The Newcomb Institute has been a contributing force to the work both at Tulane and nationally around researching, preventing, and organizing around sexual assault on campus and gender-based violence.
Newcomb College Endowed Chair
Executive Director, Newcomb Institute
Professor of Political Science
Since 2010, Sally J. Kenney has held the Newcomb College Endowed Chair at Tulane University where she is the executive director of the Newcomb Institute, a Professor of Political Science, and an affiliated faculty member of the Law School. She earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Politics from Princeton University, a B.A. and M.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from Magdalen College, Oxford, and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Iowa. She has published extensively about comparative employment discrimination, the European Court of Justice, and judicial selection, focusing particularly on women judges.
She has taught an undergraduate service-learning course on The Politics of Rape at Tulane for the last five years and has been a national leader on sexual assault on campus. She was one of the original planners of the Dartmouth Summit on Sexual Assault with David Lisak and Claudia Bayliff. She led a team of Tulane staff and students who attended that conference. Kenney was invited to the White House for the release of the Its On Us Report. Newcomb Institute has brought many leading researchers to campus to speak on their scholarship on sexual assault and assembled a consortium of faculty, students, and staff interested in working on the issue which evolved into the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Committee, now dissolved. (See Student Affairs’ All In for more recent information.)
The Newcomb Institute first screened the films Invisible War and The Hunting Ground which brought the filmmaker to town. Questioning following the screening of The Hunging Ground led Tulane to make more transparent its reporting of complaints that evolved into the Shifting the Paradigm annual event. Newcomb hosted several trainings for faculty about changing requirements to report sexual assault on campus; it hosted Assistant Secretary of Education Catherine Lhamon for a campus convening in 2014. Newcomb Institute has sponsored two conferences for student activists on sexual assault and is currently planning a third. Kenney was an active member of the Sexual Assault Taskforce responding to Tulane University’s ARC3 climate survey which garnered over 50% response rate. She attended the Stanford Conference on Title IX Advocacy in the Trump Era. She served on the Tulane Sexual Assault Climate Taskforce and continues to chair the committee endeavoring to change the grievance procedure for faculty who are accused of sexual harassment. In the fall of 2018, she gave a keynote address at the University of Kentucky’s annual conference on sexual assault on campus and delivered an address at the University of Houston on sexual assault and restorative justice. In the spring of 2019, she has been invited to deliver a paper at the Stanford Institute of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She is currently writing her own survivor narrative.
In the 2019 Newcomb Summer Session, Kenney and Laura Wolford will offer a one-week course for high school students on Dismantling Rape Culture. She is currently writing, working to make her course available online, planning a series on sexual assault and restorative justice, and planning a national interdisciplinary conference of scholars.
Lisa Wade is a Visiting Scholar at Tulane University, officially joining the faculty in 2021 as an Associate Professor with appointments in Sociology, the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, and the Newcomb Institute. Her research agenda has involved four main areas: U.S. discourse about female genital cutting in Africa, the relationship between biology and society, hookup culture on college campuses, and feminist theories of sexuality. Before receiving her M.S. and Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Lisa earned an interdisciplinary M.A. in Human Sexuality from NYU and a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of California in Santa Barbara. From 2006 to 2019, she was a professor of sociology at Occidental College.
Lisa is the author of over two dozen research papers, book chapters, and educational essays. She has also published four book-length projects. American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus is the definitive account of collegiate hookup culture. Terrible Magnificent Sociology is a solo-authored introduction to sociology forthcoming in 2021. Gender: Ideas, Interactions, Institutions, co-authored with Myra Marx Ferree, leads the market for sociology of gender courses and is now in its second edition. And Assigned: Life with Gender is a co-edited anthology, with Chris Uggen and Douglas Hartmann.
As a public-facing scholar, Lisa also works to make her and others’ scholarship engaging to a public audience. She specializes, in other words, in being as comfortable “in the weeds” as she is “in the clouds.” In 2007, she founded Sociological Images, a website for which she earned several awards, including the Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award from the American Sociological Association. Today, she regularly informs journalism and writes for the general public, occasionally appearing on television and radio. You can find Lisa online at lisa-wade.com and on Twitter @lisawade.
Tulane University regularly offers courses on sexual violence taught by Newcomb Institute staff. Students are also now able to complete an undergraduate certificate in gender-based violence.
Newcomb Pre-College Summer Session offers courses for high school students on rape culture and feminist advocacy.
Newcomb Institute supports the first Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (planned by students Tara Wilson, Hannah Novak, and Nina Baumgartner). Laura Dunn from SurvJustice was the keynote speaker.
Newcomb Institute supported the second Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (planned by students Hannah Novak and Helen Robins). Wagatwe Wanjuki was the keynote speaker.
Newcomb Institute joins with the Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault to support the third Louisiana Sexual Assault Student Activist Conference (held at Xavier University). Dalton Tiegs and Rebecca Merton are keynote speakers.
Newcomb Institute has brought national leaders, new documentaries, and cutting-edge researchers to campus each year to spark conversation and increase our knowledge about campus sexual assault.
Newcomb Institute hosts a reading group for students, staff, and faculty to continue our education about sexual assault.