Mary Fainsod Katzenstein teaches in the Government Department and in the Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies program. She has written and edited/co-edited books and articles on issues about political activism and social movements in the context of South Asian, European, and U.S politics. Her study of feminist activism in the Catholic Church and the U.S. military (Faithful and Fearless; Princeton University Press, 1998 which won the Victoria Schuck award for the best book on gender in political science in 1999) argued for the importance of identifying different kinds of movements for change inside institutions.

For the last several years, she has taught and conducted research on the subject of incarceration in the U.S. and on prison reform movements.  Through the issue of incarceration and family visitation and parenting by fathers and mothers behind bars, her interest in the ideologies and policies particularly as they affect low income and minority families has been renewed.  As a political scientist, her approach to the study of the family leads her to be interested in how conceptions and practices of marriage, fatherhood/motherhood and the care of children are framed by inherited public ideologies and contemporary political interests.  Her research is largely document-based, utilizing legislative materials and court decisions as well as selective interviews as they bear on understanding policy formation.  

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Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853