Kristen A. Kolenz

PhD student Kristen Kolenz

Kristen A. Kolenz

Ph.D. Candidate

Areas of Expertise

  • Transnational Feminisms
  • Decolonial Theory
  • Social Movements
  • Central American Studies
  • Performance Studies


  • M.A., The Ohio State University
  • B.A., John Carroll University

Kristen is a PhD candidate and Presidential Fellow (2019-20) in the Department of Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies. After graduating from John Carroll University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Latin American Studies, she moved to Guatemala City where she lived for four years before beginning her studies at The Ohio State University.

Kristen’s dissertation studies resistance strategies that confront disappearance and detention enacted by the state. Focusing on Guatemala and Guatemalans in motion, the dissertation examines the convergence of memory, performance, and indigenous knowledges in the creation and manifestation of activist practices. She brings together decolonial feminist theory and the concept of kinesthesia as knowledge from dance studies to implement a participant-observation methodological approach in her field research in Guatemala and the US-Mexico border.

In addition to her research interests, Kristen is also committed to making feminist classrooms accessible to an ever-widening range of students through online learning. In pursuit of this goal, she has created an instructor training manual and resource guide for OSU’s WGSS department and led the development of the department’s first large lecture online course.