Gender Studies

Saint Michael's Gender Studies

The Gender Studies program at Saint Michael’s College focuses on questions of gender and difference, the body and sexuality. As students investigate power relations, social inequalities, and modes of resistance, they consider how social constructs shape the production of knowledge in given fields at particular moments and locales.

Our courses also examine the ways in which naturalized gender norms influence everyday practices and manifest in the words we use, the clothing we wear, the popular culture we create or consume, the family structures we inhabit, and the laws and public policies we obey or defy. Our program pays particular attention to how gender and sexuality intersect with race, class, ethnicity, national belonging, and transnational movement(s).

The Gender Studies Program fosters awareness of the relationship between gender and culture — that is, between the ways in which culture shapes perceptions of femininity and masculinity, and how these perceptions interact with other aspects of culture. Gender Studies examines these processes in their historical and contemporary manifestations.

An interdisciplinary program, Gender Studies draws from a wide range of faculty and courses, including fine arts, liberal arts, humanities, social and natural sciences and pre-professional programs. Since much of culture is grounded in constructions of gender, issues examined in courses may encompass sexual identities and orientations, intersex and transgender issues, social practices, gender-influenced cultural productions and historical change. Courses across the curriculum may 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. The purpose of such academic exploration is to expand curricular possibilities that enable students to comprehend more fully the complex factors that shape their experiences of themselves, others and the world. Service learning and active engagement in contemporary gender issues are essent ial aspe cts of the Gender Studies Program.

Students can take a variety of courses at Saint Michael’s or, with permission of the coordinator, take courses through our exchange program in Women’s Studies at the University of Vermont.


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 course Liberal Studies course
  Electives    Electives 
Fall Spring
EN 325  Critical Theory PH 352 Philosophy and Feminism
  Gender Studies elective    Gender Studies elective  
  Junior Seminar    Elective 
Elective Elective
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. 

* For students who enroll in the fall of 2018.

** 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
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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.  


Maura D'Amore, PhD

English Department Chair, Program Director for American Studies and Gender Studies, Professor of English and American Studies

Contact Professor D'Amore

Saint Edmund's Hall 331
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Ph.D., English (specialization: American Literature to 1900), with a five-course minor in American Studies, UNC-Chapel Hill
B.A., Classics and Literatures & Cultures, Brown University

Areas of Expertise:

literary geographies, print culture, gender studies, and American Studies.

Kathryn Dungy, PhD

Associate Professor of History
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Contact Professor Dungy

Durick Library 307
Box 344
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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

Crystal L'Hôte, PhD

Associate Professor of Philosophy

Contact Professor L'Hôte

Saint Edmund's Hall 238
Box 376
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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 democratic 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.

Shefali Misra, PhD

Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science

Contact Professor Misra

Saint Edmund's Hall 351
Box 398
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Ph.D. Brandeis University
M.A. Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
B.A. University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, India;

I have taught at Saint Michael’s College since 2009, before which I taught briefly at Oberlin College, Ohio. My research relates to the challenges of combining diversity with the civic cohesion demanded by democracy, both from the perspective of designated “outsiders” and of “members” who collectively make decisions about bestowing or withholding membership. UntiI 2000, I was a financial and political journalist for four English-language national dailies in New Delhi, India, for 11 years. In that role I traveled widely and wrote about international relations, and especially the politics of global trade. During that time, I reported for my home newspapers from Singapore, Geneva, London, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, Bonn, Paris, and Seattle. My teaching of political theory and practice is thoroughly informed by this professional experience of “real” world politics and as well as the personal experience of spending over half of my life in the world’s most diverse developing country. I always strive to give students a flavor of the reality of the world in which we live and how that both shapes and circumscribes the possibilities of the world that we might one day live in.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Political Theory and History of Political Thought
  • International Relations and Political Economy

Courses I Teach:

  • (Modern) Western Political Thought 
  • Multiculturalism in Theory and Practice
  • Introduction to Politics
  • Feminist Political Thought
  • Democracy and its Critics
  • Identity in Politics
  • Introduction to International relations
  • Politics of the World Economy

Research Interests:

History of Political Thought, Liberal political thought, Rousseau’s Political thought, Democracy and diversity, Nationalism and citizenship, Politics of identity. My publications are in the fields of liberalism, multiculturalism, and Rousseau’s political thought and my current research is on the relationship between democracy, liberalism, and nationalism.

Susan Ouellette, PhD

Professor of History
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Contact Professor Ouellette

Durick Library 304
Box 136
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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.

Kerry Shea, PhD

Associate Professor of English

Contact Professor Shea

Saint Edmund's Hall 339
Box Box 392
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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.

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.  

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