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Faculty and Staff

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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.



Tamicha Adams is the program assistant for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in English from Kean University. Additionally, she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Counseling with a concentration in Student Affairs and Higher Education from Montclair State University. With over a decade of experience in higher education administration, her areas of interest include counseling, academic/career advising, higher education, and crisis intervention.

GSWS Teaching Faculty

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).

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.

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).

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.
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.

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

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.”

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: I am Associate Professor of Writing Studies. I am the author of First Semester: Graduate Students, Teaching Writing, and the Challenge of Middle Ground (Southern Illinois University Press/NCTE 2012); co-editor with Laurie Cella of Unsustainable: Re-imagining Community Literacy, Public Writing, Service-Learning, and the University (Lexington 2012); and author of Surrender: Feminist Rhetoric and Ethics in Love and Illness (Southern Illinois University Press forthcoming 2019).

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.