URI Alumna Danielle Henderson '11
Hometown: Warwick, NY
Major: Gender and Women's Studies
It started out as a way for Danielle Henderson ’11, now a writer and graduate student in the Gender and Women’s Studies program at the University of Wisconsin, to remember the fine points of feminist theory. Besides that, she thought it would be fun.
“It” was creating “flashcards” that paired some of the many available images of mega-hunk movie star Ryan Gosling with witty captions illustrating the feminist theories she was studying in classes. The result was a smart, funny blog on Tumblr called Feminist Ryan Gosling (FRG) that went viral within hours of her first post in October 2011. Within no time, FRG had garnered attention from the likes Ms. Magazine, Newsweek, CBS News, GQ, Vogue Italia, among many others. And the book, Feminist Ryan Gosling: Feminist Theory As Imagined from Your Favorite Sensitive Movie Dude, was published in August. What a year!
Although she’s enjoying the success of what began as her fun, feminist flashcard study aid project, Henderson makes it clear that FRG isn’t her focus. As part of URI’s Gender and Women’s Studies program from 2008 until her 2011 graduation, and now as a graduate student and instructor at Wisconsin, her priority is her academic work, which focuses on the intersection of race, gender, and class. Henderson took a 12-year hiatus before returning to college in 2008. Her first book, Tales from Fish Camp, was published in 2004 and her non-fiction work been featured in a variety of literary journals.
One thing’s for sure, Danielle Henderson is a talented writer, and plenty of people are paying attention—with or without Ryan Gosling.