We at the Department of Gender and Women's Studies stand with UA’s Institute for LGBT Studies to “vehemently oppose the continued attack on transgender rights. We stand in solidarity with our trans* family, friends, colleagues, and community and are committed to support movement toward inclusive education in Arizona, which encompasses trans* peoples’ right to participate in sports and athletic teams.”

Michelle Berry

About Michelle Berry

 I am an historian (PhD, University of Arizona, 2005) whose primary intellectual interests include feminist pedagogy (teaching), ecofeminism, political ecology, environmental and labor history, and sports studies. In each of these, I am interested in understanding how power is constructed around gendered, racialized, and classed identities.  I define myself, professionally, as a teacher-scholar who encourages students to engage in comparative study especially with regard to the connection between the cultural and the political.  I teach a wide variety of courses in the Gender and Women's Studies and the History departments, and in each students will recognize common objectives - namely I want my students to leave the class having had an opportunity to absorb and practice a set of skills that I find to be important in understanding and maneuvering power relationships, justice, and governance in their own lives in the 21st century.  These are the kinds of things I find myself pondering around a campfire when I'm away from my computer rejuvenating.  After nearly 20 years in the classroom, I have become convinced that empowering students to know how to read and write critically and think analytically is the greatest success I can have in my classroom.  One can find a longer treatise on my approach to teaching in my newly published book on the subject A Primer for Teaching Environmental History that was published by Duke University Press in the Spring of 2018.  In addition to teaching and writing about teaching, I am also at work on a monograph that examines the collective environmental identities of range cattle ranchers in the US West from 1945-1965.  It is my primary and ground-breaking contention that cows are very, very important to the history of the US West and the world in general. More precisely, I am interested in the ways in which this group of agricultural laborers used ecological knowledge and connection with the nonhuman world to erase internal differences and division in their quest to remain one of the most powerful special interest groups in the United States.  Fairly often in my classes we have a reading or a lecture on the intersections between cows (or some other important animal) and whatever we are studying at the time. It works. I promise.

Courses Taught

GWS 150B5: Sport, Sex, Identity: Cultural and Institutional Issues in Sports

GWS/HIST 202: History of Modern Sexualities

GWS 200: Women and Western Culture

GWS/HIST 253: History of Women in the United States, Colonial Era-1890

GWS 260: Sex, Gender, and Technology


HIST 150C3: US Society and Institutions since 1877

HIST 150C6: Introduction to Political History

HIST 302U: UA Stories: Creating a Digital Past

HIST 355: United States Environmental History

Michelle Berry's picture

Contact Information

Michelle Berry
Assistant Professor (Career Track)