Michael Zimmer

 Michael Zimmer

Graduation year:

1994

Majors/Minors:

Marketing, with Gender Studies concentration

Current occupation:

Assistant Professor at School of Information Studies, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Favorite Gender Studies class/professor/memory from your experience at Notre Dame:

The radical feeling I had taking “Feminist Theology” at ND, which prompted me to refer to God as “she” in one of my other philosophy papers. Also, I loved pretty much every reading in Prof. Brogan’s course, which made me wish I had been an English major.

Your experience with Gender Studies/gender issues at Notre Dame:

My introduction to the Gender Studies program was through Prof. Janet Kourany’s “Gender & Science” course in spring 1993. The course opened up my eyes to the complexities of feminism and its relationship to society. I decided to join the concentration, and filled all my remaining electives with Gender Studies courses. (At the time, someone noted that I was the only male in the program, but I’m not sure if that was true)

How your Gender Studies education has impacted your life:

Immersing myself in the Gender Studies curriculum was one of my best decisions while at ND. It greatly expanded my vision of the world, of the role of language, and of social justice. Through the program I got to know a wonderful group of students whom I otherwise wouldn’t have met in my routine ND life; these friendships helped shape me as a person today. Intellectually, the Gender Studies program made me recognize the limits of my chosen career path (business), which I felt was too late to change. After 7 years in business, I decided to leave everything behind to pursue a PhD and become an academic (studying the social and ethical implications of information technology). I kept my time in the Gender Studies program in mind as I pursued this new intellectual goal (and, one of my first papers as a PhD student re-visited a line of thinking I had carried with me from Prof. Brogan’s course years before).

Your hopes for the future of Gender Studies at Notre Dame:

I hope the program continues to be intellectually rigorous, pushing boundaries, inclusive, and warm. I hope the University continues to support the program through expanded degree offerings and faculty lines.