Faculty

Blair, Melissa E History
Office: JEN 309, Box: 6191 History/Political Science
828-771-3732 Office Hrs: T/Th, 11-noon; W 1-3
   
Melissa Estes Blair joined the faculty of Wilson’s History & Political Science department in 2009. She teaches American history, including the course Women in American History. Her other teaching specialties are political history and the history of twentieth century America. Before coming to Wilson, she spent a year teaching in the History department at the University of Georgia, and also taught classes in the History and Studies of Women & Gender departments at the University of Virginia, where she received her doctorate. Her dissertation, “Women's Organizations and Grassroots Politics: Denver, Durham, and Indianapolis 1960-1975,” focused on the political action of middle-class women in these three cities, with a particular focus on their role as leaders in their communities’ feminist activism in the late 1960s and 1970s. She is currently revising her dissertation for publication, and continues to be fascinated by the interactions between local women, politics, and women’s issues.
Bradshaw, David James ENGLISH  
Office: JEN 206, Box: 6068 Professor of English
828-771-3719 Office Hrs: most weeks, M 4:00-5:00; T 11:30-1:00; W 4:00-5::00; and by appointment
 Bio Page  
David J. Bradshaw teaches literature and writing at Warren Wilson College. Primarily a student of Victorian literature and history, he is very much concerned with the debate about gender roles that was prominent in nineteenth-century culture. The anthology of readings that he has just edited with Professor Suzanne Ozment (The Voice of Toil: Nineteenth-Century British Writings about Work, University of Ohio Press) has a substantial section, one quarter of the book, devoted to gendered conceptions of work and mission. This anthology is the primary text in English 240 Work and Mission in the Nineteenth Century, but Professor Bradshaw also devotes sustained attention, in English 338 Literature and Culture of the Victorian Period, to what nineteenth-century writers called "The Woman Question," and he offers a third course, English 254 Gender Issues in the Nineteenth Century, that is concerned exclusively with the (re)definings of gender that proved so controversial in nineteenth-century culture. He is currently engaged in research concerning Frances Power Cobbe, a Victorian advocate for the rights of women.
Clark, John Michael Writing
Office: CAR 27, Box: 6096 Religion
828-771-3752 Office Hrs: T,TH,F2, 1:15-2:15 p.m.
   
Originally from east Tennessee, J. Michael Clark came home to the mountains in summer 2000, exchanging a quarter century of urban living in Atlanta for a rural ecosystem southeast of Asheville (Fairview, NC) that he shares with his partner Bob McNeir and their dogs. Credited with pio¬neering unapologetic gay liberation theology and literary criticism some two decades ago (founding the Gay Men’s Issues in Religion program unit of the American Academy of Religion in 1988), Clark’s areas of expertise include gender and ecotheology, AIDS and theodicy, men’s studies, and gay sexual ethics. Clark has authored some sixteen books and dozens of articles, including Doing the Work of Love: Men and Commitment in Same-Sex Couples (Men’s Studies Press, 1999). He has taught at Warren Wilson College (in religious studies, gender studies, and college composition) since August 2001.

Fischer, Sarah A. PHILOSOPHY

 

Office: JEN 201, Box: 6054 Professor of Philosophy
828-771-2019  
Bio Page  

"I joined the Warren Wilson Philosophy & Religion Department in 2000 to teach philosophy, including Feminist Philosophy. My current focus in feminist philosophy is the role of the body as inscribed along sexed and gendered lines. My related philosophical interests include phenomenology and existentialism, and ethics. Before coming to Warren Wilson, I taught feminist philosophy at Goucher College and Loyola College in Baltimore, and at Marquettte University in Milwaukee.

"I have presented papers on the role of reciprocity for an ethics, and on the meaning of ethical bodies. My current scholarship involves eliciting a feminist ethics from the work of French philosopher Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The theme of my current course in feminist philosphy is the ways in which sexed and gendered existence challenges the western philosophical tradition, and the way it affects psycholanalytic theory, legal theory in the case of pornography, and environmental theory."

Howard, Carol L. ENGLISH  
Office: JEN 207, Box: 6063 Prof of English/Theatre/Writ.
828-771-3720  
 Bio Page  
Carol Howard teaches in the English and Theatre Departments at Warren Wilson College and also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty. A past recipient of Warren Wilson College's Teaching Excellence award, Professor Howard offers courses on seventeenth- and eighteenth-century literature, classical and modern theater, literature by women, and African American literature. Before coming to Warren Wilson in 1998, she taught at Columbia University for several years, where she received her doctorate, and at Barnard College. While at Columbia, she wrote Feminist News, the newsletter of the Institute for Research on Women and Gender, and was the coordinator of the University Seminar on Women and Society. Her research and publications are in two fields: eighteenth-century British women's literature and modern African-American women's literature. She has co-edited two books in Scribner's British Writers twelve-volume series and has edited Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice for Barnes and Noble Classics. She is at work on a book about freedom and women's writing before Jane Austen. In recent years, Professor Howard has served on the Buncombe County Women's Commission and has directed two staged readings of feminist works at the Warren Wilson College Theatre. 

Kusujiarti, Siti SOCIOLOGY  
Office: JEN 109, Box: 6138 Prof of Sociology & Anthro.
828-771-3703  
 Bio Page  
"I teach a special topics course on Gender, Development and the Environment, and other sociology courses. My main interests are in rural societies, developing countries, environmental issues and social inequalities. I am from Indonesia and was teaching at Western Carolina University before coming to Warren Wilson.

"In the last five years, I have done fieldwork on gender relations in rural Indonesia. The research focused on concepts of power and the daily process of power negotiations among Javanese Indonesians. I am also interested in looking at the interrelationship of state ideology, gender role perceptions, and "hidden transcripts" in gender relations. I have published and presented papers on these topics and I'm working on a book with Dr. Ann Tickmayer of Ohio University based on our fieldwork in Indonesia. We are planning further fieldwork and to look at how the transitional period in Indonesia and changing political, economic and cultural conditions influence gender relations.

"Teaching, especially teaching Women's Studies, is empowering for me. I hope that while I am empowering myself that in the process of teaching and learning I also empower my students. Together we share our voices and encourage other voices to be heard."

O'Keefe, Martha A. OUTDOOR LEADERSHIP  
Office: CAR 4, Box: 6024 Prof of Outdoor Leadership
828-771-3760  
 Bio Page  

Marty is an outdoor educator with experience working with a variety of groups in wilderness and classroom settings. She has worked with youth, educators, executives, people with disabilities, and college students, among others. Her background, interests, and expertise include diversity issues, challenge course training, leadership development, and feminist pedagogy.

Marty teaches ODL 325 Women's Voices in Experiential Education. This course is taught in a seminar format, involving students in the exploration of feminist theory and practice as it relates to experiential education and outdoor adventure education. Through readings, discussions, speakers, presentations, and an overnight retreat, students explore feminist perspectives of outdoor leadership, the historical contributions of women and some current issues and concerns of women in the field. By examining how women's experiences can contribute to the field in the future, students come away with a new paradigm about "women's voices in experiential education."

Phillips, Angela M. LANGUAGE  
Office: JEN 303, Box: 6134 Professor of French & Spanish
828-771-2010 Office Hrs: M 1:00-2:30, Tues. Wed. 1:00-3:00
 Bio Page  
Angela Phillips received her Ph.D. in Romance Languages from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At Warren Wilson College she teaches both French and Spanish and chairs the department of Modern Languages. Her areas of interest include contemporary French literature, and literature of the Maghreb.  She has taught courses on French Women Writers, Francophone Literature—Maghreb, Africa, Caribbean—, French and Spanish speaking Caribbean literature, French Literature from the 1980s to the present, and Literature and film from the Arab World. She is currently teaching a course on Women’s War Narratives.

Dr. Phillips has presented papers on female identity and voice in French and Francophone/Maghreb literature.  Her current research interests include changes in Francophone societies, changes in the roles of individuals and in both male and female identities, and the displacement of the masculine subject. Currently she is exploring the transformation of women’s writing in Morocco, from the post-colonial period to the present and the society’s shift towards conservative Islam. She also links this to exoticism and orientalism, as defined by Edward Said, and how it has characterized our perceptions of individuals and gender roles in North Africa and the Middle East. 

In her courses students are encouraged to study the texts, both written and visual, from a variety of perspectives, and to consider not only the literary and theoretical characteristics of each one, but also the cultural, political, racial, religious, and gender influences of the period.

Sommer, Jeanne RELIGION  
Office: CAR 24, Box: 6027 Professor of Religion
828-771-3725  
 Bio Page  

Jeanne Matthews Sommer teaches in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. Her academic specializations are Comparative Study of World Religions, Women and Religion, and Contemporary Christian Thought and Practice. Her Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies is from Northwestern University and her M. Div. is from Princeton Theological Seminary. The Gender and Women's Studies courses Jeanne teaches are Women and Religion and Goddess Traditions. She has been at Warren Wilson for 7 years.

Jeanne is particularly interested in the ways that gender informs our ideas and language about what is sacred and how religious practices and systems of beliefs can be avenues for personal and social transformation. She loves hiking, swimming, piano, reading, travel, animals, and playing with her daughter.
Vance, Laura L SOCIOLOGY
Office: JEN 111, Box: 6206 Sociology/Women's Studies
828-771-5851 Office Hrs: MW 2:30-3:30, TTH10-12
 Bio Page (Chair)
Laura Vance teaches sociology and chairs the department of Gender and Women’s Studies at Warren Wilson College.  Her research interests include gender and religion, sociology of religion, social inequality, sociology of media, feminist thought, and research methods.  Her publications include Seventh-day Adventism in Crisis: Gender and Sectarian Change in an Emerging Religion (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and numerous academic articles and reviews. Laura’s current research focuses on Ellen G. White and women’s roles in Seventh-day Adventism.  She lives in Asheville with her partner, Jennifer.