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Faculty Profile

Katie Oliviero

(she/her/hers)Associate Professor of Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies (2014)

Contact Information

olivierk@dickinson.edu

Denny Hall Room 04

Bio

Dr. Oliviero's teaching and research specializations include transnational feminisms, immigration, QLGBT studies, critical race theory, reproductive justice, law, social movements and cultural analysis. Her book, "Vulnerability Politics: The Uses and Abuses of Precarity in Political Debate" (NYU University Press, 2018) explores how social movements leverage nationalist, gendered, racialized and sexualized narratives of risk to influence the law in controversies over immigration, gay rights, reproductive justice and state-sponsored violence. Additional publications on queer marriage, stand your ground laws, the murder of Trayvon Martin, and the Dreamers appear in Debating Same-Sex Marriage in the Lesbian and Gay Movement(Minnesota UP 2013), Feminist Formations (2013, 2016); Frontiers (2021); Signs (2011/2017); and Women's Studies International Forum (2009). A new project explores if concepts of precarity and resilience can rework existing feminism global justice frameworks, with an emphasis on sexual asylum policies, migration, LGBT parents citizenship-transmission rights, and disability. Katie holds a PhD and MA in Gender Studies from UCLA, and a BA in Women’'s Studies from Dartmouth College. As a recipient of a 2010-2012 postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Law, she taught classes in both the Gender Studies doctoral program and the law school under the auspices of the Feminism and Legal Theory Project as well as the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative. Between 2012-2014, Dr. Oliviero was an American Council of Learned Societies New Faculty Fellow at the University of Colorado, Boulder's Women and Gender Studies program and law school.

Education

  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 2002
  • M.A., University of California-Los Angeles, 2007
  • Ph.D., 2010

2021-2022 Academic Year

Fall 2021

WGSS 300 Feminist Perspect & Theories
This course deepens students’ understandings of how feminist perspectives situate power and privilege in relationship to interlocking categories of gender, race, class, sexuality, ability and nation. Through foundational theoretical texts, it expands students’ understandings of significant theoretical frameworks that inform women’s, gender, critical race and sexuality studies, as well as debates and tensions within them. Frameworks may include political activisms, materialist feminism, standpoint epistemologies, critiques of scientific objectivity, intersectionality, postcolonialism, psychoanalysis, queer theory, transnational critique and feminist legal theory. Helps students develop more nuanced understandings of the relationship between everyday experiences, political institutions, forms of resistance and theoretical meaning-making. Prerequisite: WGSS 100.

WGSS 301 Queer Politics & Fem Thought
Drawing from queer, women of color, transgender and transnational perspectives, this course explores key concepts and tensions between queer politics and feminist thought. How does queerness complicate feminist understandings of gendered bodies and sexual behavior, particularly as they are shaped by race, nation, ability, and culture? In what ways does approaching queerness not only as an identity but as a politics contribute to feminist understandings of the relationship between people’s lives and institutional forces like government, medicine and family? Part I surveys the evolution of queer theory’s key concepts and debates with an emphasis on their relationship to feminist understandings of experience, intersectionality, and gender flexibility. Part II explores the visions queer politics offer up for living in a world that is otherwise than it is – what I term queer dreams. Central to Part II’s investigation is how queerness - as a lived experience and a politics - engages with contemporary feminist discussions around racial justice, ability, coalition-building, structural inequality, identity, sexual freedom, globalization, and violence. Through their final research projects, students will explore how queer and feminist theories’ evolving debates apply to a given cultural or political phenomenon of their choice. Creative projects such as podcasts, Op-documentaries, zines and graphic stories are invited. Prerequisites as indicated or another course with permission of the instructor.

WGSS 302 Immigration Politics
Cross-listed with SOCI 313-01.Immigration Politics: Gender, Race and Sexuality in Contemporary Migration Desc: Why do global controversies over immigration so often center on migrant women’s fertility and their children’s access to government benefits? Why do some countries accept LGBT migrants but deny them the right to adopt, use assisted reproductive technologies, or extend citizenship to their children? How are efforts to limit marriage-and-family based migration racialized and classed? What are the gendered implications when nurses are a country’s central export? Could building a border wall or sending refugees back stop unwanted immigration? This course examines how intersecting gender, sexual and ethnic hierarchies shape and are shaped by immigration. Applying insights from feminist and queer theories of migration, students will explore how the gendered processes surrounding immigration craft concepts of nation, borders and citizenship. Readings and films examine how sexual and racial norms are renegotiated through the selection and regulation of immigrants. Central to our investigation is how transnational and economic forces compel migration, reshaping understandings of national belonging, workplaces, and family in the process. We will particularly consider how migrants negotiate multiple marginalizations, and in turn refashion understandings of community, identities, culture, and politics. An interdisciplinary framework combines media, sociological, legal, activist, film, literary and historical accounts.

SOCI 313 Immigration Politics
Cross-listed with WGSS 302-02.Immigration Politics: Gender, Race and Sexuality in Contemporary Migration Desc: Why do global controversies over immigration so often center on migrant women’s fertility and their children’s access to government benefits? Why do some countries accept LGBT migrants but deny them the right to adopt, use assisted reproductive technologies, or extend citizenship to their children? How are efforts to limit marriage-and-family based migration racialized and classed? What are the gendered implications when nurses are a country’s central export? Could building a border wall or sending refugees back stop unwanted immigration? This course examines how intersecting gender, sexual and ethnic hierarchies shape and are shaped by immigration. Applying insights from feminist and queer theories of migration, students will explore how the gendered processes surrounding immigration craft concepts of nation, borders and citizenship. Readings and films examine how sexual and racial norms are renegotiated through the selection and regulation of immigrants. Central to our investigation is how transnational and economic forces compel migration, reshaping understandings of national belonging, workplaces, and family in the process. We will particularly consider how migrants negotiate multiple marginalizations, and in turn refashion understandings of community, identities, culture, and politics. An interdisciplinary framework combines media, sociological, legal, activist, film, literary and historical accounts.