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Professor of Multicultural Women's and Gender StudiesDr. Mark Kessler

Office:  HDB 307E
940-898-2112 phone | 940-898-2101 fax |


Ph.D., 1985, Political Science The Pennsylvania State University  

M.A., 1979, Political Science The Pennsylvania State University  

B.A., 1977, Political Science University of Pittsburgh

Courses Taught
Graduate: Transdisciplinary Feminist Research Methods; Rights, Race, and Social Justice; Law, Gender, and Sexuality; Qualitative Research Methods

Research Interests
Women of color and the legal profession; legal consciousness and resistance among women political activists; poverty law and cause lawyers; gender, race, class, and sexuality in U.S. politics; law, legal ideologies, and identities; and feminist legal geographies


The Play of Power, coauthor with James Eisenstein, Jacqueline Vaughn Switzer, and Bruce Williams. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1996.
Legal Services for the Poor: A Comparative and Contemporary Analysis of Interorganizational Politics. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood, 1987.

Articles and Book Chapters
“Free Speech Doctrine in American Political Culture: A Critical Legal Geography of Cultural Politics,” Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal (2007). 
 “Lawyers and Social Change in a Postmodern World: A Review Essay.” Law & Society Review 29 (1995): 769-789.
“Legal Discourse and Political Intolerance: The Ideology of Clear and Present Danger.” Law & Society Review 27 (1993): 559-597. Reprinted in Patricia Ewick, ed. Consciousness and Ideology, London, UK and Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2006, pp. 183-222.
“Legal Mobilization for Social Reform: Power and the Politics of Agenda Setting.” Law & Society Review 24 (1990): 121-143.
“Expanding Legal Services to Rural America: A Case Study of Program Creation and Operations.” Judicature 73 (February-March 1990): 273-280. Reprinted in G. Larry Mays and Peter R. Gregware, eds., Courts and Justice: A Reader. Heights, Illinois: Waveland Press, 1995, 1999, 2004 (1st, 2nd, 3rd eds.): 468-486.
“Taking Legal Culture Seriously.” Newsletter of the Law and Courts Section, American Political Science Association 6 (Fall 1988): 16-21.
“Legal Services Agencies and Low Income Community Groups.” In Research in Law and Policy Studies. Edited by Stuart S. Nagel. Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 1987.
“Interorganizational Environments, Attitudes, and the Policy Outputs of Public Agencies.” Administration & Society 19 (May 1987): 48-73.
“The Politics of Legal Representation: The Influence of Local Politics on the Behavior of Poverty Lawyers.” Law & Policy 8 (April 1986): 149-167.
“The Interorganizational Politics of Legal Activity.” American Bar Foundation Research Journal (Winter 1986): 1-30.

Grants/Honors/Awards/Professional Service

Phillips Fellowship, Bates College, funds full year leave with travel for research, 2006-07
Women’s Caucus, American Political Science Association, Award for Best Treatment of Women and Racial Minorities in a Political Science Text (for The Play of Power). Award given at annual meeting of APSA, August 1997.
Pi Sigma Alpha Award for best paper in public law and best paper in any subfield presented at 1989 annual meeting of Northeastern Political Science Association, awarded November 1990. Pi Sigma Alpha Award for best paper in public law and best paper in any subfield presented at 1985 annual meeting of Northeastern Political Science Association, awarded November 1986. Mellon Foundation Summer Research Assistance Grant, Bates College, 1993.
Charles A. Dana Foundation Research Grant, Bates College, 1985.
National Science Foundation Dissertation Research Grant, 1980-1982.
Reviewer of Research Proposals, National Science Foundation (Law and Social Science Program; Political Science Program)
Reviewer of Article Manuscripts for Law & Society Review, Judicature, Journal of Politics, Western Political Quarterly, Political Research Quarterly, Polity, American Politics Quarterly, Policy Studies Journal, PS: Political Science and Politics, Social Problems
Reviewer of Book Manuscripts and Proposals for Cambridge University Press, State University of New York Press, University of Illinois Press, Roxbury, Chatham.
Reviewer of Books for American Political Science Review, Journal of Politics, Review of Politics, Law & Society Review, Law and Politics Book Review, Choice Outside Reviewer for Tenure and Promotion Decision at various colleges and universities.
Edward S. Corwin Award Committee Member and Chair, to select best dissertation in public law, 2003-2004, American Political Science Association.
Served as Chair and Discussant on panels at various national and regional conferences.
Participant in Summer Seminar, “Rethinking Rights: Law, Social Movements, and Institutional Reform.” American Institutions Program, New York University, June 1990.


page updated 3/16/2017 10:05 AM

Course Rotation Schedule (pdf)

THECB 18 Doctoral Characteristics

Reasons to Choose Our Graduate Program

One of the most diverse universities in the nation, TWU offers the only M.A. in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex region.  Our classes are small in size, thereby encouraging discussion, dialogue, and engaged learning. More about “Reasons to Choose Our Graduate Program”...

going green

Graduate Students in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies Say...

"Graduating from the Women's Studies Program of Texas Woman's University has been the most important and empowering aspect of my entire college education." More about “Graduate Students in Multicultural Women's and Gender Studies Say...”...

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