The Women We Know

Amina Hussein

PhD ’20, Applied Physics

While women are increasingly pursuing professions in “non-traditional” workspaces – whether academic, industrial, or corporate – their identities can often be represented as one-dimensional and monolithic. “Women in STEM.” “Women in Male-Dominated Fields.” Watching a friend discuss her doctoral research on material culture in the Victorian period, while applying makeup with care and attention, inspired me to pursue a three-dimensional exploration into the personal lives of professional women. The goal of this work is to amplify the voice of the individual women and to give each woman control over her own narrative. We will produce a series of short videos featuring women from a diversity of fields (Science and Arts, as well as Engineering and Business) discussing their work while doing an activity outside of that environment: one that is personal and representative of a passion outside of their professional life. This work will showcase the accomplishments and multifaceted interests of individual women in their own voices. We want to show not only that these women exist, but also that they do not conform to any one stereotype. We plan to recruit self-identified women in the Ann Arbor/Detroit area to appear in the videos, which will be archived on a website available to the public. A selection of 5-10 videos will be exhibited on campus. We will collaborate with Prof. Aileen Huang-Saad, Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Engineering Education, for guidance on the project. As well, we will discuss themes with Prof. Candace Moore in the Departments of Screen Arts & Cultures and Women’s Studies.

Library Mentor: Justin Schell