Jillian Duquaine-Watson
Title Professor of Instruction & Program Head, Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies, (MAIS)
Education Phd, Women's Studies The University of Iowa
Area of Interest Ethnography, cultural competence in health care, reproduction and reproductive technologies, social change and development, poverty, and environmental sustainability
Contact HH 2.122 | 972-883-2322 [email protected]
Website drjillianphotography.com


Dr. Jillian M. Duquaine-Watson - known simply as "Dr. Jillian" to her students - received her BA in Social Change and Development with a minor in Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay in 1997. She completed her MA in American Studies from The University of Iowa in 2000 and her work in that program focused on women in twentieth century American culture. In 2005, she became one of the first students to earn a Ph.D. in Women's Studies at The University of Iowa and during her doctoral training, she completed a disciplinary concentration in feminist sociocultural anthropology, including ethnographic research, and specialized in the areas of reproduction and pedagogy. Dr. Jillian has long been involved with non-governmental and non-profit and community-based organization and earned certificates in non-profit management and responsible NGO management. She also holds certificates in cultural competence and maternal & child health and is a trained birth doula. After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Jillian taught at several postsecondary institutions before joining the faculty at The University of Texas at Dallas in 2008. At present, she serves as full-time Senior Lecturer III in the School of Interdisciplinary Studies as well as Program Head for the Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MAIS) program. Dr. Jillian is an award-winning educator who had developed and taught a board range of undergraduate and graduate courses in the areas of Anthropology, Sociology, Gender Studies, International Development, American Studies, and other fields. She has taught several honors courses and has offered a number of study abroad opportunities in Central America, including short-term study abroad courses as well as internships. Her undergraduate student mentees have been selected for a number of scholarships as well as for participation in the Green Fellows Program as well as the Bill Archer Fellowship Program. Dr. Jillian continues to supervise and mentor a number of student organizations, including UT-Dallas Public Health Initiative, Rainbow Guard, and International Justice Mission.

Research Interests

Dr. Jillian has been published widely, including book chapters, journal articles, and entries in academic reference volumes. Her book,  Mothering by Degrees: Single Mothers and the Pursuit of Post-Secondary Education, was published in 2017 by Rutgers University Press; it has been nominated for several awards and received the 2018 Outstanding Book Award from the American Educational Research Association. At present, she is engaged in two ethnographic, interdisciplinary, health-related research projects. The first project examines cultural competence in reproductive and maternal health care and focuses specifically on the prespectives and experiences of immigrant women in the U.S.. The second project focuses on the relationship between human health and environmental health, specifically in rural and indigenous communities in Costa Rica.

Offered Courses

AMS 2341 American Studies for the 21st Century
AMS 4326 Documentary Photography: History, Politics & Impacts
GST 2300/SOC 2300 Introduction to Gender Studies
GST 4325 Motherhood & the Technological Womb
HLTH 3310 Health Care Issues: Global Perspective
ISIS 4350 International Development: Cultural Impacts
MAIS 5300 Foundations of Interdisciplinary Inquiry
MAIS 5302 Capstone Seminar
MAIS 5303 Research Project

Selected Publications

"Costa Rica". (2018) Women's Lives Around the World: A Global Encyclopedia. Susan M. Shaw, Nancy Staton Barbour, Patti Duncan, Kryn Freehling-Burton, and Jane Nicols, eds. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.

“Circumcision.” (2014) The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia. Marilyn J. Coleman & Lawrence H. Ganong, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

“C-Sections.” (2014) The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia. Marilyn J. Coleman & Lawrence H. Ganong, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

“Computing Technologies, the Digital Divide, and ‘Universal’ Instructional Methods.” (2008) Pedagogy and Student Services for Institutional Transformation: Implementing Universal Design in Higher Education. Jeanne L. Higbee & Emily Goff, eds. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

“Pretty Darned Cold’: Single Mother Students and the Community College Climate in Post-Welfare Reform America.” (July 2007) Equity & Excellence in Education. Special issue on Social Justice Issues and Community Colleges. Routledge.

“Sheppard-Towner Maternity and Infancy Protection Act of 1921.” (2014) The Social History of the American Family: An Encyclopedia. Marilyn J. Coleman & Lawrence H. Ganong, eds. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.

“More than Talk: Single Mothers Claiming Space and Subjectivity on the University Campus.” (2010) Mothers who Deliver: Feminist Interventions in Public and Interpersonal Discourse. Jocelyn Fenton Stitt & Pegeen Reichert Powell, eds. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.