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Scanlon returning to full-time GSWS professorship

April 14, 2017

Interim Dean for Academic Affairs Jennifer Scanlon will return to the role of full-time Professor of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies (GSWS) next semester. Scanlon has served as interim dean for academic affairs for the past two years and was associate dean for two years before that, while also teaching part-time.

In December, the College announced that Elizabeth McCormack, currently professor of physics at Bryn Mawr College, will become dean of academic affairs effective July 1. McCormack will also teach physics at Bowdoin.

As the interim dean for academic affairs, Scanlon has been involved in a number of significant projects, including the College’s reaccreditation process and the development of the new Roux Center for the Environment. She is excited to be back in the classroom next semester and has already begun making preparations for her courses.

“I keep getting new books out of the library and thinking about my courses and what’s changed in the scholarly work since I taught last,” she said.

Professor of GSWS Kristen Ghodsee is also excited to see Scanlon returning to the classroom.

“It’ll be nice I think for her to have the opportunity to be in a classroom and she’s teaching Feminist Theory, which is one of our core courses,” Ghodsee said.

In addition to Feminist Theory, Scanlon will be teaching a first-year seminar entitled “Bad Girls of the 1950s.”

Tessa Westfall ’18, a GSWS major, was happy to learn that Scanlon will be teaching next year. Westfall commented on some of the challenges of studying GSWS, including difficulties like being taken seriously as GSWS major.

“I think that’s just proof that it’s worth studying, that people still don’t see it as a valid thing to look at and to explore in an academic context,” said Westfall.

Last year Bowdoin hired Assistant Professor of GSWS Jay Sosa, who is a full-time tenure-track faculty member and will be teaching two GSWS courses in the fall.

There are currently a total of nineteen rising junior and senior majors in the GSWS program. As it is a program, not a department, many GSWS courses are taught by faculty who specialize in other fields. In addition to the core courses currently offered in GSWS next semester, 13 courses originating in other departments are cross-listed with GSWS, for a total of 18 GSWS courses this fall.

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