The Team

Cultivate is run by a rotating editorial collective.

The current team are –

Nicki Roy – Editorin-Chief

Nicole (Nicki) Roy: Originally from Frankfurt, Germany, Nicki studied political science and sociology for her undergrad and spent some time in Lebanon to learn Arabic. She completed her masters in Middle Eastern Studies with a focus on women’s studies and postcolonial studies, then spent a couple of years working in the international cooperation sector in Jordan. In 2019 Nicki moved to York to start her PhD at CWS. In her research she explores the narratives of right-wing women, who join and actively support right-wing-parties in Germany and Austria. She is interested in exploring why women might support these parties, and their thoughts on issues of women’s rights and equality issues in particular. What tensions are there between actively supporting a right-wing party and being a woman? Nicki is excited to be on the editorial board for Cultivate as it is a great opportunity to engage with other early career researchers and their topics.

Xiao Ge – Deputy Editor and Social Media Content Creator

Xiao Ge is currently a second year PhD student at the Centre for Women’s Studies. She received her master’s degree in Anthropology from Durham University in 2020. Her doctoral research investigates the transformation of traditional postpartum care practices and family relations influenced by such practice in contemporary China. She believes it is important to build a bridge between feminist academia and activism. This is also her motivation to be a part of the editorial board for Cultivate.

Agnes Kandlbinder – Associate Editor

Agnes Kandlbinder (she/they), originally from Munich, Germany, has completed the M.A. Women’s Studies program at CWS in 2020/21. Since 2022 she is a PhD candidate in the URPP “Human Reproduction Reloaded H2R” project at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Agnes has earned their B.A. in Religious Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, with a year of study abroad at the Université de Montréal.
Her research interests include body autonomy, access to reproductive healthcare, dis/ability justice, queer family building as well as meaning-making and values in the context of assisted reproduction. Their PhD project focuses on a socioethical investigation of preimplantation genetic diagnosis and germline genome editing from a reproductive justice perspective, with specific attention to dis/ability as a social justice issue.
As one of the associate editors of the third and now fourth issue of Cultivate, she wishes to support early-career researchers like herself in spreading their ideas to a wider audience and facilitating interdisciplinary research exchanges.

Elena Tuan – Associate Editor

MA student in Women’s and Gender Studies at UoY, Elena has lived in 6 countries and will be soon off to the 7th, the Netherlands, where she will be completing the GEMMA Program at the University of Utrecht. Graduating in International Relations and Diplomacy in Italy in 2015, Elena specialized with a MSc and MBA in Arts and Cultural Management in Paris in 2018. After working for 2 years in Museum Development in NYC, she moved back to Italy and found a project intersecting feminism, social justice, and poetry. Over the past 3 years, she organized events, built a 3K+ feminist community, and collaborated with 25+ poets in Italy. She already looks forward to reading the new issue’s creative submissions!

Hannah Westwood – Social Media Content Creator

Hannah is undertaking an MA in Women’s Studies (Humanities) and has completed an undergrad in English and American Studies at the University of Leicester. Hannah is really excited to get involved with the social media team this year and promote Cultivate so that it can reach as many people as possible!

Following a BA and MA in Creative Writing, Abby joined the Centre for Women's Studies and is now in her third year of doctoral research. Her thesis uses creative autoethnography to explore trauma narratives and women's stories of violence. With a strong background in Creative Writing, Abby is keen to read this year's creative submissions and to help shape the 2021 issue.

Jaye Cook – Associate Editor

Following a BA and MA in Creative Writing, Jaye joined the Centre for Women’s Studies and is now in their third year of doctoral research. Their thesis uses creative autoethnography to explore trauma narratives and women’s stories of violence. With a strong background in Creative Writing, Jaye is keen to read this year’s creative submissions and to help shape the 2022 issue.

Lauren Cowling – Associate Editor

After completing a BSc in Psychology, Lauren joined the Centre for Women’s Studies as an MA student in 2014 before continuing on as a doctoral candidate. Their PhD research investigates sociocultural conceptualisations of vulvavaginas with a focus on embodiment and gendered selfhood, exploring ‘what (and how) does it mean to have a vulvavagina?’. Lauren was keen to join Cultivate to help continue to bring the feminist community together, particularly given the current global pandemic. They are looking forward to working with other early career researchers and showcasing fantastic work.

Lizzie Merrill – Associate Editor

Lizzie Merrill is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Women’s Studies. Her project ‘Post-Identity Patienthood in the Cancer Narratives of Jo Spence and Anne Boyer’ is supported by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, through the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities. Lizzie joined the centre after completing an MSt in Women’s Studies at Oxford University and a BA in Fine Art from Central St Martins. With a practice based background, her research is interested in creative practice, identity and where the two intersect to explore illness and death. As a keen photographer, writer and occasional poet, Lizzie is really looking forward to reading a variety of academic/creative submissions while working with Cultivate.

Reny Iskander – Associate Editor

Reny Iskander is a women’s rights activist and gender researcher from Egypt and worked on various projects related to women’s economic empowerment, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and gender based violence. Reny is passionate about reading and writing and strives to make the world less of a harsh place for minorities.

Rupsa Nag – Associate Editor

Rupsa (she/they) studied Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University, Kolkata, India. A lot of her previous engagements have been around writing, translation, visual and performing arts, research and archives. Rupsa worked on a research project about the Chamba embroidery art of Himachal Pradesh, India for the Sahapedia UNESCO Fellowship. Additionally, she worked as a translator in various projects (for example, the Ngugi wa Thiongo’s short story Upright Revolution from English to Bangla for Jalada Africa, a pan-African writer’s collective). As an interviewer with DeCenter magazine, Rupsa profiled Imphal-based musician, Akhu Chingangbam for their 2021 spring issue Resistance. She authored articles on menstrual health awareness for the #PeriodPaath programme by Youth Ki Awaaz magazine and worked at Experimenter Gallery, Kolkata, as a research and exhibitions assistant. Rupsa largely owes her understanding of feminism to anticaste movements and discourses in India that have taught her to fight against Brahmanical patriarchal forces. A three-month publishing course at the Seagull School of Publishing got her engaged with editing and interested in book design which is what motivated Rupsa to join Cultivate. She loves stories, poetry, photography, music, food and is happiest on days she crosses paths with friendly dogs.

Sanna Eriksson – Associate Editor and Web editor

Sanna completed her BA (2007) and MA in East Asian Studies (2008) at the University of Helsinki, Finland. She has studied Mandarin at Fudan University, Shanghai, China, and completed an E.MA in Human Rights and Democratisation at the European Inter-University Centre in Venice, Italy (2010). Sanna worked at the Embassy of Finland (Beijing), the European Commission (Brussels), and the University of York before being awarded an ESRC 1+3 scholarship to undertake a PhD in Women’s Studies at CWS in 2019. Sanna is currently in the second year of her PhD which explores contemporary Chinese motherhood. She is excited to be on the editorial team of Cultivate and thus have the opportunity to engage with the feminist early career researcher community.

Shaneeda Sultana – Associate Editor

Shaneeda is from Pakistan and has studied her undergrad in Gender studies after which she worked for almost four years before she secured the Erasmus Mundus Masters Scholarship for the GEMMA programme.  Shaneeda did her first year of GEMMA at the University of Bologna, Italy and is now for her second year at the University of York. Shaneeda is a feminist and loves writing short poems, being on the Cultivate team is an opportunity for her to show her creative side and give herself an opportunity to learn more and polish her skills, meanwhile, she hopes to learn more from all the other team members. 

Sue Wood – Associate Editor

Sue was born in Manchester but spent her childhood in southern Africa, returning to the UK aged 16.  After some years working as a secretary she qualified as a Social Worker, and then spent six years as full time mother to three sons before returning to work with people with learning disabilities, both in residential and field work settings.  She qualified as an Approved Social Worker under the Mental Health Act, before moving to Wiltshire to take up a Senior position.  This was followed by a post in the Learning & Development Team within the Social Services Dept, during which time she completed her MA (Open & Distance Education) with the Open University, and also achieved her Advanced Award in Social Work.  Local Government re-organisation led to the merger of NHS & SSD Mental Health Services and Sue moved across to become Head of Learning & Development within a large Mental Health Trust, building the team and developing training programmes for over 4,000 staff. She has returned to studying to take further her commitment to understanding the complexities of the human condition, and in particular to explore issues particular to women and girls. Having undertaken many roles within care services as well as personal experience of being a mother and grandmother, she is particularly keen to contribute to the forthcoming edition of Cultivate and to support the development of interdisciplinary networks. 

Verónica Lira Ortiz – Associate Editor and Social Media Content Creator

Born and raised in beautiful Mexico, Verónica is currently a student of the MA Women’s and Gender Studies at York and an Erasmus GEMMA scholar. While just having joined the CWS, she organised the first memorial for gender violence victims on 25 November. Veronica studied a BA in International Relations (2018) at Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico with a Minor in Government and Public Transformation from Yale University in the US. As an undergraduate, she was a writer of student magazines and later became a feature writer for a US online politics outlet. In 2019 she co-authored and edited a book for secondary children in Mexico regarding gender violence, feminism, and sexuality. Her research interests include gender violence, sexual violence, and women in Latin American security and politics. Other interests include creative writing, movies, travelling, knitting, and dancing. 

She describes herself as an axolotl: a being that is in constant change and regeneration.  

Previous Editors

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