Professor Karen V. Hansen named director of the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis

Karen V. Hansen
Provost Lisa Lynch announced today that Karen V. Hansen, Professor of Sociology, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University, has been named director of the Women’s Studies Research Center (WSRC) upon the retirement of Professor Shulamit Reinharz, founding director, effective July 1.

“I am delighted that Karen has agreed to serve in this position,” said Lynch. “Her scholarship and teaching on the sociology of gender, class, race and ethnicity and her commitment to knowledge advancing positive change for women and their families makes her the ideal person to lead the WSRC in this next phase of its development.”

Hansen’s latest book, Encounter on the Great Plains:  Scandinavian Settlers and the Dispossession of Dakota Indians, 1890-1930, has received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and received the 2016 Chaudhuri Book Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians.  Professor Hansen’s scholarship also focuses on contemporary families. She authored Not-So-Nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and the Networks of Care, which received the William J. Goode Book Award, Honorable Mention, and was a finalist for the C. Wright Mills Award. Combining theoretical frameworks and rich empirical accounts, she has also edited two anthologies with Anita Ilta Garey, At the Heart of Work and Families in the U.S.
Hansen has served as department chair in sociology at Brandeis from 2007-2012 and again since 2016.  She is currently a member of the board of directors for the consortium for graduate studies in Gender, Culture, Women and Sexuality based at MIT, and she is series editor for the Families in Focus series at Rutgers University Press.

Diane Rubin ’81, co-chair of the WSRC advisory board, said “I know that her scholarship and personality with make her a terrific new leader for the Center.”  Rosalie Ripaldi Shane '66 said, “Karen's understanding of women's issues and her commitment to scholarly research make her a perfect choice to lead the Brandeis Women's Studies Research Center as we move forward. It will be a pleasure for Diane Rubin and me to serve as her co-chairs of the WSRC advisory board.”

“As someone who has been engaged with Women’s Studies at Brandeis for more than twenty years, I look forward to building on all that my colleague Shula Reinharz has achieved as founding director of the Women’s Studies Research Center,” said Hansen. “Shula has built an extraordinary interdisciplinary research facility of scholars, students and faculty who study gender issues and women's lives.”

Categories: Humanities and Social Sciences

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