Name:  Jennifer Disney
Title:  Department Chair and Professor of Political Science; Director, Women's and Gender Studies Program
Education:  Ph.D. with Distinction, City University of New York
M.A., City University of New York
M.Phil., City University of New York
B.A., Western Maryland College
Office:  328 Bancroft Hall   
Phone:  803/323-4668
Area(s):  Political Science, Comparative Politics, Political Theory, African Politics, Latin American Politics, Women and Politics, Feminist Theory, Global Women's Movements


College of Arts and Sciences

Faculty & Staff Profiles

Dr. Jennifer Leigh Disney completed her Ph.D. with distinction at The Graduate School and University Center of The City University of New York (CUNY) in 2002. Her dissertation, "The Theories and Practices of Women’s Organizing: Marxism, Feminism, Democratization, and Civil Society in Mozambique and Nicaragua," was awarded the American Political Science Association (APSA) Women and Politics Best Dissertation Award in 2003, and a paper based on two chapters of her dissertation was awarded the Christian Bay Award for the Best New Political Science Paper presented at the APSA that same year. Disney’s book, Women’s Activism and Feminist Agency in Mozambique and Nicaragua, was published by Temple University Press in hardback in 2008 and in paperback in 2010.

Dr. Disney is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science and Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Disney served as the founding director of the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards (ONCA) from 2006-2012. She has been the recipient of the 2006 Faculty Service Learning Award, the 2007 Outstanding Junior Professor Award, the 2008 Student Life Award, and the 2014 DSU “Make the World A Better Place Award.” From 2014-2018, Dr. Disney served as co-editor of New Political Science: A Journal of Politics and Culture with her colleague, Dr. Jocelyn Boryczka of Fairfield University. New Political Science is the official journal of the Caucus for a New Political Science (CNPS), an Organized Section of the American Political Science Association. The CNPS was founded in 1967 in order “to make the study of politics relevant to the struggle for a better world.”

Her areas of teaching, research, and scholarship are in the fields of comparative politics and feminist theory, specifically in the areas of development and underdevelopment, intersectional feminisms, and global women’s movements. She teaches courses in "Comparative Politics," "Women and Global Politics," "African Politics," "Latin American Politics," "International Political Economy," "Social Movement Politics and Political Protest," "Political Science Capstone," and "Women's and Gender Studies."