Nancy J. Kenney

Associate Professor Emerita of Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies; Associate Professor Emerita of Psychology
Nancy Kenney

Contact Information


Ph.D., Psychology, University of Virginia - Charlottesville, 1974
M.A., Psychology, University of Virginia - Charlottesville, 1972
B.A., Psychology, Wilkes College, Summa Cum Laude, 1970
Curriculum Vitae (110.13 KB)

Professor Kenney has been a member of the GWSS faculty since 1976. She holds a joint appointment with the Department of Psychology. She also serves as Director of Graduate Training for the GWSS department. Kenney’s research addresses the ways in which reproductive technologies influence women’s lives. Her work has addressed the questions of why women donate eggs to help others reproduce and the physical and emotional effects such donations have on donors. She is also interested in women’s attitudes toward ownership of/attachment to eggs donated for a specific reproductive purpose but unused for that purpose. The concept of what behaviors and characteristics define a “good mother” fascinates her and her upcoming work will attempt to reach an understanding of the concept by assessing how the concept is defined by women of various identities (ethnic/cultural/sexual/economic).



Kenney’s research is in conversation with that of Sean Jarvis, a graduate student whom she co-advises with Prof. Amanda Swarr, on biomedicine, technology and desire and with Prof. Swarr’s more broad-based transnational research on the trans* community. Her work can also easily relate to that of Prof. Priti Ramamurthy on transnational commodity chains. Her research continues to be in conversation with that of graduates of our Ph.D. program including the work on bioethics and genetics by Dr. Michelle McGowan (Ph.D. Women Studies, 2007) and on Black women’s identity as mothers by Dr. Mae Henderson (Ph.D. Women Studies, 2006).

Courses Taught