Martha Ackelsberg

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Martha Ackelsberg "is Five College Fortieth Anniversary Professor of Government and of the Study of Women and Gender at Smith College, where she served as Chair of the Department of Government from 2000-2003. She earned her B.A. at Radcliffe College and an M.A. and PhD. in Politics (political philosophy) at Princeton University. She joined the Smith faculty in the fall of 1972, and has held visiting appointments at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and at the University of Sussex. Ackelsberg has held a fellowship from the American Association of University Women, been a fellow at the Bunting Institute of Radcliffe College (1983-84) and at the Walt Whitman Center for the Culture and Politics of Democracy at Rutgers University (1992-93), and has been a faculty associate of the Center for European Studies at Harvard University (1983-84) and a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Research on Women at Columbia University (1987-88). During 2003-04 academic year, she participated in the Rockefeller-funded seminar on Gender and Human Security at the CUNY Graduate Center.

"Her research and teaching focus on applied political, especially democratic, theory. She regularly teaches courses on urban politics, social movements, the politics of inequality, democratic theory, feminist theory and the history of political philosophy, in addition to occasional interdisciplinary courses in women’s studies and Spanish anarchism. She has published numerous articles and a book, Free Women of Spain: Anarchism and the Struggle for the Emancipation of Women (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991; recently reissued by AK Press, 2005, and translated and published in Spain and Italy) on Spanish anarchism in the period before and during the Spanish Civil War. Other publications have focused on women's community activism in both the U.S. and in international contexts, on gender and public policy, feminist and democratic theory, changing understandings of families, and on women in Jewish communities. In recent years, she has been increasingly involved in exploring the relationship between gender and citizenship: how incorporating the study of activism and of the variety of ways people (especially women, in their local communities) actually participate in public life might change the ways we think about and understand politics. Her current book project, tentatively titled Making Democracy Work: (Re)Conceiving Politics Through the Lens of Women’s Activism, is under contract with Routledge.

"Within the Association, Ackelsberg has served on the Committee on the Status of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals in the Profession (1992-95), was member of the APSA Council for 1996-98, and recently completed a three-year term (2001-04) as Chair of the Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession. She has also served as President of the Women’s Caucus for Political Science, as chair of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Political Science Caucus, and as section chair of the gender and politics section of the Western Political Science Association. She was an invited participant at the APSA-NSF co-sponsored workshop on “Advancing Women in Political Science” in March 2004, and has participated in the Women’s Caucus and APSA mentoring programs. She is currently serving on the editorial boards of the APSR and of Politics and Gender."" [1]

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  1. Martha Ackelsberg, APSA, accessed December 1, 2007.