Faculty Profile

Gender Studies Faculty

Michael Bosia, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science

M.A., Ph.D. Northwestern University
B.A. California State University, Sacramento
Fellow, Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, University of Toronto

Courses I Teach

Democratic Transitions
Film and Politics
France and Empire
Introduction to Comparative Politics
State Violence and Justice
The Politics of Food
Comparative European Politics
Comparative Politics of Oppression
First Year Seminar on Race, Gender and Sexuality

My Saint Michael's

Before starting doctoral studies, I was a staff director in the California State Senate working with communities affected by HIV/AIDS, one of a handful of out LGBT staffers in the state capitol at the time.  This experience inspired my research on politics between global and local, including activism on race, gender, and sexuality, questions of marginalization and citizenship, and processes of community building and participation.  I look at these in terms of economic change, in responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, in the new politics of food, and in local and transnational organizing against a wave of what I call “state homophobia.”  My research and teaching also focus on economic justice, democratic practice, and state violence and human rights – by exploring the ethical in the political.  While I pay attention to the key concepts and theories in comparative politics, I ask students and colleagues to think about the moral framework that informs politics and the ethical consequences of choices made within such frameworks.

I have conducted field research in France, Uganda, and Egypt, and travelled to India, Ecuador, Argentina, Spain, and Cuba as part of my educational responsibilities.  I am active in both the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association, having served as Program Chair and President of the Organized Section on Sexuality and Politics and Program Chair of New Political Science at APSA, and in various capacities with the LGBTQA Caucus of ISA.  At Saint Michael's, I have worked with faculty, staff, and students to bring speakers to campus addressing human rights, LGBT politics, gender identity, international development, food politics, political violence, and democratic process in important contexts around the world.  I am currently co-adviser for Common Ground, our LGBTQI and Ally student organization.

Prior to moving to the Burlington area, I lived in the rural Northeast Kingdom, where I was a co-founder of Claire’s Restaurant and Bar, an innovative localvore and community supported restaurant.  


My research is contemporary and historical, so I work as a participant-observer during field work with activist organizations and spend significant amounts of time in archives examining documents and historical records.

I have published my research on French politics, globalization, and HIV/AIDS in French Politics, Culture & Society in Spring 2009, and in Perspectives on Politics and New Political Science. My work also is included in The Global Politics of AIDS (co-edited by Patricia Siplon) and in a book about the ethical and political aspects of field research, called Engaged Observer.  My most recent projects include research on the new politics of food and on responses to a growing wave of state homophobia.  I completed Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change in the New Politics of Food (co-edited with Jeffrey Ayres and two Canadian scholars), which is published by University of Toronto Press.  With my colleague Meredith Weiss from SUNY-Albany, I edited and contributed toGlobal Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression, from  University of Illinois Press.  Professor Weiss and I received the Scholars Award from the International Studies Association LGBTQA Caucus in 2015 in recognition of this project.

My most recent research is on state homophobia and LGBT rights organizing, with field work in France, Uganda, and Egypt funded by grants from the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Saint Michael’s College and the American Political Science Association.  The project also received honorable mention in the competition for a Martin Duberman Fellowship from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at City University of New York.  From this research, I’ve published articles in the Journal of Human Rights, and the edited volume, Sexualities in World Politics:  How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations, from Routledge.  I am currently completing a manuscript commissioned by Cambridge University Press, called State Homophobia & LGBT Activism: The Globalization of a Human Rights Agenda.  I am also co-editing and contributing to a handbook on global LGBT politics commissioned by Oxford University Press, with my colleagues Momin Rahman at Trent University in Ontario, and Sandra McEvoy at Wheelock College in Boston.

The following blog posts from my research and teaching are available for you to read:

Museveni’s ‘Gay Peril’ in Global Perspective,” Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa blog, May 2014.

 “Marriage Debate in France Strikes at the Heart of the Republican Consensus,” The Duck of Minerva World Politics Blog, June 2013.

Political Science at Saint Michael’s College department blog: 
Thoughts About Occupy Wall Street in Global Politics

Politics in the Field,” text and photographs 

The Revolution is Televised

Taking Stock in New Orleans

And here are some recent reviews of my work:

"Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations" in Ethics & International Affairs (June 10, 2016)

"Review -- Sexualities in World Politics" in Sexuality Policy Watch (2015)


My Road to Saint Michael's

Though I was the first person in my family to complete college and my parents didn’t finish high school, I always knew I wanted to teach, even while working in politics and policy.  But I never expected to follow in the foot-steps of my father, Alex, who was born and raised in San Francisco but spent his life trying to live like a farmer, growing bushels of produce and raising chickens, eventually even building his own water storage system.  When I was young, I craved urban life, and moved to the City, lived in Chicago while attending graduate school, and conducted research in Paris. But when we moved to Vermont, we settled in Hardwick, a small town in Vermont's isolated Northeast Kingdom, where I helped launch Claire's Restaurant and Bar, a community-supported establishment that gathered produce and artisan products from farms and businesses within 15 miles.  

It’s part of a larger effort in Hardwick and across Vermont to reinforce the local rural economy and bring a sense of sovereignty and control over what we eat.  We ran the restaurant for 4 years and lived in the community for 10.  We moved to Winooski after returning from sabbatical research in France, Uganda, and Egypt.

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, was invited by Canada's nationally prominent Globe and Mail newspaper to write  an essay in response to the June 12, 2016 attack in Orlando, Florida. Michael's piece for the June 13 edition was titled, "Attacking a gay bar – our refuge, our church – is latest in continuum of hatred.
(posted June 2016)

 Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, presented his research on global LGBT Human Rights and state homophobia,” at a panel he worked with Common Ground in organizing. The panel, on Local and Global LGBT Struggles and Human Rights, featured Cai Wilkinson from Deakin University in Australia presenting her research on LGBT politics in post-Soviet republics, Cornel Grey from University of Toronto focusing on gay men and masculinity in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora, and Jenna Lee from the Vermont Pride Center talking about LGBT politics and policy in the US.  The panel was chaired by Dean of the College and Professor of International Relations Professor Jeffrey Ayres. In recent travels, Michael also presented two papers from his research on LGBT politics and state homophobia in France, Uganda, and Egypt at the International Studies Association annual meeting in Atlanta, GA, in March.  One was on a Presidential Theme Panel he was invited to organize by the conference executive, which focused on “States, Sexualities, and Desires: Queering the Politics of Peace and Conflict.”  He also co-facilitated a table on Sexuality Studies at the Methods Café that assists scholars with the development of their research.  At the meeting, he was elected secretary-treasurer of the LGBTQA Caucus. In April, Michael visited The Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies, where he serves as a fellow, to mentor graduate students focusing on research related to sexuality and gender identity. Additionally, he published reviews of two recent volumes on global sexuality and gender identity studies:  He was invited to review Sexual Diversity in Africa, Marc Epprecht and SN Nyeck, eds.in Perspectives on Politics 14:1 (March 2016), and his review of Homosexualities, Muslim Cultures and Modernity, by Momin Rahman, was published in the journal Sexualities 19:4 (June 2016). He also presented “The Price of Exile: Ugandan Refugees, Sexual Minority Rights, and the Politics of Identity,” at Refugee Lives at Risk/Citizen Rights Denied, a conference sponsored by The Centre for Human Rights & Peace Studies and the Department of Anthropology at Lehman College, CUNY, November 2015.

(posted June 2016)

Michael J. Bosia, associate professor of political science, presented his research from his co-edited volume, Global Homophobia, at a symposium hosted by the Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto where he has an appointment as a fellow. Also, his book State Homophobia and LGBT Activism, is under contract at Cambridge University. In mid-December 2015 returned to University of Toronto to serve as the external examiner for a PhD dissertation in the Political Science Department on LGBT politics in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
(posted January 2016)

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, presented research on state homophobia in Uganda at the European Conference on African Studies, and participated in a roundtable on debates over marriage at the meeting of the Council for European Studies, both in Paris in July.  He is also the program chair for the New Political Science Section of the American Political Science Association for the 2015 annual meeting in San Francisco in September. Finally, he is author of a chapter called “To love or to loathe: modernity, homophobia and LGBT rights,” in an edited volume called Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations, from Routledge, edited by Markus Thiel and Manuela Picq.
(posted September 2015)

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, and his co-author and co-editor Meredith Weiss, were awarded the 2015 Scholars Award from the International Studies Association LGBTQA Caucus at the annual meeting of the ISA this past February in New Orleans.  The award is in recognition of their volume, Global Homophobia: States, Movements, and the Politics of Oppression, which has received several favorable scholarly reviews.  Also, Michael has a chapter coming out in the edited volume Sexualities in World Politics: How LGBTQ Claims Shape International Relations, entitled “To Love or to Loathe: Modernity, Homophobia and LGBT rights.”
(posted April 2015)

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, recently was named a Fellow at the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto.  The appointment does not require residency, but does mean Michael will be working with other fellows on programming at the Centre. Michael also has been informed that he and his co-editor Meredith Weiss at SUNY Albany have been named the 2015 recipients of the Scholars Award by the LGBTQA Caucus of the International Studies Association, for their book, Global Homophobia.  The award will be presented at the annual meeting in New Orleans in February.
(posted December 2014)

Michael Bosia, Saint Michael’s associate professor of political science, in July attended a conference jointly sponsored by the International Studies Association and FLACSO Argentina in Buenos Aires, where he presented two papers: “To Love or to Loath:  Modernity, Homophobia, and LGBT Rights,” and, co-authored with Jeff Ayres, dean of the college and professor of political science, “Gendered Knowledge in the Local Food Movement: the Emancipation of Expertise or the Localization of Profit?” Michael also was interviewed recently as a guest on the Pacifica Radio KPFA public affairs program Against the Grain, featuring a conversation with David Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare. Johnson discusses the interplay of anti-Communism and homophobia in the 1950s and previews his chapter in the book Global Homophobia, which Michael co-edited with a SUNY Albany colleague, focusing on the export of the Lavender Scare to US allies. At the conclusion of that on-air discussion is an interview with Michael about Global Homophobia, which documents the spread of “a modular, pragmatic and innovative homophobia.”
(posted August 2014)

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, attended the "QP5" (Fifth International Conference Queering Paradigms), titled "Queering Narratives of Modernity," which was held in Quito, Ecuador, February 20-22, and he co-organized a panel. This is a major academic conference on queer and sexuality issues globally. Michael's panel was called: "Queer Provocations, Western Privileges, and the Decolonization of LGBTIQ Struggle"; the panel consisted of contributors working on an edited volume. Michael presented a paper called "States as Exceptional: Rethinking Rights beyond Political and Sexual Modernization," focusing on France, Uganda, and Egypt. This paper is also part of his manuscript, State Homophobia and the Globalization of LGBT Rights, for which he received VPAA funding, a small research grant from the American Political Science Association, and honorable mention in the Martin Duberman Fellowship competition at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at CUNY – all last year. Michael also chaired a panel that including presentations on Russia’s anti-gay law, families in Poland, and European Union Policy, called: International Politics of Sexuality / Políticas internacionales alrededor de la(s) sexualidad(es) (March 2014)

Michael Bosia, associate professor of political science, has been awarded an external research grant through the Small Research Grant Program of the American Political Science Association, which supports research conducted by faculty at non-Ph.D.-granting institutions that have funding sources available for faculty research. The funding is to support research he has been conducting, starting during his sabbatical, in France, Uganda, and Egypt. The title of his study is “State Homophobia and the Diffusion of LGBT Human Rights.” LGBT is an acronym for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender. Michael’s study focuses “on the diffusion of state homophobia as a responsible player in shaping emerging identities.”  Data collection for the project includes participant observation, interviews, and archival research, to examine the influence of homophobia on self-conceptualization and agenda-setting. Key cases include those where authorities invoke similarly foreign LGBT threats during times of political and economic stress across institutional contexts, including France, Uganda, and Egypt. To advance his work, Michael also has received an internal expense defrayment grant from the Faculty Development Committee and the Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. The project also received honorable mention for a Martin Duberman Fellowship from the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies at City University of New York.

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