LeeRay Costa

LeeRay M. Costa, John P. Wheeler Professor of Anthropology and Gender and Women’s Studies; B.A. University of California, San Diego; M.A. New York University; Ph.D. University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Professor Costa’s teaching and research interests include women, activism and social justice, spiritual activism, food activism, local and global food systems, feminist theory, gender and sexuality, narrative methodology, and feminist pedagogy. She recently co-edited (with Karen J. Leong) a special issue of the journal Feminist Teacher on Critical Community Engagement. Her course Food, Culture, and Social Justice teaches Hollins students about civic engagement through their volunteer work at grassroots food organizations in the Roanoke Valley. Her new project explores the intersection of civic engagement and contemplative practices in educational settings and social justice activism. Dr. Costa is also the founder and director of Girls Rock Roanoke, a non-profit organization whose mission is empowering girls and women through music, creative expression and collaboration.

Susan L. Thomas

Susan L. Thomas (Homepage), associate professor of political science and gender and women's studies; B.A., Calilfornia State Polytechnic University, M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Riverside.

Susan Thomas' academic interests include queer theory; critical theories of race and subjectivity; the intersectionality of women's rights and non-human animal rights; and the state's active complicity in the abuses of marginalized women living in poverty. Her work concerns the hidden power behind 'neutral' rules, the role of male heterosexual privilege in the construction of hierarchal rules and law-making processes, and the invisibility of those subordinated by the public/private divide. While her research focuses on contemporary U.S. culture and politics and their relation to political and economic forces, she addresses, more broadly, questions of gender, race, species and sexual identity in discourses and material practices of anthropocentrism, heteroarchy, and patriarchal capitalism. She is currently researching the relationship between sexism and speciesism, patriarchal attitudes embodied in the abuse of non-human animals seen as "food" products, and feminist resistance to any interspecies parallel.

Affiliated Faculty Sandy Boatman, professor of chemistry; SJ Creek, visiting assistant professor of sociology; Michael Gettings, associate professor of philosophy; Lori Joseph, associate professor of communication studies; Pauline Kaldas, associate professor of English; Andrew Matzner, instructor of gender and women's studies; Kathleen Nolan, associate professor of art; Rachel Nunez, associate professor of history; Julie Pfeiffer, associate professor of English; Darla Schumm, associate professor of religious studies; Shari Valentine, visiting instructor of sociology; Jill Weber, associate professor of communication studies.