Cynthia Siemsen , PhD
Cynthia Siemsen, Professor of Sociology, and Chair of the Sociology Department received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Cruz, specializing in sociological social psychology, social theory, sociology of law, and development. She has been at CSU Chico since 2000. She loves to teach and loves the subject matter of the courses she teaches that include Classical Social Theory (SOCI 300), Contemporary Social Theory (SOCI 301), Self and Society (SOCI 360), World Affairs (SOCI 441), Sociology of the Life Course (SOCI 461), and Sociology of Law (SOCI 486). In Spring 2010 she received the City of Chico Mayor’s Award for her Contemporary Social Theory service learning assignment at the Torres Community Shelter. She is a recipient of Chico State's Professional Achievement Honor that recognizes excellence in teaching and scholarship.
Siemsen’s primary research interests focus on human agency at the intersection between professional and personal identities and the interrelation of emotion and ideology in the “gendered” and “raced” legal context. She is the author of Emotional Trials: The Moral Dilemmas of Women Defense Attorneys, an exploration of women criminal lawyers' careers, and is under contract for her next book, The Black Gavel. The Black Gavel is a study of African American jurists, their relationships to major Supreme Court cases involving African Americans and the Civil Rights movement, their quests to counter racial inequality within the U.S. system of justice, and their tempered optimism for a more racially just future. She frequently publishes articles on women’s contributions to classical theory, women lawyers, and more recently on women judges. Along with Nancy Jurik from Arizona State University, she co-edited Gender & Society’s 2009 “Symposium on West and Zimmerman,” and co-authored with Jurik, “’Doing Gender’ as Canon or Agenda?” for Gender & Society. Her publications that represent an earlier research interest in Iraq’s development have appeared in Studies in Comparative International Development and as a coauthored book chapter in New World Order?
Siemsen regularly presents papers at national and regional sociological conferences. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Pacific Sociological Association, and Sociologists for Women in Society.