Kathleen Lois Barry (1977)

Activist and Author

Kathleen Barry is Professor Emerita of the Pennsylvania State University and an internationally known feminist and sociologist. She is the author of the landmark book Female Sexual Slavery (1979) which has been translated into six languages and launched an international movement against sexual exploitation. She is the founder of the United Nations NonGovernmental Organization, The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women, and collaborated with UNESCO to develop new international law that makes sexual exploitation a violation of human rights which is the subject of her 1995 book, Prostitution of Sexuality: Global Exploitation of Women, (New York University Press). It has been translated and published in Chinese and Korean.

She is a biographer and author of Susan B. Anthony: A Biography of a Singular Feminist (1st Books, Ballantine, 1989) and was featured in the movie for television "One Woman, One Vote." She appeared in the 1999 Ken Burns PBS special "Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony." She was the editor of Feminist Crosscurrents, a book series for New York University Press.

Kathleen Barry's international work led her to Vietnam in 1991. She developed a project on women and the family with the Institute of Social Science in Ho Chi Minh City in 1993 which led to her edited volume, Vietnamese Women in Transition (Macmillan and St. Martins Press, 1996). This book is recognized as the first published social science collaboration between the Americans and Vietnamese since the war in Vietnam.

Kathleen Barry lectures widely in the U.S. and abroad. She has appeared on OPRAH WINFREY, LARRY KING LIVE, and numerous other national and local talk shows for over two decades. In 1995, Dr. Barry was honored with a ten-city lecture tour in France on Susan B. Anthony and the Womans Rights Movement at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Paris. She previously held positions at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifque and L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales as well as various visiting professorships in the US and in Dublin and Belfast. She was awarded a Fulbright in Ireland to launch the subject of her next book based on interviews with mothers, daughters and grandmothers, over three generations living through the Northern Ireland "Troubles." She is writing Viola, a fictionalized memoir, and Sociology of Spirit, a book that combines social theory and spirituality. 

Dissertation Title: 
Social Origins of the Nineteenth Century American Feminist Movement