Faculty Advisory Board of the Gender, Sexuality & Women's Studies Program and The Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality & Women

The Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program and Alice Paul Center's Faculty Advisory Board members are Penn professors who have gender, sexuality or women as a primary area of their research and teaching. Elected by GSWS and APC core faculty, advisory board members commit to serve and advise the program and center for three years; terms are staggered to provide continuity. 


GSWS and APC Faculty Advisory Board Members for AY 2013-2014

Kathy Brown

History, Term Ends S2016

Kathleen Brown is a historian of gender, and race in early America and the Atlantic World. Educated at Wesleyan and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she is author ofGood Wives, Nasty Wenches, and Anxious Patriarchs: Gender, Race, and Power in Colonial Virginia (Chapel Hill, 1996), which won the Dunning Prize of the American Historical Association for best book by a junior scholar. Her most recent book, Foul Bodies: Cleanliness in Early America (Yale, 2009), explores the relationships among health, domestic labor, and ideals for beauty, civilization, and spiritual purity during the period between Europe's Atlantic encounters and the American Civil War. Brown is also author of numerous articles and essays. Read More    

Andre Dombrowski

History of Art, Term Ends S2017

André Dombrowski’s research centers on the arts and material cultures of France and Germany in the mid to late nineteenth century, with an emphasis on the histories of science, politics, and psychology. He is particularly concerned with the social and intellectual rationales behind the emergence of avant-garde painting in the 1860s and 1870s, including Impressionism. Winner of the 2009 Phillips Book Prize from the Center for the Study of Modern Art at The Phillips Collection, he is author of Cézanne, Murder, and Modern Life (University of California Press, December 2012). Read More

David Eng

English Asian American Studies, Term Ends S2016

David L. Eng is Richard L. Fisher Professor of English. He is also Professor in the Program in Comparative Literature & Literary Theory and the Program in Asian American Studies. After receiving his B.A. in English from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of California at Berkeley, he taught at Columbia and Rutgers before joining Penn in 2007. His areas of specialization include American literature, Asian American studies, Asian diaspora, psychoanalysis, critical race theory, queer studies, gender studies, and visual culture. At Penn, Eng is a founding convenor of the Faculty Working Group on Race and Empire Studies as well as a member of the Faculty Advisory Board of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. Read More

Julie Fairman

School of Nursing, Term Ends S2017

Dr. Fairman’s research focuses on the history of 20th century health care issues pervading contemporary nursing practice. Much of her recent work addresses the relationship between gender, nursing and technology (critical care) and the history of the social construction of professional boundaries (the history of the nurse practitioner movement). This research has been utilized by members of Congress and by other policy-making bodies such as the Ministry of Health of New Zealand. She is currently investigating the influence of the nursing profession on health policy and looking at the role of the patient as health policy advocate. Other work examines the post-World War II history of nursing scholarship and disciplinary development. Read More

Toorjo Ghose

SP2, Term Ends S2016

Dr. Ghose’s work focuses on structural interventions in the area of substance abuse, homelessness and HIV, both at the domestic and international levels. His research examines the manner in which contextual factors such as housing, community mobilization and organizational characteristics influence substance use and HIV risk. He is currently working with community-based agencies in New York city to study the effectiveness of providing housing as an intervention for substance using women with HIV released from prisons and jails. A second project involves a collaboration with scholars at the Treatment Research Institute in Philadelphia, state substance abuse agencies in the U.S. and addiction treatment centers to examine the effects of facility-level financial interventions in treatment effectiveness. Read More


Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

History and Modern Middle East Studies, Term Ends S2015

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was aMorehead Scholar. She completed her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in history at Yale University. Her book, Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946 (Princeton University Press, 1999) analyzes the significance of land and border disputes to the process of identity and nation formation, as well as to cultural production, in Iran and its borderlands. It pays specific attention to Iran's shared boundaries with the Ottoman Empire (later Iraq and Turkey), Central Asia, Afghanistan, and the Persian Gulf region. Her book was translated into Persian by Kitabsara Press, Tehran, Iran and has been released in paperback by Princeton in 2011. Building on this body of research, Professor Kashani-Sabet is completing a forthcoming book, Tales of Trespassing: Borderland Histories of Iran and the Middle East (under contract to Cambridge University Press), in which she expands on her arguments about frontiers, nature, and border communities in Middle Eastern modernity.  Read More

David Kazanjian

English and Comparative Literature, Term Ends S2017

David Kazanjian received his PhD from the Rhetoric Department at the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. in Critical Theory from the University of Sussex, and his B.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University. His area of specialization is transnational American literary and historical studies through the nineteenth century. His additional fields of research are political philosophy, continental philosophy, Latin American studies (especially nineteenth-century Mexico), colonial discourse studies, and Armenian diaspora studies. His book The Colonizing Trick: National Culture and Imperial Citizenship in Early America (Minnesota) offers a comparative study of colonial and antebellum, racial and national formations, and a critique of the formal egalitarianism that animated early U.S. citizenship. Read More


Robin Leidner

Sociology, Term Ends S2015

What accounts for the varying ways work, identity, and gender fit together? Everett Hughes’s 1951 comment that “a man’s work is one of the things by which he is judged, and certainly one of the more significant things by which he judges himself” is a frequent touchstone for me. Hughes’s ambiguous use of the ‘man’ begs the questions of how gender affects the salience of work to identity and how specific work identities come to be gendered. Given the changing conditions and availability of work, when is it a good thing for work to be an important basis of identity, when do workers shield themselves from the identity their jobs imply, and how much room do people have to construct work identities that are positive and meaningful to them? Much of my research concerns the relation between structural conditions of employment and its interactional components, as well as how work arrangements draw on and affect cultural understandings of the ways people do and should relate to each other. Read More


Catriona MacLeod

German and Germanic Literature, Term Ends S2017

 Catriona MacLeod studied at the University of Glasgow, Scotland (M.A.) and at Harvard (Ph.D.). Her research, which focuses on late eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century literature and culture, has the following emphases: gender studies, in particular literary and aesthetic figurations of androgyny; the intersections between high art and popular culture in Weimar Classicism; the relationship between verbal and visual arts. She has published on figures such as Winckelmann, Goethe, Bertuch, Kleist, Brentano, and Stifter. The author ofEmbodying Ambiguity: Androgyny and Aesthetics from Winckelmann to Keller, MacLeod her most recent book project, Fugitive Objects: Literature and Sculpture in the German Nineteenth Century, is appearing this year with Northwestern U P.  Read More


Serena Mayeri

School of Law, Term Ends S2016

Serena Mayeri’s scholarship focuses on the historical impact of progressive and conservative social movements on legal and constitutional change. Her book, Reasoning from Race: Feminism, Law, and the Civil Rights Revolution (Harvard University Press, 2011) received the Littleton-Griswold Prize from the American Historical Association and the Darlene Clark Hine Award from the Organization of American Historians. Mayeri's current project examines the history of challenges to marriage's primacy as a legal institution and a source of public and private benefits. She teaches courses in family law, employment discrimination, gender and the law, and legal history. Read More

Sharrona Pearl

Annenberg School for Communications, Term Ends S2017

Sharrona Pearl is an Assistant Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania. An expert on physiognomy – the study of facial features and their relationship to character traits – she previously was a post-doctoral fellow in the Committee on Degrees in History and Literature and in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.  Her research has resulted in multiple articles, commissions in book reviews, and four entries in Dictionary of Nineteenth Century British Scientists.  She has served as a guest lecturer for MIT, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada and is the recipient of the Harvard University Certificate of Distinction in Teaching and more recently, the Carolyn and Erwin Swann Foundation for Cartoon and Caricature Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Library of Congress. Read More

Kathy Peiss

History, Term Ends S2016

Kathy Peiss is the Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor of American History at Penn, where she teaches courses on modern American cultural history and the history of American sexuality, women, and gender.  Her research has examined the history of working women; working-class and interracial sexuality; leisure, style, and popular culture; the beauty industry in the U.S. and abroad; and print culture and cultural policy during World War II.  She is particularly interested in the ways that commerce and culture have shaped the everyday life and popular beliefs of Americans across time. Peiss is the author of Cheap Amusements: Working Women and Leisure in Turn-of-the-Century New York (1986) and Hope in a Jar: The Making of America's Beauty Culture (1998), which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award and named one of Amazon's 1999 top ten books in Women's Studies. Read More  


Christine Poggi

History of Art, Term Ends S2015

Christine Poggi's current research projects comprise essays on Picasso's early constructed guitars; newspaper's function as a temporal marker in contemporary art; the nexus of law and image in the performative works of several contemporary artists (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Teching Hsieh, Santiago Sierra, and Chantal Akerman); and the multi-media "Meta-Futurist" project of contemporary artist Luca Buvoli. She is interested in the relations of modern art and technology, in how art engages mass publics, and in contemporary works of art that propose new models of avant-garde temporality and of social intervention.  Read More


Melissa Sanchez

English, Term Ends S2016

Melissa E. Sanchez received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine, and she studies and teaches sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature, with a particular focus on gender, sexuality, and constitutional and religious history. Professor Sanchez has been an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at the Huntington Library, and in 2009 she received Penn's Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Award for Distinguished Teaching by an Assistant Professor. Her first book, Erotic Subjects: The Sexuality of Politics in Early Modern English Literature, examines how sixteenth- and seventeenth-century writers used scenarios of erotic violence and cross-gender identification to explore the origins and limits of political allegiance (Oxford University Press, 2011). Read More

Marilyn (Lynn) Sommers

School of Nursing, Term Ends S2017

Dr. Sommers is the Lillian S. Brunner Professor of Medical-Surgical Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania. She received her bachelors degree in nursing at the University of Pennsylvania, her masters degree in nursing education from New York University, and her PhD in nursing science with a minor in human physiology at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. She received postdoctoral training as a Faculty Fellow through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism from 1990-1994 at the University of Cincinnati. Prior to her academic career, Dr. Sommers had 15 years of experience as a staff nurse, clinical nurse specialist, and nurse administrator in the areas of critical care and trauma. Read More

Deborah Thomas

Anthropology and Africana Studies, Term Ends S2015

Deborah A. Thomas received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from New York University 2000, and is currently Professor of Anthropology and Africana Studies, and Chair of the Graduate Group in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania. She also holds a secondary appointment with the Graduate School of Education, and she is a member of the graduate groups of Africana Studies and English. Prior to her appointment at Penn, she spent two years as a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for the Americas at Wesleyan University, and four years teaching in the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Read More

Salamishah Tillet

English and Africana Studies, Term Ends S2015

Salamishah Tillet is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania. She has a secondary appointment in the Department of Africana Studies and is a Core Teaching and Faculty member of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies. She received her Ph.D. in the History of American Civilization in 2007 and A.M. in English from Harvard University and her M.A.T. from Brown University. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania where she received her B.A. in English and Afro-American Studies. In 2010-11, she was the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation Fellow for Career Enhancement and served as a visiting fellow at the Center of African American Studies at Princeton University. Read More


Lance Wahlert

Medical Ethics and Health Policy, Term Ends S2016

Lance Wahlert, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Medical Ethics & Health Policy and Program Director of the Master of Bioethics (MBE) in the Perelman School of Medicine. Dr. Wahlert is also Core Research and Teaching Faculty Member in the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies at Penn. He serves as the Director of the Project on Bioethics, Sexuality, and Gender Identity, which has demarcated a sub-field within bioethics that focuses on the intersection of LGBTQ issues and medical ethics. Read More



Ex Officio Members:

Nancy Hirschmann, Political Science, Faculty Director of GSWS & APC

Demie Kurz, Sociology, Co-Director of GSWS & APC

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