BY AMANDA TRAUTMANN
Being a new student in college can be hard, but the transition can be just as difficult on a professor as well.
Dr. Dalia Gomaa, a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, is kicking off her first year of teaching at Denison.
Before she taught at Denison, she taught in the English department at the University of Cairo in Egypt, where she earned her B.A. and her M.A. in english and women and gender studies.
She later studied at the University of Illinois in Chicago as a Fulbright scholar and received her Ph.D. from the University of Milwaukee in Wisconsin, where she was inspired to teach others.
“I’m glad to be at a university that appreciates my presence and acknowledges my work,” says Gomaa. “Denison inspires me with it’s intellectual atmosphere.”
Gomaa is adjusting to her challenging hike up the hill to reach campus, as well as Granvillian life.
“I see the plaque at the bottom of the hill, and it truly speaks to me,” Gomaa says about the steep stairs that reach towards campus that read ‘the heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in night.’ “Although it is about ‘great men,’ it applies to women who aspire to reach new heights in their lives.”
Gomaa grew up in Egypt and she says, “Although I have been privileged socially and economically, I have also been aware of the challenges unprivileged women in Egypt encounter, especially in the domestic sphere.”
She is interested in both international women’s studies and literature. Her interest began with The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot’s 1860 novel that follows two siblings, Maggie and Tom Tulliver, growing up in a village in Lincolnshire, England. Gomaa points to Maggie Tulliver, which piqued her interest in these fields, saying “Although I didn’t like the ending, where she succumbed to the social norms around her, I was always intrigued by the first part where she was rebellious and in a sense an outsider. I felt very early on that I was rebellious too, and wanted to shatter social confinements.” Gomma was interested in looking for books about that type of woman.
Gomaa’s favorite class to teach is “a course, Multicultural America, in University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee” This class includes a service learning component that Gomaa claims “was like hitting two birds with one stone: get students to go beyond their comfort zone and familiarize them with the intricacies of multiculturalism and diversity in the US.”
This semester, she’s teaching Issues in Feminism which gives a general overview of topics covered in the Women’s and Gender Studies department, and Transnational Feminism, a course about the changing definition of feminism across the world in different social and political contexts.
“I enjoy teaching transnational feminisms, because it gives students the opportunity to navigate women’s issues beyond the geographical boundaries of the US, and concomitantly learn about the socio-historical-economic-political backgrounds of the authors they read.”
When she teaches, Gomaa likes to keep the atmosphere light and fun.
“I say my jokes with a very straight face that you can easily miss the joke!” says Gomaa.
When she’s not teaching, Dr. Gomaa likes to spend her time exploring Columbus. If she’s not doing that she prefers to unwind at home with a movie.
In spring she will teach Issues in Feminism again as well as Feminist Research Methods.
“It includes students conducting research on an issue of their choice that is pertained to women and gender studies,” says Gomaa.
Make sure to stop by her office in Knapp 210C to say hello sometime this semester.