Kathleen Woodward

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Kathleen Woodward

Kathleen Woodward has been the Director of the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington since 2000, and is a Lockwood Professor in Humanities and in English. Her areas of specialization include the following: Twentieth-century American Literature and Culture; Discourse of the Emotions; Technology and Science Studies; Age Studies. Her fields of interest include the following: Culture; Digital Humanities; Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies; Literature. She is currently working on risk in the context of globalization and population aging.[1][2] Her writing talks about the invisibility status of older women, and she advocates for an arena of visibility.[3]


Woodward, born Kathleen Middlekauff, attended Smith College where she received a B.A. in economics in 1966,[4] and later attended the University of California, San Diego, where she received a Ph.D in literature in 1976.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Woodward married journalist Bob Woodward, her high school sweetheart, shortly after graduating from Smith in 1966. They divorced in 1969.[5]


Kathleen Woodward taught at the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (French: Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales) in Paris. She has received institutional grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.[1]

From 1981-2000, she was the Director of the Center for Twentieth Century Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she also taught in the Department of English and interdisciplinary program in Modern Studies. From 1995-2001, she was also the President of the Consortium of Humanities Centers and Institutes and continues today to serve on its International Advisory Board. From 2000-2005, she served as Chair of the National Advisory Board of Imagining America, which is a network of scholars and leaders of cultural institutions who work to foster the development of campus-community partnerships. From 2003-2009, She served on the Board of Directors of the National Humanities Alliance. From 2009-2013, she served on the Executive Council of the Modern Language Association. She is currently a member of the Steering Committee of HASTAC (Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory) as well as the Senate of the national organization of Phi Beta Kappa.[1]



  • "A Public Secret: Assisted Living, Caregivers, Globalization," International Journal of Ageing and Later Life 7.2 (2012):17-51.
  • "Work-Work Balance, Metrics, and Resetting the Balance," PMLA 127.4 (2012): 994-1000.
  • "Assisted Living: Aging, Old Age, Memory, Aesthetics," Occasion 4 (May 2012):http://occasion.stanford.edu/node/104.
  • "Introduction: Thinking Feeling, Feeling Thinking," from Statistical Panic: Cultural Politics and Poetics of the Emotions. Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.
  • “The Future of the Humanities- in the present & in public,” Daedalus 138 (Winter 2009): 110-123.
  • “Performing Age, Performing Gender,” NWSA Journal 18.1 (2006): 162-189.
  • “A Feeling for the Cyborg,” Data Made Flesh: Embodying Information, eds. Robert Mitchell and Phillip Thurtle (New York: Routledge, 2004): 181-197.
  • “Against Wisdom: The Social Politics of Anger and Aging,” Cultural Critique 51 (Spring 2002): 186-218.
  • “Calculating Compassion,” Indiana Law Journal 77.2 (2002): 223-45.
  • “Traumatic Shame: Toni Morrison, Televisual Culture, and the Cultural Politics of the Emotions,” Cultural Critique 46 (Fall, 2002): 210-40.
  • “Statistical Panic,” differences 11.2 (1999): 177-203.
  • “Telling Stories, Aging, Reminiscence and the Life Review,” Doreen B. Townsend Center Occasional Papers 9 (Doreen B Townsend Center for the Humanities, UC Berkeley, 1997)
  • “Anger…and Anger: From Freud to Feminism,” Freud and the Passions, ed. John O'Neill (University Park: Pennsylvania UP, 1996): 73-95.
  • “Tribute to the Older Woman: Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and Ageism,” Images of Aging: Cultural Representations of Later Life, ed. Mike Featherstone and Andrew Werrick (London: Routledge, 1995): 79-96.
  • “Late Theory, Late Style: Loss and Renewal in Freud and Barthes,” Aging & Gender in Literature: Studies in Creativity, ed. Anne Wyatt-Brown and Janice Rossen (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 1993): 82-101.
  • "Aging." In Adams, Rachel; Reiss, Benjamin; Serlin, David. Key Words for Disability Studies. Washington Square New York NY 10003: New York University Press. pp. 33–34. ISBN 978-1-4798-4115-8. (2015)


  • Statistical Panic: Cultural Politics and Poetics of Emotions (2009)
  • Aging and Its Discontents: Freud and Other Fictions (1991)
  • At Last, the Real Distinguished Thing: The Late Poems of Eliot, Pound, Stevens, and Williams (1980)

Edited books[edit]

  • Figuring Age: Women, Bodies, Generations (1999)
  • The Myths of Information: Technology and Postindustrial Culture (1980)
  • Memory and Desire: Aging--Literature--Psychoanalysis (1986) (co-editor)
  • The Technological Imagination: Theories and Fictions (1980) (co-editor)
  • Aging and the Elderly: Humanistic Perspectives in Gerontology (1978) (co-editor)
  • Discourse: Journal for Theoretical Studies in Media and Culture.