Our faculty are leaders in their fields. We are proud to have them as part of our academic family!

Hokulani Aikau

Associate Professor

Hōkūlani K. Aikau (Kānaka ʻŌiwi) is an associate professor in the Division of Gender Studies and the Division of Ethnic Studies at the University of Utah. Aikau is an interdisciplinary scholar having received her doctorate from the University of Minnesota in American Studies, the master’s degree from The University of Memphis in sociology, and the bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Utah in sociology and women’s studies. She has received fellowships from the Ford Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation and research grants from the UH Mānoa Sea Grant Program and the SENCER Institute. She has published two books: A Chosen People, a Promised Land: Mormonism and Race in Hawaiʻi (University of Minnesota Press, 2012) and Feminist Waves, Feminist Generational Cultures: Life Stories from Three Generations in the Academy, 1968-1998 (co-edited with Karla Erickson and Jennier L. Pierce, University of Minnesota Press, 2007). Her next full length monograph Hoaʻāina: Resturning People and Practices to Heʻeia is an ethnography of a wetland restoration project on in Heʻeia, Oʻahu. She has published articles in American Quarterly, American Indian Studies, Arena Journal, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. She has also contributed to SAGE Handbook of Globalization and The International Encyclopedia of Anthropology (forthcoming). Aikau has served as associate editor of American Quarterly and serves on editorial boards for book series at the University of Arizona Press and the University of Hawaiʻi Press. She is also mother to Sanoe, ʻĪmaikalani, and Hiʻilei.

h.aikau@utah.edu801-581-5206Faculty Profile

Maile Arvin

Assistant Professor

Maile Arvin is an assistant professor of History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah, where she is part of the leadership of the Pacific Islands Studies Initiative. A Native Hawaiian feminist scholar who writes about Native feminist theories, settler colonialism, decolonization, and race, gender and science in Hawai‘i and the broader Pacific, she earned her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego in 2013. Her first book, Possessing Polynesians: The Science of Settler Colonial Whiteness in Hawai`i and Oceania, is under contract with Duke University Press. Her other work has been published in the journals American Quarterly, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Critical Ethnic Studies, The Scholar & Feminist, and Feminist Formations.

maile.arvin@utah.edu801-581-8094Faculty Profile

Matt Basso

Associate Professor

Matt Basso is jointly appointed in History and Gender Studies at the University of Utah. His research interests include the theory and history of masculinity, labor and working class history, the history of old age, the history of race and ethnicity, the relationship of the military to society, U.S. Western history, the history of Pacific settler societies, and transnational history. He also offers courses that grapple with all of these subjects. His scholarship appears in both traditional venues, like books and articles, and in community-focused projects, like the construction of digital archives, the development of oral history projects, and the production of K-12 curriculum materials.

matt.basso@utah.edu801-587-9575Faculty Profile

Lisa Diamond

Professor

Lisa M. Diamond’s research focuses on the development and dynamic expression of sexual identity and orientation over the life course, the influences of early life experiences on psychosocial and psychosexual development, and the biological mechanisms through which intimate relationship shape mental and physical health. Her work employs multiple methodologies, including qualitative interviews, survey assessment, prospective daily diary observations, and psychophysiological measures.

lisa.diamond@psych.utah.edu801-585-7491Faculty Profile

Cindy Fierros

Assistant Professor

cindy.fierros@utah.edu801-587-7814Faculty Profile

Lezlie Frye

Assistant Professor

Lezlie Frye is an Assistant Professor of Gender Studies in the School for Cultural and Social Transformation. Her research concentrates on the cultural history of disability, race, and gender in the United States since the 1970s, with a particular emphasis on histories of state violence, citizenship, and social movements. Lezlie received her Ph.D. in 2016 from the American Studies Program, Department of Social at Cultural Analysis, at New York University and was the 2014-15 Predoctoral Research Fellow in the Fisher Center for Gender Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She is currently working on a manuscript entitled Domesticating Disability: Post-Civil Rights Racial Disenfranchisement and the Birth of the Disabled Citizen. Lezlie’s academic work is preceded by over a decade of popular education, activism, and organizing work that coheres around disability, racial, and economic justice.

lezlie.frye@utah.edu

Sarita Gaytan

Associate Professor

Sarita Gaytán is jointly appointed in Sociology and Gender Studies. Her research interests include culture, consumption, globalization, national identity, political economy, and the environment. Her work has been published in Social Problems, Journal of Consumer Culture, Feminist Formations, Latino Studies, Environment and Planning A, and Ethnicities. Her book, ¡Tequila! Distilling the Spirit of Mexico (2014) was published by Stanford University Press.

Sarita’s courses include Race, Gender, and Popular Culture, Men of Color Masculinities, Gender and Contemporary Issues, and Gender and Power in Latin America.

marie.gaytan@soc.utah.edu801-581-8029Faculty Profile

Claudia Geist

Associate Professor

Claudia Geist is Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Utah. She studies comparative social stratification, family, and gender. Her recent work has examined the gendered link between family status and internal migration, racial differences in young adults’ dating rituals, definitions of family, and housework in comparative perspective. Her work has been published or is forthcoming at Demography, Gender & Society, Journal of Family Issues, and the European Sociological Review. Together with Brian Powell, Catherine Bolzendahl, and Lala Carr Steelman), she recently published COUNTED OUT: Same-Sex Relations and Americans’ Definitions of Family (Russell Sage Foundation/ASA Rose Series), which explores Americans’ attitudes towards what does and does not “count” as family.

claudia.geist@soc.utah.edu801-581-8029Faculty Profile

Kim Hackford-Peer

Associate Professor Lecturer

Dr. Kim Hackford-Peer is the Associate Chair of the Division of Gender Studies. She is also an Associate Professor (Career Line Teaching Faculty) so she gets to spend a lot of time working with curriculum, teaching, and mentoring students. Her teaching career began in first grade when she and her best friend taught their classmates all about teeter totter safety – Gender Studies is glad she has expanded her areas of interest! Now she teaches classes (all of which carry general education designations) such as: Medusa and Manifestos (CW), Intro to LGBTQ Studies (DV), and Queer Representation in the Media (DV). She also supports our internship program and works with students as they develop skills to design and implement curriculum. Kim’s research interests coincide with her teaching practices; she is deeply interested in pedagogy, particularly as it relates to the ways that identity and education intersect. She currently takes pride in her work on the General Education Curriculum Committee, and in her work with the Point Foundation. She was a Point Scholar from 2007-2010, and now volunteers with the selections process and as a mentor.

kim.hackford-peer@utah.edu801-585-3283Faculty Profile

Ella Myers

Associate Professor

Ella Myers, Associate Professor of Political Science and Gender Studies, is an award-winner teacher of political theory and feminist theory. Her research examines the institutions, practices, and norms that encourage – or discourage – collective democratic action today. Her publications include the book Worldly Ethics: Democratic Politics and Care for the World (Duke University Press, 2013) as well as articles on Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, and the construction of neoliberal common sense, among others. Her current book project, Economies of Anti-Blackness: Du Bois and the Gratifications of Whiteness in the 21st Century, draws on the work of W.E.B. Du Bois to reflect on contemporary conditions of racial capitalism.

ella.myers@utah.edu801-585-5663Faculty Profile

Wanda Pillow

Professor

Wanda S. Pillow is an Associate Professor jointly appointed in Gender Studies and the Department of Education, Culture and Society at the University of Utah where she offers courses in qualitative research methods; gender, race and sexuality studies; race, feminism and poststructural and theories; and educational policy. Her work focuses on intersectional analyses of the relationship between subjectivity and representation (historically, legally, discursively and textually) and on tracing what this means and looks like methodologically and theoretically across cultural productions, policy, and embodied praxis. Resulting projects include tracing colonial relations of gender, race and sexuality through Sacajawea and York of the 1804-1806 Corps of Discovery expedition; methodological essays; and on-going participation in research and efforts for the educational rights of young mothers. Professor Pillow is committed to mentoring students and emerging scholars and participates in several national professional organizations.

wanda.pillow@utah.edu801-587-7819Faculty Profile

Susie Porter

Associate Professor

Susie Porter, Associate Professor in History and Gender Studies, teaches Mexican, Latin American, and community-engaged history.

Porter’s research explores the ways work and class identities shape individual experiences and societal change. In research on telephone operators, secretaries, factory workers, and street vendors, Porter shows that at the heart of the Mexican labor movement there was also a movement for women’s social, cultural, and civil rights. These women, many of them working mothers, developed a critique of gender inequality and sexual exploitation both within and outside of the workplace.

For more than 10 years she has worked in community organizing and is a co-founder of the Spanish-language Westside Leadership Institute.

s.porter@utah.edu801-585-5693Faculty Profile

Sarah Projansky

Professor

Sarah Projansky is Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs in the College of Fine Arts. She holds a joint-appointment as Professor of Film & Media Arts and of Gender Studies, and is an Adjunct Professor of Communication.

Sarah’s courses include Film Theory, Introduction to TV, Gender and Contemporary Issues, Girl Films, Film and Television Stars, and Feminist Girls’ Media Studies. She has been a member of numerous dissertation committees and MFA committees, and she has directed many undergraduate honors theses.

sarah.projansky@utah.edu801-581-5127Faculty Profile

Angela Smith

Associate Professor

Angela Smith is an Associate Professor in Gender Studies (School for Cultural and Social Transformation) and English (College of Humanities). Her research focuses on cultural representations of disability in popular and social media, especially in primarily visual media such as movies and TV shows. She is the author of Hideous Progeny: Disability and Eugenics in Classic Horror Cinema (Columbia University Press, 2011). Her current book project, Disability Affect: Moving Images and Special Effects, considers how disability representations on screen, including prosthetics, special effects, movements by nondisabled actors, and the motions of disabled performers generate particular affective responses.

ang.smith@utah.edu801-581-7992Faculty Profile

Kilo Zamora

Instructor

kilo.zamora@utah.edu801-896-4347Faculty Profile