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 (at the time named Wild Cozy Truth) 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 ModernWell family, 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.
Want to chat with Renee for your podcast, blog, magazine, or other media outlet? Shoot us an email at 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
Maraya King, spring 2019 intern
We’re thrilled to have Maraya on the team for the Spring 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.”