Denise Walsh


Department of Politics
S454 Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
PO Box 400787
Charlottesville, Virginia  22904-4787

Women Gender & Sexuality
202 Levering Hall
PO Box 400177
Charlottesville, VA 22904

Office Hours Fall 2019:


B.A., Bennington College

M.A., Columbia University

Ph.D, New School of Social Research

Denise Walsh  (PhD New School for Social Research) is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia. Her research investigates the quality of democracy. ​Walsh's current book project, The Politics of Debating Culture and Women's Rights in Liberal Democracies, analyzes three dissimilar policy debates about the right to culture and women's rights: the status of native women expelled from the tribe for marrying outside their band, the legalization of polygamy in South Africa, and the adjudication of the French face veil ban by the European Court of Human Rights. By comparing these three cases the book develops a generalizable theory of policy debates about culture and women's rights, and their effects on minority women and politics in liberal democracies. Walsh's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, USAID, the Institute for Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Italy, the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College and many organizations at the University of Virginia.

Selected Publications:

“Backlash and the Future of Feminism,” Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Introduction and special symposium, (forthcoming January 2020). Co-authored with Jennifer Piscopo.

“Multiculturalism and Women’s Rights,” The Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory, edited by Chris Brown and Robyn Eckersley (Oxford University Press: 2018).

Diversity in Political Science: Why it Matters and How to Get It,” introduction to multi-article symposium for Politics, Groups and Identities (4)3, 2016: 462-466. Co-authored with Carol Mershon.

Organizing Women: Diversifying Leadership and Addressing Discrimination in Political Science Departments,” PS: Political Science & Politics (3) 2015: 459-463.Co-authored with Carol Mershon.


 “How Political Science Can Become More Diverse,” Introduction to symposium for PS: Political Science & Politics (3) 2015: 441-444.Co-authored with Carol Mershon.

"Political Science, Heal Thyself." Introduction to Critical Perspectives on "Advocating for Change in the Discipline" Politics & Gender 10 (3) 2014: 432-437.Co-authored with Carol Mershon.


“A Feminist Approach to Quotas and Comparative Politics,” Critical Perspectives on Gender and Politics: Gender Quotas and Comparative Politics, Politics & Gender 9 (3) 2013: 322-328.

Party Centralization and Debate Conditions in South Africa,” in The Impact of Gender Quotas: Women's Descriptive, Substantive, and Symbolic Representation, edited by Susan Franceschet, Mona Lena Krook and Jennifer Piscopo, (Oxford University Press, 2012: 113-135).


“Does the Quality of Democracy Matter for Women’s Rights? The Public Sphere and Democratic Transition in Chile and South Africa,” Comparative Political Studies, 45 (11) 2012: 1323-1350 (lead article, Online First, March 2012).

Women’s Rights in Democratizing States: Just Debate and Gender Justice in the Public Sphere (Cambridge University Press, 2010)





Faculty and Staff

Hanadi Al-Samman

  • Associate Professor of Arabic Literature

Abigail Arnold

  • Lecturer in Women, Gender & Sexuality

Lanice Avery

  • Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality and Psychology

Lawrie Balfour

  • Professor of Politics

Rae Blumberg

  • William R. Kenan, Professor of Sociology

Alison Booth

  • Professor of English

Feyza Burak-Adli

  • Lecturer in Women, Gender & Sexuality and Middle East Studies

André Cavalcante

  • Assistant Professor of Media Studies and Women, Gender & Sexuality

Mrinalini Chakravorty

  • Assistant Professor of English, Postcolonial Literature and Theory

Shilpa Davé

  • Assistant Professor of American Studies and Media Studies

Corinne Field

  • Associate Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality

Susan Fraiman

  • Professor of English

Gertrude Fraser

  • Associate Professor

Lisa Goff

  • Assistant Professor of English and American Studies

Bonnie Hagerman

  • Director of Undergraduate Programs and Assistant Professor, General Faculty, of Women, Gender & Sexuality

Cynthia Hoehler-Fatton

  • Associate Professor of Religious Studies

Claire Kaplan

  • Director of The Gender Violence and Social Change Program

Anne Behnke Kinney

  • Professor of Chinese

Edith "Winx" Lawrence

  • Professor of Education in Clinical and School Psychology and Director, Young women Leaders Program and Program Chair, Youth and Social Innovation

Karlin Luedtke

  • Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality
  • Assistant Dean in College of A&S

Lorna Martens

  • Professor of German and Comparative Literature

Fred Maus

  • Associate Professor of Music

Deborah E. McDowell

  • Alice Griffin Professor of English and Director of the Carter G. Woodson Institute

Susan McKinnon

  • Professor of Anthropology

Doug Meyer

  • Assistant Professor of Women, Gender & Sexuality

Farzaneh Milani

  • Professor of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures and Women, Gender & Sexuality

Jaronda Miller-Bryant

  • Program Director of Global Outreach and Engaged Scholarship and Associate Director of Young Women Leaders Program

Bridget Murphy

  • Program Administrator

K. Sara Myers

  • Professor of Classics

Emily Ogden

  • Assistant Professor of English

Victoria Olwell

  • Associate Professor of English

Geeta Patel

  • Professor of Middle Eastern & South Asian Languages & Cultures and Women, Gender & Sexuality

Charlotte J. Patterson

  • Chair of Women, Gender & Sexuality and Professor of Psychology

Gustavo Pellón

  • Professor of Spanish

Andrea L. Press

  • William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Media Studies and Sociology

Allison Pugh

  • Professor of Sociology

Claire Raymond

  • Lecturer a the Department of Art History and Sociology

Caroline Rody

  • Professor of English

Marlon Ross

  • Professor of English

Lynn M. Sanders

  • Associate Professor of Politics

Lisa Shutt

  • Lecturer of African American & African Studies

Karl Shuve

  • Assistant Professor of Religious Studies

Lisa Speidel

  • Assistant Professor, General Faculty, of Women, Gender & Sexuality

Denise Walsh

  • Associate Professor of Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality

Gweneth West

  • Professor of Costume Design

Kath Weston

  • Professor of Anthropology

W. Bradford Wilcox

  • Associate Professor at the Department of Sociology

Eleanor V. Wilson

  • Associate Professor of Instruction and Special Education

Nicholas J. G. Winter

  • Associate Professor of Politics

Lisa Woolfork

  • Associate Professor of English