Mary Margaret Fonow (July 2016)

Mary Margaret Fonow, Norton and Ramsey Professor of Social Transformation, is a professor of Women and Gender Studies and the founding director of the School of Social Transofrmation at Arizona State University.

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Fonow is an international leader in the field of women’s studies and has been active in the field for the past 40 years. She provides leadership for the research and training of doctoral students and is a member of the UNESCO Women and Gender Research Network. In the past Fonow has conducted comparative resarch on workplace change and its impact on labor activism in the US, Canada, and Australia and has more recently been analyzing the role union feminists are playing to secure basic labor rights for women in the global economy. She is interested in how union women developed a sense of themselves as transnational actors and how they build alliances and coalitions across national boundaries and between the labor movement and the women’s movement. She has published three books on the topic including a co-edited collection, Making Globalization Work for Women: The Role of Social Rights and Trade Union Leadership that examines trade unions as sites for women’s leadership training in 12 countries. Fonow was the co-principle investigator for an USAID funded project on women’s leadership in Armenia that resulted in the establishment of the Yerevan State Universty for Gender and Leadership Studies.


Her current research focuses on embodied activism, somatic education and mindfulness, and she hopes to develop a new model fo transformational leadership for women that is culturally relevant. She currently teaches, whith Rich Goldsand, a course on the transformational leadership and embodied activism to graduate students in the School of Social Transformation which includes two cohorts of Native American doctoral students; one Pueblo and one Navaho.



Fonow is actively engaged with students in the classroom and in helping students produce new research that is informed by an understanding of the intersection of justice with gender, race, class, indigeneity, and sexuality. Fonow believes the School of Social Transformation is the ideal location to prepare students to make a different in the world.