Faculty Profile

Global Studies Faculty

Michael Bosia, PhD

Associate Professor of Political Science

M.A., Ph.D. Northwestern University
B.A. California State University

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

My Saint Michael's:

Staying focused on the ethics of political action keeps me grounded in events, and working on campus and in the classroom helps me evaluate my research, assess my writing, and share my interests.  Teaching brings my research and professional experience into conversation with students as they develop their own sense of ethics and knowledge. Before starting doctoral studies, I was a staff director in the California State Senate working with communities affected by HIV/AIDS, which drove my interest in marginalization, social movements, and the state. 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

I am interested in politics at the intersection of global and  local, especially where grassroots movements connect with and contest the nation-state. This includes activism addressing issues of identity, like race, gender, and sexuality, questions of marginalization and citizenship, and processes of community building and participation, such as those evident in responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and more recently in the new politics of food.  These concerns touch on theories of democratic practice, postcolonial politics, economic and political reform, and political accountability.  As well, they are specifically linked to the ethical nature of politics, and the role of culture, myths, and stories in social action.  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 where I have organized panels of scholarly research and roundtables on topics important to the profession.  I have served as Program Chair and President of the Organized Section on Sexuality and Politics at APSA.  I also speak frequently in the community and on campuses about LGBT politics, state homophobia, and the politics of food, in particular, the emerging food system in rural Vermont, where I lived for 10 years and was a co-founder of Claire's Restaurant and Bar.

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 recently 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.  I am currently working on two collections.  One is called 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 under contract at University of Toronto Press.  The other, co-edited with a colleague at SUNY-Albany, is called Homophobia Goes Global: States, Movements, and the Diffusion of Oppression, which the University of Illinois Press is scheduled to publish.  My own manuscript is called Children of the Revolution:  AIDS, Sexuality, and Citizenship in French Politics.

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 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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