Samara Cahill

Graduation year:

PhD 2009

Majors/Minors:

English/Graduate Gender Studies Minor

Current occupation:

Assistant Professor

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

Dr. Botting was the best boss ever! It was great working with her, Linnie, Krista, and all the honors students, majors, and minors. Also the pastries during the open houses. OMG, the pastries...

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

The controversy over "The Vagina Monologues" and "Loyal Sons and Daughters" greatly influenced my thinking about academic freedom at a Catholic university. It saddens me to this day that there were so few people who remained to listen to the truly excellent panel discussions after the performances of "VM." Choosing ignorance is not a "Catholic education." The graphic anti-abortion protests surrounding Obama's visit likewise made me rethink how a faithful Catholic ought to react to challenges.

How your Gender Studies education has impacted your life:

I now teach English literature at the university level and pretty much every single class deals with issues of social justice or ethical relationships, usually having to do with gender/class/ableism/race/sexuality, so my graduate GS minor informed my whole career. I now teach in Singapore a variation of the "Virgins and Vixens" class I designed for the GS Program at ND!

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

I hope that the Gender Studies program can be a visible symbol of how feminism is motivated by the spirit of Roman Catholic teaching.