Office: Humanities 212-B
Voice: 657-278-2480

Fax: 657-278-6132
Dept: 657-278-7942

California State University, Fullerton
Women & Gender Studies Department
Humanities Hall 230
Fullerton, CA 92831
Phone: 657.278.3888
FAX: 657.626.6132

Karyl E. Ketchum, Ph. D.

Professor and Department Chair


Dr. Ketchum is Department Chair of Women and Gender Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She has published internationally in some of the most influential academic journals and presses in her field. Topics include feminist and queer aesthetics in film and art; racial and gendered biases in biometric technologies; pathologizing discourses of the feminized body in art and popular culture; and the deployment of race and gender toward galvanizing and sustaining global online social movements. Her work in the intersections of technology, visuality, and gender has also included participating in FemTechNet, a network of scholars, artists, and activists known for its feminist, decentralized pedagogy experiments.

Ketchum's book, Gender Diversity and LGBTQ Inclusion in K-12 Schools: A Guide to Supporting Students, Changing Lives (Routledge), is a first-resource for educators interested in creating educational spaces and institutions responsive to the needs of women and LGBTQIA+ students. Her current book project is a historiography documenting the use and misuse of gender, race, class, and sexuality in the founding narratives of several of the most influential museums and cultural institutions in the U.S.

Dr. Ketchum is committed to creating and sustaining institutions and systems attuned to the needs of minoritized and historically marginalized groups. Toward this end, she routinely acts as a pro bono expert witness for women and LGBTQIA+ refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. and created and implemented a national training program for Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officers working with these same asylum seekers. In her role as a founding member and President of the Orange County Equality Coalition School Compliance Task Force, she led a class action against the California Dept of Education for their mishandling of complaints of discrimination by California public school students. Settled out of court, this resulted in large-scale procedural changes in California's schools. She has also received special commissions and grants from the American Psychological Association and from the California Department of Mental Health.

Professor Ketchum serves on the board of directors for DAP Health (formerly Desert AIDS Project) and The Human Trust, a nonprofit fiduciary AI trust dedicated to women's health and well being. She has held multiple community leadership positions, including as an advisor to Chapman University's Center for Global Law and Development - LGBTQ Rights and Feminism Division, on the Executive Board for The Orange County Equality Coalition, and for The LGBT Center of Orange County. Dr. Ketchum is a reviewer for The M. Katherine Baird Darmer Equality Scholarship for law students. Her awards include Planned Parenthood of California's Advocacy Award, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California Vern Bulloughs Social Justice Award, the Rich Cook Community Bridge Award, the Orange County Lavender Bar Association Equality Award, the OCEC Excellence in Leadership Award, and the Women for Orange County Social Justice Award.


Ph.D. Cultural Studies, University of California, Davis, 2005.

M.A. Cultural Studies, with Distinction, University of California, Davis, 1999.

B.A. Art Studio, Women's Studies, University of California, Davis. Summa Cum Laude and Departmental Citations for Achievement in the Visual Arts, 1993.

Research Areas

Visual Culture, Museum Studies, Critical Theory, Cultural Studies, Semiotics, Digital Humanities, Critical Race Theory and theories of whiteness, queer aesthetics and theories

Scholarly Work


Gender Diversity and LGBTQ Inclusion in K-12 Schools: A Guide to Supporting Students, Changing Lives. Routledge, 2018.

Technovisual Formalism: Representation in a Digital Age, University of California Press, 2008.

Selected Articles:

“Jill Soloway’s Queer* Gaze.” Gender, Media, and Communication, Ed. Ingrid Bachmann. NY, NY: Wiley Press. May 2019.

"Gendered Uprisings: Desire and Revolution Online." Transformations Journal of Media & Culture, no 23. Special issue: "The Internet as Politicising Instrument," July 2016.

“Michigan's LGBTQ History, Politics and Culture.” Proud Heritage, Ed. Chuck Stewart. Santa Barbara, CA: CLIO. December 2014.

“‘We’ve Got Big News’: Representation, New Media and Empowering Queer Youth.” Queer Youth and Media Cultures, Ed. Christopher Pullen, Palgrave Macmillan - London, United Kingdom, 2014.

“Magic, Dangerous, Deadly: The Uncanny Powers of My Uterus.” [Multi Media]. In Media Res, Issue: "Women's Health as Humor," New York University Press, Media Commons, November 2012.

"Facegen And the Technovisual Politics of Embodied Surfaces. Women's Studies Quarterly, 37. Special Issue: "Technologies," June 2009.

“Techno-visual Identities," The Body Between Artistic Creativity and Technology, Biblioteca della Facoltà di Lettere e Filosofia Press, Trento, Italy. Ed. Antonella Montedoro. April 2008.

“Mode: Poetische Dialektik?” Mentges, Gabriele (Hg.) unter der Mitarbeit von Nina Schack und Heike Jenß, Kulturanthropologie des Textilen. Sonderband. Heide Nixdorff zum Dank und zur Erinnerung gewidmet, Berlin 2007, 265-286. With Susan B. Kaiser and Ana Kuhn.

Selected Media Productions:
“I Know School Laws” Public Service Announcement developed in partnership with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. OASIS Film Studios. 4 min. (2012).

“Understanding LGBTQ and Gender-Based Bullying.”  Director/Editor and Co-Producer (with Michelle Rouse), OASIS Production Studio. Released July 2012. A series of 16 shorts, Digital video, High Def. 480 min.

“Machine Vision; The New Biometrics.” Director/writer/Editor. Released May 2008. 11 min.

Dr. Ketchum's Spring 2024 Office Hours: Wednesdays from 11 - 1:30, Humanities 212B.

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