Shelly Grabe

TitleAssociate Professor
DivisionSocial Sciences Division
DepartmentPsychology Department
AffiliationsHumanities Division,
Feminist Studies Department,
Latin American & Latino Studies
Phone831-459-2795 (office),
831-459-5084 (message),
831-459-2229 (lab)
Email
FAX831-459-3519
Web Site shellygrabe.sites.ucsc.edu
OfficeSocial Sciences 2, Room 259
Office HoursOn sabbatical (Winter 2017)
Campus Mail StopPsychology Faculty Services
Shelly Grabe

Research Interests

Shelly Grabe’s research examines sociostructural components of women’s rights violations and social justice in the context of globalization. In partnership with grassroots women’s organizations in Nicaragua and Tanzania, Professor Grabe’s work intends to center the voices and activism of marginalized women who have limited structural power in society. She has used a multimethod approach from within psychology to provide a currently missing, but necessary link between transnational feminism, the discourse on women’s human rights and globalization, and the international attention given to women’s “empowerment” to help inform strategies and interventions that can contribute to social change for women. She uses frameworks informed by feminist liberation psychology, human rights discourse, decolonial feminism, and social justice to organize her research, teaching, and outreach. She identifies as a scholar-activist and is committed to exploring how the study of gendered social structures can be practically relevant and foster social change.

She is currently working on three transnational projects exploring: (1) the role of land ownership in empowerment processes and gender-based violence in Nicaragua, (2) land ownership, civic participation, and violence among women in Tanzania, and (3) the role of the grass-roots social movement in promoting justice for women in Nicaragua.

Research Interests
-Social movements, activism, and justice
-Women’s resistance/activism/empowerment
-Human rights
-Globalization/neoliberalism
-Transnational intersectionality/Decolonial feminism
-Structural inequities
-Body objectification

Biography, Education and Training

M.A., Ph.D., University of Missouri-Columbia
B.A., Michigan State University

Selected Publications


  • Grabe, S., Dutt, A., & Dworkin, S. (in press). Women’s community mobilization and well-being: Local resistance gendered social inequities in Nicaragua and Tanzania. Journal of Community Psychology.

  • Grose, R. & Grabe, S., Kohfeldt, D. (in press). Sexual education, gender ideology, and youth sexual empowerment. Journal of Sex Research.

  • Grose, R. & Grabe, S. (in press). The explanatory role of relationship power and control in domestic violence against women in Nicaragua: A feminist psychology analysis. Violence Against Women.

  • Grabe, S. (in press). Rural feminism and revolution in Nicaragua. Voices of the compañeras. In J. Shayne (Ed.). Taking Risks: Feminist Stories of Social Justice Research in the Americas. Under contract with SUNY Press.

  • Grabe, S. (2013). Invited chapter: Psychological cliterodectomy: Body objectification as a human rights violation. In M. K. Ryan & N. R. Branscombe (Eds.), The Sage Handbook of Gender and Psychology. Sage.

  • Dworkin, S., Grabe, S., Lu, T., Hatcher, A., Kwena, Z., Bukusi, E., Mwaura-Muiru, E. (2012). Property rights violations in Nyanza and Western Provinces, Kenya: A qualitative examination of this critical structural driver of women's HIV risks. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 10.1007/s10508-012-0024-6.

  • Grabe, S. & Else-Quest, N. M. (2012). The role of transnational feminism in psychology: Complimentary visions. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 158-161.

  • Else-Quest, N. M. & Grabe, S. (2012). The political is personal: Measurement and application of national-level indicators of gender equity in psychological research. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 131-144.

  • Grabe, S. (2012). An empirical examination of women’s empowerment and transformative change in the context of international development. American Journal of Community Psychology, 49, 233-245.

  • Grabe, S. (2010). Promoting gender equality: The role of ideology, power, and control in the link between land ownership and violence in Nicaragua. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 10,146-170.

Courses Taught

Psych 140G: Women's Lives in Context
Psych 140L: Women's Bodies and Psychological Well-Being
Psych 159M: Transnational Feminism, Senior Seminar
Psych 159X: Psychology and Social Activism, Senior Seminar
Psych 256: Transnational Feminism, Development, & Psychology, Grad Seminar
Psych 248: Survey Methods, Grad Seminar