Research and Activities

Faculty Research and Activities

Lori Baralt

Lori Baralt received her Ph.D. in Sociology from Michigan State University, with expertise in feminist theory, social movements, and women’s health. She also completed a specialization in Gender, Justice and Environmental Change through the Women and International Development Program.

Her dissertation, “Health Social Movements in a Transnational Context: Racing around the World for a Cure” critically examined the global expansion of biomedical breast cancer advocacy. Expanding on research related to breast cancer and the environment, she co-authored an article on the collaboration between breast cancer advocates and scientists in the Breast Cancer and Environment Research Centers that have been funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Studies and the National Cancer Institute. She also co-authored a piece examining the politics behind Komen for the Cure’s defunding of Planned Parenthood in 2012.

Her work has been published in the journals Environmental Health Perspectives, Women’s Health Issues, and Journal of Religion and Health as well as in edited volumes, including 21st Century Handbook of Sociology and Health and Environment: Social Science Perspectives. She has presented papers to the National Women’s Studies Association, the American Public Health Association, Sociologists for Women in Society, the Society for the Study of Social Problems, the Pacific Sociological Association, the Michigan Women’s Studies Association, and the American Sociological Association.

Currently she is working on two pedagogical research papers about teaching reproductive justice and environmental justice as well as collaborating with colleagues in Sociology and Health Science on a quantitative research project examining the sexual and reproductive health knowledge and behaviors of CSULB students. One article regarding religiously and sexual and reproductive health has been published and another article on HPV vaccination status in currently in progress.

Azza Basarudin

Azza Basarudin received her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from UCLA. Her research interests include transnational feminisms, gender/sexuality in Muslim cultures, counterterrorism and national security, and human rights with an emphasis on Southeast Asia. She has held visiting positions and fellowships at Harvard Divinity School, Syracuse University, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Sains Malaysia, and the American University in Cairo. Her research has been supported by the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and the National Science Foundation (NSF), among others.

Her writings have appeared in journals, edited anthologies, and popular forums including: “The Contours of Speaking Out: Gender, State Security, and Muslim Women’s Empowerment,” (Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 2020, with K. Shaikh); “The Shape of a Life,” (Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, 2019); “The Other Within: Muslim Rights Warrior,” (Samyukta: A Journal of Gender and Culture, 2018); and “Meditations on Friendship: Politics of Feminist Solidarity in Ethnography” in Dissident Friendships: Imperialism, Feminism, and the Possibility of Transnational Solidarities (E. Chowdhury and L. Philipose, eds, 2016, with H. Bhattacharya). Her first book, Humanizing the Sacred: Sisters in Islam and the Struggle for Gender Justice in Malaysia was published by the University of Washington Press (2016).

Basarudin is a longtime resident of Los Angeles and has collectively produced and hosted radio shows on women and gender issues in communities of Muslims on KPFK. She is a former columnist for the Malaysian Insider and a founding member of a feminist task force in Southern California to tackle Islamophobia and anti-Muslim racism. Her current research focuses on the gendered and racialized dimensions of domestic counterterrorism initiatives, particularly in Muslim communities in Southern California.

Elyse Blankley

Elyse Blankley, who holds a joint appointment with the Department of English, received her Ph.D. in English from the University of California, Davis. As a specialist in literary modernism, she has published on 20th-century fiction, literature and film, contemporary poetry, and expatriate women writers in Paris.

Her essays and reviews have appeared in anthologies, journals, reference works, and magazines, such as the NWSA Journal, Michigan Quarterly Review, The Women’s Review of Books, and Albion. She has been a Fulbright Scholar at the Université de Bordeaux III in France, and she has presented widely at scholarly conferences both in the US and abroad.

Elyse is currently a board member of the Long Beach Literary Women Festival of Authors, and is active in the Modernist Studies Association. A portion of her current work on film adaptations of E.M. Forster’s novels has recently been published in Visual Media and the Humanities (U. of Tennessee Press).

Stacy I. Macías

Stacy I. Macías earned a Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from UCLA and received the Carlos E. Castañeda postdoctoral fellowship at UT Austin in 2011. Her research and teaching are in women of color feminisms, ethnic and cultural studies, feminist transnationalism, and queer of color theories. Together these areas of thought informed the critical inquiries in her dissertation, “Forbidden Femininities: Reimagining the Cultural Politics of Queerly Racialized Femininity in Queer Theory and Chicana/o Studies.” She grew up in South El Monte, CA and is a co-founding member of Tongues, a queer, lesbian, and bisexual women of color project and zine.

Her recent publications include “Claiming Style, Consuming Culture: The Politics of Latina Self-Styling and Fashion Lines” in The Routledge Companion to Latina/o Popular Culture, and “The ‘Good,’ the ‘Bad,’ and the Queer Invisible: The Los Angeles May Day Queer Contingent” in Diálogo: An Interdisciplinary Studies Journal. Most recently, she presented her research at the Lesbian Lives Conference in Brighton, England and the LGBTQ Scholars of Color National Conference in New York City.

Currently, she continues her research on queer of color representational practices in film, literature, material culture, and new media with a focus on how visibility and racialization processes bear on representations of the self in the cultural work of queer femmes. Her next research project examines disappearing Latina/Chicana lesbian and queer of color subterranean community sites due to gentrification and other structural processes.

Jennifer Reed

Jennifer Reed received her PhD in Comparative Culture from UCI. Her dissertation research focused on one-woman shows and the ways they provided alternatives to dominant images of women through representations of race, class, and sexuality. Her research has since focused more on television and representations of gender and sexuality.

She has written on the various personae of Lily Tomlin, Roseanne, and Ellen DeGeneres, postfeminism on television, and is currently at work on representations of female masculinity on The L Word. Her work has appeared in Feminist Media Studies, The Journal of Popular Culture, and the anthology Third Wave Agenda. Her 2013 book, The Queer Cultural Work of Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner was published by Palgrave.

She has presented her work at the National Women’s Studies Association, The Popular Culture Association, and the International Studies Association.

Shira Tarrant

PhD, Political Science, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Tarrant’s students investigate controversies in gender justice, and they learn to apply facts and data to the hot-button issues that we care about today. Dr. Tarrant’s courses are engaging and of-the-moment: Topics include the philosophy of sex and love, the economy, pop culture, pornography, feminist theory, masculinity, and the law. She encourages students to think deeply and ethically about the world we live in, and to analyze everyday life through new and exciting points of view.

Dr. Tarrant has published eight books on feminist intellectual history, men and feminism, feminism and fashion, and pornography. Interviews with Dr. Tarrant and reviews of her books have appeared in The Atlantic, The New Yorker, and Bitch magazine, to name a few. Her commentary on sex and gender has been featured on global TV and radio, as well as in anthologies, scholarly journals, and online news sources. Dr. Tarrant’s most recent book is The Pornography Industry: What Everyone Needs to Know, published by Oxford University Press.

Abraham Weil

Abraham Weil is an assistant professor in the department of women’s, gender, and sexuality studies at California State University, Long Beach and is the co-editor of TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (Duke University Press). Weil completed his PhD in Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Arizona and his MA at Rutgers University. His current book project Transmolecular Revolution: Trans*versality and the Mattering of Political Life focuses on radical political formations, anti-black racism, trans* theorizing, and continental philosophy in the US and France from the 1960s to the present. Drawn from the conceptual vocabulary of cultural theorists Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, as well as recent work in trans* theory and black studies, this manuscript develops transversality and molecular revolution as frameworks for remixing scales of revolutionary political movements. To do so, his research works through competing theoretical approaches—including trans* theory, Marxism, psychoanalysis, poststructuralism, phenomenology, critical race theory, and sexuality studies—to investigate the shifting contours of gender, race, and sexuality amidst contemporary political struggle.


His recent and forthcoming publications include “Trans*versal Assemblages: All Colors are Found in Black” in Deleuze and Guattari and the Schizoanalysis of Trans (Bloomsbury Press), “Cosmopolitics in Drag” in Making Middles Matter: Feminist Methodologies in-between New Materialisms and Intersectionality (Routledge Press); “Transversal Animacies” in Angelaki: Journal of Theoretical Humanities, and “Burn it Down: Abolition, Insurgent Political Praxis, and the Destruction of Decency” in Abolition: A Journal of Insurgent Politics and “Psychoanalysis and Transversality” in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly (2017).


Areas of focus: Continental Philosophy; Gilles Deleuze an Félix Guattari; Foucauldian Biopolitics; Black Studies; Trans* Theory; Affect Studies; Sexuality Studies; and Feminist Theory.