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Sally Kitch

Center Director, Regents Professor, and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist

Sally Kitch is founding Director of the Institute for Humanities Research, Regents’ Professor of Women and Gender Studies, and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in the Global Institute of Sustainability at Arizona State University. As director of the IHR since 2007, she has 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). Since 2008, she has 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. 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.