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Professor of Political Science and Women's & Gender Studies




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Susan Burgess

Susan Burgess

Bentley Annex 225

Susan Burgess' research and teaching interests include public law, popular culture, gay and lesbian politics, and women and politics. Her scholarship in the field of public law has been designed to integrate innovative approaches into political science and includes published work in the area of new institutionalism, queer theory, and cultural studies.

She has published three books: The New York Times on Gay and Lesbian Issues (CQ, 2011); The Founding Fathers, Pop Culture, and Constitutional Law: Who’s Your Daddy? (in the Ashgate series on Law, Justice and Power, Austin Sarat series editor, 2008), and Contest for Constitutional Authority: The Abortion and War Powers Debates (Kansas 1992). She has also published work in several disciplinary and interdisciplinary journals such as Political Research Quarterly; Polity; Review of Politics; PS: Politics and Political Science; differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies; Law and Society Review; Law, Culture, and the Humanities; and Studies in Law, Politics, and Society.

Professor Burgess has held a wide variety of positions in professional associations. In the American Political Science Association she has been a member of the Executive Committee of the Law and Courts twice, division coordinator of the Constitutional Law Section, chair of the GLBT Caucus, and a member of the Committee on the Status of Women. She has just completed a term on the Executive Council of the WPSA, has served twice as division coordinator of the Politics and Sexuality Section, and has recently joined the editorial board of Political Research Quarterly.

Professor Burgess has received departmental and university-wide awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Classes taught include: The Politics of Law and Sexuality; Legal Theory and Social Problems; Women, Gender, and Rock and Roll; and Graduate Seminar in New Feminist Scholarship.


  • Ph.D. at University of Notre Dame (1990)


  • Law, Justice & Social Change
  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Popular Culture


  • Pols 101: American National Government
  • Pols 421/521: Politics of Law & Sexuality
  • Pols 477/577: Legal Theory & Social Problems
  • WGS 210: Women, Gender, Rock & Roll



Burgess, Susan. 2008.  The Founding Fathers, Popular Culture and Constitutional Law:  Who’s Your Daddy?   Aldershot, Hampshire, England:  Ashgate (Law, Justice, and Power series).

Burgess, Susan R. 1992. Contest for Constitutional Authority: The Abortion and War Powers Debates. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas.

Articles & Chapters

Burgess, Susan R., and Angelia Wilson. 2007. "Sexuality and the Body Politic: Thoughts on the Construction of an APSA Sexuality & Politics Section." PS: Political Science and Politics 40: 377-81.

Burgess, Susan R. 2007, "Who's Your Daddy? Legitimacy, Parody, and Soap Operas in Contemporary Constitutional Discourse." Law, Culture, and the Humanities 3: 55-81.

Burgess, Susan R. 2006. "Queer (Theory) Eye for the Straight (Legal) Guy: Lawrence v. Texas' Makeover of Bowers v. Hardwick." Political Research Quarterly 59: 401-14. With commentaries by Keith Bybee and Thomas Keck.

Burgess, Susan R. 2005. "Did the Supreme Court Come Out in Bush v. Gore? The Politics of the Performance of Shame." differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 16: 25-40.

Burgess, Susan R. 2002. "Who Killed Politics? The Case of Cass Sunstein: Queer Theory Meets Mainstream U.S. Constitutional Theory." Studies in Law, Politics and Society 26: 25-40.

Burgess, Susan R. 2001. "A Fine Romance: Keith Whittington's Originalism and the Drama of U.S. Constitutional Theory." Law & Society Review 34: 931-42.





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