Women's & Gender Studies Program

Dr. Marguerite Rivage-Seul

rivage-seulProgram Chair of Women’s and Gender Studies;
Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies;
Director of Women in Public Service Project

Contact Information:

Office: Phelps Stokes, 206
Fax: (859) 986-3902
Phone: (859) 985-3931
Email: rivage-seulp@berea.edu
CPO 1963

Office Hours, Fall 2015:

Monday 11-11:50 am
Tuesday 1-5 pm
Wednesday 11-11:50 am, 3:30-5:30 pm
Thursday, Friday by appointment
By appointment

Class Schedule:

  • WGS 124 (Mon/Wed: 12:40 pm – 2:30 pm)
  • WGS 486 PRS (Mon: 2:40 pm – 7:00 pm)


Ed.D University of Kentucky Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education
MIASchool for International Training Intercultural Management
BACentral Michigan University, Alliance Francaise Junior Year Abroad Paris, FranceFrench and Political Science
Secondary Teaching Certificate: French

Honors and Awards

2013William J. Fulbright recipient of research/teaching award in Mysore, India; University of Mysore Department of Economics.
2012 Recipient of Appalachian College Association Fellowship to study food sovereignty in the Western Cape of South Africa
2011Invited researcher, Centro de Desarollo Agropecuario , Delores Hildalgo, Mexico
2006 Recipient of Appalachian College Association Fellowship to study rural Mexican women’s cooking, Guanajuato State, Mexico
2002 Invited speaker to televised international roundtable on September 11 at University of Havana, Cuba
1998-99 U.S.A.I.D. Fulbright Lecturer to the University of Zimbabwe, Dept. of Educational Foundations
1991, 1994Invited Researcher at Departamento Ecumenico de Investigaciones, San Jose, Costa Rica
1988Alternate for Spencer Fellowship
1986 Recipient of American Educational Research Association Outstanding Dissertation Award for Conceptual Research: Moral Imagination and Peace Education: Paulo Freire's Third World Approach
1984 Invited fellow at Paulo Freire Research Center, Sao Paulo, Brazil


WGS 124 to Women’s and Gender Studies
WGS 315 Classic Texts in Women’s and Gender Studies
WGS 350/450 Seminar in Women’s and Gender Studies
WGS 286 Empowering Women for Global Leadership (Women in Public Service Project)
WGS 486 Take Back the Kitchen: A New Agenda for Feminism’s Fourth Wave
GSTR 110 Feminism is for Everybody
GSTR 410 Stirring the Pot: New Politics of Food
BISTCuba in the 21st Century: Renovation and Resilience
BISTMexico: Food and Resistance in Southern Mexico
BISTMexico: Never Again a World without Us


  • National Women’s Studies Association  (Governing Council 2006-09)
  • Women’s International League for Peace
  • American Educational Research Association
  • Department of Ecumenical Investigations, San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Center for Global Justice, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  • Berea World Peacemakers
  • Sustainable Berea
  • Slow Food
  • St. Clare Catholic Church   Hispanic Ministry



  • A Kinder and Gentler Tyranny: Illusions of the New World Order, co-authored with D. Michael Rivage-Seul, Praeger Press, 1995.

Book Chapters and Essays

  • “Take Back the Kitchen: A New Agenda for Feminism’s Fourth Wave,” in Schmidt, Crockett, and Bogarad,  Legacies : Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Nonfiction, Fifth Edition, 2012. “Favela Memories,” in  Memories of Paulo, eds. Tom Wilson, Peter Park, Anaida Colon-Muniz, (Sense: Netherlands), 2010.
  • “Critical Thought and Moral Imagination: Peace Education in Freirean Perspective,” co-authored with D. Michael Rivage-Seul, in Paulo Freire: A Critical Encounter, Routledge: London, 1993.


  • “The Right to Food: A Global Agenda for the Women’s Movement,” Freedom Center Journal, ( University of Cincinnati College of Law)  Fall 2014.
  • “Stranger or Kin? Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution in Appalachia.” Journal of Appalachian Studies, Vol.10, No. 2, 2011.
  •  “Feminist Frameworks for Women in the Global Economy,” in online Proceedings from Women and Globalization Conference (Center for Global Justice: San Miguel de Allende), 2005
  • “Globalizing and Mobilizing,” Review of Vandana Shiva’s plenary  at National Women’s Studies Association annual meeting, June 10, 2005, NWSA Action, Fall 2005.
  • “La Guadalupana,” in Crossroads, September 15, 2003.
  • “Freire in the Classroom: Thinking Critically after September 11,” Philosophical Studies in Education, 2002.
  • “Remembering Oscar Romero and the Mothers of the Disappeared,” Out of Line, March 2001.
  •  “A Preferential Option for Women at Berea,” Onyx, Spring 2001.
  • “The Method is the Message” Philosophical Studies in Education, 1996.
  • “Paulo Freire: Brazilian Educator and Political Activist,”Option (Journal of the Folk Education Association of America), Fall1993.
  • “Ethical Imagination in Peace Studies: Beyond the Seville Statement,”Journal of Humanistic Education and Development, December1989.
  • “Peace Education and the Pedagogy of the Oppressed,”Harvard Educational Review, May1987.
  • “Social Change without Violence?” critical review of Matthew Zachariah’s Revolution through Reform: A Comparison of Sarvodaya and Conscientization, in Education Studies, Winter1987.
  • “Moral Imagination and Peace Education,”Philosophical Studies in Education, 1984.


I came to women’s and gender studies through my activist scholarship with Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. As a philosopher of education, I wanted my students to understand Freire’s central idea that people living on the economic margins possess a privileged (epistemological) understanding of the world. From their social location on the economy’s periphery, people know what life is like for the poor, and they see how the world functions in favor of the wealthy. It is precisely their ability to see the world in ways that wealthy people cannot understand that makes the poor important teachers for those residing in the economic centers of human experience.

My respect for Paulo Freire’s pedagogy took on new meaning when I visited Eastern Kentucky with my students.  While listening to teachers describe the economic reality of the region, I saw a new connection between feminism and the teachings of  Paulo Freire. In these very poor schools lay a wealth of knowledge and experience about the failed War on Poverty in Appalachia. It was the leadership of women in the Foxfire Eastern Kentucky Teachers’ Network that was turning the tide from fatalistic acceptance of under-resourced schools into vibrant learning communities. I began to see these powerful women as feminists who are changing the world as they empower themselves and the students they teach.

It was one of those life moments when I knew there was a new project waiting for me. The opportunity to direct the Women’s   and Gender Studies Program followed soon after my epiphany in Eastern Kentucky. I decided to put my energy into building an intellectually exciting women’s studies program at Berea College. With the help of seasoned feminists on campus, I elevated the brown bag lunch program (Peanut Butter and Gender) into an invited speakers’ series with a reputation for the best lunch in town.  Our new steering committee brought some of the world’s most exciting feminists to campus. As the PBG program grew in popularity, students began to create independent majors in women’s studies, and within a few years, the faculty voted to accept women’s studies as a new major in the curriculum.

Most recently, we have begun to offer a flagship course, “Empowering Women for Global Leadership.” This course is the first of its kind in the United States, and is offered in partnership with the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This program is part of a Global Women’s Leadership Initiative begun by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Berea College has recently joined a prestigious group of colleges, including the founding partners—Barnard, Bryn Mawr, Mount Holyoke, Smith and Wellesley Colleges—to help women find the power of their voices to lead their communities and nations to justice for women.

Early in my career, I learned from teachers in Eastern Kentucky that women can and will lead the way. The projects of women’s and gender studies at Berea College are dedicated to empowering our students to change the world.

Research Interests

My current research is focused on the contribution of traditional vegetarian cooking to the subject of world hunger, and is titled, “Traditional Recipes for a Small Planet.” To date, I have conducted research in Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, South Africa, and India. My research on traditional recipes will be published in a larger volume, Take Back the Kitchen: A New Agenda for Feminism’s Fourth Wave,  that  proposes a new feminist movement to take back the kitchen from the globalized fast food industry.



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