University of Massachusetts Amherst

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Alix L. Olson

Professional Title: 

Graduate Student


Machmer e24

Phone Number: 



Office Hours: 

Fall 2015: TBA


PhD. Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2010-present; B.A. Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT.), 1997; Stockholm University (Stockholm, Sweden), 1996


Alix Olson is pursuing her PhD in Political Theory at (and received her Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies from) the University of MA-Amherst.  Her dissertation project, drawing from queer, feminist and democratic theory, thinks about the ways that discourses of im/maturity govern scenes of political action. Alix has published articles in New Political ScienceWagadu: Journal of Transnational Women’s and Gender Studies and authored the chapter “Archiving Optimism” in Agitation with a Smile: Howard Zinn’s Legacies and the Future of Activism (Paradigm, 2013). At UMass-Amherst, she has designed and taught her own courses including "Art and Politics" (Political Science, 2014) and "The Feminist Art(s) of Politics" (WGSS, 2015). Alix has received the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Student Choice Teaching Award (2012), the campus-wide Distinguished Teaching Award (2013) and the Center for Research on Families Fellowship (2013). In 2013, Alix was invited by APSA's Siting & Engagement Committee (SEC) to participate at the annual meeting in a roundtable on the social responsibility of APSA and the profession. This year, Alix was awarded the New Political Science Christian Bay Award for the APSA paper that "best exemplifies the goal of NPS: making the study of politics relevant to the struggle for a better world." She is currently the Caucus Representative for New Political Science. 

Alix also is an internationally touring spoken word artist who has produced three CD's, several books of poetry and an award-winning documentary film Left Lane. Her latest album Protagonist was produced by folk-rocker Melissa Ferrick. Alix is the author of a Ms. Magazine cover story, co-author of Burning Down the House (Soft Skull Press, 2003) and is the editor of Word Warriors: 35 Women Leaders in the Spoken Word Revolution (Seal Press, 2007) a book bell hooks describes as "daring to be heard.. to resurrect you." For this work, Alix has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Barbara Deming Award, Hedgebrook Fellowship (declined), Washington DC's Rape Crisis "Visionary Award," and OutMusic’s "Outstanding Artist-Activist." Her work has been featured on a variety of NPR programs, HBO's Def Poetry Jam, Air America with Rachel Maddow, in the New York Times, Washington Post, Curve Magazine and in dozens of compilations and anthologies. 


  • Political Science