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 has written on gender, sexuality, and public policy, primarily in the context of U.S. social policy.   Her work has also been published in journals such as Politics and Gender, Journal of Poverty, Politics and Gender, New Political Science, and Perspectives on Politics, and Trans Studies Quarterly.

Josephson teaches a graduate course in Feminist Research Methods, which also serves as a methods course for the Political Science MA program. She teaches undergraduate courses in political theory and, for the Women’s and Gender Studies program, she teaches the politics of sexuality course. 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 has also conducted research on community organizing, and her newest project is on democracy and higher education. 

Josephson is currently serving as chair of the Political Science Department. 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

The Komen Fiasco and the Politics of Stigma 

Available Conference Papers

Obama's Fatherhood Initiative: New Fathers or Neopatriarchy?

(You can find more working papers here.)


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

Fundamental Differences: Feminists Talk Back to Social Conservatism, 2003, co-edited with Cynthia Burack, Rowman & Littlefield.

Gender and American Politics: Women, Men, and the Political Process, 200 and 2005 (2nd ed.), co-edited with Sue Tolleson Rinehart, M.E. Sharpe. 

Rethinking Sexual Citizenship, 2016, SUNY Press.​

Select Articles (Refereed Journals)

Book Review of American Marriage: A Political Institution by Priscilla Yamin. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (2012) in Politics and Gender, 9(2) 239-41.

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.