The Archive's Twisted Tree Logo

The Team

Project Director  

Julia Watts Belser, a white Jewish woman with curly brown hair, sits happily in her wheelchair in front of a pink flowering bush. She's wearing a patterned red blazer and red kippah (beret) to match.

Julia Watts Belser (she/her) is a scholar, rabbi, and activist who works at the intersections of disability studies, queer feminist Jewish ethics, and environmental justice.  She is Professor of Jewish Studies at Georgetown University, Senior Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, and core faculty in Georgetown’s Disability Studies Program.  Alongside several academic books, she co-authored a landmark Health Handbook for Women with Disabilities, developed in collaboration with disability activists from 42 countries, to help challenge the root causes of poverty, gender violence, and disability discrimination.  A longtime activist for disability and gender justice, she’s also a passionate wheelchair hiker.

Student Research Assistants 

Lucy Child (she/her) | Class of 2024

Madison Dwyer (she/her) | Class of 2025

Sherie Gayle (she/her) | Graduate Research Assistant 

Julia Jackson (she/her) | Class of 2022

Serena Korkmaz (she/her) | Class of 2024

Naveena Nanda (she/her) | Class of 2023

Olivia Noreke (she/her) | Class of 2025

Joanne Stirrup (she/her) | Class of 2023

Project Collaborators

Audio Artist: Claire Cunningham | Claire Cunningham Productions

Plain Language Translation: Reid Caplan | Accessible Academia

Spanish Language Translation: Sucia Urrea, Ramona de Jesús, and Tere Santana |

Archive Design

Web Design: Julia Jackson

Banner Art:  Julia Watts Belser 

Logo: Wintis Gibson | WintisArt

Web Accessibility Consultant: Justice Shorter | National Disability Rights Network

About the Course: Disability, Ethics, and EcoJustice

Georgetown students have played a crucial role in curating and shaping the conversations in the archive.  In my Disability, Ethics, and EcoJustice course, students grapple with questions of environmental justice through the prism of disability studies, documenting and analyzing the disproportionate harm faced by disability communities in the wake of natural disaster and climate harm.  Together, we examine how disaster situations magnify existing social inequalities, in order to help better understand how challenging structural racism, classism, and ableism are crucial components of environmental ethics.  To synthesize and sharpen those insights, I invite small teams of students to join me in developing and shaping a new piece for the archive—working collaboratively with me to craft a conversation for the archive.  

Disability, Ethics, and EcoJustice is part of Georgetown’s Core Pathway in Climate Change, an initiative that brings together faculty and students from diverse disciplines in the humanities and the sciences to grapple with the realities of climate change.  

Spring 2023 Research Team

Louisa Buckingham, Olivia Chuang, Rhea Iyer, Naveena Nanda, and Kathy Wei

Spring 2022 Research Team

Elyza Bruze, Veronica Campanie, Madi Dwyer, Zannat Faria, Serena Korkmaz, Carrie McDonald, Olivia Noreke, Joanne Stirrup, and Elisabeth Wachtel

Summer 2021 Research Team

Lucy Child, Amanda Chu, Jack Craig, Julia Jackson, Diamond Jones

Spring 2021 Student Interview Assistants

Julia Jackson, Benjamin Meyerson, Francesca Theofilou, Anna Yuan