Affiliated Faculty


Aileen Ajootian, Ph.D.

Professor of Classics and Art and former Chair of the Department of Classics Ajootian received her Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr. Her research interests are Greek and Roman Sculpture, Mythical Iconography, and Mediterranean Archaeology.


Michèle Alexandre, JD

Jessie D. Puckett, Jr., Lecturer and Associate Professor of Law


Deborah Barker, Ph.D.

Former Director of the Sarah Isom Center and Associate Professor of English Barker holds a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her teaching and research interests include gender theory and criticism and 19th- and 20th-century American literature.

RoSusan Bartee, Ph.D.

Professor of Leadership and Counselor Education Bartee received her Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She teaches foundation courses in K-12 leadership education. Her research interests include areas related to equity and access in public education.


Melissa Bass, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Public Policy Leadership A graduate of Brandeis University, Dr. Bass teaches classes on the foundations of public policy, civic engagement, and research methods in public policy.


Allison Burkette, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Linguistics Dr. Burkette earned her Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Georgia. She teaches courses in American English, sociolinguistics, and language and gender. Her research interests include language variation and Appalachian English.


Joe Turner Cantú, MFA

Associate Professor of Scene Design


Kate M. Centellas, Ph.D.

Croft Assistant Professor of Anthropology & International Studies


Yunhee Chang, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Nuitrition and Hospitality Management A graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Dr. Change’s areas of interest are welfare and poverty, consumer finance and economic demography.


Barbara Combs, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Sociology


Deirdre Cooper Owens, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History A graduate of UCLA, Cooper Owens research interests are race, gender, medicine, and slavery. She is currently working on a manuscript that chronicles the socio-medical lives of enslaved and Irish-immigrant women during the antebellum era.


Kirsten Dellinger, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Sociology and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology She joined the The University of Mississippi in 1998 after receiving her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin the same year. Her research and teaching interests include gender, sexuality, work, and qualitative methods.


Michelle Emanuel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Library Science and Interim Head of Cataloging She is also co-director of the annual Oxford Film Festival.


Beth Ann Fennelly, MFA

Director of the MFA in Creative Writing Program and Associate Professor of English Fennelly has received a 2003 National Endowment for the Arts Award and a 2006 United States Artist Grant. She’s published three books of poetry, all from W. W. Norton: Open House, which won The 2001 Kenyon Review Prize, the GLCA New Writers Award, and was a Book Sense Top Ten Poetry Pick; Tender Hooks, and Unmentionables. Great With Child, a book of nonfiction, was published by Norton in 2006.

Amy Fisher

Amy Fisher, JD

Associate Professor of Social Work


Ann Fisher-Wirth, Ph.D.

Professor of English A graduate of Claremont Graduate School, Dr. Fisher-Wirth focuses on 20th Century American Literature and Poetry and chairs the committee overseeing the creation and implementation of the minor in Environmental Studies.


Shennette M. Garrett-Scott, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History and African-American Studies


Amy E. Gibson, Ph.D.

Professor and Head of Instruction and Information Literacy Librarian


Melissa Ginsburg

Instructor of English


Tamar Liberman Goulet, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology In addition to conducting research on symbiotic interactions, she teaches various courses, among them Human Reproduction.


Susan R. Grayzel, Ph.D.

Professor of History and Director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies She joined the University’s faculty in 1996. She holds degrees from Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to arriving on our campus, she taught at the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. Her primary area of teaching is the history of modern European women and gender relations, and her research focuses on the consequences of total war for civilians in general and on gender relations in particular.


Ross Haenfler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology Dr. Haenfler earned his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado in 2003 and is passionate about teaching, having taught many courses including Social Movements, Political Sociology, Sex and Gender in Society, Men and Masculinities, and Implementing Social Change. He has led workshops on masculinities and feminism, transformative teaching, and social change in daily life.


Joan Wylie Hall, Ph.D.

Lecturer of English Women writers are always well-represented in Hall’s classes, from American lit surveys to Southern Literature. One of her favorite courses was Contemporary Literature, which she taught as a Southern women’s fiction class. Her main research interest is American women writers (especially Southern women), from post-bellum to contemporary times.


Lou Haney, MFA

Assistant Professor of Art and Foundations Coordinator Ms. Haney received her Master’s of Fine Art degree in painting from Claremont Graduate University in California. She is recipient of the President’s Award and the Merit Award at the Red Clay Survey, A Triennial Exhibition at the Huntsville (AL) Museum of Art.


Jaime Harker, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English She has a Ph.D. from Temple University and a graduate certificate in Gender Studies. Her teaching and research interests include gender theory and criticism and 19th- and 20th-century American literature.


Mary Hayes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English With a B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa, Dr. Hayes’ research and teaching interests include medieval notions of sex and gender, particularly in religious and devotional texts.


Vivian Ibrahim, Ph.D.

Croft Assistant Professor of History Vivian Ibrahim completed her Ph.D. in 2009 in the History of the Modern Middle East at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She holds a B.A. in History from King’s College London (2002) and a MSc. in the History of International Relations (2003) from the London School of Economics. Ibrahim held a one-year post-doctoral research position examining European-Muslim identities at University College Cork, Ireland. She is also currently affiliated as a research associate at the London Middle East Institute (LMEI).


Willa Johnson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology Dr. Johnson has a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. Her specialties are Hebrew scriptures, Judaism, and gender and ethnicity.


Natalia Kolesnikova, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Economics Natalia Kolesnikova received her Ph.D. in Economics and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and she joined the faculty in 2012. Prior to her current appointment she was a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Her research focuses on labor economics and applied microeconomics.


Elise S. Lake, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Research Associate Professor for the Center for Population Studies Her teaching and research interests include Deviance/Criminology, Social Psychology, the Family, and the sociology of food.


Rory Ledbetter, MFA

Assistant Professor of Voice & Acting


Diane E. Marting, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Marting has published extensively on women writers from Spanish America and Brazil. She is knowledgeable in feminist theory and themes of female sexuality. Her teaching includes Spanish language, comparative literature, Spanish American culture, and literary theory.


Kathryn McKee, Ph.D.

McMullan Associate Professor of Southern Studies and an Associate Professor of English She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her interests include pre-1900 American literature, Southern literature, humor studies, and writing by and about women.


Marilyn Mendolia, Ph.D.

Director of Experiential Training and Associate Professor of Psychology Her research areas include verbal and facial expression of emotion, self-regulation of emotion, and comparison and reflection processes in personal relationships.


Sarah Moses, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Religion Dr. Moses’ areas of interest are Religious and Medical Ethics; Contemporary Religious Thought.


Heather Ondercin, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Ondercin’s research focuses on political behavior in the United States, specifically how gender shapes the political attitudes and activities of men and women.


Jo Ann O’Quin, Ph.D.

Professor of Social Work She teaches courses in gerontology. Her primary teaching and research interests are psycho-social aspects of aging, Alzheimer’s disease, and family caregiving issues.


Daniel O’Sullivan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of French A graduate of Boston College, Dr. O’Sullivan focuses on comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to medieval European literature, music, and culture. Dr. O’Sullivan served as the first Senior Fellow for the Residential College South.


Molly Pasco-Pranger, Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor of Classics Dr. Pasco-Pranger earned a B.A. in Latin at Oberlin College and a Ph.D. in Classical Studies at the University of Michigan. She works on Latin literature and social history and has teaching and research interests in Greek and Roman gender and sexuality.


Elizabeth Payne, Ph.D.

Professor of History American Progressivism, Women, Religion are Dr. Payne’s teaching and research interests.


René Pulliam, MFA

Interim Chair & Associate Professor of Movement & Dance


Anne Quinney, Ph.D.

Professor of French Dr. Quinney’s research includes women writers and philosophers in 20th-century France, in particular Simone de Beauvoir, Marguerite Duras, Helene Cixous, and Sarah Kofman. She teaches courses on contemporary culture wars in France, French and Francophone women writers of the 20th century, the history of French cinema, literature and the Resistance, and autobiography.


Karen Raber, Ph.D.

Professor of English Dr. Raber received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. Her research interests include early modern British literature and culture, early modern women writers, feminist theory, and cultural studies.


Debra A. Riley-Huff, MLIS

Web Services Librarian and Associate Professor Her primary research interests include digital information presentation and the digital divide.


Eunika Rogers, MFA

Instructor of Art


Natalie Schroeder, Ph.D.

Professor of English Dr. Schroeder received her B.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Northwestern University. Her teaching and research interests include Victorian literature, Dickens, contemporary women’s literature, and popular literature.

Carrie V. Smith, Ph.D.

Instructional Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Smith teaches GST 465 The Psychology of Gender.


Sheila L. Skemp, Ph.D.

Former Acting Director of the Sarah Isom Center, Clare Leslie Marquette Professor Emerita of American History Dr. Skemp teaches Masculinities and Femininities in American History, which is cross-listed with Gender Studies. She has written a biography of Judith Sargent Murray (a Wollstonecraftian-type feminist in America in the 18th century). She incorporates women’s/gender issues into all her courses, at both the graduate and undergraduate level.


Jason Solinger, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in English


Beth Spencer

Instructor of English


Theresa Starkey, Ph.D.

Assistant Director of the Sarah Isom Center and Instructor of Gender Studies Theresa Starkey is associate director of the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies.


Jennifer Stollman, Ph.D.

Instructor and Academic Director of Racial Reconciliation, William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation.

Photo by Robert Jordan

Mary F. Thurlkill, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Religion She received her B.A. and M.A. in history, emphasizing medieval European studies, from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, and a Ph.D. at Indiana University in religious studies with a minor in history.


Annette Trefzer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English Her teaching and research interests are in 20th century American literature, with special emphasis on the South. She has taught and published work on Zora Neale Hurston. She is also interested in women’s literature and history, not only in the U.S., but globally. She has worked on the autobiography of a little-known woman writer in East Africa, a princess of the Sultan of Zanzibar, Salme Said.


Jay Watson, Ph.D.

Professor of English and Howry Chair of Faulkner Studies Dr. Watson has a Ph.D. from Harvard. His teaching and research interests are Southern literature and culture, the literature of the Vietnam War, “New Materialist” theory and criticism focusing on the human body as a site where power is applied and resisted, narrative literature and theory, law and literature, and law and humanities.

Photo by Harry Briscoe

Amy Wells Dolan, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of the School of Education and Associate Professor of Leadership & Counselor Education


Brooke White, MFA

Associate Professor of Art White teaches Photography and Imaging Arts. She received her BFA from Alfred University (NYSCC) and her MFA from Cornell University. Her creative research investigates the ways in which we are being trained to see today by mass media and how that is affecting our relationship to nature. Additionally, she is concerned with issues surrounding the universality of place and people’s relationship to it. She has exhibited nationally and internationally. Most recently, she was awarded an Individual Visual Art Fellowship by the MS Arts Commission and the NEA.


Nancy Wicker, Ph.D.

Professor of Art and former Chair of the Art Department Her research and teaching revolve around gender and archaeology, especially in Viking Age Scandinavia. She has co-edited two books: Gender and the Archaeology of Death (2001) and From the Ground Up: Beyond Gender Theory in Archaeology (1999).


Caroline Wigginton, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English


Noell Howell Wilson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of History A graduate of Harvard, Dr. Wilson’s area of specialization is East Asia.


Ethel Young-Minor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English and Senior Fellow of the Luckyday Residential College She received her Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include gender, race, religion, and pedagogy.