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.


 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.