Noralis Rodríguez

Personal Information

First name: 
Noralis
Last name: 
Rodríguez
Brief Bio: 

Noralis explores contemporary forms of colonial violence and feminist denunciations of gender violence via street performances during the first decade of the 21st century in Puerto Rico. She investigates how those performances reveal larger processes of intersectional connections between women’s bodies and ongoing processes of violence based on gender, race, class and nation. Noralis focuses her research on anti-violence activism, both through embodied performance work by activists and through the involvement of grassroots and governmental feminist organizations in anti-violence work in Puerto Rico. Noralis was selected as the recipient of the competitive 2014-15 Stroum Endowed Minority Fellowship at the University of Washington.

Full Bio: 

Noralis Rodríguez-Coss is a PhD Candidate in Feminist Studies. Noralis excelled from an early age as an activist, poet and actress. She moved from Puerto Rico to the United States in 2007 to continue her graduate studies after identifying academia as one of the places where she could create new initiatives to help eradicate violence against women. She obtained a M.A. in Women’s Studies from Southern Connecticut State University. Her master’s thesis is titled “Challenges of the Third Wave: Mobilizing Young Women to the Feminist Movements in Puerto Rico.” Currently, she is working in her dissertation, which explores contemporary forms of colonial violence and feminist denunciations of gender violence via street performances during the first decade of the 21st century in Puerto Rico. She investigates how those performances reveal larger processes of intersectional connections between women’s bodies and ongoing processes of violence based on gender, race, class and nation. Noralis focuses her research on anti-violence activism, both through embodied performance work by activists and through the involvement of grassroots and governmental feminist organizations in anti-violence work in Puerto Rico. Other interests are women of color feminist theory, theater as an educational tool, and women in science.

Her activism within academia directly impacts the growth of her research as well as her understanding of social movements and collaborations. Chief among these is her work with the Women of Color Collective (WoCC) at the University of Washington where she co-organizes annual conferences and workshops, annual writing retreats, and other events to create opportunities for graduate women of color to support each other while navigating academia. In addition, she was the graduate student project manager for the Women Who Rock Community Project, where she co-organized the project's 2013 annual unconference. This gathering opens creative spaces for women to make visible their work in music, art and social justice. At the institutional level, she represented her academic department as a senator in the UW Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS), in the GPSS Committee for Diversity, and the graduate student representative in the UW Faculty Council on Multicultural Affairs from 2012 to 2014. She is also an active participant of the Interactive Theater As Pedagogy Project from the University of Washington.

Her feminist activism began long before her graduate program. While seeking her bachelor’s degree, Noralis became a Student Advocate for the Prevention of Violence against Women Program at the University of Puerto Rico at Humacao (UPR-H). There, she advocated on behalf of fellow university students in violent situations by connecting them to trauma informed professionals. This experience deeply influenced her future plans as she then redirected her focus on life to promote women’s causes. In 2004, she worked in the ADVANCE Program for Institutional Transformation of the National Science Foundation in the UPR-H. There she was the Program Administrative Assistant and later the Program Coordinator. In ADVANCE she was able to explore the significances of academic research to improve the advancement of women in the science faculty. This professional experience also helped her to put theory into practice through different methods and creative strategies. Among those, she founded the ADVANCE-UPRH Theater Group where she wrote and produced an interactive theater sketch to present the New Faculty Recruitment Manual developed to promote diversity. Noralis also produced Emmy Noether: El Poema de las Ideas Lógicas (The poem of the Logical Ideas) in which the experiences of Noether, a mathematician from the early 20th century, reflected the realities many scientist women continue experiencing at the present time. The successful results of this theater play were presented in the 2007 ADVANCE Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. and at the 2008 Women’s Worlds Global Feminist Conference in Spain.

Social Media Profiles

Twitter Handle: 
noralis_rc

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