Sally L. Kitch is the founding Director of the Institute for Humanities Research, Regents' Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, and Distinguished Sustainability Scientist at the Wrigley Institute for Sustainability at Arizona State University. She came to ASU from Ohio State University, where she was a Distinguished Humanities Professor of Women's Studies and chair of the Department of Women's Studies.  Professor Kitch specializes in feminist theory and epistemology, the intellectual history of gender and racial ideology, theories of transdisciplinarity, gender representation in visual and narrative culture, and the material effects of such representation on the lived realities of diverse women's lives. She has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory.
Professional Service Activities
Teaching Interests and Courses
Professor Kitch served as President of the Faculty Women's Association at ASU in 2009-10, where she initiated a survey of faculty women's professional needs.  She is on the Faculty Advisory Board of the Origins Initiative at ASU and works with the Frankenstein Project and the Creation Project.  She initiated the development of the Nexus Digital and Computational Humanities Lab, which formally launched in 2013. She frequently reads manuscripts for scholarly journals and presses and serves as an external reviewer for tenure and promotion cases and women and gender studies departments and programs around the country and abroad. She has been active in the National Women's Studies Association, and she now serves on the Executive Committee of the Western Humanities Alliance. She plays a leadership role in the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes (CHCI) for work environmental humanities, which has resulted in two Mellon Foundation grants since 2012. 
As the founder and chair of two women's studies departments during her career, Professor Kitch has designed both undergraduate and graduate curricula and offered a wide range of courses in the intellectual history of Western feminism, contemporary feminist theory, and gender representation in visual and narrative culture. She has also taught in the areas of intersectionality and transnational feminism. In recent years, Professor Kitch has taught primarily graduate courses at Ohio State University and at Arizona State University. In spring 2012, she team-taught a graduate course on Gender, Religion, and Human Rights.
Research Interests
Professor Kitch's research focuses on gender and feminism through the analysis of a wide range of social and cultural narratives, including historical documents, political texts, and philosophical and religious treatises, in order to determine how such narratives construct gender ideology in different time periods and settings and how those constructions have been both enacted and resisted, especially through the development of feminist thought. She has published more than a score of refereed journal articles and book chapters, and three of her six books have won national prizes.
She has written three books on feminism and utopianism and developed that as a sub-field of feminist theory: Higher Ground: From Utopianism to Realism in American Feminist Thought and Theory (University of Chicago Press, 2000); Chaste Liberation: Celibacy and Female Cultural Status (University of Illinois Press, 1989; winner, National Women’s Studies Association Book Award, 1987) and This Strange Society of Women: Reading the Letters and Lives of the Woman's Commonwealth (Ohio State University Press, 1993, winner, Helen Hooven Santmeyer Prize in Women’s Studies).  Her chapter on “Utopia” in Critical Terms for the Study of Gender (University of Chicago Press, 2014) represents her role in constructing utopia as a sub-field in gender studies. 
Professor Kitch’s book on the historical grounding of the intersection of race and gender, The Specter of Sex: Gendered Foundations of Racial Formation in the United States (SUNY Press, 2009) analyzes legal, scientific, historical, political, and religious narratives, from the seventeenth to the mid-twentieth century, in which racial ideology was constructed in the U.S. in gendered terms. Uncovering gender's role in justifying racial divisions and hierarchies in American culture reveals how that association bestows allegedly "natural" credentials onto specious racial standards and norms. Specter was a top-two finalist for the John Hope Franklin Prize of the American Studies Association.   
Her most recent work explores the resistance of Afghan women leaders to their country's gender ideology.   That work, which began in 2001, resulted in the first U.S. conference featuring the views of Afghan women leaders, three articles, one book chapter, and Contested Terrain: Reflections with Afghan Women Leaders (University of Illinois Press, 2014). 
Professor Kitch is also a scholar of interdisciplinarity as methodology and defining element of gender studies.  She has published several articles on the centrality of interdisciplinarity to women and gender studies research (including “Feminist Interdisciplinary Approaches to Knowledge Building,” in The Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, 2007) and co-edited an exemplar of such interdisciplinary study in Women and Careers: Issues and Challenges (1993). In her role as Director of the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU since 2006, she has promoted numerous interdisciplinary research projects across the humanities, social sciences, and sciences, including a faculty working group on Humanities and Sustainability.  Her work in that field resulted in a Mellon Foundation Grant for an international project, Humanities for the Environment, through the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes, in 2013-15.  Kitch is PI for the North American Observatory of that project.  That work also resulted in her affiliation with the Wrigley Institute for Global Sustainability as a Distinguished Sustainability Scientist in 2014.
Professor Kitch's CV