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Vivian M. May

Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies

Research and Teaching Interests

Feminist theory and epistemology; Black feminist thought; African American literature; literature & social change; intersectionality; interdisciplinarity.


WGS 101 Introduction to Women's & Gender Studies

WGS 301 Feminist Theory

WGS 365 Negoiating Diffierence: Coming of Age Narratives

WGS 601 Feminist Theory

WGS 705 Coming of Age Narratives


  • Ph.D. Women’s Studies: Emory University, Atlanta, GA (1997)
    Dissertation:Dividing Lines and Binding Words: Border Subjectivity in Contemporary Canadian and American Literature
  • B.A. Humanistic Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1991) Graduated with Great Distinction as a University Scholar



  • Anna Julia Cooper, Visionary Black Feminist: A Critical Introduction Foreword by Beverly Guy-Sheftall. New York & London: Routledge, 2007.


  • “Writing the Self into Being: Anna Julia Cooper’s Textual Pedagogy.” African American Review 43.1 (2010): 17-34.
  • "Anna Julia Cooper's Philosophy of Resistance: 'What is needed, perhaps, to reverse the picture of the lordly man slaying the lion, is for the lion to turn painter.'"Philosophia Africana 12.1 (2009): 41-66.
  • "'It is never a question of the slaves': Anna Julia Cooper's Challenge to History's Silences in Her 1925 Sorbonne Thesis."Callaloo: A Journal of African-American and African Arts and Letters.. 31.1(2008): 903-18
  • "By a Black Woman of the South": Race, Place, and Gender in the Work of Anna Julia Cooper.Southern Quarterly 45.3 (2008): 127-52.
  • “Trauma in Paradise: Willful and Strategic Ignorance in Cereus Blooms at Night.” Feminist Epistemologies of Ignorance.Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy 21.3 (2006): 107-35.