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Sally Kitch

Sally Kitch
Distinguished Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
University and Regents' Professor, Women and Gender Studies, School of Social Transformation, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Founding Director, Institute for Humanities Research, Arizona State University
Founding Director, Humanities Lab@ASU

School of Social Transformations
Arizona State University
PO Box 876403
Tempe, AZ 85287-6403

Sally Kitch is the founding director of the Institute for Humanities Research, Regents’ Professor of Women and Gender Studies, and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. As director of the IHR from 2007-2016, she worked to incorporate humanities content and methodologies into the approaches of sustainability scientists through initiating IHR sponsored research projects, faculty working groups, speakers’ series, and two NEH summer institutes on sustainability (2009 and 2011). From 2008-2016, she co-directed a team of humanities center directors to develop an international project through the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes on Humanities for the Environment (HfE). That project received three years of funding from the A.W. Mellon Foundation in 2012. Kitch is PI for the North American Observatory of HfE and co-PI (with Joni Adamson) for the West Cluster, whose focus is environmental sustainability and social justice. The cluster will complete its digital projects on building human communities, multi species relationships, and interdisciplinary approaches to wicked problems in the Anthropocene (specifically the future of food) at the end of 2015. (See North American Observatory — West Cluster.) She is co-author of the “Sustainability and Social Justice: Key Principles” document that is the centerpiece of the project.

As a women’s studies scholar, who is credited with developing the sub-field of utopianism and feminism, Kitch specializes in feminist theory and epistemology, gender and racial ideology, gender/feminism and utopian thought, women’s historical resistance to gender prescriptions, and theories of transdisciplinarity. She has published seven books, three of which have won national prizes. Most recently, her book The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the U.S. (2009) was a finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association. Her latest book, Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders (University of Illinois Press, 2014), features Afghan women leaders’ resistance to the ideologies of gender that centuries of invasion and war have enshrined in their culture.

PhD, Cultural Studies, Emory University

AB, English (minor Art History), Cornell University

MA, Aesthetic Theory, University of Chicago

Journal Articles


Holm, P., J. Adamson, H. Huang, L. Kirdan, S. L. Kitch, I. McCalman, J. Ogude, M. Ronan, D. Scott, K. O. Thompson, C. Travis and K. Wehner. 2015. Humanities for the environment -- a manifesto for research and action. Humanities 4(4):977-992. DOI: 10.3390/h4040977. (link )


Kitch, S. L. and M. M. Fonow. 2012. Analyzing women's studies dissertation: Methodologies, epistemologies, and field formation. Signs 38(1):99-126. DOI: 10.1086/665801. (link )


Mills, M. A. and S. L. Kitch. 2006. "Afghan Women Leaders Speak": An Academic Activist Conference, Mershon Center for International Security Studies, Ohio State University, November 17-19, 2005. NWSA Journal 18(3):191-201. (link )


Kitch, S. L. and M. A. Mills. 2004. Appropriating women’s agendas: Afghanistan in global context. Peace Review 16(1):67-73.


Kitch, S. L. 2003. PhD programs and the research mission of women’s studies: The case for interdisciplinarity. Feminst Studies 29(2):435-437. (link )


Kitch, S. L. 2002. Claiming success: From adversity to responsibility in women’s studies. NWSA Journal 14(1):160-181. (link )


Allen, J. A. and S. L. Kitch. 1998. Disciplined by disciplines?: The need for an interdisciplinary research mission in/and for women’s studies. Feminist Studies 24(2):275-299. DOI: 10.2307/3178698. (link )


Kitch, S. L. 1994. The woman's commonwealth: Celibacy and women's rights. Communities 82:40-44.



Kitch, S. L. 2014. Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders. University of Illinois Press. ISBN: 978-0252080272.


Kitch, S. L. 2009. The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States. State University of New York Press. ISBN: 978-1438427546.


Kitch, S. L. 2000. Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in Feminist Thought and Theory. University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0226438573.


Konek, C. W. and S. L. Kitch eds. 1993. Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges. Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-0803952638.


Kitch, S. L. 1992. This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth. Ohio State University Presss. Columbus, Ohio. ISBN: 978-0814205792.


Kitch, S. L. 1989. Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status. University of Illinois Press. Urbana, Illinois. ISBN: 978-0252016080.

Book Chapters


Kitch, S. L. 2009. Letters to Linneasu about race. Pp. 105-109 In: Knapp, S. and Q. D. Wheeler eds., Letters to Linneaus. Linnean Society of London. London. ISBN: 978-0950620794.


Kitch, S. L. 2006. Feminist interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge building. Pp. 123-129, Chapter 6 In: Hesse-Biber, S. ed., The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis. Sage Publications. ISBN: 9781412905459.


Kitch, S. L. and S. Neysmith. 2002. Feminist future thought: The dangers of utopia. Pp. 51-66 In: Eichler, M. and J. Larkin eds., Feminist Utopias: Redefining Our Projects. Inanna Publications & Education. Toronto, Canada. ISBN: 978-0968129074.


Kitch, S. L. 1998. Of motherlands and foremothers: The need for an interdisciplinary research mission in/and for women's studies. Pp. 141-165 In: Fisher, J. and E. Silber eds., Analyzing the Different Voice: Feminist Psychological Theory and Literary Texts. Rowman and Littlefield. New York. ISBN: 978-0847686414.


Kitch, S. L. 1994. Straight but not narrow: A gynetic approach to the teaching of lesbian literature. Pp. 83-95 In: Garber, L. ed., Tilting the Tower: Lesbians/Teaching/Queer Subjects. Routledge. ISBN: 978-0415908412.


Kitch, S. L. 1993. We're all in this alone: Career women's attitudes toward feminism. Pp. 19-62 In: Konek, C. W. and S. L. Kitch eds., Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges. Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-0803952638.

Kitch, S. L., C. W. Konek and E. Shore. 1993. The future of women and careers: Issues and challenges. Pp. 234-248 In: Konek, C. W. and S. L. Kitch eds., Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges. Sage Publications. ISBN: 978-0803952638.


Kitch, S. L. 1991. Does war have gender?. In: Hunter, A. E. ed., On Peace, War, and Gender - A Challenge to Genetic Explanations. The Feminist Press.