Seminar Details

Identities and Inequalities: GLBT Scientists, Scientific Research, and the Making of Political Movements

Nancy Mezey, Monmouth University
Thursday, October 10, 11:00 AM - Women and Minorities in Science Lecture
NSCL Lecture Hall

In her talk on “Identities and Inequalities: GLBT Scientists, Scientific Research, and the Making of Political Movements,” Dr. Mezey will examine the historical formation of lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual (LGBT) identities. She will look at past scientists who we now understand as LGBT, as well as current scientists who claim such identities. Dr. Mezey will provide a brief overview of both the natural and social science research on LGBT people, and examine the connection between gender/sexual categories and social inequalities. Drawing on such inequalities, Dr. Mezey will focus specifically on inequalities in Michigan law regarding marriage equality (aka “gay marriage”), and suggest how scientific research both helps and hinders the LGBT movement and paths to equality. She will end the talk with a quick overview of current career options for LGBT scientists within the natural sciences. Dr. Nancy J. Mezey graduated from Michigan State University with a Ph.D. in Sociology in 2002. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology, the Sociology Program Director, and advisor to the Sociology Club at Monmouth University. At Monmouth University, Dr. Mezey has also served as the chair of the faculty governance body, was Associate Director and Director of the Institute for Global Understanding, and was the 2011 recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award. Her areas of specialization are family sociology, race-class-gender studies, gender studies, the sociology of sexualities, and qualitative methods. Her research focuses largely on how historical factors, social inequalities, social activism, and policies shape and affect new family forms. Her first book, New Choices, New Families: How Lesbians Decide about Motherhood, is a multi-racial feminist study of how lesbians decide to become mothers or remain childfree. Her upcoming book, GLBT Families, will be published in 2014 by Pine Forge press as part of the Contemporary Family Perspectives series edited by Susan J. Ferguson. Dr. Mezey has also published in a variety of academic journals and books in the areas of GLBT families and intimate partner violence. Outside of Monmouth University, Dr. Mezey is an active member of the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) where she has held several elected and appointed positions. She is also an engaged member of several other sociological organizations including Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) and the American Sociological Association. Dr. Mezey is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer where she served in Mali, West Africa from 1988-1990.