Mary Tuominen


Department of Sociology/Anthropology
Denison University 
Granville, Ohio 43023
Phone: 740-587-6646
fax: 740-587-5676


 I currently serve as Professor of Sociology/Anthropology and Women’s Studies at Denison University.

My previous employment as a community organizer, a public policy analyst, and a Budget Assistant to the Governor for Children and Family Services inform both my teaching and my research interests.

My research and publications focus on care work including the racialized politics and economics of women's care giving.  My most recent publication, "Speaking and Organizing Across Difference: Multi-Racial Coalitions and the Grassroots Mobilization of Child Care Workers" (in Feminist Formations, 2012), explores the challenges of multi-racial, grassroots coalitions as tools for mobilizing child care workers.

My research-in-progress builds on my previous care work scholarship to include narrative care work – an analysis of the ways in which caregivers make meaning of illness, death, and grief.  This work includes a Mellon Foundation Award for a project titled, “Writing Grief and Healing: Creative Nonfiction and Narrative Analysis” and an autoethnographic book manuscript currently underway and provisionally titled Speaking About Death: Reflections on Love, Loss, and Healing.

Just as I am committed to community-based, collaborative research, I believe the most effective teaching and learning processes must be interactive. To this end I employ a variety of approaches to teaching/learning in the classes I teach including critical and analytic service learning, and teaching in learning communities. Using these and other approaches to teaching/learning, I seek to enable students to engage in the work of active, informed citizenship – the work which I believe to be the primary goal of a liberal arts education.