Kathleen Underwood

Chair, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Associate Professor, History

Email: underwok@gvsu.edu
Phone: 331-8516
Office: 233 Lake Ontario Hall


  • PhD, History, University of California at Los Angeles, 1982
  • MA, History, University of California at Los Angeles, 1978
  • BA, History, University of Colorado 1969


Dr. Underwood has taught a wide range of core courses in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and in History.  She routinely works with students in independent readings courses as well.

Research interests: Her research interests center on the study of women in the 19th century American West, with particular attention to teachers and to education.  Her current research focuses on a woman who taught in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Colorado.

Other Interests:

Dr. Underwood serves on the Governing Council of the National Women’s Studies Association and has involved with several community-based boards, including the West Michigan Women’s Studies Council and the Library Commission for East Grand Rapids MI.  She is past chair of the Coalition for Western Women’s History and serves on the Ray Allen Billington Prize Committee for the Western History Association.

Recent Publications and Presentations:

 “Introduction: The Influence and Legacy of Barbara Grier.” The Journal of Lesbian Studies. 18.4 (2014): 310-315.

Guest editor. Special issue of The Journal of Lesbian Studies on the Influence and Legacy of Barbara Grier. 18.4 (2014).

 “Theorizing, Teaching and Creating “Theorizing, Teaching and Creating Change: Feminism, Rhetoric and Activist Pedagogy for Women’s Studies.”Atlantis: Women’s Studies Journal 35.2 (Spring 2011). Print.

“Caramel and Under the Bombs.” Signs: Films for the Feminist Classroom 3.1 (2011). Web.

Unsexing Gender, Engendering Activism: Readings in Gender Studies. Edited with Julia Mason. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt, 2009. Print.

“The Lesbian Novel.” Encyclopedia of Contemporary LGBTQ Literature of the United States.  Emmanuel S. Nelson, editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2009.

“The Furies,” “Nancy Toder,” “Alice Bloch,” “Camarin Grae,”  “Noretta Koertge” and “Judith McDaniel.” John Hawley, editor. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 2008.

“Del Martin.” Significant Contemporary American Feminists. Jennifer Scanlon, ed. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999.

“Gale Wilhelm,” “Marcia Freedman, ” “Carol Seajay,” and “Dee Mosbacher.” Gay and Lesbian Biography.Michael Tyrkus, editor. Detroit, MI: St. James Press, 1997.