Melissa R. Gilbert
Department Chair (Geography and Urban Studies) & Professor
My research interests are in areas of urban geography, feminist and critical race studies, and social action research. I have approached these broad and interconnected fields through theoretically informed, empirical research examining how urban and economic processes construct, and are constructed by relations of power and inequality. I am particularly interested in the barriers that poor women of various ethnic/”racial” groups experience, and the individual and collective survival strategies that they employ, in attempting to support themselves and their families. And, because I am interested in social change, and the role of academics and research in this process, she has utilized social action research as part of a broader feminist methodology.
My primary research contributions have been to offer alternative theoretical and methodological approaches to study the intersection of gender, racism, and space to further our understanding of labor markets, urban poverty, community organizing and digital inequalities. My current research examines the relationships among access to information and communication technology (ICT), poor women’s economic opportunities, and poor people’s community-based organizing from a feminist geographical perspective. This research focuses on the relationships among access to information and communication technologies (ICTs); economic, educational, and health disparities; and poor people’s community-based organizing in the United States.
My research has been supported by the Fulbright Commission, the National Science Foundation, and the Social Science Research Council. My research has been published in journals such as the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, the Professional Geographer, Urban Geography, Geoforum, Transactions in GIS, and Information, Communication & Society. I received my PhD (1994) and MA (1991) from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University and a MA (1988) in Urban and Regional Studies from the University of Sussex I currently serve as Chair of the Department of Geography and Urban Studies and Director of the Greater Philadelphia Women’s Studies Consortium. I am serving a term as Treasurer and National Councillor of the Association of American Geographers and serve on the editorial boards of Urban Geography and Geographical Review. I have served as president of the Geographical Perspectives on Women Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers and received the 2011 Jan Monk Service Award for contributions to the advancement of women and feminist geography in the discipline and the broader public. I have also worked with a number of community organizations related to economic empowerment and digital inequalities. I am currently Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Lower Merion School District in suburban Philadelphia and a former member of the Montgomery County Planning Commission Board in Pennsylvania.
Department Chair & Professor
Professor Solomon works in the areas of philosophy of science, social epistemology, medical epistemology, medical ethics and gender and science. She is the author of Social Empiricism (MIT Press, 2001), editor of several special journal issues, and author of many journal articles. Making Medical Knowledge, a book on the epistemology of medicine, exploring medical consensus conferences, evidence-based medicine, translational medicine, and narrative medicine, was published with Oxford University Press (UK), in 2015. Professor Solomon is active on the Temple University Hospital Ethics Committee and serves on the Executive Committee of the College of Liberal Arts. Professor Solomon is on the Editorial Board of the journals Philosophy of Science and Hypatia. She is on the Editorial Board of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in the area of philosophy of science. She is on the organizing committee of the Philosophy of Medicine Roundtable, the Advisory Board of the Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice, a panelist at askphilosophers.org and served on the Governing Board of the Philosophy of Science Association from 2011-14. Miriam Solomon was a founding co-chair of the Philosophy of Science Association Women’s Caucus . Professor Solomon is a Fellow of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.
Chairperson of the Department of English from 2012 to 2015 and a 1995 recipient of an American Book Award for Literary Criticism for the collection of essays Warriors, Conjurers, and Priests: Defining African-American Literary Criticism. Joyce earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 1979. She taught for ten years at the University of Maryland-College Park, three years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and five years at Chicago State University where she was associate director of the Gwendolyn Brooks Center, coordinator of the Honors Program, and chairperson of the Black Studies Department.
She was also chairperson of the Department of African-American Studies at Temple from 1997 to 2001. In 2008, she gave one of two keynote presentations at the American Embassy in Paris at the “International Centennial Celebration of Richard Wright’s Birthday” and a keynote presentation at “Richard Wright 100,” an international conference held at the Universidade da Beira Interior in Coviha, Portugal. She has published articles on Richard Wright, Toni Morrison, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, Margaret Walker, Arthur P. Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, E. Ethelbert Miller, Askia Toure, Gil Scott-Heron, and Sonia Sanchez. Her current project is titled “Black Literary Essays: The Kaleidoscopic Imagination.”
Her papers are housed at the Odum Library, Valdosta State University.
Laura Levitt is a Professor of Religion, Jewish Studies and Gender at Temple University where she has chaired the department of Religion and served as director of both the Women’s Studies and the Jewish Studies Programs. She is the author of American Jewish Loss after the Holocaust (2007) and Jews and Feminism: The Ambivalent Search for Home (1997). She is an editor of Judaism Since Gender (1997) and Impossible Images: Contemporary Art after the Holocaust (2003). Her current project, “Evidence as Archive” builds on her prior work in feminist theory and Holocaust studies to ask what material evidence held in police storage can teach us about the role of all those other objects collected in the Holocaust museums, libraries, and archives. This project is a meditation on what it means to do justice to traumatic legacies through an engagement with such objects.
Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs & Professor
Rebecca T. Alpert is Professor of Religion at Temple University. Alpert was among the first women in America ordained as a rabbi, at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in 1976. She is the co-author of Exploring Judaism: A Reconstructionist Approach, co-editor of Lesbian Rabbis: The First Generation, author of Like Bread on the Seder Plate: Jewish Lesbians and the Transformation of Tradition, Whose Torah? A Concise Guide to Progressive Judaism and Out of Left Field: Jews and Black Baseball. At Temple University she teaches undergraduates about contemporary religion with a focus on Philadelphia, sexuality, sport, and race. She teaches graduate courses on religion and public life, sexuality, and higher education teaching. She is a recipient of a Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. She is a member of the rabbinic cabinet of Jewis h Voice for Peace, a commissioner on the Philadelphia Human Relations Commission, and is currently at work on a case study book about religion and sport.
Rujuta P. Chincholkar-Mandelia
Undergraduate Advisor & Assistant Professor
Heath Fogg Davis
Undergraduate Chair & Associate Professor
Heath Fogg Davis (PhD in Politics, Princeton University, 1998) is the Undergraduate Chair and Associate Professor of Political Science. His teaching and research examines individual and collective identity in contexts such as democratic political systems, administrative and anti-discrimination law, urban public space, and family formation. Prior to joining the Temple faculty, Davis was an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a member of the groundbreaking James Weldon Johnson Institute Working Group on Black Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Civil Rights: the first U.S. working group bringing together activists and scholars to explore convergences and divergences between the African American civil rights movement and the Black LGBT civil rights movement.
He is the author of [Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? (NYU Press, 2017)[(http://nyupress.org/books/9781479855407/). Beyond Trans questions the need for gender markers on birth certificates, driver’s licenses, passports, college admissions, bathroom doors, and in sports. Are these and other sex-classification policies necessary? Are they legal? Does gender matter? Beyond Trans offers concrete strategies to help organizations, schools and businesses of all kinds design better gender policies that are trans-inclusive and meet their specific goals. Davis extends his academic and pedagogical commitments to community spaces, collaborating with and advocating for marginalized communities. He was a board member of the Leeway Foundation, and has been an organizer of the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference and the Trans Masculine Advocacy Network.
Associate Professor and Graduate Chair; Affiliated Faculty in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies
I study art and popular culture with a focus on issues of policy, regulation, and identity.
My first book, Legislating Creativity (Routledge 2010) explored arts controversies related to government funding for the arts and the NEA. My new book, Pop Culture Freaks (Westview 2014) examines the influence of identity (race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and nationality) on the labor force, content, and audience for the culture industries, focusing especially on film and television.
I am active on Twitter (@PopCultureFreak) and I blog at popculturefreaks.tumblr.com.
Associate Professor & Director of Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies Program
I am interested in poverty and social policy, gender and work, and the relationship between the two. In recent work, I am concerned with how women’s social interactions guide their economic outcomes. This question is central to my 2013 book, Ain’t No Trust: How Bosses, Boyfriends, and Bureaucrats Fail Low-Income Mothers and Why It Matters (University of California Press).
The book provides a qualitative comparison of low-income mothers’ experiences with welfare and low-wage work before and after welfare reform and investigates women’s social interactions with caseworkers, employers, child care providers, romantic partners, and networks of family and friends. I argue that these social interactions produce distrust creating barriers to the very actions reform hoped to promote. Policies that do not address the structural factors that shape these interactions and produce distrust – particularly the fact that low-income mothers’ interests are often at odds with their interaction partners – will be limited in their ability to truly improve the lives of low-income women and their children.
To learn more about this research, watch my appearance on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry show; or read my essay in Boston Review; or read coverage of the book in Pacific Standard; or see the NBC News interview on the book; or listen to a podcast about the book put out by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; or to an interview with WHYY’s Radio Times hosted by Marty Moss-Coane.
In other work, I have studied how informal social interactions between co-workers reinforce formal institutional barriers to sex integration in job titles in a manufacturing plant. I have also investigated the causal links between adolescent motherhood and children’s subsequent outcomes and the relationship between mothers’ and fathers’ occupational traits and children’s occupational aspirations.
Patricia Melzer is Associate Professor of German and Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Temple University. In 2013-14 she was a Mellon Regional Faculty Fellow at the Penn Humanities Forum at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on feminist and queer theories and cultural texts, and women in radical social movements in Germany. Her first book Alien Constructions: Science Fiction and Feminist Thought was published by Texas University Press in 2006 and since then her work has appeared in journals such as International Feminist Journal of Politicsand Seminar: A Journal of Germanic Studies. Her second book Death in the Shape of a Young Girl: Women’s Political Violence in the Red Army Faction, examines the participation of women in the left-wing terrorist groups RAF and Movement 2nd June in the 1970s and 1980s. The book focuses in particular on the implications of women’s political violence for feminist theories of violence. It was published by New York University Press in 2015.
Associate Professor of Instruction
Brad has an MFA in Creative Writing from Queens University of Charlotte. His blog project chronicles his experience, as a gay author, reading the Bible for the first time. In addition, Brad is one of five regular contributors to 5Writers.com. His work has appeared in The Baltimore Review, Santa Fe Writer’s Project Journal, Ray’s Road Review, Northern Liberties Review, and Philadelphia Review of Books and Jonathan. He is also the author of two Philadelphia-set novels: Regret (2007) and The Intersection (2016).