Women's studies minor completes interview for first tenure- track professor

The Geneseo’s women’s studies minor reached a milestone this semester, as the first tenure-track professor designated to teach classes in the minor will soon be hired.

Up to this point, professor from other departments who volunteer to instruct the courses have taught all classes in the minor.

The women’s studies minor and philosophy department have created the joint position for an assistant professor of philosophy and women’s studies.

Professor of theatre Melanie Blood holds the position of academic coordinator for the women’s studies minor.

“We’ve been requesting this position for years, and last year we requested a joint position with philosophy. We’re hoping to expand,” she said.

Blood said discussion continues about changing the minor to women and gender studies, to include lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender studies.

“The addition of this position will allow us to offer classes more often, to eventually expand to gender and sexuality,” she said.

Senior Emma Jean Liberman is an international relations major with a minor in women’s studies. She has been on the women’s studies advisory board since last year, and as a result, she was asked to take part in the search for an individual to fill the position.

Liberman said she believes that an individual who is best fit for this position will have experience teaching women’s studies and philosophy and demonstrate commitment to fostering department growth. These are characteristics that she looked for while participating in interviews of the candidates.

“This is the first women’s studies position, so it’s the first step to becoming a major,” she said. The lack of staff available to teach women’s studies classes, she said, has caused some courses to be offered infrequently.

The addition of this position will allow for more availability of classes in the women’s studies minor, which she hopes will expand the minor. Liberman said there have also been problems with availability of philosophy courses, and that this position would make more classes in the philosophy department available.

“To become a major, that’s the goal, and to be able to do women’s studies not just on a volunteer basis,” she said.

Liberman and other students involved in the search have interviewed three candidates for the position. Interviews began on Nov. 1 and ran until Nov. 18.

The first candidate interviewed was Lauren Guilmette, a doctoral candidate in philosophy at Emory University.

Amanda Roth, the second candidate, is currently a visiting faculty member at Bowling Green State University. She received her doctorate from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in philosophy.

Heidi Savage was the last candidate interviewed; she is currently teaching courses at Geneseo as a visiting assistant professor in the philosophy department. This semester, she taught a class under the women’s studies minor called “Feminism in Philosophy and Literature.”

Faculty and students in the philosophy department are participating in the search for a candidate as well.

The hired individual will begin teaching in August 2014.