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Faculty Profile

Katie Oliviero

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

Contact Information

Denny Hall Room 04


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.


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

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

WGSS 224 Reproductive Justice
Reproductive Justice is a global social movement strategy and human rights platform that places reproductive power in the context of the larger social, racial and economic well-being of women, communities and families (Ross 2011). This course explores the origins and applications of reproductive justice. It investigates how the reproductive lives of many people, particularly women of color, are embedded in embattled legal, social, economic, racial and national frameworks that shape their capacity to control their intimate and procreative lives. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the course first maps reproductive justice’s origins, exploring: political philosophies of sexual and reproductive liberty; racialized and disability-based histories of eugenics, population control, and adoption; the black women’s health movement; birth control and abortion law; social welfare and healthcare politics; the reproductive politics of incarceration and state violence; disability and prenatal testing; and the transnational and LGBTQ applications of assisted reproductive technologies. The course will subsequently explore how reproductive justice platforms can enable diverse people to thrive: making the decision to prevent, terminate or have a pregnancy a real choice. It will assess the conditions that enable access to quality health care, economic security, racial justice, women’s equality, transgender and queer rights, environmental sustainability, disability justice, sexual autonomy, and community vitality.

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 or 208.

WGSS 550 Independent Rsrch on Sexuality