Melynda Price, a lawyer and humanist whose scholarship addresses critical issues related to race, gender and citizenship, will join the University of Michigan this fall to lead its Institute for Research on Women and Gender.
Her five-year appointment as executive director of IRWG takes effect Aug. 28. The Board of Regents approved Price’s appointment as professor of women’s and gender studies July 20.
“This is an exciting and unique opportunity to lead an organization of scholars and practitioners who have committed themselves to being transformative in both scholarship and practice,” said Price, professor of law and humanities at the University of Kentucky.
“I am honored to lead the Institute for Research on Women and Gender in its continued path as a place where empirical research and a commitment to justice thrive.”
Established in 1995 and based in the Office of the Vice President for Research, IRWG is designed to support and catalyze transformative, interdisciplinary research on women, gender and sexuality in all their dimensions. Its research vision is broadly inclusive of the creative and performing arts, as well as the humanities, social sciences, health sciences and physical sciences.
The institute is home to more than 250 faculty affiliates with appointments across 80 departments.
As executive director, Price will partner with faculty and staff to establish, enact and amplify an ambitious vision for the future of IRWG, while identifying opportunities to expand research collaborations across disciplines for broad societal impact. Price also will aim to diversify and enhance resources and support for all U-M faculty whose scholarship centers around women, gender and sexuality.
Price, who received a juris doctor degree from the University of Texas and a Ph.D. in political science from U-M, joined the University of Kentucky in 2006. She is the John and Joan R. Gaines Professor of Humanities, director of the Gaines Center for Humanities and the J. David Rosenberg Professor of Law. She also served as director of the African American and Africana Studies Program.
Over the past two decades, Price has advanced research in areas ranging from the politics of punishment to the role of law in the politics of race and ethnicity in the United States and at its borders.
“We are incredibly excited to welcome Dr. Price back to Ann Arbor, and under her leadership, I am confident the institute will enhance its reputation as a national leader in exploring some of the most pressing issues of our time — from race, identity and sexuality to social justice, public health and well-being,” said Rebecca Cunningham, vice president for research.