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Faculty and Staff

Jump to: Administrative Services, Full-Time Faculty, Part-Time Faculty


University of Arizona, PhD (Language, Reading, and Culture)
City College of NY, MEd (Language and Literacy)
University of Pennsylvania, BA (Italian Studies & French)
GSWS and Secondary and Special Education

Expertise Areas: Self-study, co/autoethnography, teaching for social justice, feminist pedagogy, LGBTQ+ inclusive teaching, embodied learning and teaching, theater of the oppressed, urban teacher education, teacher leadership, parent activism, progressive schooling
Biography: Monica Taylor is the Director of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and a feminist professor and social justice advocate in the Department of Educational Foundations. She also is Academic Co-Editor of The Educational Forum. She writes about feminist pedagogy, self-study, LGBTQ+ inclusive practices, teaching for social justice, and teacher leadership. She recently co-edited The 2nd International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practicesand is currently writing a book, Our bodies tell the story: Using co/autoethnography to disrupt the patriarchy in our lives and in our classroom. She serves on the Board of Planned Parenthood of Metro NJ and volunteers as an advocate for asylum seekers as well as for voter protection. Her commitments to fighting sexism, heteronormativity, and racism manifest in all aspects of her life.

Administrative Services

For general departmental assistance, please email
Location: Schmitt 222
Phone: 973-655-7755


GSWS Teaching Faculty

Biography: Fawzia Afzal-Khan is Professor of English, University Distinguished Scholar at Montclair State University. Afzal-Khan received her BA from Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore, Pakistan, and her MA and PhD in English Literature from Tufts University, MA. She is a cultural materialist who works at the intersection of feminist theory, cultural and performance studies and postcolonial studies.

She is the author of five books, her latest a controversial memoir entitled Lahore With Love; Growing Up With Girlfriends Pakistani-Style (Syracuse University Press 2010; rep Insanity Ink 2010; can be ordered here). She is a frequent contributor to Counterpunch and Express Tribune, and a published poet and playwright. She is a Contributing Editor to TDR (The Drama Review) and serves on the Advisory Board of SAR (the South Asian Review).

She is also a trained vocalist in the North Indian Classical tradition. Her music videos exploring themes of gender, religion and class, set in Pakistan, can be viewed on youtube (FAK Lahore, FAK Payal, FAK Smokescreen, FAK Sacrifice). She was a founding member of the experimental theatre collective Compagnie Faim de Siecle, with whom she toured and performed in Europe and North America.

Her current research work is focused on Pakistani popular culture.

Photo of Nicole Archer

Nicole Archer

Calcia Hall, Room 220

University of California, Santa Cruz, PhD (History of Consciousness, with a designated emphasis in Visual Studies)
Goldsmiths College, University of London, MA (Cultural History)
New College of Florida, BA (Art History/Gender Studies)

Expertise: Critical, Feminist, Psychoanalytic, and Critical Theory, Art and Design History , Visual and Material Culture Studies, Contemporary Politics and Aesthetics
Biography: Dr. Nicole Archer researches contemporary art and design, with an emphasis in textile and garment histories. She is currently completing a book-length manuscript, which considers how textiles are used to produce and maintain the limits of “legitimate” vs. “illegitimate” forms of state violence. Her teaching explores politics and aesthetics through close, intersectional examinations of style, embodiment, and desire.

Her work has been published in various journals and edited collections, including: Criticism: A Quarterly Journal for Literature and the Arts; Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture; Trap Door: Trans Cultural Production and the Politics of Visibility (published by the New Museum + MIT Press); Where are the Tiny Revolts? (published by the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts + Sternberg Press); Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory.

Dr. Archer also currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Art Journal Open, for the College Art Association:

Princeton University, PhD
University of Victoria, MA
McMaster University BA

Expertise: Medieval and Early Modern German Culture
Biography: I’m a medievalist whose interests include the study of gender in pre-modern Europe, especially in German culture. I’m particularly focussed on how and by whom societal norms for women were established and disseminated during the pre-modern period and how women and men responded to these. My most recent book is Gender Bonds, Gender Binds. Women, Men, and Family in Middle High German Literature, which I co-edited. Courses I’ve taught in the program include Inventing Feminism (GSWS 301) and Imaging Medieval and Early Modern Women (GSWS 345). When I’m not working, I’m out in nature–usually with my family, including our black lab, Quetzal.

Biography: Dr. Yasemin Besen-Cassino is Professor of Sociology at Montclair State University. She received her PhD in Sociology from SUNY Stony Brook. Her research focuses on work, gender and youth with a global comparative perspective. Her work has appeared in prestigious journals such as Contexts, Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, National Women’s Studies Association Journal and Theory and Society.

Supported by grants from the W.E. Upjohn Foundation and the American Association of University Women, her work on the gender wage gap in the teenage labor market has received numerous paper awards including the James Prothro Award. Her books include The Jessie Bernard Reader (with Michael Kimmel) on the life and the works of the prominent feminist, and Consuming Work: Youth Labor in America, and Social Research Methods By Example (with Dan Cassino).

Kent State University, BA (English Literature)
Sarah Lawrence College, MFA (Creative Writing)

Areas of Expertise: Fat Studies, Fat Poetics, Fat Activism, Weight stigma in medical settings, Queer Poetics, Persona Poetry, the Lyric Essay, Representations of Girlhood in Lyric Poetry, Hybrid Literature.
Biography: Claudia Cortese’s book Wasp Queen (Black Lawrence Press, 2017), which won Southern Illinois University’s Devil’s Kitchen Award for Emerging Poetry, explores girlhood, body shaming, trauma. Cortese’s work has appeared in Bitch Magazine, Black Warrior Review, Blackbird, Crazyhorse, and Gulf Coast, among many others, and her poems have won awards from Baltimore Review, Mississippi Review, and RHINO Poetry. Her published essays examine the racism and homophobia of the disco sucks movement; weight stigma in medical settings during COVID-19; the history, pop culture representations, and embodied experiences of eating disorders. She is currently working on an article that analyzes the visual rhetoric of fat poetry covers as micro-fat activism. Cortese received a 2018 OUTstanding Faculty Ally of the Year certificate from the LGBTQ+ Center at Montclair State and is the Book Reviews Editor for Muzzle Magazine. The daughter of immigrants, Cortese grew up in Ohio’s Rust Belt and lives in New Jersey.

Biography: Caroline Dadas, associate professor and Director of First Year Writing, received a PhD in rhetoric and composition from Miami University. Her research interests include digital rhetorics, public sphere theory, professional writing, queer rhetorics, and civic participation. She teaches courses on rhetorical theory, digital writing, research methods, technical writing, and queer studies. She is the author of articles published in venues such as College Composition and Communication, Computers and Writing, New Media and Society, Composition Forum, Literacy in Composition Studies, and Computers and Composition Online. She is co-editor of the 2018 collection, Re/Orienting Writing Studies: Queer Methods, Queer Projects..

Biography: Dr. Danné E. Davis holds degrees from Northeastern University (BS), Wheelock College (MS), and Boston College (PhD) all in Massachusetts. Her research interests center on multicultural education, the arts, and teacher education. Presently she is involved in increasing elementary teacher candidates’ responsiveness to LGBT/Q diversity. In particular, Dr. Davis is exploring the role of LGBT/Q children’s picture storybooks to foster awareness as well as meet expected academic outcomes. Among awards received, Dr. Davis is the 2013 Montclair State University LGBT Center’s Faculty/Staff LGBTQ Ally of the Year and 2012 Distinguished Faculty, Excellence in Teacher Preparation award given by NJ’s Office of the Secretary of Higher Education and the NJ Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Danne is also active with GLSEN-Northern NJ.

Photo of Andrea Dini

Andrea Dini

241 F Schmitt Hall (For office hours, please send me an email.)

University of Wisconsin-Madison, PhD (Italian Literature, Second Language Acquisition)
Università di Firenze, Italy (Italian Literature)
GSWS and Modern Languages and Literatures

Expertise Areas: language pedagogy; Medieval and 20th-century Italian literature (with emphasis on Fascist/Resistance Literature and GLBTQ issues); comparative literature (Italian/American/English); GLBTQ American literature and musical theater.
Biography: I am Associate Professor of Italian and Coordinator of the GLBTQ Studies Minor at Montclair State. I have co-authored with Graziana Lazzarino several editions of Prego! An Introduction to Italian (and authored its Workbook/Lab) (McGrawHill 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011). I am the author of Il Premio Nazionale Riccione e Italo Calvino (Ponte Vecchio, 2007); co-editor with Fabian Alfie of Accessus Ad Auctores ((Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 2012) and with Chris Kleinhenz of Teaching Petrarch and the Petrarchan Tradition (Modern Language Association, 2014).

Appalachian State University, BA in Psychology
North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (Joint Program), Master of Social Work (MSW)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, PhD in Human Development & Family Science

Expertise Areas: Couple Dynamics, Heteronormativity, Intersectionality, Queer Families, Queer Theory, Sexuality and Health, Social Justice, Stepfamilies
Biography: Dr. Brad van Eeden-Moorefield is a Professor in Family Science and Human Development and the Associate Department Chair for Social Justice Initiatives. Broadly, his research focuses on understanding connections among social context (e.g., heteronormativity), family interactions (e.g., communication, sexual dynamics) and health and well-being. He has published articles in various journals (e.g., Journal of Family Psychology, Sex Roles, Journal of GLBT Family Studies), has four books (e.g., Designing and Proposing Your Research Project, Treating Contemporary Families: Toward a More An Inclusive Clinical Approach), and has two journal Guest (Co)Editorships (Intersectional Variations in the Experiences of Queer Families; Transformative Family Scholarship: Theory, Practice, and Research at the Intersection of Families, Race and Social Justice). He also helps with a community group working with individuals at the intersection of LGBTQ+ and developmental disabilities and/or those on the Autism Spectrum.

Montclair State University, BA (Linguistics), MA (Counseling with a concentration in Higher Education and Student Affairs)

Expertise: LGBTQ programming and education, Diversity and inclusion topics
Biography: Ebony Jackson has been working in higher education for over five years. Prior to coming to Montclair State University in February 2018, she served as the Coordinator of the Women’s Center at Ramapo College of New Jersey for a year and a half. She is dedicated to DEI programming, education, and advocacy. She shapes her approach from an intersectional lens with influence from Audre Lorde’s quote: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

University of Maryland, BA (Economics)
American University, MA (Economics)

Biography: Maneesha Kelkar is an activist with nearly two decades at the intersection of gender justice and migration. Her work has revolved around gender-based violence, and a gendered exploration of migration and the economy.

She has worked as a practitioner as well as an advocate, leading social justice organizations with work ranging from service provision to policy advocacy. In particular, she has been at the helm of Manavi (working to end violence against South Asian women), Jersey Promise (a policy organization for Asian Americans in NJ) and the New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice (advocating for policies that welcome and support immigrants in NJ).

In her current role as a consultant, she advises social justice organizations and the US Office on Violence Against Women in her areas of expertise.

New York University 2005, PhD (Teaching and Learning, English Education)
Stanford University 1996, MA (Curriculum and Instruction)
Barnard College of Columbia University 1994, BA (English, Education Program)

Expertise Areas: teacher professional learning, teacher leadership, gender and feminism in schools
Biography: Emily J. Klein is a professor at Montclair State University in the Department of Teaching and Learning and additionally teaches in the Teacher Education and Teacher Development Doctoral program as well as the department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She is also Academic Co-Editor of The Educational Forum, the journal of Kappa Delta Pi. The author of several articles and books on teacher professional learning, teacher leadership, and gender and feminism, she is currently working on her third book, Our Bodies Tell the Story: Using Co/autoethnography to Disrupt the Patriarchy in Our Lives and in Our Classrooms.

Expertise: trans and queer cultural production; contemporary poetry; creative writing; disability studies; writing across disciplines
Biography: Zefyr Lisowski is a poet, interdisciplinary artist, and educator from North Carolina. She holds an MFA in Poetry from Hunter College and has been the recipient of fellowships from Tin House Writers Workshop, the Center for the Humanities’ Adjunct Incubator Grant, and more. Zefyr’s the author of the short poetry collection Blood Box (Black Lawrence Press, 2019) and is a poetry co-editor at Apogee Journal. Also working as a writing consultant at the Baruch Writing Center, she’s especially excited about trans and queer competency in higher education; writing across genres and disciplines; disability studies; and horror films as queer culture. Her website is

New York University, PhD (Women and the Representation of Childhood in Latin America Literature)
Queens College, MA
Queens College, BA
GSWS and Spanish and Latino Studies

Expertise areas: Latin America
Biography: I am an associate professor of Spanish and Latino Studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey.

Pennsylvania State University, BA (English and Religious Studies)
University of Pennsylvania, MS (Secondary English Education)
Montclair State University, PhD (Teacher Education and Teacher Development)

Expertise: Feminist theory, queer theory, social justice, English education
Biography: Dr. Lormand is an adjunct professor and high school English teacher who is passionate about transforming teaching, learning, and schooling with a focus on intersectional social justice. Outside of school, she loves to hike, camp, and travel. She recently completed her goal of visiting all 50 U.S. states. Her next goal will be to visit all 7 continents.

Barnard College, Columbia University, BA
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, MA
The Graduate Center, CUNY, PhD

Biography: Professor Venezia Michalsen is an Associate Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University. Dr. Michalsen’s research interests focus on gender and the American correctional system. She came to Montclair State University after working at the Women’s Prison Association, the nation’s oldest organization serving women with criminal justice system involvement. Dr. Michalsen teaches courses cross-listed with the Women’s and Gender Studies program, including “Gender and Crime” and the very popular “Human Trafficking.”

Biography: I am an instructional specialist in the Writing Studies Department. I teach first year composition (WRIT 105 and 106), public and professional writing courses, and the GSWS 102: Introduction to Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies class. I received my M.A. in American Literature from Montclair State University, and my Ph.D. in Composition and Rhetoric, with a focus in Critical Race Theory, from the University of Nebraska. My scholarly interests include the study of the intersections among race, gender, class, sexuality, and other identity positions, and the ways in which systemic oppression is socio-rhetorically constructed and perpetuated across cultural institutions.
Bank Street College of Education, MS (Early Childhood Education)
Montclair State University, PhD (Teacher Education and Teacher Development)

Expertise: Critical literacy, social justice education, and teacher education.
Biography: Angela Pack is a recent graduate from Montclair State University with a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Teacher Development. Her research focus is critical literacy and social justice in early childhood education and teacher education. She is also interested in self-study and action research.

Ramapo College, BA
Temple University, MA
Temple University, PhD

Biography: Dr. Tatum Petrich received a PhD in English and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from Temple University. Her research interests include contemporary American literature, women’s studies, and composition and rhetoric. She teaches courses in the Writing Studies and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies departments.

Temple University, PhD (English w/rhetoric-composition focus)
Franklin and Marshall College, BA (English and Government)
GSWS and Department of Writing Studies

Expertise Areas: feminist rhetorics and theory; feminist methodologies, especially ethnography; medical rhetoric and narrative medicine; composition pedagogy and theory; new writing teacher preparation; community-based and activist writing; political theory of Hannah Arendt
Biography: Jessica Restaino, Writing Studies Department chair and professor, received her PhD from Temple University. Her research interests include composition theory and pedagogy, writing teacher preparation, community-based and activist writing, feminist rhetorics and research methodologies, and rhetorics of health and medicine. She teaches courses across a range of department offerings. She is the author of Surrender: Feminist Rhetorics and Ethics in Love and Illness (SIU Press 2019), recipient of the 2020 CCCC Outstanding Book Award; First Semester: Graduate Studies, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground (SWR/NCTE 2012); and co-editor (with Laurie Cella) of Unsustainable: Re-Imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning, and the University (Lexington 2012). Her essays and book chapters appear widely, and she has served as an editorial board member for a number of professional publications, including College Composition and Communication; and Composition Studies.

Temple University, PhD (Renaissance drama)
Virginia Tech, MA (English)
Jadavpur University (India), MA (English)
Jadavpur University (India), BA (English)
GSWS and Department of Writing Studies

Expertise Areas: Shakespeare; Renaissance drama; metatheater; tragedy; composition; pedagogy; mythology and folklore; speculative fiction
Biography: I am an Instructional Specialist in Writing Studies and in the First-Year Writing Program. I have wide-ranging interests and teaching experience, but my courses are invariably concerned about issues of performance, power, audience and gender. I have taught and published in both India and the USA, with my work most recently appearing in The Palgrave Anthology of Shakespeare’s Queens.

Texas Southern University, PhD (Administration of Justice)
New Jersey City University, MS, BS (Criminal Justice)
GSWS and Justice Studies

Expertise Areas: Black Feminist Criminology, Critical Criminology, Black Lives
Biography: Dr. Williams is an Assistant Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University, and he is an affiliated faculty with GSWS. He recently co-authored and edited Contemporary Ethical Issues in the Criminal Justice System. Moreover, his current research projects involve investigating the perceptions and experiences of African American community members with police in Ferguson MO, Baltimore MD, and Newark NJ. He has published several peer-reviewed pieces concerning topics under his expertise, and he has won The New Scholar Award from the Division on People of Color and Crime of the American Society of Criminology. He is a devout urban ethnographer and critical researcher. He believes in setting a transformative classroom experience, and; therefore, embraces critical pedagogy as a teaching strategy.

Part-Time Faculty

Denise Owens