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Gender Studies Council

The Gender Studies Council meets several times during a semester.  Visitors are welcome to attend.  If you are interested in visiting a meeting and/or becoming a member of the council, contact the senior director.

During its meetings, the council discusses ways in which the minor curriculum can most effectively meet the needs of our students in terms of curriculum and preparing them for future academic and professional undertakings.  We discuss ways in which to engage the campus and surrounding community and to contribute to campus and community needs.


The Gender Studies Council invites you to explore our interdisciplinary Gender Studies Minor, which offers undergraduate students an opportunity to combine study of various disciplines in order to achieve a firm understanding of concepts of gender, the ideologies surrounding them, and the impact theories and research of gender have on our greater communities.

Our dynamic faculty members of the Gender Studies Council instruct a number of courses across all campuses, in cooperation with departments across the curriculum, to give students a well-rounded understanding of how the role of gender intersects with society, economy, politics, history, literature, arts, and much more.

Gender Studies courses are open to all undergraduate students. If you are interested in pursuing a Gender Studies Minor, please feel free to contact one of our advisors. We welcome all to explore courses offered, undergraduate student accomplishments, events hosted by the  council and the impressive scholarship of our students and faculty alike.

The Gender Studies Council


Gender studies focuses on the relations across genders, considering how gender intersects with social, ethnic and cultural differences, and exploring the dynamics among gender, power and norms. In this field of study, students examine gender relations in the past, present and future.

Gender studies facilitates the understanding of social processes, exploring, through this lens, possible solutions to current problems facing societies today. Gender-studies research might suggest, for example, that the needs of students can be better met if educational requirements are systematically researched from a gender perspective. Student research might confirm assumptions that women have difficulties balancing family and responsibilities at work, but also find that men currently suffer from this problem, as well.

A gender-studies student might seek to address the discrepancy in which women work the same jobs as men but receive less money for their work, or the trends indicating that women still face greater challenges than men in obtaining leadership positions. Or, gender-studies research might focus on the negative effects of defining gender in terms of a simple binary, assigning all people to one of only two (male or female) gender categories.

Our mission is to promote interdisciplinary studies in order to achieve a better understanding of gender concepts, the ideologies surrounding them, and the impact of these ideologies. This program seeks to engage critically with gender realities, identities, and norms from inter-sectional perspectives. Gender studies is committed to promoting acceptance of diversity and educating future agents of change.

The Gender Studies Council members envision the impact of the program being the development of future leaders who will empower a diverse workforce and community to participate in organizational decision-making and public policymaking. Our alumni, as agents of change, can be expected to help to develop a society in which all individuals foster inclusiveness, diversity, and representativeness.

Would you like to be more informed and prepare to work as an agent for change? If so, join us and participate.


If you would like to support the Gender Studies Council and the Gender Studies Minor at the University of North Georgia, please consider donating to our Foundation account. Thanks to donors of past donations, the Gender Studies Council has been able to contribute to honoraria for guest speakers, including activists and poets; fund cultural events on campus, such as The Vagina Monologues and art exhibits; and build a core collection of books in gender theory to support teaching our "Introduction to Gender Studies" course.

We would also like to fund research for students and faculty members and scholarships for outstanding gender-studies students. We invite members of the campus community, alumni, and community members to become supporters of the program. All donations are welcome! Please consider making a donation now and annually. Send your tax-deductible donation, payable to the "UNG Foundation," to this address:

UNG Foundation
P. O. Box 1599
Dahlonega, Ga. 30533

You can also donate at Specify Gender Studies (Fund Number 6426) as the recipient. For more information, contact Dr. Yi Deng, treasurer of the Gender Studies Council, at 706-867-2745 or

Many thanks!

Gender Studies Council Members

Maria Calatayud
Maria Calatayud, Ph.D., Assoc Professor, Spanish
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4248, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: Contemporary Latin American Women Artist
Cameron Crawford
Cameron Crawford, Senior Lecturer
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4132, Gainesville
Elizabeth Combier
Elizabeth Combier, Ph.D., Professor
Dunlap Hall, 303A, Dahlonega
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4116, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: Spanish & French
Yi Deng
Yi Deng, Ph.D, Associate Professor, Philosophy
Barnes Hall, 330, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: Political and Social Philosophy, Ethics, Chinese Philosophy
James Grindeland
James Grindeland, Ph.D., Lecturer, Philosophy
Strickland Academic, 205, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Epistemology
Phillip Guerty
Phillip Guerty, Ph.D., Associate Professor, History
Strickland Academic, 120, Gainesville
Olivier Le Blond
Olivier Le Blond, Ph.D., Associate Professor of French
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4238, Gainesville
Dunlap Hall, 301A, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: French and Francophone literature, gender studies
Vivian Liddell
Vivian Liddell, Assistant Professor
Hansford Hall, 217, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: Painting, Drawing, Craft Media, Mixed Media, Contemporary Art and Feminist Theory
Anastasia Lin
Anastasia Lin, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President - Research & Engagement., Assistant Dean of Student Research and Scholarship
Price Memorial, 102, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: Undergraduate Research, Nationally Competitive Scholarships, Multi-Ethnic Literature, Asian American Poetry, Orientalism, Literary Cartography
Johanna Luthman
Dr. Johanna Luthman, Professor - History
Strickland Academic, 217, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: British Tudor and Stuart history (1500s and 1600s), gender history, history of love, sex, and marriage
Ary Malaver
Ary Malaver, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Spanish
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4248, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: Latin American Short Narrative, Microfiction in Latin America and Spain, Latinx Literature and Culture in the United States
Joshua Martin
Joshua Martin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Dunlap Hall, 322A, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: U.S.-Mexico Border Literature and Cultural Production, Latin American literature (20-21st centuries), Gender Studies and Masculinity Studies, Social Theory
Michallene McDaniel
Michallene McDaniel, Professor
Strickland Academic, 102, Gainesville
Kelly McFaden
Kelly McFaden, Ph.D., Professor, SFE; Department Head, Social Foundations & Leadership
Dunlap Hall, 212B, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: Social Justice, Comparative and International Education, Social Studies Education
Austin Riede
Dr. Austin Riede, Associate Professor
Dunlap Hall, 202B, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: British Literature, Modernism, World War I Literature, Film, Science Fiction
Tamara Spike
Tamara Spike, Ph.D., Interim Associate Department Head
Barnes Hall, 319, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: Latin America, Ethnohistory
Alvaro Torres-Calderon
Alvaro Torres-Calderon, Ph.D., Associate Department Chair
Dunlap Hall, 314D, Dahlonega
Area(s) of Expertise: XIX and XX Latin American Literature, The Building of the Nation, Women, Identity and Progress in Latin America XIX and XX Century
Anita Turlington
Anita Turlington, Associate Professor
Nesbitt Academic Building, 4152, Gainesville
Alexander Wisnoski
Alexander Wisnoski, III, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, History
Strickland Academic, 206, Gainesville
Area(s) of Expertise: Latin American History, Early Modern World

More Info

Student Accomplishments

Student Profiles

Brittany Barron

Brittany Barron, an English major, gender-studies minor, and honor student on UNG’s Gainesville campus, has published her essay “For What Crime Was I Driven from Society?: Material Bodies in Mary Hays’s The Victim of Prejudice and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein” in the international peer-reviewed journal gender forum. The online journal runs a young-scholar edition every year, and Brittany’s work was chosen to appear in this issue.

Brittany decided to explore the intersection between gender and literature because she wanted to learn more about terms that she came across, such as “rape culture,” the “woman question,” and women as “the other.” In her gender-studies courses, she learned that we live in a society that perpetuates rape culture, body shaming, and victim blaming.

She also finds that gender-studies courses have helped her and her peers to not be afraid of feminism. Brittany explains, “Male students may think we’re a men-bashing organization, and female students may not want to be labeled with an often stigmatized term. By studying gender, students will learn the truth about these myths and help create a more positive image of feminism and other prevalent gender concerns.”

Of the many lessons Brittany has learned in gender-studies courses, she declares: “I bring awareness to sexual violence and its emotional and physical consequences in my academic writing and my creative writing as well.”


The Simone de Beauvoir is Awarded each year to the top student project, selected by the Gender Studies Council. The council will issue a call for submissions via the UNG Notice Board. The recipient of this award can be an undergraduate student on any UNG campus with any area of study. The recipient of the award will receive a plaque, monetary prize and will be recognized at the Honor's Banquet.

Simone de Beauvoir Award: Excellence in Gender Studies
For Excellence in Feminist Theory and Practice

Karen Roop
Sonya Whetstone
Allison Harris
Denise Ray
Helen Davies &
Chelsea Gibson
Renee Clare-Kovaks
Brittney L. O'Bryan
Sawyer Henderson
Darrelyn Thomas
Brittany Barron &
Lauren Billet 
Haley Paterson
Rachel Parker
Deanna Simonds


Senior Director: Cameron Crawford

Junior Director: Vivian Liddell

Gender Study Advisors

Dahlonega: Erin Bush

Gainesville: Johanna Luthman

How Can I Join?

The main qualification is an active interest in the study of gender.  Contact the senior director for further information.

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