About the Team

Renee M. Powers, founder

Feminist Book Club was founded by podcaster and gender researcher Renee M. Powers in the spring of 2018 when listeners of her podcast suggested she start a book club.

“I’m not Oprah,” she thought.
But even Oprah started small.

Renee is a proud PhDropout, having spent six years at University of Illinois at Chicago studying, teaching, and researching gender, privacy, and online communication. She earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies from Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame, IN) and her M.A. in Communication from Northern Illinois University, where her thesis analyzed performances of postfeminism on Pinterest. Her PhD research focused on YouTube beauty communities and the commodification of feminine authenticity. In an ultimate act of self-care and self-preservation, she noped out of the program, moved to Minneapolis, and began creating a healthy, more balanced life she loves.

Feminist Book Club is mostly a one-woman show but like any big project, it takes a village. Renee receives emotional support from her retired racing greyhound Rudy, packing support from her spouse Joe, business support from biz bestie Sharon, community support from her Coven & ModernWell families, and 24-hour text support from her bff Jeney.

When not working on Feminist Book Club, Renee can be found trying new breweries and coffee shops, cheering on Notre Dame women’s basketball or football, or pontificating on how television has become the most superior media for storytelling. Or reading. Obvs.

Need a host for your event?

Renee is available to book for your next book tour stop, book launch, or literary event! As a former theatre kid and public speaking instructor, she’s skilled at interviewing authors, moderating panels, and emceeing special events. Please get in touch if you are interested – hello[at]feministbookclub.com

(okay here’s the professional stuff…)

Renee was a National Science Foundation fellow in Electronic Privacy and Security, focusing on intersections of privacy and gender online. She has presented her research at conferences such as the National Women’s Studies Association and the Association of Internet Research and has been invited to give lectures at York University (Toronto), Northern Illinois University, and more. She participated in summer programs at the Oxford Internet Institute, USC’s Annenberg School of Communication, and the NCA Honors Seminar. Her research has been published in journals such as Women’s Studies in Communication and Information, Communication, and Society and she co-authored a chapter of Playing to Win: Sports, Video Games, and the Culture of Play (eds. Robert Alan Brookey and Thomas Oates).

Photo by Kianna Notermann

FBC Blog Contributors


Natalia Santana-Pollard

Floridian. Loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Probably craving a cheeseburger, thin fries, and a chocolate milkshake. Find her creating terrible watercolor paintings or beautiful embroidery. In a different life, she was a komodo dragon. Fun fact: She’s trying to read 100,000 pages by the time she turns 35.
Twitter // Goodreads // Instagram



Claudia Neu

Minnesotan. Find her hand-lettering her favorite book titles on Instagram. When not watching Criminal Minds or Little Fires Everywhere, she’s napping. In a different life, she was a cat. Because naps. Fun fact: Living in Copenhagen as a child inspired her to be a teacher.
Instagram // Goodreads



Rashmila Maiti

Oregonian. Likely sipping a Thai tea and watching Friends. Loves to cook and cuddle her dog. Would probably handwrite you a letter if you asked nicely. In a different life, she was an owl. Fun fact: Her dissertation was on adaptations in the Hindi film industry.
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter // Podcast



Steph Auteri

New Jerseyite. Published author. Yogi. Ukelele player. Currently craving clams oreganata. Has seen Fame too many times. Would like to discuss Derry Girls with you. In a different life, she was a cat. Fun fact: She used to be an on-call funeral singer.
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter



Alex Rosa

Californian. Published author. Loves hiking and camping. Probably drinking coffee and listening to The Killers.  In a different life she was a fennec fox. Fun fact: She was a coroner for a brief time when she thought she wanted to get into emergency medicine.
Instagram // Goodreads // Twitter

FBC Interns

Lucy Pabst, summer 2019 intern

The inimitable Lucy joins us for the Summer 2019 term. Lucy is a journalism student with a leadership minor at the University of Minnesota. She loves her corgi, the great outdoors, and being an unabashed queer woman. The best compliment you could ever give her is that she’s funny.

Favorite book: Blackfish City by Sam Miller
Favorite podcast: And That’s Why We Drink
Favorite band: Panic! At the Disco
If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be? Baked potato with Frank’s buffalo sauce and garlic salt.

Find Lucy on Twitter @lucygraceeee.

Maraya King, spring 2019 intern

We’re thrilled to have Maraya on the team for the Spring 2019 term. Maraya is a junior at the University of Minnesota where she studies journalism and art. Originally from South Dakota, she works tirelessly behind the scenes on the Feminist Book Club podcast, social media, and in-person events. When not in class or lending her Gen Z wisdom, she reads, paints, and avoids the gym at all costs.

Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
Favorite TV show: That 70s Show
Favorite candy bar: Reese’s
“How do you take your coffee?” “Through an IV.”

Find Maraya on Instagram @marayaking or Twitter @notMaraya.

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