Women's and Gender Studies

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Advisory Committee


Jacqueline C. Nanfito, Associate Professor of Spanish and Comparative LiteratureJaquiline Nanfito

Specialization: Latin American and Latino Women writers and artists.

“Women’s and Gender Studies has both motivated and inspired me to study and write about Latin American and Latina women writers and artists, with the objective of rescuing them from oblivion. Since my arrival to Case, WGST has been supportive of all of my initiatives, allowing me to collaborate with several Chilean women writers and poets, which has resulted in the publication of my translations of their works in both prose and poetry. I have also had the support of WGST to organize exhibits of works by Latin American women artists, which have given our students and the greater Case community a better understanding of the role of women in the cultural production of contemporary Latin American society.”


Jennifer Karas Montez, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and SciencesJennifer Karas Montez
Specialization: Gendered structural determinants of health; the intersection of gender, education, and geography in shaping health.

I discovered the field of Women’s and Gender Studies when I was pursuing my PhD in Sociology. During my training, I was very interested in (and still am!) the “social determinants of health,” such as education, marriage, and neighborhoods. I became fascinated with understanding why these determinants had a different impact on women than men. For instance, every year of education reduces the risk of death more among men than women. Why? Marriage benefits the health of men more than women. Why? Geographic context appears to have a stronger impact on the health of women than men. Why? To make sense of these gendered processes, I began to incorporate perspectives from the field of Women’s and Gender Studies into my research. The field provides a powerful way to understand the broader social world and how it influences the well-being, health, and longevity of us all.


Shannon Lundeen, Director of the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women

Shannon Lundeen Specialization: Feminist Theory, Bioethics, Sexuality Studies, and Social and Political Philosophy

The Center for Women is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and Dr. Lundeen is working on strengthening the Center’s existing partnerships and building new ones both here on campus and in the surrounding community. Over the course of this academic year, Dr. Lundeen and the staff at the Center for Women will continue to provide superior services, resources, and programming while building a vision for the next ten years of the Center that will position it as a champion for gender equity throughout CWRU’s campus.

Dr. Lundeen received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from Stony Brook University where she also earned an Advanced Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies. Before joining Case Western Reserve University in July of 2013, Dr. Lundeen spent eight years as the Associate Director of the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program (GSWS) and the Alice Paul Center for Research on Gender, Sexuality, and Women (APC) at the University of Pennsylvania. As a Core Faculty member of the Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies Program, Dr. Lundeen taught courses on gender and sexuality ranging from introductory lectures to graduate level seminars, organized and led a series of pedagogy workshops for graduate students, and taught secondary students in Penn’s Social Justice Summer Research Institute. In the spring of 2013, she was awarded the highly selective Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in the School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lundeen will be working with the WGST program to make its course offerings and its faculty more visible and accessible to a broader constituency at CWRU. By spring of 2014, the Center for Women will host works-in-progress seminars where CWRU faculty members can share their current research on women, gender, and/or sexuality and get feedback from other faculty members and graduate students.


 Justine Howe, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, College of Arts and Sciencesjustine howe

Specialization: Contemporary Islam, Women and Gender in Islam, Islam in America
I study the ways that gender often serves as the touchstone for Muslim debates and practices concerning authority, interpretation of texts, and devotional piety. I am also interested in how constructions of the “Muslim woman” serve broader political ideologies, both in the US and abroad. The theoretical and methodological tools of Women’s and Gender Studies are vitally important for analyzing the internal diversity of Islam and the ways that gendered hierarchies are connected to community constructions of race, class, culture, and religion.