Editorial Staff

Agatha Beins


Agatha Beins (abeins@twu.edu) is an associate professor in the Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies at Texas Woman’s University. She received her PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from Rutgers University, an MFA in Creative Writing from Eastern Washington University, and an MA in Women’s Studies from the University of Arizona. Her book, Liberation in Print: Feminist Periodicals and Social Movement Identity (University of Georgia Press, 2017) analyzes periodicals’ role in shaping U.S. feminism as a collective identity and set of political practices in the 1970s. Her research interests also include print and material cultures, cultural studies, art and activism, pedagogy, the histories of feminism and women’s studies, and feminist geography. She is also coeditor of the anthology Women’s Studies for the Future: Foundations, Interrogations, Politics with Elizabeth Lapovsky Kennedy (Rutgers University Press, 2005) and coauthor of Effective Writing in Psychology: Papers, Posters, and Presentations with Bernard C. Beins (Blackwell, 2008).

Esther O. Ajayi-Lowo

Editorial Assistant

Esther O. Ajayi-Lowo is a PhD candidate in the Department of Multicultural Women’s and Gender Studies at Texas Woman’s University (TWU). She holds a MA in multicultural women’s and gender studies from TWU; a master of international law and diplomacy from the University of Lagos, Nigeria; a BA in philosophy (first class honors) from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; and she was trained in human rights and the United Nations systems at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan. Prior to commencing graduate studies in the United States in 2015, Esther worked for eleven years advocating for health, gender, human rights, and development with both nongovernmental and governmental organizations, including the US Mission Nigeria.

Esther’s current research interests include transnational feminism; birth and reproductive justice; politics of sexuality education; and gender, law, and human rights. Her dissertation is exploring the significance of indigenous birthing knowledge and women’s sociocultural and spiritual birthing standpoint for reproductive justice. In addition to several international and competitive scholarships and awards, Esther recently received the 2020-2021 Mellon Foundation–funded Social Science Research Council’s International Dissertation Research Fellowship as well as the 2020-2021 International Fellowship from the American Association of University Women. She has extensive college-level teaching experience in Nigeria and the United States and has led campus-wide reproductive justice advocacy events at TWU. While pursuing her PhD, Esther continues to simultaneously engage in research, advocacy, and pedagogy for social justice.

Christopher Johnson

Web Designer

Christopher Johnson (cjohnson44@twu.edu) is the chief of staff at Texas Woman's University. He is also currently working on a PhD in Educational Psychology at the University of North Texas with a concentration in research, measurement, and statistics. Through visual representations and graphical design, he is dedicated to mitigating the socially constructed idea that quantitative research and numbers hold a more profound truth because they are easy to compare to one another. He believes that sometimes simplicity is beautiful but in social research simplistic ideas are often a poor representation of reality and often just plainly inaccurate, particularly regarding the inferences drawn. Thus, his research focuses on methods and their stability in the face of unreliable measures, outliers, or missing data.

Former Editorial Collective Members

Anne Keefe

Editorial Collective

Anne Keefe is the 2013-14 NEH postdoctoral fellow in poetics at the Fox Center for Humanistic Inquiry at Emory University. Previously the manuscript editor and acquisitions coordinator for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Anne holds a PhD in literature from Rutgers University and an MFA in poetry from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her current book project, Ekphrastic Sensible: The Politics of Word and Image in Contemporary Lyric Poetry, focuses on the ways in which contemporary poets use ekphrasis (or poetry that takes visual art as its subject matter) to investigate the perceptual politics of representation. Anne is also the author of a book of poems, Lithopedia (2012), which won the Bull City Press first book award.

Jillian Hernandez

Editorial Collective

Jillian Hernandez recently completed the doctoral program in Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University, and will join the faculty in the Ethnic Studies Department and Critical Gender Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego as an assistant professor in fall 2013. Her transdisciplinary scholarship, which synthesizes methods from anthropology, art history, and cultural studies, draws from her experiences as a girls’ educator and curator of contemporary art. Hernandez’s research investigates questions regarding processes of racialization, sexualities, embodiment, girlhood, and the politics of cultural production ranging from underground and mainstream hip hop to visual and performance art. The American Association of University Women awarded her with a 2012-2013 Dissertation Fellowship.

Deanna Utroske

Founding Editor

Deanna Utroske (@DeannaUtroske) is a Founding Editor of Films for the Feminist Classroom. Previously Deanna was the Editorial Assistant for Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. She joined the Signs team as an Editorial Intern while earning her BA in English from Rutgers University. Deanna has experience as a Publishing Intern with The Feminist Press and as an Archival Assistant at The LGBT Community Center. Deanna Utroske is an active member of professional organizations, including the American Copy Editors Society, the Council of Editors of Learned Journals, and New York Women In Communications, Inc., where she serves on the Integrated Marketing and Communications Committee.

Karen Alexander

Founding Editor

Karen Alexander (@KarenFAlexander) is Dean of Junior and Senior Year Programs at Douglass Residential College, Rutgers University. She worked as Senior Editor of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society from 2005 to 2012. A cofounder of Films for the Feminist Classroom, she continues to serve on the FFC advisory board. She has conducted numerous workshops on academic publishing. Her current research interests include the technology-driven changes taking place in academia and education, the use of media in feminist research and teaching, documentary film, feminist activist art, and women’s experimental writing.