Nancy Whittier is Sophia Smith Professor of Sociology at Smith College. She writes and teaches about gender, social movements, and social change in the United States. She is especially interested in the long-lasting and often unexpected consequences of the feminist movement from the 1970s to the present.
She has written about the lasting effects on individuals of being an activist (Feminist Generations, 1995), activism against child sexual abuse and its consequences (The Politics of Child Sexual Abuse, 2009), and the unlikely and fraught collaboration between feminists and conservatives around pornography, child abuse, and violence against women (Frenemies: Feminists, Conservatives, and Sexual Violence, 2018). Her work examines questions about collective identity, how movements produce change, generational differences, and intersections between the self, emotion, culture, and public policy. She holds a PhD in sociology and a BA in Women’s Studies from The Ohio State University.
She is the Chair of the Department of Sociology at Smith, and teaches classes on gender, sexuality, social movements, statistics, and research methods.