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Sally Kitch

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Center Dir & Regents Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6505
Distinguished Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6403
Center Dir & Regents Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 6505
Biography

University Professor and Regents' Professor, Women and Gender Studies, School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Founding Director, Institute for Humanities Research; Founder, Humanities Lab at ASU; Foundation Professor; Dean's Distinguished Humanities Professor; Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Wrigley Global Institute for Sustainability; Affiliated Faculty, Piper Center for Creative Writing, School for the Future of Innovation in Society

Bio

Sally L. Kitch is University and Regents' Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, founding Director of the Institute for Humanities Research and of the Humanities Lab at ASU.  She is also a  Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at the Wrigley Institute for Sustainability at Arizona State University and Affiliated Faculty with the Piper Center for Creative Writing and the School of Future Innovation in Society. 

Kitch came to ASU in 2006 from Ohio State University, where she was a Distinguished Humanities Professor of Women's Studies and chair of the Department of Women's Studies. Prof. Kitch specializes in three major research and teaching areas: 1) feminist theory, including the intellectual history of gender and racial ideology in the U.S. and other countries and the impact of gender representation in visual and narrative culture on the lived realities of diverse women's lives; 2) feminist epistemology, the epistemology of the humanities, and theories of interdisciplinary knowledge production; 3) environmental humanities, including the importance of the humanities to sustainability science and the relationshipi of sustainability to gender and racial ideologies.  

1) She has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory. Her most recent work involves the resistance of Afghan women leaders to their country's gender ideology.  Her book on that topic, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders, was published in 2014.  Her study of the history of race-gender intersectionality,  The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the U.S. (2009) won top-two recognition by the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association.  She has written three books about gender and utopias/utopianism: Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2000);  Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status (University of Illinois Press, 1989) and This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth (Ohio State University Press, 1993).  The latter have also won national prizes.

Reecent work in areas 2) and 3) includes a collaborative research project, "From Innovation to Progress: Addressing Hazards of the Sustainability Sciences, and an article, "How Can Humanities Interventions Promote Progress in the Environmental Sciences?"  Her work on the Humanities Lab includes expertise in the epistemology of the humanities and its impact on grand social challenges of our time.

 

 

 

 

 

Teaching Interests and Courses

As the founder and chair of two women's studies departments during her career, Professor Kitch has designed both undergraduate and graduate curricula and offered a wide range of courses in the intellectual history of Western feminism, contemporary feminist theory, and gender representation in visual and narrative culture. She has also taught in the areas of intersectionality and transnational feminism. In recent years, Professor Kitch has taught primarily graduate courses at Ohio State University and at Arizona State University. In spring 2012, she team-taught a graduate course on Gender, Religion, and Human Rights.  Her most recent teaching includes a team-taught course called "Sustaining Humans--A Humanities Lab," in Spring 2017.

 

Professional Service Activities

Professor Kitch served as President of the Faculty Women's Association at ASU in 2009-10, where she initiated a survey of faculty women's professional needs.  She is on the Faculty Advisory Board of the Origins Initiative at ASU and works with the Frankenstein Project and the Creation Project.  She initiated the development of the Nexus Digital and Computational Humanities Lab, which formally launched in 2013. She frequently reads manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses and serves as an external reviewer for tenure and promotion cases and women and gender studies departments and programs around the country and abroad. She has been active in the National Women's Studies Association, the Western Humanities Alliance, and the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), through which her work environmental humanities resulted in two Mellon Foundation grants between 2012 and 2015.  She now plays a leadership role in the Humanities for the Environment International Coalition resulting from that grant.

 

 

 

Fax
480-965-9199
Education

PhD, Emory University; MA University of Chicago; AB Cornell University (Phi Beta Kappa)

 

Research Interests

Professor Kitch's research focuses on gender and feminism through the analysis of a wide range of social and cultural narratives, including historical documents, political texts, and philosophical and religious treatises.  Through that work, she has developed theories of gender ideology in different time periods and settings.  She has also analyzed how those ideologies have been both enacted and resisted, often by feminist thought and activism.  She has published approximately 30 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and three of her six books have won national prizes.

Kitch has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory: Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2000); Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status (University of Illinois Press, 1989; winner, National Women’s Studies Association Book Award, 1987) and This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth (Ohio State University Press, 1993, winner, Helen Hooven Santmeyer Prize in Women’s Studies).  Her recent chapter on “Utopia” in Critical Terms for the Study of Gender (University of Chicago Press, 2014) demonstrates her role in creating utopianism as a sub-field in gender studies. 

Professor Kitch’s book on the historical grounding of the intersection of race and gender, The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States (SUNY Press, 2009) analyzes legal, scientific, historical, political, and religious narratives, from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century.  Through that analysis, Kitch demonstrates how racial ideology was constructed in the U.S. in gendered terms.  The gendered foundations of racial formation helped to provide an allegedly "natural" basis for biased racial characteristics and hierarchies.  Specter was a top-two finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association.   

Kitch's most recent book explores the resistance of Afghan women leaders to their country's gender ideology.   Her work with Afghan women leaders,  which began in 2001, led to the first U.S. conference featuring the views of Afghan women leaders, as well as three articles, one book chapter, and one book, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders (University of Illinois Press, 2014). 

Professor Kitch is also a scholar of interdisciplinarity as a definining characteristic of the field of women's and gender studies.  She has published several articles about interdisciplinarity research in the field (including “Feminist Interdisciplinary Approaches to Knowledge Building,” in The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, 2007).  She also co-edited an exemplar of such interdisciplinary study in Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges (1993).

In her role as Director of the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU (2006-2016) and as founder of the Humanities Lab at ASU, Kitch has promoted numerous interdisciplinary research and research-based pedagogical projects across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  The faculty working group she founded in 2007 on Humanities and Sustainability, along with her leadership of the Humanities for the Environment initiative in the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) resulted in two Mellon Foundation Grants to support an international project, Humanities for the Environment, 2012-15.  Kitch remains a PI for the North American Observatory of that project, which has continued and grown.  Because of that sustainability work, Kitch was named a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in the Wrigley Institute for Global Sustainability in 2014.

 

Publications
  • Sally L. Kitch. Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders. (2014).
  • Sally L. Kitch. Beyond Public Programming: Socially Engaged Research as a Humanities Mission. Western Humanities Reviews (2010).
  • Sally L. Kitch. The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States. (2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Letter to Linneaus About Race". Letters to Linneaus (2009).
  • Kitch, Sally L (Author) . Chapter 7: Interdisciplinarity. The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (2007).
  • Sally Kitch. Afghan Women Leaders Speak: An Academic, Activist Conference. NWSA Journal special issue on gender, war, and peace (2006).
  • Sally Kitch. PhD Programs and the Research Mission of Women's Studies: The Case for Interdisciplinarity. Feminist Studies (2003).
  • Sally Kitch. Claiming Success: From Adversity to Responsibility in Women's Studies. NWSA Journal (2002).
  • . . Review of: Celibacy, Culture, and Society: The Anthropology of Sexual Abstinence (2002).
  • Kitch, Sally L (Author) . Feminist Future Thought: The Dangers of Utopia. Feminist Utopias: Redefining Our Projects (2002).
  • Kitch, Sally L. Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in Feminist Thought and Theory. (2000).
Research Activity
Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 590Reading and Conference
WST 592Research
WST 593Applied Project
WST 599Thesis
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 795Continuing Registration
WST 799Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
HON 394Special Topics
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 590Reading and Conference
WST 592Research
WST 593Applied Project
WST 599Thesis
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 498Pro-Seminar
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 592Research
WST 593Applied Project
WST 599Thesis
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 795Continuing Registration
WST 799Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 795Continuing Registration
WST 799Dissertation
Summer 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 795Continuing Registration
WST 799Dissertation
Summer 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 690Reading and Conference
WST 790Reading and Conference
WST 792Research
WST 795Continuing Registration
WST 799Dissertation
Summer 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 790Reading and Conference
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
WST 492Honors Directed Study
WST 493Honors Thesis
WST 499Individualized Instruction
WST 792Research
WST 799Dissertation
Presentations
  • Sally L. Kitch and Mary Margaret Fonow. Dissertation Writing Workshop. National Women's Studies Association (Nov 2012).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Intersectionality and Gendered Racialization: New Coalitional Paradigms". National Women’s Studies Association national conference (Nov 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "The Historical Role of Gender in Defining Race in American Culture". Higgins School of Humanities: Difficult Dialogues Speaker Series (Apr 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch Mary Margaret Fonow. "Producing the Women’s Studies PhD: From Characteristics to Possibilities". Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS 3) Conference, Univ (Mar 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Why Feminist Epistemology is Feminist,". Colloquium co-sponsored by ASU College of Law and IHR (Mar 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. The Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation: A Narrative History. IHR Faculty Seminary Series (Nov 2008).
  • Sally L. Kitch. Spoken ‘About’ But Not ‘With’: The Missing Link Among Women?". American Studies Association National Conference, Albuquerque, NM (Oct 2008).
  • Kitch, Sally. Gendered National 'Identity Politics': The U.S. and Afghanistan. American Studies Association National Conference (Oct 2006).
  • Kitch, Sally. Transnational Feminist Politics. American Studies Association National Conference (Oct 2006).
  • Kitch, Sally. Afghan Women Leaders Speak: Conflict Mitigation and Social Reconstruction. Mershon Center, OSU (Nov 2005).
  • Kitch, Sally. Women's Studies PhDs and the Future of Feminist Research. National Council for Research on Women (Jun 2005).
  • Kitch, Sally. Feminist Methodological, Epistemological and Political Border Crossing. Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, Sciences Studies Interdisciplinary Conference (Nov 2004).
  • Kitch, Sally. Gender in the Rhetoric of Race. Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) National Conference (Oct 2003).
  • Kitch, Sally. Theorizing Multiculturalism: From Utopianism to Critical Realism. American Studies Association National Conference (Nov 2001).
  • Kitch, Sally. PhDs and the Research Mission of Women's Studies: The Case for Interdisciplinarity. NWSA Annual Meeting (Jun 2001).
  • Kitch, Sally. Feminist Future Thought: The Dangers of Utopia. international conference, "Feminist Utopias: Redefining Our Projects" (Nov 2000).
  • Kitch, Sally. Professionalization in Women's Studies: Problems and Possibilities. NWSA (Jun 2000).