More About Dr. Hansen

Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

BrandeisNOW Q&A with Karen V. Hansen "The center is here to further the mission of the university and the faculty, to engage in discovery and research and to educate the next generation of scholars. The doors are open." Karen V. Hansen

Transcript: "Big Picture Questions Need to Drive our Collective inquiry"

Cascading: Gender, Race and Downward Mobilities workshop led by Professor Hansen brings together Brandeis WSRC Scholars, faculty, graduate students, and administrators to explore the causes, consequences, and meanings of downward mobility in people’s lives.

Meet the Director

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Karen V. Hansen, Ph.D.

Karen V. Hansen, Ph.D.

As Director of WSRC and Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, Karen V. Hansen brings a sustained commitment to interdisciplinary feminist scholarship. Dr. Hansen began as a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Berkeley, and combines the insights of sociological theory with an understanding of historical processes that create inequality.

In the 2018-19 academic year, Dr. Hansen is leading a multi-disciplinary workshop, “Cascading: Gender, Race and Downward Mobilities.” The workshop brings together Brandeis WSRC Scholars, faculty, graduate students, and administrators to explore the causes, consequences, and meanings of downward mobility in people’s lives.

Hansen’s sustained investigation of communities at the crossroads of gender, class, and racial-ethnic inequality has brought her to an in-depth case study of a high school in California. “Coming of Age in Silicon Valley” centers on Sunnyvale High during a decade of heightened interracial tension. In the 1960s and 1970s, when schools across the country violently and vociferously resisted integration, SHS stands as a case of a working-class, multiracial campus that found a constructive path through conflict. By example and design, it attracted skilled educators and created a culture of involvement that facilitated dialogue across difference.

She has most recently published Encounter on the Great Plains: Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, which won the 2016 Gita Chaudhuri Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians. With Anita Ilta Garey, she co-edited At the Heart of Work and Family: Engaging the Ideas of Arlie Hochschild. Her research has been supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Swedish Fulbright Commission.