Professor Kitch is a feminist cultural theorist, with specialties in feminist epistemology, theories of interdisciplinarity, and theories of gender representation in visual and narrative culture, with a focus on the material effects of such representation on the lived realities of diverse women’s lives. She is also interested in the effects of cultural narratives in creating oppression and disadvantage and in alternative narratives of resistance to those effects. One key focus of her narrative-historical research has been the relationship between narratives of utopianism, gender, and feminism. (She has been credited with creating utopianism/dystopianism as a sub-field of feminist theory.) She has also published widely in the field of women and gender studies, with a focus on graduate women's studies/gender studies education and the transdisciplinary research mission of the field.
As PI for an international Mellon-funded project, Humanities for the Environment, Professor Kitch is currently engaged in digital humanities projects that interrogate and address Resilience in the Anthropocene: Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice. See: www.hfe.wfu.edu. She is currently working on gender and sustainability theory, with an emphasis on human diversity and biodiversity.
Feminist theory, theories and history of race and gender intersectionality, utopianism and gender/feminism, transnational feminism.
Contested Terrain: Reflections With Afghan Women Leaders. University of Illinois Press, 2014.
The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States. SUNY Press, 2009. (John Hope Franklin Prize, Top 2 Finalist, American Studies Association, 2010).
Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in Feminist Thought and Theory. University of Chicago Press, 2000.
Recent Articles and Book Chapters
“Epilogue: Gender, Peace, and War.” Women and Peace in the Islamic World: Gender, Agency and Influence. London: I.B. Tauris, forthcoming Fall 2014.
“Utopia.” Critical Terms for the Study of Gender. Ed. Gilbert Herdt and Catharine Stimpson, University of Chicago Press, 2014.
“Analyzing Women’s Studies Dissertations: Methodologies, Epistemologies, and Field Formation.” Signs 38, No. 1 (September 2012): 99-126.
Letter to Linneaus About Race,” in Letters to Linneaus. Ed. Sandra Knapp and Quentin Wheeler. London: Linnean Society, 2009: 105-09.
“Chapter 6: Feminist Interdisciplinary Approaches to Knowledge Building,” The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis.” Ed. Sharlene Hesse-Biber. Sage Publications, 2007: 123-39.
“Afghan Women Leaders Speak: An Academic, Activist Conference,” co-author Margaret Mills, NWSA Journal: special issue on gender, war, and peace, 18.3 (Fall 2006): 191-201.
Ph.D., Emory University
Field: Cultural Studies (American social history, symbolic anthropology, critical theory)
Honors: Woodrow Wilson Research Grant in Women's Studies (dissertation fellowship)
Danforth Foundation Fellowship, four years
Emory University Fellowship, two years
M.A., University of Chicago
Field: Aesthetic Theory (Philosophy, Literature, Art)
Honors: University Fellowship
A.B., Cornell University
Minor: Art History
Honors: Graduation with Distinction in All Subjects (Summa cum laude)
Phi Beta Kappa
English Honors Program