloniality and promoting intersectional gender and racial justice. I am the founder of the CEE Feminist Research Network, supporting feminist researchers from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), countering the epistemic marginalization of CEE scholarship and amplifying critiques of structural oppression and coloniality, including coloniality of knowledge production, from CEE standpoints. Furthermore, I am a member of the Network for Decolonizing Bioethics at the International Association for Bioethics (IAB); the Independent Resource Group for Global Health Justice; the German DFG-funded network Equality Data; and Feminist Gender Equality Network (FGEN), an international network that has formed to counter anti-trans politics.

My expertise and engagement in transnational networks addressing pressing challenges to intersectional justice place me in a unique position to advance ATGENDER’s aims of facilitating a professional association for academics promoting women’s and LGBTQIA+ rights and equity. In the role of the ATGENDER Board Member, I would particularly like to promote and strengthen diversity and equity across the persisting European East-West divide and inequalities, shaping European research infrastructure and debates. As the founder of the CEE Feminist Research Network, I have experience with building a cross-disciplinary feminist community of established and emerging researchers dedicated to the advancing of transnational feminist collaboration and solidarity in an anti-imperial and supportive manner. To ATGENDER, I will bring an in-depth insight into the challenges CEE researchers face in European academic structures characterized by stark East-West inequalities in the visibility, epistemic valuing, funding, remuneration, institutional support and precarity of feminist scholarly labour and knowledges. I aim to employ my insights and qualification to promote intersectional equity within ATGENDER’s vision and aims, as well as publishing and conference initiatives. I believe that I have much to contribute, learn and build, together with the community of fellow ATGENDER Board Members and the wider membership base.