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Tracey Jean Boisseau

Tracey Jean Boisseau

Associate Professor // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies // SIS

Associate Professor // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // American Studies // SIS

Affiliated Faculty // African American Studies // SIS

Office and Contact

Room: BRNG 6162


Phone: (765) 496-2940


WGSS 280 Introduction to WGSS
WGSS 383 Women & Work
WGSS 480 Feminisms in Global Perspective
WGSS 485 Feminist Perspectives on Cinema and Visual Culture
WGSS 680 Feminist Theory
WGSS 681 Graduate Seminar in Feminist Studies (Variable Topics)

Tracey Jean Boisseau is associate professor of WGSS and an interdisciplinary scholar and cultural historian of U.S. women. Her research explores women’s political and cultural interventions by way of a variety of nineteenth and twentieth-century popular mediums—including mass news media, travel literature, autobiography, popular film, and worlds’ fairs—for the contributions they have made to the historical formation of American feminism as a set of national and transnational ideas, public practices, politics, and identities. She received her PhD in U.S. women’s history from (SUNY) Binghamton University in New York, her MA in U.S. history from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and her BA in history and women’s studies from Suffolk University in Boston. 

At Purdue, Dr. Boisseau teaches courses in intersectional feminist theory and transnational feminist history; women’s work in global historical perspective; theoretical and feminist perspectives on cinema and women’s spectatorship; and feminist perspectives on American popular culture of the 19th and 20th centuries. She directed the WGSS program from 2012-2017, and has served as faculty advisor to F.A.C.T. (Feminist Action Coalition for Today) and GRL (Gamma Rho Lamda), as faculty liaison and advisor to the Gender Inclusive Learning and Residential Community, and as founding faculty advisor to Triota (national WGSS honor society chapter), SARA-V (Students Against Rape and Violence), Sangathan (Indian student association), The Period Project, and the WGSS Graduate Student Organization, as well as the inaugural Amelia Earhart Faculty-in-Residence at Windsor Hall, 2017 to 2020. Beyond Purdue, she served as a 2017 Fulbright Senior Scholar teaching transnational feminist theory to M.A. fellows at the United Nations University Gender Equality Studies Training Programme at the University of Iceland. Prior to that, she served as 2003-04 Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Dr. Boisseau’s publications include over two dozen peer-reviewed book chapters and contributions to edited collections as well as articles and essays appearing in a wide range of history and interdisciplinary gender studies journals such as: Meridians:  Feminism, Race, TransnationalismSigns:  Journal of Women and Culture in Society; Feminist StudiesFeminist TeacherGender & History; Women’s History Reviewthirdspace: a journal of feminist theory and culture; Anthropology and Education QuarterlyPsychology of Women and Equalities Review. Her most recent research on woman suffrage activism at American worlds’ fairs will be published in 2023 by the Journal of Women’s History.

Dr. Boisseau is also the author of a historical monograph, White Queen:  May French-Sheldon and the Origins of American Feminist Identity (Indiana University Press, 2004) and a critical edition of May French-Sheldon’s 1892 travelogue, Sultan to Sultan:  Travels among the Masai and Other Tribes of East Africa (orig. pub by Arena Press, republished by Manchester University Press, 1999). Her co-edited volumes include Feminist Legal History (New York University Press, 2010); Gendering the Fair (University of Illinois, 2009); and “New Orleans:  The Gender Politics of Place and Displacement”—a special issue of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal (2008).  

Dr. Boisseau’s current book projects include a historical monograph entitled Women, Rights, and Reform at the 1853 New York World’s Fair, and a historical monograph analyzing visual representations of women across the span of American world’s fairs, With the World at their Feet.  She is co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of Women’s Studies Quarterly, “Pandemonium” (Spring 2024).  She also co-founded and chairs the executive committee coordinating a new scholarly society for the promotion and exploration of Anne Moody, Friends of Anne Moody; she is founder and president of the Society for the Study of Women and Gender at World’s Fairs and Expositions.