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Headshot of Suzanna Walters

Professor of Sociology; Professor and Director of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Dr. Suzanna Danuta Walters’ work centers on questions of gender, feminist theory and politics, sexuality, and popular culture and she is a frequent commentator on these issues for the media. Her most recent book, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality (NYU Press), explores how notions of tolerance limit the possibilities for real liberation and deep social belonging. This book has been the subject of numerous radio and press interviews and discussions, which can be heard and read on her website www.suzannawalters.com. Walters’ previous book, All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America (University of Chicago Press, 2001), examined the explosion of gay visibility in culture and politics over the past 15 years and raised pressing questions concerning the politics of visibility around sexual identity. The book was a finalist for several literary awards (including the Lambda Literary Award). Her other works include books on feminist cultural theory (Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory), mothers and daughters in popular culture (Lives Together/Worlds Apart: Mothers and Daughters in Popular Culture) and numerous articles and book chapters on feminist theory, queer theory and LGBT studies, and popular culture. She is currently working on a book examining the state of both feminist theory and politics in an era of “call-out feminism” and intense social media attention.

Walters also contributes regularly to more public venues and has written for The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the LA Times, and the Baltimore Sun, among others. In 2004, Walters founded the first in the nation Ph.D. program in gender studies at Indiana University, where she was a professor of gender studies and held positions in sociology and communication and culture. Previously, Walters was professor of sociology and director of women’s studies at Georgetown University. She was also a visiting senior scholar at the Center for Narrative Research at the University of East London. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 

  • Education

    Ph.D., 1990
    The Graduate Center, City University of New York 

  • Contact

  • Address

    351 Meserve Hall
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

Courses

Course catalog
  • This interdisciplinary course offers debates around sex, gender, sexuality, and the body that push beyond binary models reliant on a simple “nature/culture” distinction. Focuses on dynamic and variable aspects of sexuality, sex, and gender within and across cultures, representational forms, and historical periods, analyzing the circumstances in which they undergo significant challenge or transformation. Uses particular paradigmatic “case studies” to push hard at the boundaries of sex and gender as they circulate in specific discourses of feminism, queer theory, and poststructuralism; ethnic studies; critical race theory; and cultural studies.

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