Student Highlight

Ilana Hamer
Friday, April 29, 2022

Ilana Hamer shares her experience as a student in the Undergraduate Human Rights BA Program so far.

In which program are you enrolled and when is your expected graduation date?

Undergraduate Human Rights BA; May 2022
What is your research focus? What drew you to this particular issue/set of issues?
My research focus is the human rights implications for menstruators. Around the world, the human right to education, to health, and to work have been threatened for people who menstruate, as they are unable to manage their menstruation in a safe and healthy way. The topic of my senior paper is the intersection of menstruation and the COVID-19 pandemic. I first became passionate about this human rights issue after taking the class "Menstruation, Gender, and Rights" with Professor Inga Winkler. This interdisciplinary course explored menstruation through a medical, sociocultural, cultural, and financial lens, inspiring me to dig deeper into how gender discrepancies impact the experience of menstruation.
Which class would you recommend to other students interested in the same issues as you?
I would recommend Human Rights and Public Health with Professor Widney Brown, Politics of Crime and Policing in the US with Professor Matthew Vaz, and Sociology of African American Life with Professor Mignon Moore.
Where did you grow up? 
I grew up in the California Bay Area!
If you were to start a book club, which book would be first on your list? Why?
I read the book "Barefoot Gen" by Keiji Nakazawa for an anthropology class about the atomic bomb. The book is a Japanese manga, based on the author's experience as a young Hiroshima survivor. This would be the first book on my book club list because it deeply moved me in the way it narrated the impact of a global event which had been previously taught to me in a way that was completely devoid of emotion and an understanding of human cost. It is an incredibly thought-provoking and raw book, and I highly encourage everyone to give it a read.