Queer Studies

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Xochitl Alvizo / Religious Studies

X.Alvizo CSUN Profile 2-edited.jpg
Assistant Professor
(818) 677-2742
Office location:
Santa Susanna Hall 233


Xochitl Alvizo is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies in the area of Women and Religion and the Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality. She dedicates her work to bringing a feminist focus to theology and to the study of religion, including feminist and queer theologies, congregational studies, ecclesiology, and the emerging church. 

Dr. Alvizo is co-founder of Feminism and Religion (FAR) – an online project that brings together multiple feminist voices from around the world to dialogue about feminism in religion and at the intersection between scholarship, activism, and community. She is also co-founder of the Pub Church, Boston.  She has a chapter published in Feminism and Religion in the 21st Century: Technology, Dialogue, and Expanding Borders, edited by Gina Messina-Dysert and Rosemary Radford Ruether (Routledge, 2014), has an upcoming chapter in The Emerging Church: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, edited by April Stace Vega and Mike Clawson (Wipf & Stock, 2016), and is currently working on Women, Religion, Revolution, a project she is co-editing with Gina Messina-Dysert. Her blog writing can be found on FAR and can be reached on Twitter @XochitlAlvizo.


Ph.D., Practical Theology, Boston University School of Theology, 2015
M.Div., Boston University School of Theology, Summa Cum Laude, 2007
B.A., Religion, University of Southern California, East Asian Studies minor, 2001 

Research and Teaching Interests: Feminist Theology, Congregational Studies, Feminist Ecclesiology, and the Emerging Church. Her dissertation involved a feminist analysis of the developing ecclesiology of emerging church congregations.


2014 “Being Undone by the Other: Feminisms, Blogs, and Critique" in Feminism and Religion in the Twenty-First Century: Utilizing Technology to Expand Borders, eds. Gina Messina-Dysert and Rosemary Radford Ruether. (Routledge).

In press, Women, Religion, Revolution, co-editor with Gina Messina-Dysert (Feminist Studies in Religion Press), forthcoming spring 2016

In press, “Pyrotheology and Evangelical Theology” in Modern Believing – A Journal of Theological Liberalism, special issue on Pyrotheology (Liverpool University Press), forthcoming September 2016 issue

In progress, “A Feminist Analysis of the Emerging Church” in The Emerging Church: Interdisciplinary Perspectives, eds. Mike Clawson and April Stace Vega, forthcoming 2015

In progress, “Imago Dei” chapter in God volume of Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks: Gender, ed. Sîan Hawthorne (Macmillan), forthcoming fall 2016

In progress, “Introduction” for Sin Big: The Mary Daly Reader, eds. Jennifer Rycenga and Linda Barufaldi (NYU Press), forthcoming Fall 2016


American Academy of Religion; steering committee member for Practical Theology Group and The Emerging Church, Millennials, and Religion Seminar

National Women's Studies Association


Hispanic Theological Initiative Dissertation Scholar, 2014-2015
Ford Foundation Fellowships Honorable Mention, 2014

Marie Cartier / Gender & Women's Studies

Marie Cartier

  • Office Location: Sierra Hall 396
  • Email:
  • Phone: (818) 677-3110


Dr. Cartier has a Ph.D. in Religion with an emphasis on Women and Religion from Claremont Graduate University.  She is the author of the critically acclaimed book Baby, You Are My Religion: Women, Gay Bars, and Theology Before Stonewall(Routledge 2013).  She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Women’s Studies and Queer Studies at California State University Northridge, and in Film Studies at Univ. of CA Irvine. She is also a published poet and playwright, accomplished performance artist, scholar, and social change activist. She holds a BA in Communications from the University of New Hampshire; an MA in English/Poetry from Colorado State University; an MFA in Theatre Arts (Playwriting) and an MFA in Film and TV (Screenwriting), both from UCLA; and an MFA in Visual Art (Painting/Sculpture) from Claremont Graduate University.  She is co-chair of the Lesbian-Feminisms and Religion session of the national American Academy of Religion and co-chair at the regional level of the Queer Studies in Religion session, founder of the western region Queer Caucus, and a perma-blogger for Feminism and Religion. She is also a first-degree black belt in karate, Shorin-Ryu Shi-Do-Kan Kobayashi style, and a 500 hour Yoga Alliance certified Hatha Yoga teacher

Lisa Chaudhari

Matthew Clements / Queer Studies

  • Office Location: Santa Susana 416
  • Email:
  • Phone: (818) 677-6762


Matthew holds a BA in English from Occidental College and an MFA in Film & TV Directing from UCLA.

Matthew started teaching in the CSUN Queer Studies Program in Spring, 2014. He teaches a range of courses including: freshman composition (QS 115), upper division GE Perspectives in Queer Studies (QS 301), QS Advanced Topics: Queer Film & Video (QS 401 QFV.) Matthew’s sections of QS 301 are designated as  course offerings in (1) GE Path: Arts, Media & Culture, with an emphasis on Comparative Cultural Studies; (2) GE Path Social Justice, with an emphasis on the ways socially constructed beliefs and expectations associated with race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, developmental challenges, gender, and/or sexuality become institutionalized and facilitate and/or limit people’s ability to exercise equal social, political, and economic rights. Matthew has written a number of new Queer Studies Program course proposals, currently in the CSUN Educational Policy Committee approval process: QS 204: Queer Identity: Pop Music and Its Audience 1980s to Now; QS 206: Queer Identity: FanFiction; QS 304: Queering the Screen, Queering the Spectator. In April 2017, Matthew co-hosted Town Hall on LGBTQ+ Needs and Wants in the San Fernando Valley (co-coordinated event with Project Q, Parent Advisory Council, USC, CSUN Queer Studies Program, CSUN Pride Center.)

Matthew is the author of the 2010 novel Year of my Sticky by Sebastian Long. Matthew is also the writer, producer, director of a 43-minute featurette Free Zone (ZDF/Arte). Both of these products explore bisexual male identity within a wider socio-political-cultural context.

In addition to his work with Queer Studies Program, Matthew teaches in CSUN’s Academic First Year Experience Program and Communication Studies. Matthew also teaches Queer Studies: History, Theory & Expression; Pop Culture and Queer Representation; and Performance Art at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA. At Art Center, Matthew serves as co-chair, Faculty Council.

Matthew presented to the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Art, University of Johannesburg, South Africa, paper title: “Social Engagement in the Design Curriculum & Research for Designers,” June, 2007.

Diane Dang / Queer Studies


Robert Doyle /Queer Studies

Bobbie Emetu / Health Sciences


Omar Gonzalez / Queer Studies

Leilani Hall / English



Sid Hansen / Philosophy

Amanda Harrison / English

  • Office Location: Sierra Tower 833
  • Email:
  • Phone: (818) 677-5197


Amanda Harrison received her BA and MA in English Literature from California State University, Northridge while working internationally as a marketing and touring executive in the live music business. She focuses on the continual logistical skills needed to keep tours on the road, manage multiple time zones, and put festivals on sale. Always behind the stage and never on it, Amanda believes in doing whatever you need to do to keep your client happy.

She currently teaches at CSUN in the English Department, Queer Studies Program, and the Music Industry Administration Program. She strives to incorporate business rhetoric, professional workplace writing, pop-culture, current trends, social media analysis, and world issues in her classes. Additionally, she maintains a consulting business for musicians and music festivals around the world.

She enjoys: British Literature from various periods, critical theory, traveling, teaching composition, animal rescue work, vegan cooking, urban gardening and reading and watching the Twilight Series repeatedly.



Michael Johnson Jr. / Cinema & Television Arts

Michael Johnson Jr
Assistant Professor | Media Theory & Criticism Option
Office location:


Dr. Michael Johnson Jr., is an Assistant Professor of Media Theory and Criticism in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University Northridge who studies how hegemonic forces influence the depiction, adoption, consolidation and dissemination of race and human sexual identities across contemporary mass mediated commodities like television and film.  He has a bachelor’s degree is in Liberal Arts from the University of New Orleans, and his Master’s degree is in Social and Political Thought from the University of South Florida, while his Ph.D. is in American Studies from Washington State University. Dr. Johnson is both a first generation college graduate and first generation post-graduate, and was awarded the highly competitive Ronald E. McNair Fellowship for his doctoral study.

Prior to his arrival at CSUN, he taught as a full-time faculty member at the University of Wisconsin Parkside in its Liberal Studies Department, and previously worked in the Department of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies at his alma mater Washington State University. He’s also taught by invitation at both the University of Passau, in Bavaria Germany as well as the prestigious Deep Springs College in Bishop, California. He typically teaches courses in media theory and criticism with strict attention to media effects research like cultivation analyses and uses and gratification theories. He has also previously taught across the interdisciplinary fields of Liberal Studies, Comparative Ethnic Studies, American Studies, and Women and Gender Studies.

His first book, There’s No Place Like HBO? The Political Economics of Race and Sexuality In American Entertainment, is currently under review with Wayne State University Press in its Critical Studies in Television Series. His research can also be found in publications like The Journal of Men’s StudiesStudies in Contemporary CultureThe Journal of Prisoners on PrisonsThe Journal of New Media & CultureStudies in Humanities, and Radical Teacher, to name a few. Dr. Johnson has also published a number of chapters in edited collections by ABC-Clio, Praeger, Palgrave Macmillan, Information Age Press, McFarland and Cambridge Scholars Press, among others.

Gregory Knotts / Elementary Education

Sheena Malhotra / Gender & Women's Studies

Sheena Malhotra


Sheena Malhotra is Professor of Gender & Women's Studies and Director of the Queer Studies Program at California State University, Northridge.

She received her Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico (1999) in Communication Studies with an emphasis on gender, media, and intercultural communication. Her academic research and articles focus on the intersections of gender, sexuality, media, technology and global culture, with a postcolonial analysis of media in India and the diaspora. Her research interests range from Hindi films and call centers in India to racialized implications of silences and bridgework. She has two books. One is a co-authored book (with Aimee Carrillo Rowe and Kimberlee Perez) on call centers in India entitled, Answer the Call: Virtual Migration in Indian Call Centers(2013) by University of Minnesota Press. Her second book is co-edited with Aimee Carrillo Rowe, entitled, Silence, Feminism, Power: Reflections at the Edges of Sound (2013)with Palgrave Macmillan.

Dr. Malhotra has experience in the Indian film and television industries. Prior to earning her Ph.D. degree, she worked as an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor of Programs at a progressive television network in India. She has also worked in the Indian film industry as an Assistant Director to Shekhar Kapur (director of Bandit Queen and Elizabeth). Dr. Malhotra began teaching in the Gender and Women's Studies department at CSUN in Fall, 2000. She teaches courses on women and popular culture as well as general WS classes. 

Dr. Malhotra served as the very first Coordinator and Advisor for the Queer Studies Program from 2008-12. She is presently directing the program again, since 2019. Her class, Sex, Lies and Media is one of the electives for the QS minor.

Gina Masequesmay / Asian American Studies

  • Department Advisor & Professor
  • Email:
  • Phone:
  • 818-677-7219
  • Office location:
  • JR 340


Karen Morgaine / Sociology


Martin Pousson / English

Pavithra Prasad / Communication Studies

Pavi Prasad
Ethnographic Methodology, Critical Race Theory, and Postcolonial Studies
Office location:
MZ 220


Pavithra Prasad joins the department of Communication Studies as an Assistant Professor of Intercultural Communication. She holds a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University. Her interdisciplinary research engages ethnographic methodology, critical race theory, and postcolonial studies to focus on the political economy of nightlife and subcultures in contemporary South Asia. Her work on electronic dance music and tourism has appeared in Text and Performance Quarterly, Ecumenica and Critical Arts.

She is currently working on a book manuscript that traces a social history of globalization in India, with attention to club cultures ranging from colonial gymkhanas, post-liberalization nightclubs, to contemporary electronica festivals. Pavi is a performer as well as a scholar – her creative work showcases research driven solo performances that explore queer identity, the postcolonial imagination, and “racial drag.”

Stevie Ruiz / Chicana/o Studies

Maseri Kisa Schultz


Heidi Schumacher

  • Office Location: Jerome Richfield 340
  • Email:
  • Phone: (818) 677-2486


Mary Shannon / English

  • Office Location: Sierra Tower 835
  • Email:
  • Phone: (818) 677-3410


Mary Shannon graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a BA in Anthropology, and from California State University, Northridge with an MA in English/Creative Writing in 2000.

Mary teaches composition in the English and Queer Studies departments at CSUN. She also teaches Business Communication and Creative Writing in the English Department.

In addition, Mary has taught at various community colleges in their composition programs, and creative writing at Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art. Mary is a frequent table leader and reader for the UDWPE and part of assessment committees for the Stretch Program. She has been a past reader for the Advanced Placement English Language for the ETS.

Since 1997 Mary has been the President of the Board of Directors of Alliance of Abilities, a non-profit, psychosocial program for people with disabilities. She has also does grant writing for the program.

Mary has had several poems and short stories published in various literary magazines. She co-authored the memoir, You’re Not the Boss of Me, with Sam Durbin, a transgender person with disabilities, published by Innovations Press. Mary has been teaching in the CSUN English Department since Fall 1999, and in the Queer Studies Department since 2014.  

Nicole Solis / English

  • Office Location: Sierra Tower 425
  • Email:  
  • Phone: (818) 677-0916


Rebecca Spitler-Lawson

Colleen Tripp / English