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Core Faculty and Staff


Katherine Crawford (she / her / hers)
Director, Women’s and Gender Studies
Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies and History

Katherine Crawford is Director of the Program in Women’s and Gender Studies and Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. Her books include Perilous Performances: Gender and Regency in Early Modern France (Harvard University Press, 2004), European Sexualities, 1400-1800 (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and The Sexual Culture of the French Renaissance (Cambridge University Press, 2010). She is interested in the ways that gender informs sexual practice, ideology, and identity, both in normative and non-normative formations. She teaches a wide variety of classes in History and WGS on gender and sexuality.

Karen Hammer (she / her / hers)
Assistant Director, Women’s and Gender Studies

Karen Allison Hammer works across the fields of queer, disability, transgender, Critical Race, and feminist theory. Her dissertation, Butch Between the Wars: A Pre-History of Butch Style in the Twentieth-Century, seeks an historical understanding of social masculinity that accounts for the textures of gender and sexuality across class, race, and region in the United States. Additional research interests include film and media studies, postcolonial theory, postwar women writers, transatlantic modernism(s), and Chicana/o literature.


Stacy Clifford Simplican (she / her / hers)
Senior Lecturer, Women’s and Gender Studies

Stacy Clifford Simplican is a Senior Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies. She received her PhD in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in 2011. Her book, The Capacity Contract: Intellectual Disability and the Question of Citizenship (2015), analyzes the role of intellectual and developmental disabilities in social contract theory and the disability rights movement. Some of Stacy’s articles appear in Contemporary Political Theory, Hypatia, Disability & Society, and Politics, Groups, and Identities. In her spare time, she enjoys teaching feminist theory to her three young children.


Mary Zaborskis (she / her / hers)
Senior Lecturer, Women’s and Gender Studies

Mary Zaborskis is a Senior Lecturer in Women’s and Gender Studies. She received her PhD in English from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research and teaching interests include queer theory, childhood studies, critical race theory, Native American literature, disability studies, and twentieth-century and contemporary American literature and culture. Her work has appeared in GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, WSQ, and Journal of Homosexuality, and she is a contributing editor at Public Books.


Barbara R. Kaeser (she / her / hers)
Program Administrator, Women’s and Gender Studies