Associate Director, Program in Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies


Office Location

345 Fisher-Bennett Hall
Suite 304
Phone: 215-898-8623

Gwendolyn Beetham (she/they) is Associate Director of the GSWS Program. She has worked for international gender research organizations and has taught gender studies at the London School of Economics, Rutgers University, and Brooklyn College. She received her MSc and PhD in Gender Studies from the Gender Institute at the London School of Economics and her BA from Kenyon College.  

A dedicated activist scholar, Gwendolyn is committed to bridging the research practice divide and has taken on many projects in support of this goal. Gwendolyn edited the first academic journal issue on feminist blogging, founded the Academic Feminist series on, and writes about parenting for She Knows and Gwendolyn has been a fellow at the Democratizing Knowledge Project's Summer Institute (2017) and the Institute for Research on Women at Rutgers University (2015-2016) and is on the Editorial Board of Rejoinder, the online journal published by the Institute for Research on Women (2021 - present). She has held leadership positions at the National Women’s Studies Association and has supported the Third Wave Fund - the only activist fund led by and for women of color, intersex, queer, and trans youth in the US - for over a decade. At Penn, Gwendolyn is an active member of the LGBTQ Faculty Diversity Working Group and has completed the Anti-Violence Advocate Training through Penn Violence Prevention. In 2022, they were awarded the University of Pennsylvania's Models of Excellence Award.

Office Hours:

Tuesdays, Thursdays, and by appointment:




GSWS 0002/Gender & Society (Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019)

GSWS 2100/Trauma Porn to Title IX: 50 Years of Anti-Violence Activism at Penn (Spring 2023, Spring 2024)

GSWS 4000/GSWS Honors Thesis (Fall 2017, Fall/Spring 18-19, Fall/Spring 19-20, Fall/Spring, 20-21, Fall//Spring 21-22, Fall/Spring 22-23, Fall/Spring 23-24)

Select Publications:

Conference Presentations:

  • Organizer and Chair, "Carework and the Long-term Professional Effects of COVID-19", NWSA Conference 2021
  • Organizer and Chair, "Still Trouble: Teaching Gender Trouble 30 Years On", NWSA Annual Conference 2020 (accepted but conference canceled due to COVID-19)
  • Organizer and Chair, "The bureaucratic (im)possibilities of Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies", NWSA Annual Conference 2019
  • Organizer and Chair, "Between Respectability and Radical Potential: Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies in Troubled Times", NWSA Annual Conference 2018
  • Presenter, "Precarity, Institutionalization, and the Gender Studies PhD", NWSA Annual Conference 2018
  • Presenter, "The Decision to Departmentalize: Pressures, Politics, Practicalities", NWSA Annual Conference 2018
  • Co-organizer,  “Survival is a Promise”: A Workshop on Academic Self-Determination, NWSA Annual Conference 2017
  • Co-organizer, NWSA Contingent Interest Group and Women of Color Caucus, official co-sponsored Roundtable, NWSA Annual Conference 2016
  • Organizer and Chair," Building and Maintaining Contingent Faculty Alliances", NWSA Annual Conference 2015
  • Organizer and Chair, "Feminist Perspectives on Contingency in Academia" (four roundtable sessions), NWSA Annual Conference 2014


Faculty Research Field(s)

Gwendolyn’s research interests include feminist pedagogy, sexuality studies, and critical university studies.