Jaime Harker, Ph.D.
Director and Professor of English
Jaime Harker is professor of English and the director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi, where she teaches American literature, LGBTQ literature, and gender studies. She has published essays on Japanese translation, popular women writers of the interwar period, Oprah’s book club, William Faulkner, Cold War gay literature, and women’s liberation and gay liberation literature. She is the author of America the Middlebrow: Women’s Novels, Progressivism, and Middlebrow Authorship Between the Wars and Middlebrow Queer: Christopher Isherwood in America, and the co-editor of The Oprah Affect: Critical Essays on Oprah’s Book Club, 1960s Gay Pulp Fiction: The Misplaced Heritage, This Book Is an Action: Feminist Print Culture and Activist Aesthetics,and Faulkner and Print Culture. Her third monograph, The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon, was released in the fall of 2018 by the University of North Carolina Press.
Theresa Starkey, Ph.D.
Associate Director and Instructional Associate Professor of Gender Studies
Theresa Starkey is the associate director and an instructional associate professor in gender studies for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies. Her Ph.D. is in American Studies from Emory University and she was a double major in history and film at Georgia State University. Her writing has appeared in Bright Lights Film Journal, The Oxford American, Mississippi Review, storySouth and elsewhere. She is currently co-editing a collection of essays with Deborah Barker entitled Detecting the South in Fiction, Film and Television. In addition to teaching the Introduction to Gender Studies course, she teaches Gender and Sexuality in Cinema, Gender Studies Methodology, and other courses.
Kimberly Chandler, Ph.D.
Instructional Assistant Professor of African American and Gender Studies
Kimberly J. Chandler teaches online for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and the Department of African American Studies. She has a PhD in Communication Studies from Wayne State University. Her work focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and gender performance. Her primary research areas are African American masculinities and the performance of gender along with Black women and identity. She has published chapters in The Beyoncé Effect: Connecting Gender, Race and Body Politics, The Problematic Tyler Perry, and Masculinity in the Black Imagination, which each examine the unique ways African Americans negotiate race/ethnicity and gender as embodied utterances within the dominant society. Her latest creative work entitled, “NOLA Black Pride: A Multimedia Exhibition”, featured photographic art and ethnographic narratives from the research project entitled “Performing Resistance in the Big Easy: Social Justice and the African American LGBTQ Community in New Orleans.” An artist for over 25 years, she continues performing her staged autocritography, “Confessions of an exSuperwoman” while working on its sequel, “Never Land” premiering in 2020.
Leslie Delassus, Ph.D.
Instructional Assistant Professor of Film and Gender Studies
Leslie DeLassus is an online instructor for the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies and for the Department of Theatre and Film. Her courses include Gender and Sexuality in Cinema, Comedy in Film, and Drama in Film. Leslie has a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Iowa an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin, and a B.A. in History from Georgia State University. She has published chapters in Australian and American Cinemas: International Perspectives and The Image in Early Cinema: Form and Material, which examine the relationship between the practices of film preservation and film history. Since teaching online courses for Ole Miss, she has become interested in incorporating film-related archival material into her online course curriculum.
Elizabeth Venell, Ph.D.
Instructional Assistant Professor of Gender Studies
Elizabeth Venell has a PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Emory University, and a BA in Gender Studies and Psychology from Northwestern University. During both degrees, she completed concentrations in Film and Media Studies, bringing together my interests in gender and sexuality, feminism, and film in as many configurations as I could manage. Her dissertation research was on queer cinema, particularly experimental film and video work, so she spent several years pursuing an interest in obscure and unconventional films. As that project was coming to a close, it gave way to a long-simmering interest in horror. Like queer cinema, horror often explores issues relating to gender, sexuality, and the body, performs incisive cultural criticism, and comes with the added bonus of featuring more women protagonists. Before joining the faculty at University of Mississippi, she taught Film Studies, Gender Studies, and Writing courses at universities around Atlanta. Most recently, she taught classes in sexuality studies for the Interdisciplinary Department at Kennesaw State University.
Hilary Coulson, Ph.D.
Visiting Assistant Professor of History and Gender Studies
Hilary Coulson received her Ph.D. in history at the University of California, San Diego. She specializes in the history of institutions in the Antebellum South with a particular focus on gender and race within early prisons and universities. Her work on incarcerated motherhood appeared in an edited volume on women in prison, Incarcerated Women: A History of Struggles, Oppression, and Resistance in American Prisons. Her more recent work on media representations of women convicted of murder in the 19th century can be found in Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. Coulson has presented her work and organized panels at the American Historical Association’s annual conference and the Western Association of Women Historians. She is currently pursuing her first book project that examines Virginia’s early penitentiary system and how it intertwined with the deeply rooted system of slavery in the Antebellum period. Her current work explores themes of gender and race and traces the development of infrastructure from the Early Republic leading up to the Civil War. A tributary of this work includes an examination of early universities in the Antebellum South and is being developed with a co-author at Johns Hopkins University who studies education. She values the importance of interdisciplinary work and strives to include a broad humanities approach to research as well as teaching.
Sarah Heying, MFA
Graduate Instructor of Gender Studies
Sarah Heying is a PhD student in English Literature at the University of Mississippi, where she researches lesbian and trans aesthetics in periodicals, comix, and genre fiction from the 1970s to now, with a particular focus on literature written in or about the South and the Midwest. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from McNeese State University and a BA in Cultural Studies from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her journalism and creative writing have appeared in Lambda Literary, Bitch, Sinister Wisdom, Broken Pencil, Ellipsis, and elsewhere, and her short story, "The Chairkickers' Tale," won the 2019 Robert Watson Fiction Award from The Greensboro Review. For two years, Sarah was President of OUTGrads, the graduate and professional LGBTQ organization on campus. She is currently serving on the board for Glitterary: A Southern Queer Literary Festival.
Kevin Cozart, M.A.
Operations Coordinator and Coordinator of Community Engaged Learning and Research
Kevin Cozart joined our staff in July 2007 as a staff assistant. A native Mississippian, he has been a member of the University’s staff since 2004 and has served on the the University’s Staff Council, advisor for the UM Pride Network, president of the Graduate Student Council, and co-director of the ALLIES program. A UM gradate, Kevin holds Master’s degrees in Journalism with an Integrated Marketing Communications emphasis and Higher Education and Student Personnel with a minor in Gender Studies. He has also taught a section of the First Year Experience Class (EDHE 105), Academic Skills for College (EDHE 101 & 303), and Gender Studies classes. He is the winner of the 2019 UM Lift Every Voice Award. His research interests focus on gender and sexuality with regards to mass media and journalism as a gendered organization.
Graduate Assistant for Research
Hooper Schultz is a second year M.A, student at the Center for the Study of Southern Culture. His research focuses on the Queer South, and the history of LGBTQ activism in North Carolina. Hooper is the student caucus co-chair for this year's SEWSA conference at the University of Mississippi, and he is the Secretary of OUTGrads, the graduate and professional student LGBTQ organization on campus.
Graduate Assistant for Marketing and Publications
Kristin Teston is a PhD student at the University of Mississippi’s English Department, where she specializes in twentieth and twenty-first century American literature and culture. Her dissertation project focuses the narrative and visual representations of ruin in the U.S. South. She explores how humans have reshaped the climate and the natural landscape and how literature and film reflect on that creation and destruction. She also serves as the Professionalization Chair on the Emerging Scholars Organization Executive Council for the Society for the Study of Literature.
Julie Enszer, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor of Gender Studies
Julie R. Enszer, PhD, is a scholar and a poet. Her book manuscript, A Fine Bind, is a history of lesbian-feminist presses from 1969 until 2009. Her scholarly work has appeared or is forthcoming in Southern Cultures, Journal of Lesbian Studies, American Periodicals, WSQ, and Frontiers. She is the author of four poetry collections, Avowed (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2016), Lilith’s Demons (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2015), Sisterhood (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2013) and Handmade Love (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2010). She is editor of The Complete Works of Pat Parker (Sinister Wisdom/A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2016), which won the 2017 Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and Milk & Honey: A Celebration of Jewish Lesbian Poetry (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2011), which was a finalist for the 2012 Lambda Literary Award in Lesbian Poetry. She has her MFA and PhD from the University of Maryland. Enszer edits and publishes Sinister Wisdom, a multicultural lesbian literary and art journal, and a regular book reviewer for the The Rumpus and Calyx. You can read more of her work at www.JulieREnszer.com.
Jaime Hovey, Ph.D.
Adjunct Instructor of Gender Studies
Jaime Hovey lives in Chicago and teaches online for OleMiss. She is also a musician and a parent. She currently works on trans masculinity and codes of virtue (chivalry, gallantry) in 20th and 21st literary, film, television, and video game texts.