Jessica LeAnn Urban


Jessica (Jesse) earned her PhD in Political Science in 2004, emphasizing International Relations, Comparative Politics, International Development, Gender and Development, Public Policy (focusing on human rights, welfare "reform," structural adjustment, HIV/AIDS, reproduction, and immigration), and “Understanding Difference: Race, Class and Gender."  In 2004 Jesse also began teaching Women’s Studies at Humboldt. Shortly thereafter, she joined the innovative Programs in Multicultural Queer Studies and Environment and Community (E&C).  Jesse sits on a variety of committees for WS, MQS, and E&C. She also regularly serves on MA thesis committees for E&C graduate students.

Jesse works to blend her teaching, activism, writing, and daily life together with her commitment to Intersectional and Postcolonial Feminist praxis. Her activist work is grounded in ongoing self-reflexive analysis, life-long learning, liberatory education, nonviolence, and coalition-building. Jesse is committed to realizing her vision of a more just world that is built (in part) on environmental, social, political, economic, and reproductive justice. This vision requires eliminating interlocking systems of power, privilege and oppression, along with the ideologies and tools of violence that underpin those systems. Her goals are ambitious, but like others in CRGS, Jesse believes that another world is possible and achievable.

Jesse teaches core and elective courses in CRGS’s three pathways. These include: “Intro to WS,” “Power/Privilege” “Ecofeminism,” “Women’s Health and Body Politics,” “Third World Women’s Movements,” “Deconstructing the Veil,” “Population and the Environment,” and the graduate level course: “Race, Gender, and the Politics of Environmental Security.”

Her areas of interest include de-militarizing the U.S./Mexico border, investigating the politics of representation as well as their material consequences, and exposing and eliminating coercive population and immigration-control programs. Jesse is passionately dedicated to ending all forms of violence. She works with the Women’s Resource Center on events such as “Take Back the Night," and serves as faculty advisor for ERC (Eric Rofes Multicultural Queer Resource Center) and AWARE (Always Working for Animal Rights and Equality).

Jesse’s writings include “Interrogating Privilege/Challenging the ‘Greening of Hate’” for the International Journal of Feminist Politics (2007) and “Bordering on the Absurd” for the edited book A New Kind of Containment (Rodopi, 2009). Jesse is donating all her earnings from her first book Nation, Immigration and Environmental Security (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) to the immigrant rights and environmental justice organization Border Action Network .