TJ Boisseau

  • Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program

Department Information

Womens Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS // Faculty
Interdisciplinary Studies // Faculty
African-American Studies // SIS // Affiliated Faculty
American Studies // SIS // Affiliated Faculty

Office Information

  • TJ Boisseau received her PhD in U.S. Women’s History from Binghamton University (SUNY-Binghamton) in New York in 1996.  Her foremost interest as a scholar lies with the historical formation of feminism as an idea, as a hegemonic subject position, and as an identity, 1875-1950.  Her research explores both the ways that individual subjects have projected, embraced, or distanced themselves from this identity and the ways that hegemonic US media (cinema and journalism) have produced, defined, and delimited a feminist subject position and identity in American popular culture and transnationally—particularly with an eye to how race, class, sexuality, nationalism and imperialism have shaped such deployments.  She takes several routes to understand this historical phenomenon:  through white women’s colonialist travel writing and explorer celebrity status; through women’s participation in worlds’ fairs and international exhibitions; through black women’s emancipatory autobiographical writing; through women and men’s encounters with American cinema abroad; and by way of the state’s construction of women’s legal and constitutional status under United States law.

    Dr. Boisseau’s published works include Feminist Legal History, co-ed. (New York University Press, 2011); Gendering the Fair:  Histories of Women and Gender at World’s Fairs, co-ed. (University of Illinois Press, 2010); White Queen:  May French-Sheldon and the Origins of American Feminist Identity (Indiana University Press, 2004), “New Orleans:  Gender and the Politics of Place and Displacement,” A Special Issue of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, co-ed. (2008).  She has published her work in Feminist Teacher (2015), Women’s History Review (2009), thirdspace (2008); Anthropology and Education Quarterly (2002), Gender & History (2000), Signs (1995) and in numerous anthologies and collections of essays.  Her current research explores the development of radical black women’s subjectivity as exhibited by Civil Rights Era memoirist, Anne Moody; women’s transnational collaboration at international exhibitions and universal expositions; a legal history of the campaign for women’s equal rights in the context of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment; and Modern Giant, a new book on the rise to iconic status of Amelia Earhart. 

    Dr. Boisseau has directed the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies Program since arriving to Purdue University in 2012 where she teaches courses on the history of feminism, gender, race, popular culture and American women’s history. She is an affiliate of the American Studies Program and the African American Studies and Research Center and a member of the Advisory Board for the Center for Research on Diversity and Inclusion at Purdue.  



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