Denise Walsh headshot

Denise Marie Walsh

Associate Professor
Unit: College of Arts and Sciences
Department: Department of Politics
Office location and address
S454 Gibson Hall
1540 Jefferson Park Ave
Charlottesville, Virginia 22903
New School for Social Research, New York, NY, Ph.D., Department of Political Science

Denise Walsh is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Politics and Women, Gender & Sexuality at the University of Virginia, and a founding co-director of the Power, Violence and Inequality Collective in the College of Arts & Sciences at UVA. Her research investigates how liberal democracies can become more inclusive and just. Walsh’s current book manuscript, The Politics of Culture and Women’s Rights in Liberal Democracies, examines polygyny in South Africa, the expulsion of indigenous women from the tribe for marrying non-native men in Canada, and the face veil ban in France. Walsh also is a co-founder of The Backlash Project, which investigates opposition to gender justice.

Walsh’s first book, Women’s Rights in Democratizing States (Cambridge University Press, 2010) compares women’s rights in South Africa, Poland, and Chile. Walsh finds that democratic institutions like political parties and social movements often obstruct advances in women’s rights during transitions to democracy. Walsh’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, USAID, the Collegio Carlo Alberto in Italy, the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College, and many organizations at the University of Virginia. Walsh received an all-University Teaching Award in 2014 and teaches courses on identity politics; power, violence and inequality in the global South; gender politics in comparative perspective and in Africa; human rights; feminist theory; gender and the public sphere; and gender-based violence.

Editorship of the American Political Science Review
Source: American Political Science Association
June 01, 2020 – May 31, 2024
Weaponizing Rights: The Politics of Debating Culture and Women¿s Rights in Liberal States - Fellowship on Behalf of Denise Marie Walsh
August 17, 2020 – April 30, 2021
AS-POLI USAID DRG Research and Innovation: Key Questions
Source: Institute of International Education
June 22, 2016 – December 15, 2016
WGS 3810: Feminist Theory
Credits: 3
This course provides an overview of the historical bases and contemporary developments in feminist theorizing and analyzes a range of theories on gender, including liberal, Marxist, radical, difference, and postmodernist ideas. We explore how feminist theories apply to contemporary debates on the body, sexuality, colonialism, globalization, transnationalism incorporating analyses of race, class, national difference and cross-cultural perspectives.
PLCP 4500: Special Topics in Comparative Politics
Credits: 3
Intensive analysis of selected issues and concepts in comparative government. Prerequisite: One course in PLCP or instructor permission.
PLCP 5993: Selected Problems in Comparative Politics
Credits: 1–3
Independent study, under faculty supervision, for intensive research on a specific topic. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
PLPT 5993: Selected Problems in Theory and Method
Credits: 1–3
Independent study under faculty supervision, for students who are preparing for intensive research on a specific topic. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
WGS 7500: Approaches to Gender and Sexuality Studies
Credits: 3
An introduction to contemporary feminist and queer theories, intended for graduate students. Offers a survey of contemporary feminist and queer epistemology, subject formation, ethics, and politics, as well as a grounding in the methods of feminist and queer theory. What is a woman? What is sex? What is gender? What is sexuality? These and related questions are discussed from multidisciplinary perspectives.
WGS 7559: New Course in Women, Gender & Sexuality
Credits: 1–4
This course provides the opportunity to offer a new topic in the subject area of women, gender & sexuality.