Sally Kitch

Wilson Hall
110
240 E. Orange Mall
TEMPE
Center Dir & Regents Professor
Faculty w/Admin Appointment
TEMPE Campus
Mailcode
6505

Biography

Sally L. Kitch is University and Regents Professor of women's and gender studies, founding director of the Institute for Humanities Research and of the Humanities Lab at ASU. She is also a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at the Wrigley Institute for Sustainability at Arizona State University and affiliated faculty member with the Piper Center for Creative Writing and the School of Future Innovation in Society. 

Kitch came to ASU in 2006 from The Ohio State University, where she was a Distinguished Humanities Professor of Women's Studies and chair of the Department of Women's Studies. Professor Kitch specializes in three major research and teaching areas: 1) feminist theory, including the intellectual history of gender and racial ideology in the U.S. and other countries and the impact of gender representation in visual and narrative culture on the lived realities of diverse women's lives; 2) feminist epistemology, the epistemology of the humanities, and theories of interdisciplinary knowledge production; 3) environmental humanities, including the importance of the humanities to sustainability science and the relationship of sustainability to gender and racial ideologies.  

1) She has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory. Her most recent work involves the resistance of Afghan women leaders to their country's gender ideology. Her book on that topic, "Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders," was published in 2014. Her study of the history of race-gender intersectionality, "The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the U.S." (2009) won top-two recognition by the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association. She has written three books about gender and utopias/utopianism: "Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory" (University of Chicago Press, 2000); "Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status" (University of Illinois Press, 1989) and "This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth(Ohio State University Press, 1993). The latter have also won national prizes.

Recent work in areas 2) and 3) includes a collaborative research project, "From Innovation to Progress: Addressing Hazards of the Sustainability Sciences, and an article, "How Can Humanities Interventions Promote Progress in the Environmental Sciences?" Her work on the Humanities Lab includes expertise in the epistemology of the humanities and its impact on grand social challenges of our time.

As the founder and chair of two women's studies departments during her career, Professor Kitch has designed both undergraduate and graduate curricula and offered a wide range of courses in the intellectual history of Western feminism, contemporary feminist theory, and gender representation in visual and narrative culture. She has also taught in the areas of intersectionality and transnational feminism. In recent years, Professor Kitch has taught primarily graduate courses at Ohio State University and at ASU. In spring 2012, she team-taught a graduate course on Gender, Religion, and Human Rights. Her most recent teaching includes a team-taught course called "Sustaining Humans--A Humanities Lab," in spring 2017.

Professor Kitch served as president of the Faculty Women's Association at ASU in 2009-10, where she initiated a survey of faculty women's professional needs. She is on the Faculty Advisory Board of the Origins Initiative at ASU and works with the Frankenstein Project and the Creation Project. She initiated the development of the Nexus Digital and Computational Humanities Lab, which formally launched in 2013. She frequently reads manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses and serves as an external reviewer for tenure and promotion cases and women and gender studies departments and programs around the country and abroad. She has been active in the National Women's Studies Association, the Western Humanities Alliance, and the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI), through which her work environmental humanities resulted in two Mellon Foundation grants between 2012 and 2015. She now plays a leadership role in the Humanities for the Environment International Coalition resulting from that grant.

Fax

480-965-9199

Education

  • Ph.D. Emory University;
  • M.A. University of Chicago
  • A.B. Cornell University (Phi Beta Kappa)

 

Research Interests

Professor Kitch's research focuses on gender and feminism through the analysis of a wide range of social and cultural narratives, including historical documents, political texts, and philosophical and religious treatises.  Through that work, she has developed theories of gender ideology in different time periods and settings.  She has also analyzed how those ideologies have been both enacted and resisted, often by feminist thought and activism.  She has published approximately 30 refereed journal articles and book chapters, and three of her six books have won national prizes.

Kitch has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory: Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2000); Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status (University of Illinois Press, 1989; winner, National Womens Studies Association Book Award, 1987) and This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth (Ohio State University Press, 1993, winner, Helen Hooven Santmeyer Prize in Womens Studies).  Her recent chapter on Utopia in Critical Terms for the Study of Gender (University of Chicago Press, 2014) demonstrates her role in creating utopianism as a sub-field in gender studies. 

Professor Kitchs book on the historical grounding of the intersection of race and gender, The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States (SUNY Press, 2009) analyzes legal, scientific, historical, political, and religious narratives, from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century.  Through that analysis, Kitch demonstrates how racial ideology was constructed in the U.S. in gendered terms.  The gendered foundations of racial formation helped to provide an allegedly "natural" basis for biased racial characteristics and hierarchies.  Specter was a top-two finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association.   

Kitch's most recent book explores the resistance of Afghan women leaders to their country's gender ideology.   Her work with Afghan women leaders,  which began in 2001, led to the first U.S. conference featuring the views of Afghan women leaders, as well as three articles, one book chapter, and one book, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders (University of Illinois Press, 2014). 

Professor Kitch is also a scholar of interdisciplinarity as a definining characteristic of the field of women's and gender studies.  She has published several articles about interdisciplinarity research in the field (including Feminist Interdisciplinary Approaches to Knowledge Building, in The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, 2007).  She also co-edited an exemplar of such interdisciplinary study in Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges (1993).

In her role as Director of the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU (2006-2016) and as founder of the Humanities Lab at ASU, Kitch has promoted numerous interdisciplinary research and research-based pedagogical projects across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.  The faculty working group she founded in 2007 on Humanities and Sustainability, along with her leadership of the Humanities for the Environment initiative in the Consortium for Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) resulted in two Mellon Foundation Grants to support an international project, Humanities for the Environment, 2012-15.  Kitch remains a PI for the North American Observatory of that project, which has continued and grown.  Because of that sustainability work, Kitch was named a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in the Wrigley Institute for Global Sustainability in 2014.

 

Publications

  • Sally L. Kitch. Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders. (2014).
  • Sally L. Kitch. Beyond Public Programming: Socially Engaged Research as a Humanities Mission. Western Humanities Reviews (2010).
  • Sally L. Kitch. The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States. (2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Letter to Linneaus About Race". Letters to Linneaus (2009).
  • Kitch, Sally L (Author) . Chapter 7: Interdisciplinarity. The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis (2007).
  • Sally Kitch. Afghan Women Leaders Speak: An Academic, Activist Conference. NWSA Journal special issue on gender, war, and peace (2006).
  • Sally Kitch. PhD Programs and the Research Mission of Women's Studies: The Case for Interdisciplinarity. Feminist Studies (2003).
  • Sally Kitch. Claiming Success: From Adversity to Responsibility in Women's Studies. NWSA Journal (2002).
  • . . Review of: Celibacy, Culture, and Society: The Anthropology of Sexual Abstinence (2002).
  • Kitch, Sally L (Author) . Feminist Future Thought: The Dangers of Utopia. Feminist Utopias: Redefining Our Projects (2002).
  • Kitch, Sally L. Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in Feminist Thought and Theory. (2000).

Research Activity

Courses

Summer 2020
Course Number Course Title
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2020
Course Number Course Title
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2019
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 795 Continuing Registration
WST 799 Dissertation
Summer 2019
Course Number Course Title
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2019
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2018
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 795 Continuing Registration
WST 799 Dissertation
Summer 2018
Course Number Course Title
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2018
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2017
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 795 Continuing Registration
WST 799 Dissertation
Summer 2017
Course Number Course Title
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course Number Course Title
HON 394 Special Topics
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 590 Reading and Conference
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 498 Pro-Seminar
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 592 Research
WST 593 Applied Project
WST 599 Thesis
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 795 Continuing Registration
WST 799 Dissertation
Summer 2016
Course Number Course Title
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 792 Research
WST 799 Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course Number Course Title
WST 492 Honors Directed Study
WST 493 Honors Thesis
WST 499 Individualized Instruction
WST 690 Reading and Conference
WST 790 Reading and Conference
WST 792 Research
WST 795 Continuing Registration
WST 799 Dissertation

Presentations

  • Sally L. Kitch and Mary Margaret Fonow. Dissertation Writing Workshop. National Women's Studies Association (Nov 2012).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Intersectionality and Gendered Racialization: New Coalitional Paradigms". National Womens Studies Association national conference (Nov 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "The Historical Role of Gender in Defining Race in American Culture". Higgins School of Humanities: Difficult Dialogues Speaker Series (Apr 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch Mary Margaret Fonow. "Producing the Womens Studies PhD: From Characteristics to Possibilities". Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, and Science Studies (FEMMSS 3) Conference, Univ (Mar 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. "Why Feminist Epistemology is Feminist,". Colloquium co-sponsored by ASU College of Law and IHR (Mar 2009).
  • Sally L. Kitch. The Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation: A Narrative History. IHR Faculty Seminary Series (Nov 2008).
  • Sally L. Kitch. Spoken About But Not With: The Missing Link Among Women?". American Studies Association National Conference, Albuquerque, NM (Oct 2008).
  • Kitch, Sally. Gendered National 'Identity Politics': The U.S. and Afghanistan. American Studies Association National Conference (Oct 2006).
  • Kitch, Sally. Transnational Feminist Politics. American Studies Association National Conference (Oct 2006).
  • Kitch, Sally. Afghan Women Leaders Speak: Conflict Mitigation and Social Reconstruction. Mershon Center, OSU (Nov 2005).
  • Kitch, Sally. Women's Studies PhDs and the Future of Feminist Research. National Council for Research on Women (Jun 2005).
  • Kitch, Sally. Feminist Methodological, Epistemological and Political Border Crossing. Feminist Epistemologies, Methodologies, Metaphysics, Sciences Studies Interdisciplinary Conference (Nov 2004).
  • Kitch, Sally. Gender in the Rhetoric of Race. Feminism(s) and Rhetoric(s) National Conference (Oct 2003).
  • Kitch, Sally. Theorizing Multiculturalism: From Utopianism to Critical Realism. American Studies Association National Conference (Nov 2001).
  • Kitch, Sally. PhDs and the Research Mission of Women's Studies: The Case for Interdisciplinarity. NWSA Annual Meeting (Jun 2001).
  • Kitch, Sally. Feminist Future Thought: The Dangers of Utopia. international conference, "Feminist Utopias: Redefining Our Projects" (Nov 2000).
  • Kitch, Sally. Professionalization in Women's Studies: Problems and Possibilities. NWSA (Jun 2000).