Dr. Vrushali Patil

Department Chair and Associate Professor

Fine Arts 413B


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Historical Sociology; Feminist Theory; Intersections of coloniality, empire, race, nation, gender and sexuality.

Vrushali Patil is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Gender, Women’s, + Sexuality Studies.  She received a Graduate Certificate in Women’s Studies (2004) and a PhD in Sociology (2006) from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Patil is a historical sociologist and feminist theorist.  Dr. Patil is interested in how interrelated histories of coloniality, empire, race, nation, gender and sexuality matter for feminist scholarship broadly and for feminist theorizing specifically.  In this vein, her 2022 book Webbed Connectivities: The Imperial Sociology of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality (Univ of Minnesota Press) explores the difference interrelated histories of coloniality, empire and race make for theorizing sex, gender, and sexuality.  Her 2007 book Negotiating Decolonization in the United Nations: Politics of Space, Identity and International Community (Routledge) brings together intersectional and transnational feminist perspectives to explore how a politics of masculinity shaped the debates on decolonization that transpired in the United Nations after World War II.  Dr. Patil has also published a number of journal articles exploring these themes in such journals as Signs, Gender & Society, Journal of Historical Sociology, Sex Roles, Annals of Tourism Research, Tourism Geographies, Sociological Theory, Theory and Society, and Ethnic and Racial Studies, among others.

At UMBC, Dr. Patil teaches undergraduate and graduate versions of Theories of Feminism, among other courses.



Dr. Carole McCann


Fine Arts 411


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Transnational Feminist Science Studies, and the population/reproductive politics.

Dr. Carole McCann is Professor of Gender, Women’s, + Sexuality Studies. She received her Ph.D. in the History of Consciousness from the University of California, Santa Cruz.  She served as Director of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program from 1998 to 2005 and from 2008 to 2014, when the Program became a Department. She has served as Department Chair since that time. She holds an Affiliate Faculty appointment in the Language, Literacy and Culture Doctoral Program. She is also Special Assistant to the Provost for Interdisciplinary Activities, Chair of the Interdisciplinary Activities Advisory Committee, and Co-Director of the UMBC Interdisciplinary CoLab summer internship program.

Dr. McCann’s scholarship involves three intertwined themes: transnational feminist theory, transnational feminist science studies, and the population/reproductive politics. She co-edits the Feminist Theory Reader: Local and Global Perspectives with Seung-kyung Kim (New York: Routledge Press, 2003, 2009, 2013, 2016, and 2021). Dr. Emek Ergun (LLC PhD. 2009) has joined the editorial team for the 2021 edition. Dr. McCann is also author of Figuring the Population Bomb, (University of Washington Press, Feminist Technosciences Series, 2016) and Birth Control Politics in the United States, 1916-1945 (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1994; 1999). She was awarded the 2017-2018 Lipitz Professorship, UMBC.

At UMBC, Dr. McCann teaches undergraduate and graduate versions of Theories of Feminisms and Methodologies of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies as well as the undergraduate course, Reproductive Justice.


Ms. Courtney Cook

Visiting Lecturer

Fine Arts 416

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Black girlhood, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and the cultural impact of media on race and gender.

Courtney Cook is an Adjunct Faculty member at Towson University and at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Cook has a Masters in Nonprofit Management from The New School and in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.  Her research interests black girlhood, the intersections of race, gender, and class, and the cultural impact of media on race and gender.


Dr. Kate Drabinski

Principal Lecturer

Director of WILL+ Program

Fine Arts 417


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Transgender Studies, Critical Pedagogy, Public History, Theories of Activism.

Dr. Kate Drabinski is Principal Lecturer of Gender and Women’s Studies, and she is also the Director of the Women Involved in Learning and Leadership (WILL+) program, a co-curricular program and Living-Learning community sponsored by GWST. She received her Ph.D. in Rhetoric with a graduate certificate in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006. She has taught a wide range of introductory courses in gender and sexuality studies at several universities. During her four-year tenure at Tulane University, Kate presided over a curriculum revision process that resulted in tremendous enrollment growth in the Gender and Sexuality Studies department.

At UMBC she teaches Introduction to Transgender Studies, Introduction to Critical Sexuality Studies, Studies in Feminist Activism, Unruly Bodies, and Sexuality and Queer Theory.

Dr. Kate is the point person for the Critical Sexuality Studies minor that she helped develop in 2011-2012. She serves on advisory boards for the Public Humanities minor, and the Orser Center for the Study of Place, Community and Culture. She is co-chair, with Dr. Michelle Scott, of the Women’s Faculty Network.

Kate’s research interests include transgender studies, critical pedagogy, public history, and theories of activism. She is on the Editorial Board of the journal Radical Teacher and the Baltimore Heritage LGBT History Committee. She writes a popular bicycling blog that deals with local history, politics, and culture and regularly hosts walking tours about Baltimore. She has written extensively for local and web-based publications. Her latest publication is the edited volume Baltimore Revisited: Stories of Inequality and Resistance in a U.S. City, co-edited with Dr. Nicole King and Dr. Joshua Clarke Davis (Rutgers UP, 2019).


Picture of Dr. Kathryn Kein, a white woman with short brown hair wearing a dark blue button up shirt. The shirt has small white polkadots and white buttons. She is standing in the center of the frame smiling at the camera.

Dr. Kathryn Kein


Associate Director of WILL+

Fine Arts 411


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Feminism, Race, Social Movements, Popular Culture.

Dr. Kathryn Kein is a Lecturer in the Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies Department. She received her Ph.D. in American Studies from The George Washington University in 2016. Dr. Kein’s research interests include gender and sexuality, feminism, race, social movements, and popular culture.

Dr. Kein’s written work has focused on gender, sexuality, and feminism in American comedy. In 2015 she published a review essay on feminism and humor,  “Recovering our Sense of Humor: New Directions in Feminist Humor Studies,” in the journal Feminist Studies. In “Domestic Failure, Comic Pleasure: Phyllis Diller and the Feminist Potential of Failure, 1955 – 1969,” published in Studies in American Humor (2018), she explores the work of legendary comedian Phyllis Diller and the affective impact of her failed housewife persona. “Awkward Embrace: Tig Notaro and the Humor of Social Discomfort,” in the collection Taking a Stand: American Stand-up Comedians as Public Intellectuals (2021), examines the role of Notaro’s “awkward” comedy in relation to queer identity and politics.

At UMBC, Dr. Kein teaches a variety of courses on gender, sexuality, and popular culture, including Introduction to Gender and Women’s Studies; Introduction to Critical Sexuality Studies, Queer Representation in Film and TV; Gender, Race, and Media; and Gender and Sitcoms.

Dr. Kein also serves as the Associate Director of the WILL+ program—Women involved in Learning and Leadership—and as UMBC’s Faculty Athletic Representative.


Dr. María Célleri

Assistant Professor

Fine Arts 415


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Latin America & Caribbean Studies (Andean Studies), Decolonial Feminisms, Reproductive Justice, Urban Studies, Cultural Studies.

María Célleri is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies at UMBC. She received her Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, San Diego. She has also earned a Master’s in Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University and a Master’s in Hispanic Language’s & Literature from Stony Brook University.

Her current book project, Uncovering the Virgen del Panecillo: Quito’s Postcolonial Urban Transformation & Decolonial Future Imaginaries examines the political and symbolic importance of the monument of the Virgen del Panecillo in a postcolonial cultural research study of how public monuments come to represent and often reproduce national imaginations which are then mapped onto national territories. The Virgen del Panecillo is a 41-meter-tall statue of the Virgin of Immaculate Conception, which was constructed in 1976 in Quito, Ecuador’s historical city center. She stands on top of El Panecillo, a 200-meter-high hill in central Quito, where the Inkan sun temple Yavirak once stood tall and is one of Quito’s most popular tourist attractions. The struggle for representation in colonial and national histories is a central theme of my book project. The central questions I examine are: How is Quito’s colonial history reimagined, packaged, and sold for touristic consumption during the 1970s and what role did the Virgen del Panecillo serve for the nation as a form of cultural capital? What symbolic meaning does she possess for quiteñas/os/es, Ecuadorians, and Andean peoples today and how have contemporary artistic representations of the Virgin exposed the often-hidden connections between colonialism, Catholicism, and the production of gendered, sexualized, and racial gazes? A chapter of the book, “From La Virgen del Panecillo to La Virgen del Legrado: (Trans)national Feminist Struggles for Reproductive Rights in the Andes,” appears in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies 41.2 (Fall 2020).

She has also published a co-authored article, “América’s Home: A Dialogue about Displacement, Globalization, and Activism.” Co-authored with Denise Fuller, Delia Fernandez, and Danielle Olden, Frontiers 34.1. Spring 2013.

At UMBC, she teaches Introduction of Gender, Women’s & Sexuality Studies; Feminist Methodologies; Transnational Feminist Film; and Gender, Human Rights + Political Violence in Latin America.

She is also an affiliate faculty member at UMBC’s Language, Literacy & Culture Program: https://llc.umbc.edu/people/llc-affiliate-faculty/

Her research interests include Latin America & Caribbean Studies (Andean Studies); decolonial feminisms; reproductive justice; urban studies; cultural studies

Visit her site: www.mariacelleri.com


Dr. Mejdulene Shomali

Associate Professor

Fine Arts 416

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Queer and Queer of Color Critiques, Transnational Feminisms, Women of Color Feminisms, Arab and Arab American Studies, SWANA Studies, Cultural Studies.

Mejdulene Bernard Shomali is a queer Palestinian poet and Associate Professor in the Department of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies at University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). She received a PhD in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 2015 and an MA in Women’s Studies from Ohio State University in 2009. Her first book, Between Banat: Queer Arab Critique and Transnational Arab Archives  was published by Duke University Press (Feb 2023). For the 23-34 academic year, she is in residence as a fellow at Cornell’s Society for the Humanities. At Cornell she is working on a project called Palestine Matters: Aesthetics, Embodiment, and Pleasure in Palestine and teaching a seminar called “Feeling Free: Radical Aesthetics and Political Affects.”

Prof. Shomali has published a number of peer reviewed essays on gender and sexuality in transnational Arab culture including: “Scheherazade and the Limits of Inclusive Politics in Arab American Literature” in Multi Ethnic Literatures of the US (also anthologized in Arab American Women: Representation and Refusal (eds. Cainkar, Joseph, & Suleiman Syracuse UP September 2021); “Political Social Movements: Homosexuality and Queer Movements” in The Encyclopedia of Women and Islamic Cultures; and “Dancing Queens: Queer Desire in Golden Era Egyptian Cinema” in the Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies. “The Pulse of Queer Life: Arab Bodies in Gay Bars” was published in Sajjilu Arab American: A SWANA Reader (eds. Cainkar, Jarmakani & Vinson Syracuse UP September 2022.

Prof. Shomali is also working on chapbook and full length poetry volume.  Her individual poems and creative pieces can be read or are forthcoming in Copper NickelCosmonauts AvenueThe Shade JournalTinderboxDiode PressThe Pinch Journal, and Mizna, among others. For poems and essays, click here.

At UMBC, Prof. Shomali teaches multiple interdisciplinary courses including: Intro to Women’s and Gender Studies; Intro to Critical Sexuality Studies; Race, Gender and Media; Theories of Feminism; and the GWST Research + Activism Colloquium. She also designed and teaches two original courses:  “Trans/National Femininities” and “Arab and Muslim Experiences in the US.” The latter is the first course offered at UMBC that looks at Arab and Muslim life in the US. Additionally, she has developed university-wide programming around Arab and Muslim identity. In Spring 2017, Prof. Shomali was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Ally Award at the Lavender Celebration, UMBC’s yearly event honoring LGBTQIA students, faculty, and staff.