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Faculty Research

Faculty Research

In addition to being educators, our department’s faculty are researchers in the field of Women’s and Gender Studies. Below are just some of the examples of publications, books and art installations that our faculty have completed in the last year. 

Sarah J. Bloesch, “Flesh.” Critical Theory for Political Theology 2.0, Keyword Series. December 20, 2022.
This essay examines how Hortense Spillers, Anne Cheng, and Jack Halberstam conceptualize concepts of flesh. Spillers, Cheng, and Halberstam provide us with tools to approach the histories of violence, economics, relationships, desires, and contestation that infuse our experiences with flesh in its multiplicity. Flesh is never neutral.
Research Centre “Religion and Transformation in Contemporary Society” at the University of Vienna 
Research Cluster Member, “Transformation of Social Scientific Theories of Religion: Past, Present, Future.”

Theories of Religion are generalizations about religion, traditionally stemming from the broad field of the social sciences. Theorists maintain that they are in a position to account for religion wherever and whenever it appears by typically tracing the origins and/or function of religion. The former in most cases refer either to the historical (when, how, and why religion as a phenomenon first appeared in human history) or the recurrent origins (when, how, and why religion appears every time it does so in human history). The latter – which is by far the most common ones, especially after the nineteenth century – address what religion does either to the person(s) or to society as a whole. Usually, scholars of religion tend to focus on the founding figures of the study of religion (such as, F. Max Müller, E. B. Tylor, J. G. Frazer, Mircea Eliade, and others), covering a period between the seventeenth and the twentieth centuries. However, today scholars have indicated that a broad variety of theoretical approaches to religion have been developed and propagated throughout the world and from within a number of disciplines, from Women’s and Gender Studies to the Cognitive Study of Religion, with many historically underrepresented groups voicing new perspectives on and theories of religion as a phenomenon across time and space. Scholars collaborating in this cluster address this foundational topic in the academic study of religion from within an interdisciplinary outlook that is not hooked on modernist views alone but expands into and also employs postmodern perspectives broadly defined.

French, Allison M.; Else-Quest, Nicole M.; Asher, Michael; Thoman, Dustin B.; Smith, Jessi L.; Hyde, Janet S.; et al. (2023): An Intersectional Application of Expectancy-Value Theory in an Undergraduate Chemistry Course. SAGE Journals. Collection.

The underrepresentation of women and Black, Latinx, and Native Americans within the United States scientific workforce is a persistent and multifaceted problem warranting an intersectional approach. Applying intersectionality to the expectancy- value theory of motivation, we examined initial motivation and subsequent achievement among a sample of undergraduate students (N = 687) enrolled in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) gateway course of introductory chemistry at a diverse 4-year university. We found no racial/ethnic group differences in initial motivation, but small (d = .30) group differences in achievement. Results revealed a pattern of gender differences across both underrepresented (i.e., Black, Latinx, and Native American) and well-represented (i.e., White, Asian American) racial/ethnic groups such that, relative to men, women began the class with lower levels of confidence about their performance, but greater utility value and attainment value in learning chemistry. Consistent with expectancy-value theory, motivation at the beginning of the semester positively predicted final exam scores across gender and racial/ethnic intersectional groups. For Black, Latinx, and Native American students, attainment value was an especially strong predictor of subsequent achievement. Our findings point to the need to cultivate social contexts within undergraduate STEM education that promotes all aspects of science motivation among students from underrepresented groups.

Else-Quest, N. M., French, A. M., & Telfer, N. A. (2022, June 13). The Intersectionality Imperative: Calling in Stigma and Health Research. Stigma and Health. Advance online publication.

In drawing attention to the power, privilege, and inequities embedded in multiple interconnected social categories like gender, race, and class, intersectionality is a critical theory and approach well-suited to stigma and health research. With deep historical roots in 19th century Black feminism, intersectionality has traveled generatively across diverse disciplines. Like stigma, intersectionality is fundamentally about the power conferred by our social context. Like stigma research, intersectional research ultimately aims to rectify inequities and promote the well-being of members of stigmatized or marginalized groups. Using an intersectional approach in stigma and health can guide research aims; prompt new questions, and reframe, reconceptualize, or discover psychological phenomena or processes, as well as empower members of stigmatized groups and address disparities and inequities. It can be deployed to think innovatively about
differences, similarities, connections, and coalitions among intersectional groups, or to analyze how institutions perpetuate disparities. Acknowledging the important contributions made by stigma and health research within an intersectional approach, we call in stigma and health researchers who either question intersectionality’s relevance to their work or want to explore its applicability or feasibility. Reflecting on some of the debates within intersectionality scholarship around what intersectionality is, who it is for, and how it can be implemented, we also point to future directions for research. We affirm the intersectional imperative to identify and rectify inequities and disparities that construct and result from intersecting systems of oppression, while acknowledging a diversity of interpretations and methods that embrace that guiding principle.

Else-Quest, N., & Hyde, J. S. (2022). The psychology of women and gender: Half the human experience +.

With clear, comprehensive, and cutting-edge coverage, The Psychology of Women and Gender: Half the Human Experience + delivers an authoritative analysis of classical and up-to-date research from a feminist, psychological viewpoint. Authors Nicole M. Else-Quest and Janet Shibley Hyde examine the cultural and biological similarities and differences between genders, noting how these characteristics can affect issues of equality. Students will come away with a strong foundation for understanding the dynamic influences of gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity in the context of psychology and society. The Tenth Edition further integrates intersectionality throughout every chapter, updates language for more transgender inclusion, and incorporates new content from guidelines put forth from the American Psychological Association.

Sun, S., Else-Quest, N. M., Hodges, L. C., French, A. M., & Dowling, R. (July 03, 2021). The Effects of ALEKS on Mathematics Learning in K-12 and Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis. Investigations in Mathematics Learning, 13, 3, 182-196.

As remote learning technologies play an increasingly larger role in education, clear evidence of effectiveness is needed for widely used online learning technologies, such as Assessment and LEarning in Knowledge Spaces (ALEKS). By adapting to individual students’ knowledge states and personalizing interactive practice and feedback, ALEKS may potentially support learning in mathematics, which is foundational for success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields. Given the mixed findings about the effects of ALEKS in previous research, we conducted a meta-analysis to examine if ALEKS was as effective as traditional instruction in mathematics education. Our analysis included 56 independent effect sizes obtained from 9,238 students in K-12 schools and institutions of higher education participating in 33 research studies between 2000 and August 2020. Results indicated that learning performance with ALEKS was comparable to that with traditional instruction

Else-Quest, N. M.  & Hyde, J. S.  (2021).  Intersectionality and quantitative methods in psychology. In S. Crasnow & K. Intemann (Eds.), Routledge Handbook on Feminist Philosophy of Science.

The Routledge Handbook of Feminist Philosophy of Science is a comprehensive resource for feminist thinking about and in the sciences. Its 33 chapters were written exclusively for this Handbook by a group of leading international philosophers as well as scholars in gender studies, women’s studies, psychology, economics, and political science.

Vigil, A. (2022). New Latinx/Chicanx Thought. In M. Szurmuk & D. Castillo (Eds.), Latin American Literature in Transition 1980–2018 (Latin American Literature in Transition, pp. 185-199). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108976459.013

“New Latinx/Chicanx Thought”: “This chapter highlights three aspects of recent Chicanx and Latinx literature and scholarship. The first section looks at the adoption of the letter’x’ in the terms Latinx and Chicanx. The latter sections examine how the issues of representation, inclusion, and visibility raised through the use of the term ‘Latinx’ are also reflected in recent publications by Latinx writers.”

An Essay about Prof. Susan HArbage Page’s artwork ‘Passport’
“Passport”, by Deborah Willis, Edited by Teka Selman. Southern Cultures Journal, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2020, pp.78-79 (article)

Artist Susan Harbage Page uses her US passport (collaged here) to explore her relationship to citizenship, mobility, and access. This self-reflexive art piece figures gold leaf as a signifier of treasured possession and links notions of worth and wealth with inclusion in the body politic and privilege. Page’s choice of material calls to mind illuminated manuscripts and sacred paintings, the precious metal reserved for depictions of what was most revered—the divine, sainted, and celestial. A malleable element imagined alchemical. A color evoking worth(iness), currency, fortune, and means. By gilding her passport, Page renders its emblematic privileges into an explicit “golden ticket.”

A newspaper about Prof. Susan HArbage Page’s Art Installation ‘Prop Master’
How artists and arts institutions lead the conversation on race in America“, by Adam Parker, Post and Courier, Charleston, SC, July 25, 2020

That installation by Juan Logan and Susan Harbage Page was a brutally honest interpretation of the Gibbes’ holdings and history. It brought to the surface the institution’s ingrained biases and its failures, revealing at the same time aspects of Charleston culture that generally are hidden away or ignored. It was the museum’s great reckoning with its identity, mission and history. Since then, the Gibbes has added many works by Black artists to its collection, hosted public conversations about race and art, provided support to local artists, acknowledged an array of noteworthy artists through its 1858 Prize for Contemporary Southern Art, and more.

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