LMH Principal, Alan Rusbridger, has thanked Dr Maria Jaschok for her distinguished leadership of the International Gender Studies Centre as she stands down as Director at the end of term.

Dr Jaschok, who has headed the centre since 2000, has overseen its evolution from dependence on largely voluntary and pro bono membership participation to large funded projects. These range from a provision of a feminist space for scholarly discourse and publications to its expansion of international mentoring and research programmes, most recently focused on East Asia, SE Asia and Eurasia.

The International Gender Studies Centre (IGS) was established in 1983 to advance research on gender, culture and social transformation. It grew out of a seminar series on the anthropology of women, initiated in 1972. Based at the Department of International Development, IGS became known for critical scholarly research on the contributions by, and the constraints facing, women around the globe.  IGS' association with LMH began in 2011.  

Alan Rusbridger said: “We would all like to thank Dr Jaschok for her very distinguished leadership of IGS over so many years. It has done so much valuable work, and achieved significant things.”

An established researcher on gender and the anthropology of religion in China, Dr Jaschok has recently concluded a collaborative project with ethno-musicologists, on the function of sound in retrieving muted and marginalized Muslim women’s histories.

She successfully sought funding for IGS and, for example, established a ‘Global Dialogues & Women’s Empowerment in Eurasian Contexts Feminist Mentoring Programme’ which allowed scholars from Eurasian countries to study in Oxford, helping them to become transformative leaders in their own societies. This programme was enriched by a further research grant in 2017 - the Eurasian Female Ancestors Project - an oral history project, which promotes gender-sensitive multi-media stories of inspirational women from within diverse Eurasian contexts.

Dr Jaschok has also overseen IGS academic engagement with Yangon and Mandalay universities in Myanmar (as part of the University of Oxford’s Burma portfolio). 

Besides continuing supervision of doctoral students, graduate teaching as well as involvement with the Masters in Women’s Studies in Humanities, Dr Jaschok will focus on her writing. She is currently completing a monograph on gendered soundscapes, women’s remembering and the feminization of Islam in China’s women-led Islamic institutions.