Hi everyone! My name is Jessica Ann Vooris and I am a full-time lecturer at the University of Maryland, College Park where I teach LGBT Studies courses in the Department of Women’s Studies. I successfully defended my dissertation at UMD this August. My research focuses on lgbt/queer families and parenting gender creative and transgender children. I am interested in how we think about children’s gender and sexuality, and the idea of the “queer child” as a way to disrupt normative views of childhood. I also write about the “anticipation work” that parents’ engage in as they try to understand their children’s various expressions, identities, and possible futures.
On this site you can find more information about my research, my CV, and resources for LGBTQ youth and their families. There is also a blog portion, where you will find my writing on a variety of topics, which often relate to the idea of the spaces in between–cultural spaces, gender, sexuality, identities, life and death. To read more about what I mean, check out this post. I am also a poet, and the blog includes some of my poetry and thoughts about writing.
I grew up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the rural landscapes and a childhood spent running around a 200 acre farm have greatly shaped my understanding of home, self and community. With an English mother, and dual-citizenship with the UK, I also had a transatlantic childhood, and connect with the concept of being a “third culture kid” having grown up between two countries. I graduated in 2009 from Bucknell University where I double-majored in Creative Writing and Women and Gender Studies. I took a year off before graduate school, and conducted field work in Chiapas, Mexico on an anthropology project focusing on the Mayan village of Zinacantan.
If you are interested in learning more about my creative writing you can also find my writing at Bucknell Afterword, a site for Bucknell creative writing alumni. (Edit: 2015: Unfortunately we have become un-active due to the current professional responsibilities of the editor and other contributors, including myself.) For more information about classes that I have taught, please see my course blogs for “Women, Art and Culture” and Intro to LGBT Studies.
Finally, the photos on the site have all been taken by me, unless otherwise accredited.