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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Faculty & Staff

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Our faculty come to Gender & Women's Studies by various paths and with diverse interests. These women care deeply about what they teach, and inspire and empower students every day.


Dawn Rae DavisShannon J. Miller

Department Chair & Professor

Shannon J. Miller, Chairperson, received her doctorate in Child and Family Development with a concentration in women’s studies from the University of Georgia. Her research interests are in the combined effects of race, gender, and sexuality on southern black queer women’s experiences, particularly resilient responses to discrimination. Dr. Miller has presented numerous papers at international, national, and regional meetings and has published manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals. She is the co-founder of All My Children Project, an organization promoting the health and well being of Black LGBTQQ persons, their families, and communities through social justice research. As recognition of her activism in the south, she is the current president of the Southeastern Women’s Studies Association (SEWSA).

LauraLaura Harrison

Assistant Professor 

Assistant Professor Laura Harrison received her doctorate in Gender Studies from Indiana University. Her research interests include the ways in which reproductive technologies intersect with ideologies of race, family formation, and reproductive justice. Recently, Dr. Harrison was selected to present during Minnesota State University’s 36th annual Frontier Forum Lecture, titled “What’s Best for Baby? Bed-Sharing, Co-Sleeping, and the Politics of Inequality.” Dr. Harrison has published essays on reproduction and representations of motherhood in peer-reviewed journals including Feminist Formations, Feminist Media Studies, and Women’s Studies International Forum. Her forthcoming book from NYU Press entitled Brown Bodies, White Babies: The Politics of Cross-racial Gestational Surrogacy examines the implications of assisted reproductive technologies for contemporary understandings of race, kinship, and gender. This fall, Dr. Harrison will present a talk titled “Abortion Restrictions Around the Globe: Gender, Race, and Reproductive Justice” at St. Cloud State University, and also present new research at the National Women’s Studies Association annual conference in Milwaukee.

Ana PerezAna Perez

Assistant Professor

Ana M. Perez (2014), Assistant Professor, Ph.D. University of Maryland in Women’s Studies. Dr. Perez's teaching and research interests lie at the junctions of the fields of Gender and Women’s Studies, Latina/o Studies, and Critical Ethnic Studies. Her areas of focus are in theories of intersectionality, qualitative methods, and feminist pedagogy. Dr. Perez’s research examines the intersections of racial identity, color consciousness and beauty cultures among Mexican American women. She is currently writing about the multidimensional category of “morena” in the Mexican/American context.


Maria BevacquaMaria Bevacqua

Phone: 507-389-5025


"I remain convinced today, as I was the day I arrived at Minnesota State Mankato, that this is a great place to do gender & women's studies. The institutional support, the vibrant student culture, and the collegial atmosphere make this a wonderful place for feminists to work, study, and create social change."

Maria Bevacqua, Professor and Department Chair, received her doctorate in Women’s Studies from Emory University. Her research interests include gendered violence, and she authored Rape on the Public Agenda: Feminism and the Politics of Sexual Assault (Northeastern University Press, 2000). Dr. Bevacqua has published numerous articles and book chapters on gender-based violence and LGBT politics. Her current research focuses on “manfood” and exploring the depiction of masculinity on the Food Network. Dr. Bevacqua’s activism extends to LGBT rights work and rape crisis advocacy as she serves on the board of directors of Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA). Acting Dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2013-2015.