Portrait of Susanne Beechey

Associate Professor of Politics

Maxey Hall 129


Susanne Beechey, Associate Professor of Politics, is an interdisciplinary, feminist scholar of public policy. Her teaching and research interrogate questions of gender, race, and sexuality in US social policies.

Professor Beechey holds a PhD in Public Policy in the field of Gender and Social Policy from George Washington University and a BA from Macalester College.

Professor Beechey frequently includes Whitman students in her research, which engages interpretive methods to understand the meanings constructed, challenged, and circulated through social policies and policy debates. Her book, Social Security and the Politics of Deservingness, analyzed the Congressional Record and interviews with advocates to explored the role of whiteness, gender, age, and family in constructing and maintaining a politics of deservingness which informs Social Security policy debates. Her current research project explores shifts in federal sex education policy and the meanings around sexuality, gender, and race circulated in public school sex education curricula.

Politics 109 Introduction to U.S. Politics and Policymaking

Politics 200 Gender, Race, and Elections

Politics 250 Reproduction and State

Politics 254 Gender and Race in Law and Policy

Politics 311 Deservingness in U.S. Social Policy

Politics 325 Queer Politics and Policy

Politics 365 Political Economy of Care/Work

Politics 490 Knowledge, Power, and Politics (Capstone Senior Seminar)

Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Teaching in the Social Sciences, 2017

Suzanne L. Martin Award for Excellence in Mentoring, 2014


Social Security and the Politics of Deservingness (Palgrave, 2016) https://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781349918898

Book Chapters

“The Pedagogy of the Human Zoo and Whitman College” in Scenes & Types, edited by Elyse Semerdjian, Elizabeth Miller and David Schultz. Whitman College, 2016.

“When Feminism is Your Job: Age and Power in National Women’s Policy Organizations” in Different Wavelengths: Studies of the Contemporary Women’s Movement edited by Jo Reger; Routledge Press, 2005.

Book Reviews

Elder Care Journey: A View From the Front Lines, New Political Science, 40:2, 428-429, 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/07393148.2018.1449282

Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities by Rogers Brubaker. Politics & Gender 13(3), 522-524, 2017.  https://doi.org/10.1017/S1743923X17000125