Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures
Penny Gardner
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Penny Gardner

Assistant Professor

Email: gardne45@msu.edu

Research Areas

Collective consciousness,feminism, gender identity,politics, sexual orientation


I teach freshPeople writing; WRA 140 and WRA 135. Despite my age, I am a fairly new teacher, having earned my PhD here at MSU in Dec 2002. My degree is in American Studies, concentrating on Feminist Philosophy, Women’s Studies, and Autobiography as Theory and Practice. I came to MSU at the age of 53 with a long-lived rich and varied history of activism in feminist and social justice issues. Before becoming the lesbian I am, I was successfully married to a man for 28 years and together we raised five children. I am seventeen years partnered and am intrinsically involved in the lesbian community and actively involved in the broader LGBT communities.

Representative Work

As an activist and engaged citizen, I am the president of the Union of Nontenurtrack Faculty, the UNTF and the Lansing Association for Human Rights, LAHR. I serve on the advisory council of the Tri-County Office On Aging, after having served 8 years on the governor appointed state wide Commission on Aging representing LGBT people who are old on both boards. I am the faculty advisor to the MSU Students for Choice organization. And serve on the LGBT advisory board for the Gender Center program.