October 16, 2019 at 1:59 pm

Bossiere Awarded 2019 Allushuski Graduate Fellowship by WGSS

Zoë Bossiere, portrait

Zoë Bossiere, Ph.D. student in creative writing and rhetoric & composition

By Regina Yoong

Zoë Bossiere is one of the two recipients of the Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Barbara E. Allushuski Graduate Fellowship this year.

The Allushuski Fellowship honors Ohio University alum Barbara E. Allushuski’s commitment to strengthening the tradition of WGSS at OHIO, as well as providing opportunities for career and leadership development. As part of the fellowship, Bossiere will be working with undergraduate students enrolled in WGSS courses.

Dr. Susan Burgess, Distinguished Professor of Political Science and former director of Women’s Studies, worked closely with Allushuski (’74) to create the fellowship. She refers to Allushuski as “a leader in the best sense of the word.”

In the spring, Bossiere will deliver a public presentation about her research, which includes teaching identity-centered and inclusive pedagogies and curricula in creative writing classrooms.

“I’m passionate about this work because I believe students who can think critically about their own position within the world—both their privileges and disadvantages—are better able to empathize with those in positions different from their own,” she says.

“On a predominantly white and wealthy campus like Ohio University, and during a time when women, transgender folx, people of color, and so many others can see the effects of underrepresentation in their day to day lives, such progressive educational work is especially important,” she adds.

To increase empathy and awareness toward underrepresented minorities, Bossiere encourages undergraduate and graduate students alike to take the WGSS courses available at OHIO.

“The WGSS courses I’ve taken as a graduate student have given me a perspective on my identity and privilege, which I consider an invaluable part not only of my education, but also of my development as a human being. I have learned so much from these courses, including the history and goals of feminism in the United States, the definition of intersectionality, the importance of gender studies, and more,” she adds.

Bossiere says that her appointment as an Allushuski fellow was especially significant because of the principles and values she shares with WGSS.

“The mission of WGSS is to promote the study of intersectional identity and perspectives—whether gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, class, age, or ability through a range of interdisciplinary courses. WGSS has also long been a supporter of student activism and positive social change on our campus,” she says.

The fellowship provides support for up to two outstanding graduate students each academic year. This year’s fellows are Bossiere and Jennifer Collins.

Bossiere is a doctoral candidate in English at OHIO, studying creative writing and rhetoric and composition. She is the managing editor of Brevity: A Journal of Concise Literary Nonfiction and a podcast host for the New Books Network. Find her on Twitter @zoebossiere or online at

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