Gender Studies

Saint Michael's Gender Studies

Foster a critical awareness of the relationship between gender and culture as a Gender Studies major at Saint Michael's. You’ll examine the ways in which culture conditions and constructs perceptions of femininity and masculinity and how those perceptions interact with other cultural phenomenons.

And because gender studies is an interdisciplinary major, you'll have the opportunity to draw from a wide range of faculty and courses, including fine arts, liberal arts, humanities, social and natural sciences and pre-professional programs.

You'll examine and explore issues such as sexual identities and orientations, intersex and transgender issues, social practices, gender-influenced cultural productions and historical change.

Some of the courses you take will consider such matters as how biology intersects with culture, how gender creates and maintains structures of power, how aspects of the humanities are gender-inflected, and how gendered identities affect personhood. You'll gain an understanding of the complex factors that shape your experience of yourself, others and the world. 

Gender Studies Program

Sample Four Year Plan for Gender Studies Majors

First Year
Fall Spring
GS 101 Gender Studies Foundations AN 109 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Foreign Language I Foreign Language II
First Year Seminar Liberal Studies course
Liberal Studies course Liberal Studies course
Fall Spring
HI 215 Women in American Society AN 217 Social Inequalities
Liberal Studies courses Liberal Studies courses
Fall Spring
EN 325  Critical Theory PH 352 Philosophy and Feminism
  Gender Studies elective    Gender Studies elective  
Electives Electives
Fall Spring
PO 371 Feminist Political Thought Senior Seminar*
Electives Electives

This is just one of many possible paths to fulfilling the requirements for a major in Gender Studies.  Your faculty advisor will work with you to develop a curriculum plan that matches your goals and interests. 

* Gender Studies majors can do their senior research project in Anthropology, English, History, Political Science, or other departments as approved by the program director.

Michael Bosia, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science
View Full Profile

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.  


George Dameron, PhD

Professor of History
View Curriculum Vitae

Contact Professor Dameron

Durick Library 306
Box 141
View Full Profile

Ph.D. Harvard University
M.A. Harvard University
B.A. Duke University

Areas of Expertise:

Medieval and Early Modern Europe; Medieval Italy, with particular focus on thirteenth and fourteenth century Tuscany (social, economic, cultural, political)

Courses I Teach:

  • Ancient and Medieval Civilization
  • The Black Death
  • Culture and Society in Medieval Italy
  • Early Modern Europe
  • The Franciscans
  • The Historian's Craft
  • Honors Colloquium
  • Joan of Arc (First Year Seminar)
  • Medieval Europe
  • Renaissance and Reformation
  • Senior Seminar
  • Topics in Medieval History: (topics vary and include "Women and Gender in the Middle Ages")

Patricia Delaney, PhD

Sociology and Anthropology Department Chair, Associate Professor of Anthropology

Contact Professor Delaney

Saint Edmund's Hall 246
Box 386
View Full Profile

M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles
B.S. Georgetown University

Areas of Expertise:

Gender and international development; war, conflict, and the contestation of cultural identity; relief to development continuum; poverty and stratification in the global south; grassroots development and participatory approaches; East Timor; Lusophone Africa 

Courses I Teach:

  • Anthropological Perspectives on Gender
  • Gender and International Development
  • Introductory Anthropology
  • Participatory Action Research
  • People and Cultures of the Lusuphone World
  • Life Histories

Kathryn Dungy, PhD

Associate Professor of History
View Curriculum Vitae

Contact Professor Dungy

Durick Library 307
Box 344
View Full Profile

M.A., Ph.D. Duke University
B.A. Spelman College

Areas of Expertise:

Social and cultural history of Latin America and the Caribbean; gender and race identity; Atlantic World, Antebellum U.S.

Courses I Teach:

  • Colonial Latin America
  • Early Caribbean
  • Modern Latin America
  • Modern Caribbean
  • Race, Class and Gender in the Americas
  • Slavery in the Americas
  • Senior Seminar

Traci Griffith, JD

Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts Department Chair, Associate Professor of Media Studies, Journalism & Digital Arts

Contact Professor Griffith

Jeanmarie Hall 169A
View Full Profile

J.D. Notre Dame Law School
M.A. Florida A&M University
B.A. Political Science DePaul University

I began my teaching career as a visiting professor in September 2001 and joined the tenure track faculty one year later. I came to St. Michael’s College from Chicago where I was a correspondent with The Associated Press. I worked as a national editor for The Associated Press broadcast division in Washington D.C.

Utilizing my law degree and my years as a professional journalist, my teaching focuses on Media Law and Ethics in the Digital Age and Writing for the Media. I have created a special topics course on Gender, Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality in Media and developed a course in Cyber Law.

I currently serve as a board member for The Vermont ACLU, and The Vermont Press Association. I work with numerous local organizations and serve the community through her work focusing on the issues of homelessness, poverty and AIDS.

Peter Harrigan, MFA

Professor of Fine Arts: Theater

Contact Professor Harrigan

McCarthy Arts Center 131
Box 184
View Full Profile

MFA in directing, University of Pittsburgh, 1986
BA in drama and English, Saint Michael's College, 1983

Areas of Expertise:

Theater directing and costume design

Courses I Teach:

  • Acting – 2 levels
  • Chief Patterns of Western Theatre II
  • Directed Studies - Costume Design, Costume Construction, Stage Management, Directing and Dramaturgy
  • Directing - 2 levels
  • First Year Seminar: Defining Self and Community (1996, 1997)
  • First Year Seminar: Peace and Justice (2001, 2002)
  • Introduction to Theatre
  • Oral Interpretation of Literature
  • Principles of Speech
  • Principles of Stage Costuming
  • Senior Seminar in Fine Arts
  • 20th Century Fine Arts

Susan Kuntz, PhD

Professor of Psychology
View Curriculum Vitae
View Full Profile

Ph.D. Syracuse University
M.A. University of Vermont
B.A. Albion College

Areas of Expertise:

Adolescent Development; Adult Development and Aging; Educational Psychology; History and Issues in Psychology

My Saint Michael's:

Saint Michael's students are warm and caring individuals who genuinely want to learn and figure out ways to make the world a better place. The field of psychology gives students the skills they need to do that as they evaluate and study human behavior in an effort to help others.

While I love all of the classes I teach, the one that excites me the most is Educational Psychology, because the status of the educational system is such a relevant issue. Everyone has a common experience of school, and in this course, we examine the learning and teaching that happens in these settings from several different perspectives, including social class, gender, ethnicity, and history.

Adrie Kusserow, PhD

Professor of Anthropology

Contact Professor Kusserow

Saint Edmund's Hall 237
View Full Profile

Ph.D. Harvard University (Anthropology)
M.T.S. Harvard Divinity School (Tibetan Buddhism)
B.A. Amherst College, Phi Beta Kappa

Areas of Expertise:

Medical and Psychiatric Anthropology, Refugees, Globalization and Poverty, Modern Day Slavery, Anthropology of Refugees, Anthropology of Religion, Social Class in America, Anthropology of Global Media

Courses I Teach:

  • Culture Illness and Healing
  • Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking
  • Refugees
  • Social Inequalities


I am a cultural anthropologist with special interests in refugees, social inequalities, poverty, anthropology of religion, culture, illness and healing, social class, ethnographic poetry and anthropology of the child. I strongly encourage both service work and community engaged learning to be an integral part of my anthropology classes. I am also a strong proponent of study abroad and have taken students to Sudan, Uganda and Bhutan.

Nathaniel Lewis, PhD

Professor of English and Environmental Studies Coordinator

Contact Professor Lewis

Saint Edmund's Hall 342
Box 282
View Full Profile

Ph.D. Harvard University
M.A. University of North Carolina
B.A. Yale University

I teach courses on literary theory, environmental writing, and multiethnic literatures. I have written on western American literature, literary aesthetics, and nature writing.

Crystal L'Hôte, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Contact Professor L'Hôte

Saint Edmund's Hall 238
Box 376
View Full Profile

Ph.D., M.A. Johns Hopkins University
B.A. Colgate University

Areas of Expertise:

Philosophy of mind (and cognates), metaphysics and epistemology, feminist philosophy, and bioethics/neuroethics, all in the analytic tradition. 

Courses I Teach:

  • Philosophy of Mind: The Mental and the Physical
  • Logic: Laws of Thought
  • Feminist Philosophy
  • Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Environment
  • Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
  • Introduction to Philosophy: The True, The Good, and the Beautiful

The courses I teach highlight the ongoing relevance of philosophy.  For instance, Philosophy of Mind treats topics in contemporary neuroethics; Logic: Laws of Thought prepares students for the Law School Admissions Test (as well as demoncratic citizenship); and Philosophy of Science, Technology, and Environment examines our relationships to modern technologies and our responsibilities to nature and the environment. I also make efforts to see that learning extends beyond the classroom: I launched the Plato Lecture and am a regular host of the Philosophers' Table.

Molly Millwood, PhD

Associate Professor of Psychology

Contact Professor Millwood

Saint Edmund's Hall 202B
Box 122
View Full Profile

M.A., Ph.D., University of Montana
B.A., University of California, Santa Cruz
Postdoctoral fellowship, Stanford University Medical Center
Predoctoral internship, San Francisco VA Medical Center 

Areas of Expertise:

As a clinical psychologist, I have expertise in the origins, manifestations, and treatments of psychological distress in human beings.  My particular focus has been in the area of intimate relationships and the ways in which we encounter challenges and struggles as we navigate the rich interpersonal territory of marriage and parenthood.

Courses I Teach:

  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Advanced Topics in Psychology: The Psychology of Parenthood
  • Personality Theories
  • Practicum I & II
  • The Psychology of Marriage and Relationships
  • Research Methods II

Shefali Misra, PhD

Assistant Professor of Political Science, Gender Studies Program Director

Contact Professor Misra

Saint Edmund's Hall 351
Box 151
View Full Profile

Ph.D. Brandeis University
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
B.A. University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India; ;

I joined Saint Michael's as an assistant professor of political science beginning with the Fall 2009 semester. I was formerly a financial and political journalist for four English-language national dailies in New Delhi, India, for 11 years. In that role I covered several ministerial meetings of the World Trade Organization in Singapore, Geneva and Seattle, and spent two years reporting for home newspapers from London, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, Bonn, Paris, and Singapore.

I was visiting assistant professor of political theory at Oberlin College for the 2008-2009 academic year.

Courses I Teach:

  • Introduction to Politics
  • Senior Seminar on Multiculturalism in Theory and Practice
  • Western Political Thought

Paul Olsen, Ed.D

Assistant Professor of Business Administration and Accounting

Contact Professor Olsen

Jeanmarie Hall 149E
Box 38
View Full Profile

B.A., Ed.D. University of Vermont
M.S.A., Saint Michael's College
Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification

I joined the Business Department in 1994. From 1994-2012, I was associate director of the Master of Science in Administration (MSA) program. Previously I was  Employee Benefits Manager and Assistant Director of Human Resources at the College. 

Courses I Teach:

  • Critical Thinking and Communication
  • Human Resource Management
  • Internship Practicum
  • Managerial Leadership

Susan Ouellette, PhD

Professor of History
View Curriculum Vitae

Contact Professor Ouellette

Durick Library 304
Box 136
View Full Profile

B.A. SUNY Plattsburgh
M.A., Ph.D. University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Areas of Expertise:

Early America, including the first settlement up to the American Revolution period; Native Americans; Immigration history, especially the experience of Francophones in the Northeast; Textiles history; Women’s history; diaries and memoirs.

Courses I Teach:

  • The Age of American Revolution, 1763-1815
  • American Society and Culture to 1865
  • History of the American Family
  • Native Peoples of North America
  • The Roots of American Society, 1607-1763
  • Senior Seminar
  • Topics in Women's History and the History of Gender
  • United States History to 1865
  • Women in American Society

My Saint Michael's:

I value the opportunity to work closely with students in the classroom as well as in internship and independent scholarship.

One of the unique opportunities that students at Saint Michael's have is the ability to use the physical world they see around them to study history; I like to incorporate local places, documents, structures, and people to bring class work to life. For instance, a short trip down into Winooski can give students a rare view of early industrial sites; a look at the Mill museum is a chance to imagine life in the beginning of the industrial age.

Jennifer Purcell, PhD

Department Chair, Associate Professor of History
View Curriculum Vitae

Contact Professor Purcell

Durick Library 309
Box Box 142
View Full Profile

Ph.D. University of Sussex, Britain
B.A., M.A. University of Colorado

Areas of Expertise:

Social and cultural history of 20th century Britain; women and national identity; gender; life history

Courses I Teach:

  • Cultural and Social History of Britain, 19th and 20th centuries
  • Europe in World War II
  • Honors Colloquium
  • Modern Europe
  • Senior Seminar
  • War and Gender in Britain

Kerry Shea, PhD

Associate Professor of English

Contact Professor Shea

Saint Edmund's Hall 339
Box Box 392
View Full Profile

M.A., Ph.D. Cornell University
B.A., M.A. Middlebury College;

Areas of Expertise:

I have published on women and film as well as Middle High German and Old Norse literature and am working on a book, Engendering Romance: Women and European Medieval Romance.

Courses I Teach:

I teach courses in film, early British Literature, mystery fiction, utopian fiction and women’s literature.

Lorrie Smith, PhD

American Studies Program Director, English Department Chair, Professor of English and American Studies
View Curriculum Vitae

Contact Professor Smith

Saint Edmund's Hall 337
Box 167
View Full Profile

M.A., Ph.D. Brown University
B.A. University of Massachusetts-Boston

Areas of Expertise:

African American literature, especially poetry

Courses I Teach:

  • African American Literature
  • American Literature I and II
  • First-Year Seminar on Race and Culture
  • Genres: Poetry; Senior Seminar on various topics (latest: Literature and the Blues)
  • The Middle Passage (Transatlantic Slave Trade in History, Memory, and Imagination)

My Saint Michael's:

My classes offer the opportunity to engage students in discussions of race, racism, African American literature and history. I have worked hard to develop strategies for safely approaching what can often be loaded material that challenges students' comfort zones. I often incorporate experiences that combine classroom study with activities in the community. This includes overnight field trips to Charlestown, Massachusetts with my First-Year Seminar course and a three-week service-learning program in Ghana with students from my Middle Passage class. Through these cross-cultural encounters, students have a chance to examine and enlarge their own perspectives. I am also a faculty member in the college’s American Studies program.

There is a real commitment here to teach the whole student. I enjoy having a chance to shape hungry young minds and develop personal relationships with students. Saint Michael's students have open minds and good hearts. They are very empathetic, kind, and friendly, and many are interested in finding ways to connect what they learn in classes to the larger world. They also have a strong desire to contribute to the community through service. My favorite class to teach is African-American Literature and The Middle Passage, because it's a chance to introduce our students to a tradition they know little about, and to push their comfort zones.

We encourage our student to be actively involved in contemporary gender issues and many of our students chose to do this through service learning opportunities. Some of our students intern and volunteer at places like Women Helping Battered Women, the Lund Family Center, and Women's Rape Crisis Center in Burlington.

Another way to get involved is to visit the Saint Michael's Center for Women and Gender. Located on the Saint Michael's campus, the Center for Women and Gender often hosts discussions on gender issues as well as pancake breakfasts for the Saint Michael’s community throughout the academic year. 

We also offer an exchange program with the University of Vermont. With permission of the program coordinator, you have the opportunity to take class in UVM's Women's Studies department. 

Our gender studies program will provide you with the key written and communication skills that will help you in finding a career after you graduate. Many of our graduates have chosen to pursue careers as counselors, AmeriCorps volunteers, elementary and high school teachers, psychologists, doctors and nurses.

Our graduates have also gone on to pursue advanced degrees in areas such as Psychology and Feminist Studies at graduate institutions such as Northeastern University, University of Rhode Island, and University of Minnesota.  

Learn What Matters