Kianna Middleton receives first Friedman Feminist Press Collection research grant

The Colorado State University Libraries has named Kianna M. Middleton as the first-ever recipient of the Friedman Feminist Press Collection Research Grant. The grant is awarded to researchers whose work would benefit from access to the Libraries’ Friedman Feminist Press Collection, the largest collection of feminist press-published books in the Rocky Mountain West region.

As an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Kansas at Lawrence, Middleton’s work centers on black feminism, disability studies and feminist science studies, as well as literary studies. Earning both her bachelor’s degree in English and her master’s degree in ethnic studies from CSU, Middleton received her Ph.D. in African American studies at the University of California Berkeley.

The Friedman Feminist Press Collection was established through a donation in 2013 in honor of CSU alum June Friedman, who was an activist with the CSU Feminist Group and agronomy major from 1979 to 1981.

The collection provides access to hard-to-find primary resources for researchers in history, literature, women’s studies, political science and more.

Kianna Middleton
Kianna Middleton

“It’s a unique collection of materials related to feminist publishing and second-wave feminism – the largest in the Rocky Mountain region – with multi-genre works of fiction, poetry, memoir, and essays,” according to Mark Shelstad, coordinator of Archives and Special Collections at the CSU Libraries.

Voices not often heard

Through her work, Middleton will continue to advocate for voices that are not often heard.

“The grant will help me contribute to the growing field of black disability studies by returning to archived feminist writings through an intersectional disability lens,” Middleton said.

Middleton’s project examines the personal correspondences between black feminists in the United States, primarily during the second wave of the feminist movement that ran from the 1960s to the 1980s.

“This grant, to me, is an affirmation that black women’s conceptualizations of their bodies and disability matter,” Middleton said. “I look forward to sharing my work with the CSU community and I am grateful for the opportunity to engage with the Friedman Feminist Press Collection.”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Middleton’s onsite visit will be held next summer. All dates for her research and presentation to be determined next year.