Women at AU
Women's Studies : Faculty and Staff

Professor of Art History Martha Anderson is in the midst of an ongoing research project on Jonathan Adagogo Green, Nigeria’s first photographer, who worked in the late 1800s.

Anderson traveled to Jamaica over spring break to interview the Ijaw people about Green’s photographs and will travel to Sierra Leone this summer to do more research. She believes that photography includes a rich sense of history and reveals important information about culture, which effects developments in many other areas of study.

Anderson is teaching Women in Art this semester. The course looks at early African and Native American women’s art and continues through history to the feminist movement of the 1970s.

Dr. Cecilia BeachDr. Cecilia Beach, Associate Professor of French, Director of the Women's Studies Program, Cecilia’s research interests include French women’s theater and feminist novels of the nineteenth century. She is currently preparing a book on the works of the feminist and socialist novelists André Léo (1824-1900) and Marie-Louise Gagneur (1832-1902).  Recent publications on include “The Literary Culture of Workers, Women and Peasants in Novels by André Léo,” French Forum 36, no. 1 (2011): 1-21; “Savoir c'est pouvoir: Integral Education in the Novels of André Léo,” Nineteenth Century French Studies 36, no. 3-4 (2008): 270-285, and Staging Politics and Gender: French Women’s Drama, 1880-1923 (New York: Palgrave-Macmillan, 2005).

Dr. Bill Dibrell

Dr. Bill Dibrell, Professor of Philosophy, has been on the Women’s Studies faculty for 26 years. In fact, he introduced Women, Knowledge and Reality, a course focusing on feminist theory, to Alfred. He is also the only male professor to date to teach the introductory Women’s Studies course, Women in Society, and he still makes guest lecture appearances every year.

Currently, he is teaching two upper-level topics courses, Freedom and the second, Equality. One class read Amartya Sen’s Development as Freedom, which postulates that one of the only ways to develop a nation is to increase women’s rights. When asked if he feels women’s issues can be incorporated into his philosophy classes he replied, “I may teach Sartre, but I also teach Simone de Beauvoir.”

Dr. Elizabeth Ann DobieDr. Elizabeth Ann Dobie, Professor of Theory and BAFA Director, Chair of Human Studies

Arming her students with disposable cameras, Professor of Art Theory Beth Ann Dobie asked her honors class, appropriately titled Mirror, Mirror, to try to capture beauty on film. This and other creative assignments, such as using mirrors for introspective study, investigating how beauty is influenced by culture and rank ordering pictures of faces online, attempted to end the debate over whether beauty is subjective or objective.

When she’s not teaching or taking walks with her dog, Dobie enjoys attending the Bergren Forum. In the fall she gave a riveting lecture called “Women Artists, Feminist Art?” in which she discussed the connection between politics, art and feminism.

Dobie hopes to publish an article based on her Bergren lecture which would incorporate the different ways people have come to use the term “art” in society.

Dr. Vicki EaklorDr. Vicki Eaklor, Professor of History

Dr. Vicki Eaklor, has taught the required core course, Women in Society, nearly every year since 1985.  She loves keeping up with changes in the field and finds the most rewarding part is having “the chance every year to introduce new generations to the ideas of feminism.”

Her research often focuses on women, and LBT women figure prominently in her text, Queer America: A People’s GLBT History of the United States, released by The New Press in paper in 2011. Eaklor continues to be busy with different projects, from investigating the “wave” theory of feminism to researching and writing on lesbians in Hollywood films (“research” meaning watching a lot of movies).

Besides her work in History and Women’s Studies, Eaklor stays involved in Music, teaching percussion at AU and occasionally playing in the ensembles.  When not watching TV or movies she can be found on eBay searching for items for her latest avocation of collecting, building, and restoring drums.

Dr. Robyn GoodmanDr. Robyn Goodman, Professor of Communication Studies, insists that journalists need to do a better job covering women’s issues. Goodman makes an effort to keep WMST prominent in the classroom so even when she isn’t teaching a course based on women, she “feels a real commitment for people to understand the women in their lives.”

Goodman has brought Safe Zone training to campus to help create a safe environment for students with different sexual identities, and she is always searching for updated research to present in her Women, Minorities and the Media class.

After their first California marriage was overturned in 2004, Goodman recently re-married her long-term same-sex partner in 2008 in San Francisco. Now that Proposition 8, eliminating same-sex couples’ right to marry, has passed, it’s unclear whether her latest marriage will be overturned as well.

Dr. Larry GreilDr. Larry Greil, Professor of Sociology, has been involved with a major WMST research project . Funded by the National Institutes of Health, Greil and his fellow researchers are currently interviewing a nationwide random sample of women and their partners for what will become the first population-based study of infertility. This project focuses on both the "psychological effects of infertility and [the] patterns of infertility help-seeking." Greil has also coauthored several papers on the subject including the most recent, "Infertility: Testing a Helpseeking Model," which appeared in Social Science & Medicine in 2006. When he's not researching or engaging students in the classroom, Greil enjoys listening to jazz and reading the latest installment in Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch detective series.

Dr. Laura Greyson, Professor of Political Science

After having “one of the best semesters ever,” Professor of Political Science Laura Greyson observes that the 2008 election season was “the best time to be teaching political science because people were paying so much attention.”

In reflecting on her travels to Turkey this past summer, Greyson contrasts this more secular society, where women aren’t allowed to wear head scarves in public buildings, with the more traditional culture in Morocco, which she had visited this previous summer.

Another contrast Greyson draws is that between her daughter’s college experience and her own; the culture, lifestyle and the quality of relationships have changed, she says, since texting and Facebook have become so accessible.

Dr. Allen GroveDr. Allen Grove, Associate Professor of English , says that at his company, Whitlock Publishing, “Most of what I’m publishing is women’s stuff.” He is currently working on getting Dainsbury House, “a Victorian novel about alcoholism and abstinence,” back into print. Grove’s edition of the Gothic novel The Monk will come out soon from Barnes and Noble.

Grove attended a First Year Experience conference in Florida this semester. “It was seventy degrees and sunny; a real drag” he says.

Grove continues to teach women writers in all of his classes, and this semester he is teaching a course on his favorite author, titled Jane Austen and Her Contemporaries.

When he is not teaching, Grove “moonlights” as the guide for college admissions on About.com. Of his children, Nathan, 7, and Abby, 4, Grove says, “They always keep me busy.”

Amy JacobsonAmy Jacobson, Director of Gift Planning, together with Graduate Assistant Stephanie Fukes and Professor of Sociology Karen Porter, has analyzed the results of last spring's Campus Action Project (CAP), Finding the Line, a sexual harassment survey conducted at AU. She and members of the CAP team have presented their research to the regional and state chapters of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Jacobson will also present and co-facilitate a session titled "Building Women's Leadership and Activism on Campus" at the National Women's Studies Association's conference this summer. Jacobson has a son, Nathan,, and a daughter, Abigail.


Dr. Kerry KautzmanDr. Kerry Kautzman, Associate Professor of Spanish, Chair of the Division of Modern Languages hit the ground running in the fall of 2008 as the new Director of Women’s Studies. Last semester, she brought three students to the Seneca Falls Dialogues Biannual Conference. Through events like the conference and WMST lunches, Kautzman hopes to foster more of a sense of community among the Women’s Studies minors.

As for her own scholarship, Kautzman presented a paper in the fall at the International Conference on Masculinities, Femininities, and More, an Interdisciplinary Conference on Gender and the Humanities. Kautzman’s paper was titled “Femininity versus Queer Ideol­ogy in My Mother Likes Women and Beatriz and the Celestial Bodies.”

Kautzman has also taught her first Honors class, Purity and Porn, in which students discuss, among many other things, what effects participating in and viewing pornography have on women.

Dr. Susan MayberryDr. Susan Mayberry, Professor of English

“I followed Dame Maggie Smith into a drug store once,” Professor of English Susan Mayberry reveals. When she’s not following famous thespians, Mayberry enjoys writing and researching. Can’t I Love What I Criticize?, a book on Toni Morrison’s representation of masculinity, came out this past fall.

She continues to teach one of her favorite, and most popular courses, Shakespeare in Cinema. She has also accompanied Alfred students to Stratford, Ontario, for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, one of her favorite events of the year.

Laurie McFaddenLaurie McFadden, Herrick Librarian and University Archivist

When she’s not hiking in the summer or snow-shoeing in the winter, Herrick Librarian and University Archivist Laurie McFadden is reading. One of the several books she is interested in is Jailed for Freedom, the testimony of 1920’s suffragist Doris Stevens.

McFadden explains that there is a lot of “hidden history” at Alfred; Abigail Allen and Ella Eaton Kellogg, she says, were just a few prominent female figures that attended the University. She hopes to do more teaching, possibly a research or honors class on the subject, in the near future.

McFadden’s minor in WMST helped raise her awareness of women’s issues, which she brings up with her growing 13-year-old son, Sawyer. She is the treasurer of her son’s Boy Scout Troop and the president of the local histori­cal society for Baker’s Bridge, known today as Alfred Station.

Mary McGee, Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences brings a rich background in both religious studies and WMST to her new position at Alfred. McGee, who worked as an administrator and professor at Columbia and Vassar before Alfred, used to teach two WMST courses—Women in Religion and The Feminine in Indian Tradition.

McGee has worked with Madhu Kishwar, founder and editor of Manushi, the oldest feminist journal in India, on getting the journal articles into books. McGee also once held a workshop in India on women’s health and traditional medicine, with a focus on how allopathic (Western) medicine can be influenced by traditional medicine.

McGee says, “Most of my writings have to do with women and gender issues.” McGee is a member of the WMST faculty committee at Alfred, which she enjoys “partly because it is so democratic—we can all be involved.”

Dr. Susan MorehouseProfessor Susan Morehouse, Professor of English, Chair of the Division of English

While neither of the courses Professor of English Susan Morehouse is currently teaching are WMST specific, she explains that she “always teaches as a feminist because she can’t just check it at the door.”

Morehouse is currently working on a number of stories about the relationship between mothers and daughters and explains that “motherhood is the relationship through which I see the world.” She has also written an essay titled “Trespasses,” which is due to be released in June.

This summer, Morehouse plans to expand her own knowledge while attending a Council on International Educational Exchange Faculty Development Seminar in Spain and Morocco. The seminar will explore the importance of crossing cultural boundaries and she hopes to bring this experience into her writing as well as her teaching. She believes it will always be important to “take the time to discuss the world from a woman’s perspective.”

Dr. Gary OstrowerDr. Gary Ostrower, Professor of History, has published many articles including one on the subject of “United Nations Women’s Conferences” that will appear in a collection about women to be published online by Facts on File in 2009.

Ostrower has also given a paper on the subject of inter-war foreign policy at a historical conference for high school teachers in the hometown of one of his presidential heroes, Harry Truman.

While ambitiously attempting to better his skiing performance last January in Park City, Utah, he did manage to avoid avalanches, but he didn’t avoid paying good money at the Sundance Film Festival to watch the worst film he has ever seen—Lunch Break, by Sharon Lockhart.

Julia Overton-Healy, Director of the Women’s Leadership Center “Today’s college students are going to be leading the country in twenty years"

Having joined Alfred University in January of 2009, Overton-Healy has been busy adjusting to the new environment and thinking up creative ways to inspire student leaders.

After Overton-Healy earned her Master’s Degree in Speech Communication from Eastern Illinois University, she began working in higher education and has been doing so for twenty years. She believes that women’s leadership capabilities are underused and that the world would benefit from recognizing the unique styles of leadership that women bring to the table. This is the belief that drives her to work with young women to build confidence and leadership skills.

Overton-Healy says that she is really enjoying the opportunity to engage with students and is excited about tapping into their wisdom and “helping them to take the next step into excellence.”

Dr. Karen PorterDr. Karen L. Porter, Professor of Sociology Chair of the Division of Social Science has been busy expanding her progress in service learning by requiring students in her Social Welfare Policy class to serve hours with a local agency. She’s also the faculty advisor of the students working with the Gary Horowitz Center for Service Learning on our campus.

This past fall, Porter helped organize a conference on Alfred’s campus called “Collaboration in Action: Coordinating Legal, Social and Community Based Services for Rural Families and Youth,” where she presented a talk called “Why (Not) Collaborate Now?”

Porter is currently directing a two-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Dr. Becky ProphetDr. Becky Prophet, Professor of Theater, isn’t working on political campaigns (she was Hillary Clinton’s greatest supporter), she enjoys teaching her honors class, Earth Works: The Nature of Life and Litera­ture, which was inspired by the local scenery. She is particularly interested in the relationships between authors and the environment and the impact the public has on nature.

Prophet continues to debunk the myth that the history of theater is reserved for “dead white guys” by insisting that her students learn about the roles women in theater have played “beyond acting.” She is currently teaching a Performance Lab in Improvisation course, where her students plan to write their own script and perform it at local schools.

Viewing free time as “something to fill,” Prophet recently took fourteen female students to a directing seminar at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Zakia Robana, Assistant Professor of French “Real feminists understand their society and work with it”

A product of post-revolutionary Tunisia, Robana attributes her love of education both to her mother and to the former President of Tunisia, Habib Bourguiba, whom she describes as “the father of the feminists.”

Although Bourguiba provided Tunisian women with several unprecedented rights such as access to education, chances to participate in government and opportunities to travel without male consent, it was Robana’s mother who encouraged her to reach her highest academic potential by telling her that an education leads to financial wealth, which in turn leads to freedom.

Robana continues to uncover and document the lives of pre-revolutionary Tunisian women like her mother and to annually attend the World Conference of Francophone Studies.

Dr. Melissa RyanDr. Melissa Ryan, Associate Professor of English, Co-Director of the First-Year Experience Program

The most exciting development in Assistant Professor of English Melissa Ryan’s life is her daughter, Lillian. “There aren’t enough feminists in the world, so I made one of my own,” Ryan jokes.

In Ryan’s fall class on Willa Cather, students wrestled with the question of whether or not Cather was a feminist. Ryan explains: “Cather was in some ways a New Woman who found New Women somewhat distasteful.”

Last summer, Ryan presented a paper at the Berkshire Conference on the History of Women. She also started an essay dealing with gender and racial passing, but was interrupted by Lillian’s early arrival. She looks forward to wrapping it up just as soon as Lillian gets interested in taking naps.

Dr. Pamela SchultzDr. Pamela Schultz, Associate Professor of Communication Studies, has been enjoying her sabbatical this semester. She is currently working on papers to present at two conferences coming up this year. The first paper, titled “A World of Made is not a World of Born: Neuroscience, Visual Rhetoric and the Monstrousness of Child Sexual Offenders” will be presented at the 31st Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health in New York City. “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Court of Popular Opinion: The Tension Between Science Law and Public Perception,” and “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Court: Technologies of Control and Predictions of Dangerousness,” which she co-authored with John Douard, will be presented at the 2009 Meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Philadelphia. Aside from the academic stuff, which Schultz claims, “really isn’t as stiflingly dull as it sounds,” she enjoys being with her family, which includes husband Brien Pye and kids Eileah and Brysen
Dr. Sandra Singer, Associate Professor of German

When Professor of German Sandra Singer isn’t teaching, she enjoys listening to NPR and learning about different global issues. Recently, she has become very interested in the water crisis around the world.

Also, Singer has found herself reading German literature that deals with women and aging. This topic, she says, interested her when she was in graduate school, and it’s the first time she has gotten back to it since then. The books, Singer admits, are a bit weird; one includes a scene of “women being churned up in a mill and spat out as young women.”

Singer also makes sure to find time to take walks with her dog and folk dance with students.

Dr. Robert SteinDr. Robert Stein, Associate Professor of Political Science, Director of the First-Year Experience Program

Discussion of race, as well as gender, plays a large part in Assistant Professor of Political Science Bob Stein’s research at the moment. Stein says, “One of my goals is to make everyone aware of having a race.” He is currently working on a pedagogy piece exploring how different people react to or are aware of race when viewing a popular rap music video. Stein is exploring the idea that white people as well as black people need to confront their racial past in a direct way, and that appreciation of rap and hip-hop may be an attempt to do that.

Stein has spent much time reading writer and civil and gay rights activist James Baldwin’s essays, and is writing a piece about how, despite Obama’s election to the presidency, we do not live in a “post-racial society.” Stein is also working on an analysis of all the State Senate candidates’ campaign websites, and he’s interested in what, if any, effect the websites had on the campaigns.

Dr. Frances ViggianiDr. Frances Viggiani, Associate Professor of Management, a longtime radical, continues to make gender issues a focus in College of Business classrooms. Her students "examine notions of 'male’ and 'female’ management styles," explore changing gender roles in the workplace and in the home, and discuss diversity in a global business environment." Her classes also address "the strains and successes of combining a corporate management role with managing a household" and consider how corporate policy could be shaped by "a vision for work-life integration." This semester, Viggiani presided over a joint meeting of her graduate class and the Women's Leadership Academy seminar, giving students an opportunity to discuss sexuality in the workplace. In her research, Viggiani continues to pursue questions raised in her doctoral dissertation, "Democratic Hierarchies in the Workplace." Her several works in progress use case studies to explore "cultures of democracy," analyzing the implications of corporate structure and asking, for example, "What does it mean if [a company] says it is a collective organization?" Proving that CoB professors are not necessarily conservative, Viggiani owns a surfboard and has taken surfing lessons.

Women's Studies: Faculty: Emeriti

Professor of English Emerita, Dr. Sharon Hoover, continues work on an extensive bibliography of Willa Cather's reading. "Her reading is not obtrusive in her writing," Hoover said, "but it lies just under the surface in almost every story and novel." Hoover and her partners for the project have compiled approximately 1,500 entries of seven fields each, which they hope to have "clearly presented and accurate" by this coming spring. The final product, however, will continue as a dynamic document; once it has been published on The Willa Cather Archive Web site (http://cather.unl.edu), other Cather scholars "who have studied particular novels in depth" will be able to submit further titles for addition into the bibliography.