Cathy J. Cohen
|Cathy J. Cohen|
|Occupation||David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science|
|Known for||Audre Lorde Project, Black Youth Project, BYP100|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan, Miami University|
|Main interests||African American politics, women and politics, lesbian and gay politics, and social movements|
|Notable works||"Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics" (1997), The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics (1999), Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics (2010)|
Cathy J. Cohen (born 1962) is an American political scientist, author, feminist, and social activist, whose work has focused on the African-American experience in politics from a perspective which is underlined by intersectionality. She is currently the David and Mary Winton Green Professor in Political Science and the College at the University of Chicago, and is the former Director of the Center for the Study of Race (2002–05).
Early life and education
She received her BA from Miami University, Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1993 and began her academic career at Yale University where she received tenure. Cohen joined the faculty of the University of Chicago in 2002.
Career and impact
Cohen frequently writes and speaks about gender, sexuality, class, ethnicity, and their interrelatedness and connection to power. This approach puts her in a class of leftist intellectuals who work to have social and public policy influence on the lives of marginalized groups in a positive way. Cohen, a black lesbian and parent, is the principal researcher on the Black Youth Project, a nationwide survey which focuses on factors that influence black youth decision-making, norms, etc., and has a central focus on understanding how black youth feel political challenges significantly impact them. Cohen is the author of Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and The Future of American Politics and Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics and Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?. Cohen is also the co-editor of Women Transforming Politics: An Alternative Reader with Kathleen Jones and Joan Tronto and the co-author of a study on New Media and Youth Political Action, which is part of the Youth and Participatory Politics survey project. She was also on the board of Kitchen Table: Women of Color Press as well as the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies (CLAGS) at CUNY.
Her book Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics explores how issues such as age, gender, sexuality and the growing AIDs epidemic shape the acceptance boundaries within the African-American community.
In Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and The Future of American Politics, Cohen uses findings from the Black Youth Project to provide a detailed description of what black youth want, how they understand intersecting challenges of opportunity and discrimination, and how we can begin to help transform the lived experiences and future outcomes of African American youth.
In Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?, Cohen encourages queer politics to focus not just heteronormative oppression, but on other forms of interlocking and overlapping systemic oppressions, such as race, gender, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, etc. for a more inclusive political activism.
Cohen is one of the founding board members of the Audre Lorde Project, which focuses on providing adequate representation, community wellness, and efficient economic and social justice for the LGBT+ communities they serve. Cohen is active in a number of organizations working on social justice issues; she has moderated the Applied Research Center's 2010 conference "Popularizing Racial Justice", and served as secretary of the American Political Science Association. Cohen has also been member of the Black Radical Congress, African American Women in Defense of Ourselves and the United Coalition Against Racism. She currently serves as a board member of the Arcus Foundation and of the University of Chicago’s four charter schools.
Awards and honors
Cohen is the recipient of two research grants from the Ford Foundation for her work as principal investigator of the Black Youth Project and the Mobilization, Change and Political and Civic Engagement Project. Cohen serves on a number of national and local advisory boards and is the co-editor with Frederick Harris of a book series at Oxford University Press entitled "Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities".
In 2004, Cohen was awarded the Race, Politics, and Adolescent Health: Understanding the Health Attitudes and Behaviors of African American Youth Award. In 2004, Cohen was also interviewed for the Global Feminisms Project Comparative Case Studies Of Women's Activism and Scholarships, which is an archive of oral histories given by transnational women scholars and activists.
In 2013, Cohen gave the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture, entitled "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Age of Obama: Building a New Movement for the 21st Century", at Gustavus Adolphus College.
- Race and health
- Audre Lorde Project, an LGBTSTGNC organization for people of color in New York City, named for Audre Lorde
- Teaching for social justice
- Black Feminism
- Critical social theory
- Cultural Studies
- bell hooks
- LGBT and multiculturalism
- ""Cathy J. Cohen, Secretary - University of Chicago", American Political Science Association (APSA)". Apsanet.org. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Luttig, Matthew; Cohen, Cathy (9 Sep 2016). "How social media helps young people -- especially minorities and the poor -- get politically engaged". Washington Post. Missing or empty
- McClain, Dani (30 Apr 2015). "6 Scholars Who Are 'Reimagining Black Politics'". The Nation. Retrieved 30 Aug 2018.
- "About Us - The Black Youth Project". The Black Youth Project. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- "Conference Speech". Youtube.com. 2009-06-26. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Cathy J. Cohen on youth political action and new media". Wbez.org. June 26, 2012. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- "Black Youth Project Research (Cathy J Cohen)". Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- Cathy Cohen. "The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics". University of Chicago Press. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
- Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics. Transgressing Boundaries: Studies in Black Politics and Black Communities. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press. 2012-03-16. ISBN 9780199896264.
- "Cohen, Cathy J., Punks, Bulldaggers, and Welfare Queens: The Radical Potential of Queer Politics?". Queer/strokes/. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- "About ALP | The Audre Lorde Project". The Audre Lorde Project. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- "Facing Race in the Tea Party Era" Making Contact, produced by National Radio Project. November 30, 2010.
- "The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation". Retrieved November 4, 2013.
- "Election 2008 and Beyond » Cathy J. Cohen". www.2008andbeyond.com. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- "About Cathy J. Cohen - The Black Youth Project". The Black Youth Project. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
- Cohen, Cathy (June 4, 2011). "University of Chicago Interview: Cathy Cohen, "Democracy Remixed: Black Youth and the Future of American Politics"". National Cable Satellite Corporation. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
- Thomas, Matt (December 17, 2012). "Dr. Cathy J. Cohen to Give Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Lecture".