Staff and Research Scholars

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program is enriched by the following Staff, Fellows, Research Scholars, and Lecturers:


Nancy Hirschmann


A professor in Political Science, Nancy Hirschmann works in the history of political thought, analytical philosophy and feminist theory. Her newest book, Gender, Class, and Freedom in Modern Political Theory considers the concept of freedom as it developed in the canon of political thought from the 17th to 19th centuries and examines how issues of gender and class affected the dominant conceptions of freedom.  Her previous book, The Subject of Liberty: Toward a Feminist Theory of Freedom, took a more contemporary approach and considered the concept of freedom in the context of political and social issues such as domestic violence, Islamic veiling, and U.S. welfare reform.  Read More

Demie Kurz

Demie Kurz


Demie Kurz is the Co-Director of the Alice Paul Center for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality and the Co-Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies program.  Her primary research and teaching interests are in contemporary issues of gender, with a specific focus on the family.  She has written on the topics of divorce and domestic violence and also has a strong interest in the area of "carework".  Read More

Luz Marin


Luz Marin

Program Coordinator 

Luz Marin is the Program Coordinator for the Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program.  Read More

Mary Zaborskis

Graduate Associate

Mary Zaborskis is an English PhD candidate and Franklin/Fontaine Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. She works at the intersections of queer, indigenous, and childhood studies in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature. Her work has appeared in WSQ: Women's Studies Quarterly ("Child" Spring 2015) and Journal of Homosexuality (forthcoming). Mary has contributed reviews to Public Books and Women & Performance: a journal of feminist theory.

Sabina Springer

Sabina Spigner

Office Assistant 

Sabina Spigner is the Office Assistant for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. She is a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences. Her majors are Biological Bases of Behavior and GSWS. Her goal is to become a Pediatric Surgeon and/or an OB/GYN. She wants to implement what she learned from the GSWS Program into her eventual field of medicine. In addition, Sabina is currently working as an intern in a genetics research lab at CHOP. She is also an avid member of the Penn Band!

Twenewaa Adu-Oppong

Twenewaa Adu-Oppong

Media Outreach Coordinator

Twenewaa Adu-Oppong is one of the Media Outreach Coordinators for the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program. She is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying GSWS and Africana Studies. Twenewaa is currently completing a semester abroad in Athens, Greece where she interns with a women's organization dedicated to assisting victims of domestic abuse. Additionally, Twenewaa promotes safe sexual experiences both on and off campus as a Vice President of Penn AIDS Awareness (PAA).

Kirk Fiereck

Kirk Fiereck

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies (2014-2016)

Kirk Fiereck received a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from Columbia University in 2014 and a Master of Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2005. His research examines how forms of queer personhood have emerged out of complex enactments of sexual and gender identities within black and medical cultures in South Africa over the past century. Read More

Katie Eyer

Katie Eyer

Alice Paul Center Research Affiliate

Katie Eyer is an Alice Paul Center Research Affiliate and Assistant Professor of Law at Rutgers Camden Law School. Her research focuses on using transcontextual approaches to identify and address major under-theorized questions in the area of civil rights law. Current projects involve an investigation of the ways in which family law has historically been treated differently as a locale for civil rights reform, and a series of projects investigating the reasons why discrimination litigants fare so poorly in obtaining successful litigated outcomes. Read More 


Jeanne Vaccaro 

Andrew Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Sexuality Studies (2012-2014)

Jeanne Vaccaro received her Ph.D. in Performance Studies at New York University and B.A. in Women's Studies at Smith College. She works at the intersections of feminist art historical practice, affect, and queer theory. Her book project, "Handmade: the Everyday Feelings and Textures of Transgender Embodiment," is an interdisciplinary study of transgender performance art and visual culture. Jeanne recently accepted another prestigious postdoctral fellow in Gender Studies at Indiana University Bloomington.

Copyright © 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program at the University of Pennsylvania

The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality and Women

411 Cohen Hall, 249 S. 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 898-8740

Penn Web Login | Site Design by Lucid Digital Designs