Jyl Josephson

Jyl Josephson


jylj [at] rutgers.edu



Office Location

Hill Hall 716

Jyl Josephson is Professor of Political Science and Women’s and Gender Studies at Rutgers University-Newark.  She is the author of Rethinking Sexual Citizenship, (SUNY Press, 2016), and is co-editor with Cynthia Burack of the Queer Politics and Cultures series for SUNY Press. She writes on gender, sexuality, and public policy, primarily regarding the U.S. with some research on Iceland.  Her work has also been published in journals such as Politics and Gender, Journal of Poverty, New Political SciencePerspectives on Politics, and Trans Studies Quarterly.

Josephson teaches undergraduate courses in political theory including a course on community organizing, "Democracy and Citizenship". She also teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in LGBTQ+ politics and gender and politics. She spent the spring 2011 semester teaching at the University of Iceland as a Fulbright lecturing scholar, affiliated with the Center for Women’s and Gender Research (RIKK). Since then, she has conducted research, along with Icelandic colleagues, of feminist, queer, and trans activists regarding their views of gender and sexuality equality in Iceland. She is also conducting research on community organizing, and she is currently completing a project on democracy and higher education. 

Josephson served as chair of the Political Science Department from 2017 to 2020. During her time as chair the department developed several community engaged courses including her community organizing class. From 2004 to 2008, she served as Director of the Women’s and Gender Studies program at Rutgers University-Newark, and she has served in number of other administrative roles including as Acting Director of the Graduate Program in American Studies, and as Co-chair in spring 2014 of the Rutgers University-Newark Strategic Planning Oversight Committee. The committee’s charrette groups and town hall meetings, along with Chancellor Cantor’s listening tour provided the input that was the basis of RU-N’s initial strategic planning recommendations.


Courses Taught

Democracy and Citizenship, American Political Theory, Modern Political Theory,  LGBT Politics, Feminist Research Methods, Politics of Sexuality


Fulbright Lecturing Scholar, University of Iceland, 2011

(You can read about my travels to Iceland here.)


BA, Gustavus Adolphus College

MPA, University of Baltimore

PhD University of Maryland College Park


Recent Op-Eds

Now is not the Time for the JCBOE to Start Slashing the Budget (with Brigid D'Souza)

No Way to Run a World Class School District (with Brigid D'Souza and Rev. Dr. Alonzo Perry Sr.)

Available Open Access Papers

My page in SOAR, Rutgers' open access site

(You can find more papers here)


Rethinking Sexual Citizenship, 2016, SUNY Press.​

Gender and American Politics: Women, Men, and the Political Process, 2000 and 2005 (2nd ed.), co-edited with Sue Tolleson Rinehart, M.E. Sharpe.
Fundamental Differences: Feminists Talk Back to Social Conservatism, 2003, co-edited with Cynthia Burack, Rowman & Littlefield.

Gender, Families, and State: Child Support Policy in the United States, 1997, Rowman & Littlefield. 

Select Articles (Refereed Journals)

"Higher Education and Democratic Public Life" 2020, New Political Science 42(2) 155-170.

"Language Purism and Gender: Icelandic Trans* Activists and the Linguistic Gender Binary," 2016, coauthored with Þorgerður Einarsdóttir, Trans Studies Quarterly  3(3-4), 376-387.

Romantic Weddings, Diverse Families,” 2010, Politics and Gender, 6(1) 128-134.

Promoting Freedom from Poverty: Political Mobilization and the Role of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union”, 2006, co-authored with Diana Zoelle, Feminist Review, 82 (1) 6-26.

Origin Stories: Same-Sex Sexuality and Christian Right Politics,” 2005, co-authored with Cynthia Burack, Culture and Religion, 6 (3) 369-392.

Citizenship, Same-Sex Marriage, and Feminist Critiques of Marriage,” 2005, Perspectives on Politics, 3(2) 269-284.

“Countering homophobia in schools,” 2004, with Paula Ressler, English Journal, 93 (6) 99-102.