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Sara Zeigler Featured in AFA Spotlight

Sara Zeigler Featured in AFA Spotlight

Sara Zeigler is featured in this series intended to allow EKU faculty, staff, students, or alumni to discuss their encounters with African or African-American studies, peoples, or societies as students, instructors, researchers, or travelers. 

Briefly state your educational background, past and current academic positions held, most recent or significant publications.

I earned the B.A. in Political Science from Reed College and the M.A. and PhD. from UCLA, also in Political Science.  I have a graduate minor in Women and Gender Studies.  I am currently the Interim Dean of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.  I began work at EKU in 1996, as an adjunct faculty member.  I secured a tenure-track position in 1997 and moved through the ranks, attaining the rank of Professor in 2007.   I became Director of Women’s Studies (now Women and Gender Studies) in 2002, Chair of Government (now Government and Economics) in 2005, and Dean of University Programs in 2010. I assumed my current position on July 1, 2016. My recent publications are listed below. 

  • Zeigler, Sara L. “Using Metacognition to Manipulate Administrators.” It Works for Me, Metacognitively, 2016, pp. 28-30.
  •  Zeigler, Sara L. “Using Structured Debates to Promote Metacognition.” It Works for Me, Metacognitively, 2016, pp. 99-101.
  • Patton, Dana, and Zeigler, Sara L. “Under My Thumb: National Control of State Interest Group Affiliates and its Policy Implications.” Journal of Political Science, 2014, Volume 42, pp. 81-104.
  • Noblitt, Lynnette S., Westbrook, Miranda, and Zeigler, Sara L. “Bias on the Bench: Sex, Judges and Mock Trial Simulations.” The Feminist Teacher, 2011, Volume 21, pp. 126-139.
  • Zeigler, Sara L. and Halva-Neubauer, Glen A.  "Promoting Fetal Personhood: The Rhetorical and Legislative Strategies of the Pro-Life Movement after Casey."  Feminist Formations, 2010, Volume 22, pp. 101-123.

Discuss how you have encountered Africa or African-American studies, peoples, and societies in your research, studies, travels, scholarship, teaching, or associations.

I was a member of the group that developed the AFA program, although my academic background in that area is rather sparse.  Obviously, as a specialist in discrimination law, I understand theories of race and ethnicity and how the law operates in those contexts.   I was useful in the group that formed the program based upon my understanding of program design and curriculum processes.   I recently took my first trip to Africa—I spent two weeks in South Africa this summer.  It was a vacation rather than a research trip, although I learned a great deal about the history and geography thanks to a well-educated and articulate guide.   The highlight of the trip was four days in a wildlife reserve near Kruger— learning about the animals and having a chance to observe them was a unique experience for me.  The landscape was beautiful and the people welcoming.  I am eager to return and visit other countries.  We also have some very exciting education abroad opportunities in Africa—specifically in Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, and South Africa. 

What is the most gratifying experience of those encounters, and why?

The encounters with the wildlife—it likely speaks ill of my character that I seek interactions with animals first and people second.  Although being a few feet away from a lion puts your place in the world into perspective - you do not feel very powerful at that moment. 

What should anyone who is yet to experience Africana studies learn from your experience?

I would say to that students should enroll in the courses to learn about the richness of the culture—there’s a great deal that can be experienced through our classes in terms of learning about the history, the culture, and the aesthetic achievements of many countries in the continent, as well as the history of the Diaspora and the accomplishments of people of African descent throughout the world.  Understanding difference and marginalization—and learning to understand and appreciate others’ perspectives - is a critical part of our program. 

Published on September 13, 2016

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