Dr. Suzanna Danuta Walters’ work is centered on questions of gender, sexuality, family, and popular culture and she is a frequent commentator on these issues for the media. Her forthcoming book, The Tolerance Trap: How God, Genes, and Good Intentions are Sabotaging Gay Equality (NYU Press) explores how notions of tolerance limit the possibilities for real liberation and deep social belonging. Walters’ previous book, All the Rage: The Story of Gay Visibility in America (University of Chicago Press, 2001), examined the explosion of gay visibility in culture and politics over the past 15 years and raised pressing questions concerning the politics of visibility around sexual identity. The book was a finalist for numerous literary awards (including the Lambda Literary Award) and was the subject of radio and television interviews and discussions, culminating in a 15-city book tour in the fall of 2001 and spring 2002. Her other works include books on feminist cultural theory (Material Girls: Making Sense of Feminist Cultural Theory), mothers and daughters in popular culture (Lives Together/Worlds Apart: Mothers and Daughters in Popular Culture) and numerous articles and book chapters on feminist theory, queer theory and LGBT studies, and popular culture.
In 2004, Walters founded the first PhD program in gender studies at Indiana University, where she was a professor of gender studies and held positions in sociology and communication and culture. Previously, Walters was a professor of sociology and the director of Women’s Studies at Georgetown University. She was also a visiting senior scholar at the Center for Narrative Research at the University of East London. She received her PhD from the Graduate Center, City University of New York in 1990.