Krista Comer is a Professor of English at Rice University. She is also an Affiliated Scholar of Stanford’s Lane Center for the American West, contributing research to the California Coastal Commission Project. She is author of Surfer Girls in the New World Order, and is at work presently on Surfeminism in an Era of Trump. Comer writes both traditional scholarship as well as, in recent years, more public-facing scholarship – meaning work designed for a broad audience and dedicated to social action.
In 2014, with the champion surfer Cori Schumacher, Professor Comer co-founded the Institute for Women Surfers (IWS), a grassroots educational initiative in the Public Humanities. IWS brings together activist women surfers and their allies to create spaces of peer teaching, learning, and mutual aid. Today Professor Comer directs the Institute, advised closely by a Steering Committee. It is headquartered at Rice University. The Institute has held five trainings: three in California; one in Wales, IWS Europe, co-founded with Lyndsey Stoodley and Dani Robertson of Surf Senioritas; one just launched in 2019 in Australia, IWS Oceania, co-founded with lisahunter and in collaboration with Monash University, Peninsula Campus.
Cori Schumacher is a Councilwoman in the City of Carlsbad, California, a three-time world longboard surfing champion, international activist, author, and co-founder of The Inspire Initiative, a 501(c)3 organization that uses surfing to empower women and girls to be sustainable and effective change-makers. Before being elected to office, Schumacher launched a viral campaign against sexism in surf marketing and she co-founded the Institute for Women Surfers, an educational initiative in the public humanities.
Schumacher has used her platform as a world champion surfer, and now as an elected official, to develop organic issues-based organizational strategies that critically engage communities across ideological, geographic, and demographic boundaries to educate, engage, and accomplish sustainable and ethical socio-political transformation.
She has had her work published in The Guardian, The Surfer's Journal, and most recently, in the Critical Surf Studies Reader (Duke University Press, 2017). She is an elected delegate to the California Democratic Party, San Diego County Democratic Party (SDCDP) Central Committee Member, and Chair of the Women's Advisory Committee to the SDCDP. In the capacity of Chair of the SDCDP Women's Advisory Committee, she spearheaded the first sexual harassment prevention training for the SDCDP in 2018.
Sponsored by the Center for Surf Research, College of Arts & Letters, L. Robert Payne School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Conrad N. Hilton Distinguished Lecturer Series, Firewire, Sticky Bumps, and the Sociology, MALAS, History, American Indian Studies, Africana Studies and Women's Studies Departments
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