Queer Studies

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Xochitl Alvizo / Religious Studies

Xochitl AlvizoAssistant Professor
(818) 677-2742
Office location:
Santa Susanna Hall 233
Preferred Pronouns: she/her


Xochitl Alvizo (she/her) teaches Women and Religion and the Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality at California State University, Northridge. Teaching classes with Religious Studies, her home department, as well as the Queer Studies and Civic and Community Engagement programs. Her research areas include feminist and queer theories, congregational studies, ecclesiology, and the emerging church. She is co-founder of Feminism and Religion (www.feminismandreligion.com). She is co-editor of  Women Religion Revolution (FSR Books, 2017) with Gina Messina and The Emerging Church, Millennials, and Religion: Volume 2 (Cascade Books, 2022) with Terry Shoemaker and Rachel C. Schneider. She lives in Los Angeles, CA where she was also born and raised. 


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.

Selected Publications:

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 CartierOffice Location: Sierra Hall 396
Phone: (818) 677-3110
Preferred Pronouns: she/her


Marie 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.


Lisa Chaudhari

Diane Dang / Queer Studies


Robert Doyle /Queer Studies

Bobbie Emetu / Health Sciences

Bobbie EmetuOffice Location: Jacaranda Hall 3533
Email: bobbie.emetu@csun.edu
Phone: (818) 677-3001


Dr. Bobbie Emetu is a faculty member in the Department of Health Sciences, affiliate faculty of Queer Studies, and the Coordinator of the Human Sexuality Minor. She has taught a plethora of courses in public health and sexual health. Dr. Emetu's research focus is in sexual transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDS risk behaviors. Her research interests include condom use errors, innovative methods for STI testing, HIV-related stigma, and the association between sexual abuse and sexual risk behaviors. She continues to conduct applied research within the areas of health education, disease prevention, and sexual health.

Omar Gonzalez / Queer Studies

Leilani R. Hall / English

Leilani HallOffice Location: Sierra Tower 820
Email: leilani.hall@csun.edu
Phone: (818) 677-3428
Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers


Leilani R. Hall is the author of the poetry collection Swimming the Witch.  Her work has appeared in the literary journals North American Review, The Laurel Review, Water-Stone, The Ohio Review and elsewhere, including the anthologies The Norton Mix and In a Fine Frenzy: Contemporary Poets Respond to Shakespeare.  She is a professor of poetry, poetics, and disability studies in addition to her work in queer studies. 




Sid Hansen / Philosophy

Amanda Harrison / English

Amanda HarrisonOffice Location: Sierra Tower 833
Email: amanda.harrison@csun.edu
Phone: (818) 677-5197
Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers


Amanda received her BA and MA in English Literature from California State University, Northridge while simultaneously working as a marketing and touring executive in the music business. She currently teaches at CSUN in the English Department and Queer Studies Program. She has previously taught in the Music Industry Administration Program and Intensive English Program.

Gregory Knotts / Elementary Education

Gregory KnottsOffice: ED 2233
Email: greg.knotts@csun.edu
Phone: 818/677-3189
Preferred Pronouns: he/him/his


Greg Knotts is a Professor and Chair of the Elementary Education Department at California State University, Northridge.  He has served as the Director of the Queer Studies Program and Associate Director of Faculty Development, and continues to serve as Coordinator of the Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) in Liberal Studies.  Greg’s primary research interests focus on issues of gender and sexual orientation and how they impact the elementary school.  He also researches multicultural education, social studies education, as well as how best to integrate gender and sexuality into the social studies curriculum. Greg earned his PhD in International/Intercultural Education from the University of Southern California.

Jacob Lau / Queer Studies

Dr. Jacob Lau Email:
Phone: 818/677-6762
Pronouns: he/him/his
Editor: Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions

Jacob Lau (he/him) is an Assistant Professor in the Queer Studies Program at California State University, Northridge. Lau writes on trans of color temporalities and affects in literature, film, and archival ephemera, through women of color feminist and postcolonial epistemologies, as well as queer/trans of color critique.
He is the co-editor of Michael Dillon/Lobzang Jivaka's 1962 trans memoir Out of the Ordinary: A Life of Gender and Spiritual Transitions (Fordham University Press, 2016), for which he also co-authored an introduction to the text with Cameron Partridge. Dillon was the first man assigned female at birth to medically transition with both testosterone and top and bottom surgeries, as well as the first European ordained in Tibetan Buddhism. Importantly, Dillon’s memoir demonstrates connections between the development of new medical technologies to “repair” the male body post-WWII in midcentury, the spread of Buddhism in Euro-America, and the rise of transsexual and transgender subjectivities within a colonial context. He has been interviewed by Public Radio International's The World for his work on Michael Dillon, and his writing has appeared in TSQ: Transgender Studies Quarterly, Amerasia Journal, Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies (NYU Press 2021), the SAGE Encyclopedia of Trans Studies, The Routledge Companion to Gender and Affect, Feral Feminisms, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Graduate Journal of Social Science. He also has a forthcoming chapter on the work of Jasbir Puar in the second edition of Cultural Approaches to Studying Religion: An Introduction to Theories and Methods (Bloomsbury Academic, 2023).
Lau’s current book project, provisionally titled Falling Between the Times: Trans-Temporality, and Cisnormative Historicity situates materials from queer archives, trans memoir, Asian American and Asian diasporic texts within a transnational critique of what he is calling “trans-temporality.” By looking at how state-enacted forms of time regulate and discipline the experience of embodiment, through processes like immigration and administrative documentation Lau argues that cisnormative (non-trans) time allows some bodies more time to be visible, celebrated, and claimed by the nation, state, and transnational capital while trans bodies (particularly trans bodies of color) are decried as sexually aberrant, out-of-sync with the progress of the nation-state. Trans of color cultural production provides an alternative reading of trans history through unruly affects, pointing to other modes of survival.
Lau earned a Ph.D. in Gender Studies from UCLA, a M.T.S. in Women, Gender, Sexuality, and Religion from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. in English from UC Berkeley. Prior to being at CSUN, he was an Assistant Professor at UNC at Chapel Hill in the Women's and Gender Studies Department and Director of the Sexuality Studies Program. From 2018-2020 Lau was a fellow through the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity at UNC, and prior to that was a UC President's Postdoctoral Fellow at UC Irvine in Film and Media Studies.

Sheena Malhotra / Gender & Women's Studies

Sheena MalhotraOffice Location: Jerome Richfield 340C
Email: sheena.malhotra@csun.edu 
Phone: (818) 677-7217
Preferred Pronouns: she/her/hers


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.

Joey Martinez / Queer Studies

Joey MartinezOffice Location: Santa Susana 418
Email: joe.martinez@csun.edu
Preferred Pronouns: He/They

Joey Earvin Martinez (He/Him; They/Them) joins the Queer Studies Program at CSUN as a Part-time Lecturer. They earned their Master of Arts in Communication Studies (emphasis in Performance, Language, and Cultural Studies) at CSUN. They center coalition building, liberatory, and critical performance methodologies as a Queer Artist of Color in Recovery, Scholar, and Community Organizer. In the past, Joey has taught COMS 199 Performance Ensemble, COMS 151, QS 151 Fundamentals of Public Speaking, and QS 201 Race and Ethnicity in Queer Studies. They orient themselves towards Queer Abolitionism, Transformative Justice, Queer of Color Critique, and Critical Performance Ethnography and Pedagogy. 

Their current research centers the intercultural and everyday performances in Queer Abolitionist Worlds. They are a multi-media artist and performer who thinks through intimate and expansive relationship building. Joey uses critical performance methodologies to challenge and resist old worlds while imagining and building up Queer Abolitionist ones. Their work serves to remind us about the everydayness/everynightness of subjects of history and their deeply personal relationships to institutions like the Prison Industrial Complex and the Medical Industrial Complex. Some of Joey’s work can be recognized by the refrain “A Queer Jail-Time,” which stories and elevates histories of QTBIPoC and is a critical performance ethnography that serves to archive the interpersonal and inter-political lives of his community. In particular, Joey’s research is in conversation with those who who were housed on the 9,000 Floor at Los Angeles Men’s Central Jail, “LGBTQ+” In-patient recovery homes, and “LGBTQ+” Sober livings all around Los Angeles, as well as Abolitionist laborers. 

They invest a lot of their time serving students and former students, community members, family members, and other community organizations. This includes Project Rebound @CSUN, any 12-Step Program, and Dignity and Power Now. When Joey is home, he’s in his room, listening to Tove Lo, and feeding his guinea pig, Apichu, which is Quechua for “Sweet Potato.” You may also find him trailing a mountain and building a spiritual relationship with the land through indigenous dreaming practices. 

Gina Masequesmay / Asian American Studies

Department Advisor & Professor
Email: gina.masequesmay@csun.edu
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

Kisa SchultzEmail: maseri.schultz@csun.edu
Phone: 818/677-6762
Preferred Pronouns: she/they


Maseri Kisa Schultz earned their BA in English Subject Matter and MA in English Literature at CSUN. They are now a lecturer in the English Department and Queer Studies Program. They are also a Faculty Writing Consultant in the LRC's Writing Center, working as an Assistant Coordinator to the Peer Writing Specialist and Supplemental Instruction Programs, and as the Writing Center's resident Critical Theory Specialist. Their current research examines feminist portrayals of women in pop culture, using Jane Austen's archetypes as models. They are also interested in using Dungeons and Dragons to teach critical thinking in the composition classroom, and as a way to explore queer identities.


Heidi Schumacher

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


Nicole Solis / English

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


Rae Spitler-Lawson

Rae Spilter-LawsonOffice Location: Sierra Tower 827
Email: rspitlerlawson@csun.edu
Phone: 818/677-3427
Preferred Pronouns: They/She


Rae Spitler-Lawson (she/they) received their BA in Communications/Creative Writing from Pepperdine University, and their MA in English from CSUN. Since 2011, they have taught a variety of courses in Composition & Literature in the English departments at CSUN and LAMC. More recently, they are proud to have joined the Queer Studies department at CSUN and have been teaching QS classes since 2021. Rae especially loves teaching in the Pop Culture Minor here at CSUN, and often looks for ways to incorporate cultural critique into her courses. Past courses have focused on the intersection of popular culture and politics, the sociopolitical & identity-based aspects of fandom studies and fan spaces, the use of mythology in comics and graphic novels, and Queer memoir as both a window into the queer experience & as a tool for social change. In their spare time, they can be found reading, cooking, and keeping up with various forms of pop culture media along with their wife, two cats, and a rather elderly dog.